My Place

Macedon zoologist, wildlife educator, and TV personality Chris Humfrey with a dingo (Supplied).

Macedon zoologist, wildlife educator, and TV personality Chris Humfrey loves the abundance of flora and fauna in the Macedon Ranges. Oscar Parry talks to Chris about his connection to Macedon.

What is your connection to Macedon?

I have lived in Macedon for the past 23 years. I moved up here to purchase a colleague’s wildlife park, ‘Battunga Park’, as I had rapidly outgrown my property in Warrandyte. Macedon was an ideal site, and perfect for my future ambition of expanding my wildlife education company.

What do you like about where you live?

I love the peace and quiet! I live alongside the Macedon Regional Park. There are certain times of the day when you feel like you are the only person on the planet. It’s simply beautiful! [Macedon] really is one of the last bastions for many unique rare plants and animals so close to Melbourne. On our property, we are custodians of 100s of 400+ year old stringybark eucalyptus trees. These trees are ancient. It’s quite humbling to walk amongst these magnificent plants and realise that … I have a responsibility to nurture and protect the land which I live on for further generations.

What, if anything, would you change about where you live?

I would love to see pet laws changed and enforced. Regardless of local laws and signage, thoughtless people still walk their dogs off leads in Macedon Regional Park. It makes my blood boil. Last summer, I found a dead koala torn apart by a dog. In the Macedon township, I see so many pet cats on a daily basis roaming around freely, [while] their owners are at work. Cats are responsible for killing over 2 billion native wildlife a year. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats and dogs! However, we all need to be more mindful of the damage our pets cause on wildlife. Macedon Ranges wildlife and biodiversity is too important to lose. We need to do a better job protecting this place, as suburbia dangerously knocks on our door!

What do you find interesting about Macedon’s wildlife?

It always amazes me when I travel around Australia or overseas. Macedon always seems to me richer in wildlife numbers than most places … I mean, who else has mobs of kangaroos hopping through their forest, wombats, kookaburras, Phascogales, a white magpie, king parrots, crimson rosellas, powerful owls, cockatoos galore, sugar gliders and a solid population of koalas?

What have been some of your favourite moments while on set for your TV series?

My favourite moments from my last TV series while on set would have to be breeding critically endangered mountain pygmy possums in my wine cellar. These little marsupials are on the brink of extinction due to rapid climate change. Mountain pygmy possums will perish at temperatures over 25 degrees for sustained periods of time.

I care and manage one of the largest populations of this cute and cuddly little snow possum in the world! To introduce viewers to this animal and educate them on their plight in the wild was very satisfying … a dream come true in fact.