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August 14th, 2005-November 9th, 2008
The sweetest little wallaby you´d ever want to meet!
Wendall Wendall Wendall
Favorite Activity: Getting scratches & cuddles; shopping; laying on mommy´s lap while she worked; tapping for ´Sharon the grape vine lady´; walks in my ´pouch´; having grapes with daddy at 5:00am out on the porch
Favorite Food: Grape vine
Gender: Male
From the day that Wendall first began sharing his life with us, there was always a little bit of a ´2 year old living the terrible 2´s´ dancing in him. His greatest thrill as a baby was to sneak up the stairs ever so quietly then run like a bat out of hell down our hallway into our bedroom, then up on our bed. There he would sit proud as a Peacock till you came to retrieve him.

As a teenager who would now go on all of my outings with me, he loved to go to the grocery store. He knew the smell of the grocery store and the minute we walked in, his little head would poke out looking for ´Sharon the produce clerk´ who always had a piece of grape vine for him. On the occasions when Sharon wasn´t there, he was a 2 year old having a temper tantrum the whole time we were in the store. It took me a bit but I finally figured out that he was looking for Sharon to give him his grape vine. So . . . I started carrying grape vine with me so that in the event that Sharon wasn´t working that day I could still get my shopping done, I would give him a piece of grape vine as soon as we went in the store. Then he was content. He may eat his grape vine, he may spend the whole shopping trip with his head poking out of his bag checking out new things but he had better have a grape vine in his pouch or I would spend the whole shopping trip trying to soothe him.

He was and still is the only Macropod we have had who loved to spend his evenings flopped across your lap as you worked on paper work or the computer. Once he was a big boy and had moved out doors to live with the rest of the Macropods, you could never go in his pen without him coming bounding over for a scratch & a cuddle. Even as an adult he loved nothing more then for you to come out and let him hop into his pouch then take him for a walk in his pouch. At close to 45 pounds he was a lot to carry around but oh, how he enjoyed being back in his pouch.

Today, Wednesday- November 19th, Wendall´s ashes were returned to us. This was never how we expected Wendall to come home. They are currently placed within their urn in his pouch from when he was a baby. We will bury his ashes by his favorite corner of the Macropod pen. He always sat in that front corner so that he was the first to see who was coming and going.

We will never know if he had the adventure that we had thought he was having, or if he spent the entire week in the woods around our home trying to find his way back. The only thing we know for certain is that we did everything we could think of to get him back home.

Rest in peace my friend, we miss you terribly. You lived as you died. . . “touching hearts”.

Comments (20 )
We never met you Wendall but we will never forget your last adventure.  Too sad indeed that time ran out for you in an inhospitable climate.

Peter & Rosalind Moller
November 21st, 2008 17:52:37
Wendell´s odyssey touched many hearts. I hope he had the adventure, although my heart feels he wanted nothing more than to be back safe at home.
His time here was short but the quality was top notch. You have done your best for him, before, during and after. Love never dies. The best to you and your, Jan Scales
November 21st, 2008 19:01:26
Oh how to explain what happens to your heart when an animal gives you it´s trust and affection ... especially an exotic such as Wendell.  In having touched the hearts and lives of many, he is leaving behind such a feeling of loss amongst those that knew and loved him.  But, think also of how he has drawn so many of us together.  Dare I say, this world needs a few more Wendells!  G.
November 22nd, 2008 16:13:54
The Saunders Family has decided to share heartfelt emails from friends and supporters - we will be adding more as they come in.  All these messages, and the ones left here on this memorial, will be used to create a `storybook` to be cherished and unveiled at the Wendall weekend in 2009.

Here are a few email messages:

Hi Gary and Carla,

I just heard the news about Wendell and I just wanted to send a note to say I´m so sorry...

We were following this closely here at A-News and I remember meeting him a few months back when we were there for the show...

It can´t be easy on you... I know your animals are like your kids...

My thoughts are with you...

All the best,

Angie Poirier
´A´ Morning Host

I just wanted you to know that I am terribly sorry to hear the news that Wendell´s story has come to a sad close.  I have been following the story and checking for updates since his escape and thinking of your family and the poor little guy daily.  I have been praying he would find his way home safe & sound and I am so deeply saddened to hear that he did not make it.

My thoughts are with you & your family at this time.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Saunders,  
I am very sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes, as the story of Wendell the Wallaby has touched my heart deeply and I had hoped very much that he would make it home safely to you. Animals are so precious and everyone will always remember the story of Wendell.

