While you were gorging on chocolate bunnies this past long weekend, Marcus and I were being quite heroic (well up to the point where I accidentally stabbed him with a fishing knife, but that's a story for another day). We rescued a little baby joey. And yes, it was very cute. And very sad at the same time.
This is what happened.
Marcus had been on the farm building fences (as he does) and he mentioned to me that he'd seen an old roo looking a bit poorly down at the bottom paddock. I promptly made my way in that general direction to check if the poor thing was ok (as I do).
I didn't make it to the bottom paddock though. On my way there, I found a very little baby kangaroo stuck in one of the a barbed wire fences we'd pegged to be removed. The poor thing had its legs caught between two lines of barbed wire and was obviously very uncomfortable. He was laying on his back with both his legs in the air (or the wire, as the case may be) and was quite unable to move.
Well, what to do!? I called Marcus over to the rescue (as I do). And Marcus being the hero that he is came a runnin'! Carefully, we untangled the poor thing and helped him out. We carefully inspected his little legs that seemed unbroken, though a little cut up. We set him on his two back legs and crossed our fingers that he'd be capable of bounding off into the sunset. But the poor little sod was both so young and so shaken that he couldn't make those legs of his do what he wanted and had quite a difficult time scampering away. So we gathered him up again, and marched him over to our next door neighbours who have been living in the area for 10 years.
Fortunately, they knew just what to do! We called up the local Wildlife Rescue number and found a local vet nurse to look after the little guy. She was only a short car trip away, so we bundled him up into a makeshift fake kangaroo pouch (a pillowcase) and delivered him to the real hero of the story.
She was quite sad to see the poor little tacker in such distress. She explained to me that he was so little he'd likely not been out of his mother's pouch very long at all, so no wonder he couldn't get the hand of the bouncing thing. Plus he was probably in shock and a bit hungry. She explained too that in general, animals are released back into the wild as soon as they're well enough - so with any luck, we will see him bouncing around our farm again before we know it!
I never did find the old roo, though.
Needless to say, I was so worried about the poor thing I didn't think to take more photos. Wish I had though - he was SO cute and LITTLE! These will have to suffice!
A note on barbed wire. As we've discussed in previous posts, the fences on our property were in quite a state of disrepair when we took possession, and Marcus is slowly working on fixing them. In their current state, most of the fences on the farm are seriously dangerous to wildlife, as this story shows us. When our new fences are up and running they will include one piece of barbed wire, but this is largely to ensure livestock (cows, sheep, goats) don't escape. When barbed wire fences are well erected and maintained, they shouldn't pose too serious a risk to native animals. We like native animals (not the introduced pests so much) and we're actually planning on installing little "cat doors" to make sure our farm is friendly to the little guys, and that they aren't tempted to try and jump the fences and hurt themselves.