I popped out to visit my friend Belinda today, and spent a few hours with some of her amazing menagerie of rescued animals.
Most of the Eastern Grey joeys are rescued after their mothers are killed by cars, shot or killed in bushfires.
When they are very little, they live in pouches (blankets and pillow cases) inside the house, where they are bottle fed several times a day. (I fed one today!)
Then when they get a bit bigger they are slowly integrated to the outdoor mob (the collective noun for kangaroos is 'mob')...
And when they can eventually take care of themselves, they are released back to the bush.
Photobombed by a joey bum!
They are beautiful, intelligent, inquisitive, affectionate animals.
It is an absolute disgrace that they are culled in parts of the country.
They just want their Mamas!
This little Red Necked Wallaby is very timid and didn't come out of her corner.
Belinda also has...bunnies!
(I so wanted to put this little cutie in my pocket
and take her home for Annabel)
And baby guinea pigs, snakes, frogs, fish, half a dozen different birds, a fledgling Little Eagle, chooks, peacocks, a three legged cat, a gorgeous dog, a horrifically injured Tawny Frogmouth and a pony named Pepe!
Belinda is hand raising this beautiful
little orphaned baby Rainbow Lorikeet. Super pretty but sounds like a rusted saw blade scraping down a black board.
Each joey develops a special relationship with their bestie, and they learn to be kangaroos together, as best they can without parents to teach them...
And it's super cute!
And yes, I am wearing jeans. A cool rainy day of tromping about in the bush requires robust clothing with pockets and sensible shoes. You'll cope.
So thank you - to Belinda, and to all carers around the world, for selflessly giving your time, love and skills to look after these poor animals, who would otherwise never stand a chance.
You are a rockstar.