So sorry,
Katrina Vingerhoeds
Carleton Place, Ontario
I just wanted to let you know how sorry I was to hear of the passing of Wendell the Wallaby.  I just read it in the paper and wanted you both to now that my heart goes out to you and the zoo family.
Hi Carla, Gary and Anne,

I know it can´t bring Wendell home, but I just wanted to pass on the condolences of my colleagues at work as well as some friends. Everyone was rooting for Wendell to get home safe.  Not the ending to the story that many people had wished for.  I was surprised how many people were tearful at work.  Even my mom said she had said some prayers for him.  Being an animal lover myself, I know what you are going through.  If you need anything or any kind of help, please let us know.  If anything came out of this for me it was that I made some really great friends and all in all I was shocked at how many people were concerned and wanted to help you find him.

Best Regards,
Kim Knapp
To the Saunders family

From my family to yours, please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of Wendell. We have been following the reports since his "escape" and we were sure that this story would have a happy ending. We were looking forward to visiting him and his kin next spring.

Once again, sorry at your loss.
Carl Seyler
Richmond Ont.
November 22nd, 2008 16:42:40
  I was just beside myself when I heard that Wendell was missing and then how they had found him,I can still see him in his little pouch hanging on the doorknob in my office at the fair,I just fell in love with him .Rest in peace Wendell  A good friend
November 22nd, 2008 18:24:54
More emails sent to the Saunders Family...

I am so sorry for the loss of Wendell, my heart broke and I shed more than a few tears to hear the results of this search. My heart goes out to you, your family and your friends.

Warm regards,
Jay Smidt
Cantley, QC
Dear Mr & Mrs Saunders
I just wanted to express my sincere sympathy on your loss of Wendell. Know that you did everything humanly possible to get him home.

Anne Hille
Brisbane, Australia  
I followed the story of Wendall..and was praying that this story would have a happy ending. Wendall has touched my heart and if I could have been out there helping I would have been. Wendall remains in my heart forever. My deepest sympathy to you as a caring and loving family.

Stella Waugh
Account Executive
Just heard the sad news about Wendell.  So sorry for your loss; tragic he was so close to home.

Melanie Willis
I am so sorry for the loss of Wendell.
You have my prayers and sympathies during this sad time.
I hope you find comfort in knowing that he touched many hearts.

Judith Binette
Orleans, Ontario
To the Saunders Country Critters family,

From one animal lover to another, my deepest sympathies for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

I am so saddened to hear the news of Wendell´s passing.  Everyone had such high hopes and the search and rescue efforts were amazing by all of those who volunteered.
I cannot imagine how terrified little Wendell must have been, all alone in a foreign environment.  I am just heartbroken about this.  Being an avid animal lover, this type of story just brings tears to my eyes.

My thoughts are with you during this sad time as I can understand what Wendell meant to you and the zoo.

God Bless,
Christine Farquharson
PS:  I especially like the photo of Kojak watching the news on your website actually brought a smile to my face.  I think your organization is wonderful.
Thinking of all of you at this sad time.

Glenna Vanden Bosch
I just read in the Ottawa Sun that Wendell was found dead, 15 km from home.  As an avid pet lover, I can only imagine the anguish you´ve been through during his absence and the sadness you feel now.  Know that you are in my thoughts and in my heart and I only wish the outcome had been a happy one.

Please send me your address - my husband and I would like to make a donation to your farm in Wendell´s name.

Michele Engels
November 22nd, 2008 19:10:29

It was hard to tell Wendell from the other wallabies when I did feed them. But I´ve always known him as the "Gentle One".

It´s to bad he went the way he did. He probably had a good time eating all that grass and leaves though!
November 22nd, 2008 20:15:52
Hello Gary & Carla:
I have followed Wendell´s adventure around Eastern Ontario with great interest and sometimes laid awake a night hoping for his safe return.  

Having lost several pets of my own in the same untimely fashion as you have lost your beloved Wendell, I can feel your pain and anguish. You have lost a member of your family but one thing is certain-Wendell knew he had a loving home.

I look forward to attending the Wendell Weekend next July when I return home.

Ian Carruthers
Winnipeg, Mb.
November 22nd, 2008 23:50:23
Having met you both several years ago while having the pleasure of introducing you to the ´wonderful world of wallabies´, I was struck by how altruistic you are in your love for all animals.  

As I watched the macropods working their magic and gaining a special place in your hearts, I knew without a doubt that their special needs would not only be accommodated...but appreciated.  

When Wendall required intervention as a joey, I knew that you would go the extra mile....and you did then as you did when he lost his way.  I have no doubt that Wendall knew how loved he was everyday.  The extent you went to in the search for him has only served to reinforce my conviction that you truly are unselfish carers of your critters.  

Wendall brought laughter, joy, affection, wonder and love into your lives and those of you did his.  His spirit will dance in others, but he will still be missed.


