A hike in the Australian woods led to the discovery of an animal in need. The result is a story of twos species being brought together through love and compassion.
by Julie Fenwick
Then I realized: it was a Joey. A baby kangaroo.
When the joey approached my feet I tried to scoop him up with my dad’s hat. It quickly backed away and my dad reminded me he had sprayed lots of insect repellent on his hat to keep the flies off. I quickly asked for his shirt, scooped up the joey and put him close to my belly. As we walked back down the hill and towards the retreat, the joey snuggled in and was lulled to sleep by the warmth, only occasionally sticking his head out when Dad and I discussed if we’d done the right thing by rescuing a kangaroo. (Spoiler alert: WIRES told us we did the right thing.)
Falling in Love
By now, we were pretty enraptured by the little creature. It quickly learned to take water from a straw and would place its little front paw on my finger as I placed the straw to its mouth. I let my husband have a hold and we watched it stretch its feet out and yawn, clean itself and sleep. His big brown eyes were so adorably cute, as were his long eyelashes and little whiskers.
So with John, the owner, fueling us on as new parents again, and with no internet connection to do some research, or even knowing if we’d done the right thing—should we return at dusk with the baby to see if it’s mother came back?— we started giving it names. We decided a little fluff of fur in between it’s legs meant it was a boy. “Lucky” my son shouted because it was lucky to be found. “New Year” my husband said since we found it on New Year’s Day. “January” was my suggestion. “Skippy” my daughter suggested as we all groaned and rolled our eyes, remembering a 70’s TV show like “Lassie” but starring a kangaroo named Skippy. By this time we’d had word that Liz from WIRES was on her way and would be with us within an hour or so.
Rescued by WIRES
Now nearly 2 pm, well past lunch, the kids had run off to play with the guinea pigs, and my husband and I were left sitting outside the reception area with a sleepy joey in our arms and still sucking water, but clearly not distressed .Then the kind Liz from WIRES came up the path with her friend, Bethany.
As much as we would have liked to have adopted the wallaby, Liz explained that I had to have training and I wouldn’t have any of the supplies necessary (special food, pouches, etc.) Last, she explained the wallabies we have behind our house—swamp wallabies—so she wouldn’t be able to adapt.
Updates on the Baby Roo
Bethany agreed to keep us posted on email and send us more photos in the coming months. My praise goes to her and her mother for looking after these creatures. It really is a full time job and just like caring for a newborn, lots of feeds, washing the pouches daily, keeping them well. Nine months to go until she’s released. I hope we get invited to see her be released onto the farm!