Paperd grooms his animals to socialize with people. After they leave the pouch he harbors them in his home for up to a year.
When you think of wallabies and kangaroos the first thing that comes to mind is Australia, "The Land Down Under." You don't have to travel that far, however, to see these marsupials, The Fall City Wallaby Ranch has 19.
Owned by Rex and Tawny Paperd, the Fall City Wallaby Ranch sits on 10-acres in the lush green Snoqualmie Valley in Fall City, Washington, 26 miles east of Seattle. Known by the Native Indian Tribes as "The Valley of the Moon" for the magnificent visual lunar displays, the Snoqualmie Valley is a beautiful green lowland bisected by the mighty Snoqualmie River and the Cascade Mountain Range. Paperd's location offers a loving home, acres of grassy wallaby and kangaroo playgrounds, two acres of aircraft parking, private access roads and seven acres of Equestrian paradise.
Rex Paperd's Wallaby Ranch has about 20 Wallabies and Kangaroos. They look very much alike but basically any breed that exceeds 45 pounds on average are considered Kangaroos and smaller ones are the Wallabies.
Visitors flying into the area also get a kangaroo fix from the air.
Wallabies and Kangaroos are loveable marsupials, found mainly in Austria and New Guinea. Fall City Wallaby Ranch isn't just a place where kids can see and pet the animals. Rex takes them to schools and share them with the developmentally disabled.
"We have gone through the trouble of shaping our property like a kangaroo. From the air the 3,000 ft. runway of the airport that we are one of the 30 owners of here becomes the feet and tail of the 22 acre kangaroo that is our property, so we essentially have 10 acres of property that is shaped liked the body of a kangaroo," explained Paperd.
The wallaby is an Australasian marsupial that is similar to, but smaller than a kangaroo. marsupial is a mammal that is born not completely developed and is typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother's belly. Marsupials are found mainly in Australia and New Guinea, although three families, including the opossums, live in America. Basically, any breed that exceeds 45 pounds on average, are considered kangaroo's and smaller ones are the wallabies.
The satisfaction of sharing his animals with others is really what it is all about for Paperd and his wife. Fall City Wallaby Ranch isn't just a place where kids can see and pet the animals. Rex and his wife do what they do out of love and the affection and good things their animals bring to others, especially kids and the developmentally disabled.
"It's our way of giving back to the world and sharing some of the joys we received. We consider ourselves blessed. Almost all of our babies are sold over our website. We don't use the kangaroo farm as a business to pay our bills, the honest truth is it is not for profit or we would be selling a lot more babies," said Paperd.
People who come there to experience, touch and feed them, are often overcome with emotion. They also do programs for The Make A Wish Foundation and fundraisers for the American Cancer Society which once raised $500 for a person to have his photo taken with a kangaroo. He has been told that Cancer Society contributions escalated $20,000 by using kangaroos in their fundraising events.
"It is incredible and the most fun I have had in my life. It's a joy, there's rarely a tour where I don't wipe tears from my eyes. You see things that make you want to see more,"said Paperd.
He grooms his animals to socialize with people. After they leave the pouch he harbors them in his home for up to a year to turn them into little humans. He takes them with him everywhere including on his tractor mowing lawns and even has a kangaroo flying with him on his airplane.
Paperd decided two years ago he wanted to put some functional doors on his airplane hangars, so he contacted Schweiss Doors and put in an order for two 46 x12 ft. bifold doors.
Unlike most Schweiss door owners who utilize conventional electricity to open and close their doors, the Schweiss Bifold Liftstrap Doors at The Wallaby Ranch which are affixed to two airplane hangars run on power supplied by large gas generators. One of his hangars houses a Piper Aztec 6-passenger twin and he uses the other hangar to store five collector vehicles.
As a pilot, Paperd has spent a lot of time going in and out of airplane hangars and says Schweiss Bifold Doors are the way to go because they open big and wide.
"We use very little power. The large generators work perfectly well, and I have to say the Schweiss folks really worked with us on this and a little bit of tweaking to get our program to work. The straps are a better deal in all regards, they are quicker to lift and quieter," added Paperd.
His familiarization with Schweiss Doors came from his five years as a chief flight instructor in Seattle.
"I spent a lot of time going in and out of airplane hangars and Schweiss Bifold Doors to me are the way to go - they open big and wide. With Schweiss Bifold doors you can park your car or airplane much closer to the doors. Schweiss doors, installation through use, are smarter and smoother," said Paperd. Speaking of installation, Paperd said he nearly did it by himself.
