Welcome to our Sunday Selfie project. You may need two tissues for this story, a sad tissue for the start and a happy tissue for the ending. This article is written by mom, Michele. A week ago one of our female Kangaroos with a baby joey in her pouch, broke her hind leg and had to be euthanized, because she could not recover from her injury. She left behind a baby joey, still in her pouch.
Baby joey update: day 1
Baby joey update: 22 hours into day 1
After the cyclone passed over and the rain eased back to “heavy rain,” I went to check on the little guy. He was not at his tree and my heart sank. I walked up and down and combed the immediate area for 2 HOURS but could not locate him. The rain would have washed away all his mom’s scent marks from last night, leaving him completely alone. In Australia, we are now in Winter and its after 5pm and now dark. I cannot do anything until tomorrow morning. We have more severe rain forecast for tonight so it will be another sleepless night of worry. I hope I can bring better news tomorrow.
Happy update: baby joey – 2.5 days: #4 is the happy part
PLEASE NOTE: Native Australian animals are very delicate, and when Kangaroos are frightened, they suffer “stress disease”, which is known as myopathy. This means that while they are very frightened, a random group of their muscles will freeze, and never unfreeze. They then go into depression and begin to slowly die, over 12 months, if not sooner – depending on which muscles froze. As well as having a broken leg, the mother already had myopathy, which was set off when she was injured. The baby was not taken into care because a very young kangaroo like my newly orphaned joey, will go into myopathy very quickly and ‘will’ die for sure, from the stress of being handled by humans. I wanted the baby taken too, but the decision was put to a team of Kangaroo Vets who all said the same thing – because he’s not a teeny weeny baby, he WILL go myophic and WILL die. He has his best chance of survival by himself. BUT – I am going to monitor the baby very closely. I am very worried about him and will do all I can to help him. If he is in trouble I will call for help for him. I have to be careful not to get in the way, but I want to make sure he is not suffering beyond what he can stand. Very difficult situation. I’ve known these animals for over 10 ten years so I am not taking it lightly! I will be monitoring him closely. Also, I have hand reared kangaroos in the past, bottle fed them every four hours around the clock for 12 months at a time, so I am very experienced in dealing with them.
Thank you for reading,
Michele, Pepi’s mom.