Most of the time, animals can handle themselves just fine without any outside help — after all, they’re called “wildlife” for a reason. In fact, quite often these creatures help us: Saint Bernard dogs rescue people in the snowy mountains and horses help police officers keep peace inside big cities. Still, once in a while, we need to repay the favor.

These two Australians dedicated their lives to doing just that! But when they received a phone call about a dangerous disturbance in an old mineshaft that even firefighters didn’t want to deal with, their dedication to helping troubled animals was put to the ultimate test…

Manfred and Helen Zabinskas are the co-founders of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue in Victoria, Australia, so they have performed plenty of animal-related miracles in their time. A recent rescue, however, might take the cake.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Five Freedoms is an organization that rescues animals, catches snakes, provides a wildlife shelter, and even deals with animal issues that can arise during construction and land development activities. Manfred is not afraid of anything.

Five Freedoms Animal Rescue

During the first week of November, Five Freedoms received an alarming call. A stranger told Helen Zabinskas that there was something strange going on in an old mineshaft, and asked her and Manfred to come over immediately.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

The situation sounded dangerous, and Helen and Manfred didn’t want each other (or any of their volunteers) to get injured, so they called emergency services. Within no time, six firemen showed up and were ready to assess the situation.

FFAR via The Dodo

The mineshaft was at least 16 feet deep, so as one of the firemen went down the latter to investigate, Manfred kept a close watch. Suddenly, they heard a slight sound coming from the bottom of the shaft. Something was alive and moving!

FFAR via The Dodo

Untrained to deal with creatures in dark, deep holes, the fireman wouldn’t go down any further. Now it was up to Manfred to climb down and work his magic on the unidentified animal, which seemed to be scared and holding on for dear life.

FFAR via The Dodo

After hours of trying to calm the whatever the animal was down, the rescue crew finally brought it up to safety, where they could reveal to onlookers what, exactly, had been trapped down in that darkness!

The onlookers were amazed to see that out of the mineshaft came an adorable little wallaby! But as Helen wrapped it in a blanket, she knew that this furry friend wasn’t in the clear just yet.

FFAR via The Dodo

She quickly checked his teeth, his ears, his paws, and his fur. The good news was he wasn’t severely injured. The bad news was his coat was covered in maggots that were burrowing into his skin. He needed medical care right away.

Helen and Manfred gave the Wallaby some first aid care, but it wasn’t enough. They agreed to pack up the van and take the poor bugger to Hepburn Vet Clinic. The ride over was a tense one — would the wallaby make it through the day?

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Once the Five Freedoms team arrived at the clinic, a skilled veterinarian noted the wallaby was in rough shape, but he mostly just needed IV fluids, a few treatments, and a lot of rest. However, he was definitely not fit to be released into the wild at that point.

FFAR via The Dodo

Luckily for this little wallaby, Manfred and Helen were used to taking in a creature or two. In fact, they built their house into a shelter for rescued animals to recuperate — animals like this wallaby!

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Helen and Manfred named the latest addition to the shelter Louie and vowed to take good care of him for as long as he needed it — starting with some cuddles and a nice warm bottle of milk.

FFAR via The Dodo

During his first few days at the shelter, the couple kept a close eye on Louie, making sure he was adjusting well to life in the house and his wounds were starting to heal. Louie didn’t seem to mind all the warmth and affection one bit!

Jane Cowan/ABC News

After a few days, Louie was already over the bottles of milk and began noshing on solid food, including grass, vegetables, leaves, and other foliage. This was a good sign, as it meant he was regaining both his strength and his independence.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

In fact, only two weeks later, Louie became restless, even in the larger enclosure. Despite moving from a baby cot to his own outdoor “room,” he started to quite literally bounce off the walls. It seemed like it was already time to say goodbye to Louie.

Manfred Zabinskas via The Courier

Naturally, Helen and Manfred were sad to see Louie go, but they also knew that being released back into the wild was the best thing for him. Surely, though, he would never forget their helping hand in his time of need.

Manfred Zabinskas via The Courier

Now with Louie being back in his natural habitat, there was once again room for the next wallaby to come along and rest up at the Five Freedoms rescue. For Helen and Manfred, it was just another day of making an animal happy; tomorrow, they’re on to the next one.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Things are a little different in the land down under. While wallabies are cute and all Australia is also teeming with wildlife that the rest of the world can’t even imagine!

These boutique owners calmly removed a huge python from their store. Maybe it was shoplifting? Either way, they probably didn’t have anything in stock that was size extra-extra-extra long.

Nice try, Edward Cullen, but these critters have officially made vampires scary again. Known as flying foxes, they are among the largest bats in the world. Fortunately, they don’t hunt anything larger than insects!

These rare bugs are known as ‘tree lobsters,’ but you probably wouldn’t want to eat one for dinner. Hey, at least they’re friendly enough to shake hands! Trying that with regular lobsters tends to be much more painful.

This slimy spider must be going through its goth phase. Even without the skull perched in front of it, we sure wouldn’t want to walk face-first into this spider web! That would be far from a g’day.

Even the sheep in Australia are wild! One farmer had a ball staging this photo, though who can say how much his ovine friend enjoyed it. But where there’s a wool, there’s a way.

Australia is filled to the brim with crocodiles, but you likely already knew that, thanks to Steve Irwin. These folks had the good sense to not leave their protective tank when swimming with this monster!

Yes, that is a full-sized garbage can. Our friend hanging off the side is a coconut crab, the largest species of crab in the world. They’re so large, in fact, that they even hunt birds on occasion.

Australia is famous for its ostriches, but who knew they were so photogenic? Maybe those giant birds should spend less time with their heads buried in the sand.

Look, but don’t touch! This pretty fish is the blue-ringed octopus, and it has a venomous bite that makes it one of Earth’s deadliest animals. Scientists estimate that one of these octopuses carries enough poison to kill 26 humans within minutes.

You could catch some serious fish with that bait! If you can find a big enough hook, that is. These giant earthworms live for years and can reach up to nine feet in length.

This marbled cone snail is bad news. Not only does it look like it’s smoking a tiny cigarette, but its sting also causes fatal respiratory muscle paralysis. Protect your lungs!

Floods are nasty on their own, but this deluge in Australia brought in a bull shark to this neighborhood! We can only assume that later this afternoon this shark swam off to fight some jets.

Move over, Tiger. The new golf superstar is a snake! It’s a fair bet that not too many golfers were eager to hit hole-in-ones once they knew this guy was waiting for them.

What’s so scary about a shiny puddle? Well, that just happens to be a giant jellyfish that washed up on a rocky beach. You sure wouldn’t want to go swimming in that water!

We’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to the electrician who didn’t check on this meter and quit on the spot. This spider nest would be enough to make a lot of people renounce technology altogether!

Why does it always have to be snakes? This diver who found a giant anaconda should count himself fortunate that he didn’t wind up as an appetizer in that monster’s belly.

This looks like the before-and-after in a weight loss infomercial. In reality, these are two Australian ticks, except the one on the right is filled to capacity. To really rub salt in the wound, this species also injects toxins into their host as they feed.

Anybody home? Eric Holland nearly lost it when he found this giant lizard climbing up the walls of his New South Wales home. Rather than trying to slay this dragon, Mr. Holland wisely ran away.

This bad boy is as dangerous as it is ugly. The stonefish is one of the most venomous sea creatures in the world, and they blend in perfectly with the ocean floor. Many Australians wear shoes in the water just to avoid their poisonous barbs.

They’re gonna need a bigger boat! This swarm of soldier beetles has invaded the pole of this ship. That’s one prize that these fishermen certainly weren’t hoping to catch.