"It was really very simple. I installed those two doors, one-a-day over a period of two days with about a half a helper. It was the easiest thing you could do. People are usually daunted by size - just get a big piece of equipment and put it up."
He now has 19 wallabies and kangaroos on feet and another 8 waiting to hit the ground when they leave the pouch. The kangaroos and wallabies really are pretty much self sufficient - they are grazing animals and Paperd supplements their diet with a couple of cups of vitamin-rich kangaroo feed each day. That supplement is a pellet form combination of corn, oats and barley and he buys about 2,500 pounds per year.
Like you might expect, Paperd got his first animal as a pet and from there his Marsupial family grew.
Installation of the two 46-12 ft. Schweiss Bi-Fold doors was done by Paperd. "It was really very simple. I install those two doors, one-a-day over a period of two days with the help of about half-helper." said Paperd.
"We showed a couple we had as pets for a first-grade class. The teachers in the school where our children went to school went wild," said Paperd. The Snoqualmie School District asked us to do educational programs for all their first grade classrooms every year. It kind of went from there.
Paperd decided to go with Schweiss patented lift straps instead of cables on his bi-fold doors. He said they are "smarter and smoother" and bi-fold doors allow him to park his car or airplane much closer to the doors.
Since then they produced a website and the world went wild with photos they provided.
Two books have been published in Australia with a third book coming out next year. They've shared photos of a red kangaroo, as it grew, to the world via their website which has resulted in 6,000 communicated hits from many countries. A Scottish medical school uses his embryotic photographs to compare with human embryotic growth. The Detroit Zoo provides a Wallaby Ranch handout for their nature walk tours. Slide show tours are provided for people to observe babies as they grow in the pouches.
If you mention anything about the boxing talents of kangaroos that have been seen on TV, Paperd gets his dander up.
A young Kangaroo, known as a "Joey" looks comfortable in his mother's pouch. Slide show tours are provided for people to observe babies as they grow in the pouches.
"I absolutely hate it when they use animals that way. They don't really box, they wrestle and play. As far as the animals we have, I can tell you this, we pride ourselves on the quality of the temperament of our animals and that includes every single one of them up to our 7-foot tall, 200 pound Jasper. Without advertising we have a couple thousand visitors to the farm every year that do tours here that bring elderly and developmentally delayed groups. Our animals are always very gentle."
With names like "Trillion Kisses," "Vanilla," "Eros" (God of Love), and "Velvi Roo," how could you think otherwise.
The Paperd's are USDA Licensed Breeders of top quality Gray and Albino Bennetts Wallabies and Red Kangaroos. The ranch also provides educational tours and private educational programs and group tours. They can bring a wallaby to school classrooms, private parties, senior centers, charity benefits or gatherings.
A young wallaby sells anywhere from $1,200 for a gray boy to $3,500 for an albino female. Kangaroos sell for $1,500 for a boy to $3,500 for a girl.
"We commonly keep a baby wallaby with us when we have one growing up at our home and will gladly allow you to hold the little bundle of Joey," said Rex. Spring time tours typically include opportunities to see baby Joeys popping in and out of mom's pouch and we can often open mom's pouch and let you peek at the tiniest of our infant's."
The Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) grow in mom's pouch from the size of a bean on the day of birth to maturity.
After they reach a certain age, adoption is another option. He keeps his herd about the same size each year, by putting up to 10 young, six-month or so, Joeys up for adoption to qualified homes between January and June.
There are also a number of non-Macropod members of the Paperd animal family. They own a young Morgan Gelding named "Baby" and "Caleb" an Arabian gelding, which Rex calls, a sports car among horses. Then there's "Iggy," a Common Iguana which measures over four feet in length, "Sugar Bear" a Kinkajou, native to Central and South America, and "Caesar" the house guardian "angel dog" whose patience with baby roos is endless.
So, if one of these days you are flying over Snoqualmie Valley and you see what looks like a large kangaroo-shaped parcel of land, drop down and visit The Fall City Wallaby Ranch. While you are at it, ask Rex if you can see the hangars he built with Schweiss Bifold Liftstrap doors on them.
For more information about The Fall City Wallaby Ranch, visit their website at: www.wallabyranch.org
An albino Wallaby peeks out of its mothers pouch. After they reach a certain age, most all of the youngsters are sold to others over Paperd's website.
Wallabies and Kangaroos are loveable marsupials, found mainly in Australia and New Guinea. Fall City Wallaby Ranch isn't just a place where kids can see and pet the animals. Rex and his wife take them to schools and share them with the developmentally disabled.
There's room to spare in this one of two Wallaby Ranch hangars. Paperd ordered his Schweiss Doors with Lift Straps and Autolatches.