November 23rd, 2008 08:18:32
I remember when Wendell was introduced to his new large pen this year along with his bachelor buddies Rudy the Red Kangaroo and Dawson the Dama Wallaby.  Wendell was the brave one to lead the way and show the others that it was pretty cool to have lots more room to hop around.  

He has enriched our lives in so many ways during his short stay.

He will be sorely missed by his buddies,family and friends.

Carole and Jamie.

November 23rd, 2008 08:31:14
Gary and Carla,
 I just wanted to express how sorry I am for your loss. As soon as I heard that he was missing, I found myself searching the sides of the road while I was driving and thinking about how I would catch him if I did see him. I was praying for a happy ending and truly believed that would happen. When I heard he had been found, I just cried and cried. I never knew Wendell, but he touched my heart as he did many others. I cannot imagine what you have gone through, but I am praying for you both.
Kristen Spencerville, ON
November 23rd, 2008 13:09:41
I never met Wendell nor did I even know the zoo existed, but I would like to thank the Saunders Family for all they do for the animals. As for Wendell, I go out into my back yard with my dog late at night and stare out into the woods, picturing him being in them and it makes me sad.

Rest In Peace Wendell
A. L.
November 24th, 2008 09:41:48
More emails sent to the Saunders family, that they wish to share with everyone...

My memory is through my daughters who met Wendall at his home with Carla, where he was described as having similar behaviour to a young child with their mother when seen with Carla.  

Happy, excited, and each hop full of love just looking for her undivided attention.  He was much more than a pet at the zoo, and will be terribly missed but never forgotten.
Suzanne, Nadia & Lara Aleinik

Hello, my name is Adam Cardoulis, I live in Ottawa and I have been searching for Wendell every day since his escape. I cannot describe how sorry I was to hear about his passing today. I don´t know why I took such an interest in helping find him, I guess it was the fact that he was not made for our climate and he would have been having a hard time out there.

Since he was spotted a week ago near bell´s corners, I have spent at least two hours a day hiking the trails in the green belt area with a pillow case in one pocket and an apple in the other . . . and your number on speed dial on my cell phone.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I tried my best to find your Wendell, and that I am truly sorry for the way it turned out. But I´ll try to remember one thing, that the rest of the group that escaped the day of that storm were found and are safe now. I have never actually seen a Wallaby, but rest assured I will be visiting your zoo very soon to meet them.


Dear Gary & Carla:
As a pet owner in Winnipeg who in the past has experienced the untimely loss of  several furry friends over the years, I can certainly feel your pain and sadness over the loss of your beloved pet Wendell. It´s the same as losing a member of the family.  

I have followed this story in the on-line version of the Ottawa Citizen with great interest since Wendell escaped from his home over two weeks ago.  Every day my spirits were buoyed when I read that he had been sighted traveling around Eastern Ontario and held out hope that he would be safely returned to his Kemptville home.
The local CBC station here in Winnipeg has also carried the story.Tonight they announced the sad news of Wendell´s death  and I have to admit that a few tears welled up in my eyes. Wendell´s plight captured my heart and imagination and being that I am from Eastern Ontario, I felt very close to this story.  Wendell´s memory will live on in the hearts of many throughout Canada and the U.S.  With plans to move back to the Leeds-Grenville area within the next year, I hope to visit Saunders Country Critters- Wendell´s loving home!
Ian B. Carruthers
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Saunders Country Critters
Family and care givers:
I have been following this heart breaking story from the start. I am very saddened and almost sick over the death of poor Wendell. You people have done a great job caring for these animals and can raise your heads proudly. In operation for over 20 years and it took a fate of God to cause an escape and death of  an animal. That was not your fault at all.

My deepest sympathy as you mourn the loss.

Lynn Bihun
Wembley , Alberta

Rest In Peace Wendell

Our family had lived in hopes in finding Wendell roaming the fields outside our house in Kars.
We are very sad to hear of his passing.

Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

The Spence Family
Kars Ont.

Good morning,

I am so sorry to hear about Wendell.  I have been following your updates and hoping for a happy ending to his adventures. It is so unfortunate to lose a pet, especially one as unique as Wendell.  At least you can take comfort in knowing you tried your very best to find him and bring him home.

Mary Carlson
Dear Carla & Gary,

We at Ottawa´s Countryside were very saddened to hear that you have lost Wendell.  It is truly hard to loose a pet especially one that was so dear to you and unique in character.  Please accept our heartfelt thoughts and sympathy in the lost of one of your precious family.  You are in our thoughts.


Bonnie Gray
Executive Director
Ottawa´s Countryside
Ottawa Rural Tourism Council

We would like to express out condolences on the passing of Wendell.

