Talk about cute beyond belief, our campground hosts are raising a baby grey kangaroo. It’s mother was probably hit by a car; a local farmer brought the young roo in to them for care a couple weeks ago. They knew it was freshly out of the pouch for the pads on its hind feet were soft and tender, not yet having made much contact with the rough ground. The little female sleeps in a felt lined handbag, hanging on the door knob and the owners have lunch with her in their backyard where they encourage her to hop around and get used to using her leg muscles. They wish that she had a companion so that she would learn to be a roo and not a person for someday she will be released into the wild, hopefully heading into the park and not into a farmer’s field where she most likely would end up being shot. Hopefully, the little roo won’t be befriended by their dogs for in the future she needs to know that dogs are bad news for they can chase and kill a kangaroo. This doesn’t mean that a kangaroo doesn’t have defenses, for they do. A kangaroo can kill a dog by grabbing the dog with its arms, bouncing back on its tail, and then lashing at it with the sharp nails of the all powerful hind legs. I’ve been told that a big kangaroo can split a dog wide open.
They had a wallaroo once, also as a rescue animal, and it had a much different personality, hissing at people sometimes and retreating away from strangers. One obvious but unexpected habit was that she would hop onto their bed and pee on their pillow! If you understood that this species frequents high rocky terrain, it made sense that she would prefer to go to the potty perched atop the highest thing possible that she could find! They had to bar her from the bedroom :-)
We spent quite a few hours on the road, pulling our little A’Van camper trailer. The project with the folks from the University in Armidale at the burned national park is over and we have our bowerbird work to pick up on the coast. Tonight we had hoped to of stayed in Washpool National Park, but for some odd reason it was closed and so we are just a few kilometers down the road at a picnic area. No one is here except for the boobook owl and the tawny frogmouth, both are nocturnal species. Right as we pulled in, Sara heard something crackling in the bush. It was almost sundown, but we took a moment to investigate. There, chewing on hard and tiny cones of the Casuarina we several large black cockatoos, the Glossy Blacks, that we’d been hunting for since coming to Australia in 2005! A nice end of the day surprise.