Here are some FAQs for those of you that want to know more.
Last Updated: September 2020
Why is the CBE closed?
We have a short season – around 6 months from Easter to Spring – and have not been open at all yet in 2020, due to COVID-19 measures.
But Queensland is open to Queenslanders – why haven’t you opened up now?
We have taken this opportunity to breed as many bilbies as possible. These animals are destined to be release animals, and as such we are reluctant to handle them or use them as display animals. We carefully select display bilbies, we are mindful of their personality and their suitability to be housed with one another. It also takes us approximately 3-4 weeks to prepare our animals to change their day night cycle. We take that long as it is a gradual process of adjusting the lights. So we delay “sun down” by 1-2 hrs every few days. This is so there isn’t a massive shift from day to night for them. We hold animal welfare as the utmost importance, and work with the animal. we have to ensure bilbies who are going to live together are happy to do so with one another. Bilbies can be like people, some instantly enjoy their new house mates, others take some time to adjust which all has to be nutted out well before we open.
So, are you planning to open at all this year?
The preparation needed for the bilbies to acclimatise and also to staff the CBE, takes time and money. We can just about cover our costs if we open for a full season – any shorter period of time would actually cost us money to be open. That doesn’t feel right for a charity.
We do not want to spend our bilby-lovers’ precious donations on being open to tourists. Unlike the other attractions in Charleville, we are a charity and have no guaranteed income. We are heavily reliant on volunteers and we have to be very careful with our outgoings. Our supporters donate to the work we are doing in our breeding facilities and predator proofed reserve, to save the bilby for future generations, and we are very mindful of honouring that.