We need to try to think of the positives at this time. What did Wendell do for us? Well, Wendell brought people from all of the world together in compassion, he showed us that we are truly united in times of need. We need more Wendell´s in today´s world.

the Flanagan´s
(Quinn, Seth, Sean & Patricia)

Dear Carla, Gary and Saunders staff
Living in the Kemptville/North Gower area, a day didn´t go by that we didn´t think of your little Wendell and we all kept an eye open for him during our travels.
All God´s creatures are special, as was he. Our hearts go out to you for your loss.
Pauline & Tim Clarke
North Gower
Hi Gary and Carla,

I´m so sorry. We´ve been following the story closely and the weather staying fairly mild seemed such a good sign. Our thoughts are with you.

Isabel, Tom and Brian Ayers
Oxford Mills
Dear Saunders family,

I would like to express my sincere sympathy on Wendell´s sad outcome.  Like so many people I´ve been praying that he would be found safe and sound and the news yesterday was devastating to all of us.  I know this is a very sad time for your family as your love and commitment to him was so very evident.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on his loss.

Lesley L´Arrive
Dear Saunders Family

How this story of  little Wendall sadden our home, our sympathies to your family, I cant imagine the sadness you must be feeling, my favorite animals are Kangaroos, my nickname at home is Roo,  we all worried about Wendall hoping he would survive it, animals bring us so much joy and unconditional love, hoping time will leave only the fondest memories of dear sweet Wendall.

Ann Tobinamaria
November 24th, 2008 22:05:35
Dear Carla and Gary

I´m still touched by all the messages and help from people all over.  As I read you story about Wendell and the condolences, my eyes tear up again.  When I first heard of a kangourou that escaped, my husband and I geared up to start the search wherever he was last seen.  Wendell was not easy to follow, everyone involved did everything that they could and even then it didn´t work.  Even when I prayed to my brother (who passed away 30 year ago) asking him to guide Wendell towards home or at least towards someone he knew, the result is as we now know it.  This has really affected my morale but I think another visit to your zoo (in good time) will help me.  He did not die in vain.  Having a fence surround the 24 acres may prevent similar events to happen - that we are not yet aware of.  I hope this wish will come true!

Johanne and Ben
(volunteers from Gatineau, QC)
November 25th, 2008 11:19:19
Much moved by Wendell´s story and by the beauty of
your relationship with him.  Can we dare hope that you will some day take in another Wallaby?

Ron and Laurie
November 28th, 2008 17:49:13
When I heard that Wendell was loose, I wished I could help in the search for him.  I love all animals and I know how they touch us and become members of the family.  I would like to send my condolences to the Saunders family and wish Wendell godspeed.  You have a special angel in heaven.  We will never forget him.  Heather.
November 29th, 2008 20:19:17
My name is Wendell the Wallaby
I´d been set free by a fallen tree
So I decided I would wander
From my dear friends the Saunders

I thought I´d just go for a short little hike
To do some of the things that I was sure I would like
It wasn´t long when I couldn´t see home
Things got scary I was all alone

I was so full of fear I began to hop
I couldn´t find home but I just couldn´t stop
This world is strange and other animals gave me a scare
I hope that Gary and Carla still care

The weather is cold I´m in a real mess
Not finding my home is causing me stress
I want to go home where it´s nice and warm
It´s also a place where I feel safe from harm

Athens, Lombardy, and Westport are just a few
Of the places they saw me is it false or is it true
Near Addison they say I ran into a car
I don´t really know if I wandered that far

I´ve hopped and I hopped
I just haven´t stopped
I think I´ll lie down
Right here on the ground


Ed Seffinga
Brockville, ON
December 4th, 2008 08:18:23
Our grade 1-2 class at Heritage Community Christian School in New Dublin, Ont. prayed that Wendell would return home safely.  We were sorry to hear of his loss.  We wrothe a book about him and maybe can share it with you.
S. Smid, Athens

December 6th, 2008 19:16:44
Dear Gary & Carla ,

I never meant Windell,but when the story broke about him being lost ,I felt compelled to try and help.

The two of us took the day off to drive out to the farm to offer our help , were sent to Gary´s searching area for that day but could not find him. I too would lay awake at night wondering how he must of felt out there all by himself.

When the sky at night is all lit up with the stars, just let your imagination believe that one of those little stars is Wendall and he is in a safe place now.

May time alow your pain to go away.

Bruce & Benoit and our two Bostons Cindy and Iseult
January 8th, 2009 07:48:46
For 2 days last fall I drove students from Beckwith Public School to visit with you.

How they and myself loved and enjoyed your world of animals. They talked about you all the way home, especially the Roos and the babies.

I hope you know how well loved you are by the kids and animals.

Have peace
Debbie Dykeman
Carleton Place, ON
July 9th, 2009 15:55:47
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