Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Merrilyn's Story

Merrilyn has quite a story.  She came into my life 7 years ago as a tiny, fur less joey.  Her Mother had been hit by a car and had to be put down, but amazingly Merrilyn survived it all.  She was quite sick when she came to me and for the first 3 weeks I either fed or medicated her every 2 hours, 24 hours a day.  Here's the first picture I took of her.

She was paired off with another eastern grey kangaroo joey and she grew quickly and, though smaller than her "brother" she kept up his pace.  They were a delight together and one of my favourite things was walking with the two of them around the property.  Here they are on one of those walks. Merrilyn is on the left.

Merrilyn has always been a personality.  As a small joey she loved two things, her bottle and sleeping.  She could sleep anywhere any time and I often found her with her head lolled out of the pouch fast asleep.
She also loved furniture, and though you might think it impossible for a kangaroo to climb on a chair, here's the proof that it's possible:
So much has happened in 7 years that I couldn't possibly write it all here, in fact I'm in the process of putting a book together about her life and adventures.  She has almost died a couple of times and though she is totally free and living in the wild, she has come back on several occasions so that I can put her back together again.  We have a unique bond and she is certainly like a daughter to me.  So far she has had six joeys.  Sadly we lost the first two.  The first was injured, probably whilst she was being chased by a dog.  She had been running in the forest and must have hit a branch that was lying on the ground, and it has torn the pouch and brought her down and the joey has had its neck twisted in the process, causing spinal damage.  The second joey was just coming out of the pouch and was grabbed by a large carpet snake.  Merrilyn was injured trying to save the joey, (she was impaled on a branch whilst trying to kick out at the snake), and this was another occasion I thought I might lose her, but she fought through it again and has produced another 4 joeys, all of whom are currently alive and the oldest, (HB - this stands for Heart Break, which is what I called her thinking she too would die, and I would find myself heartbroken again - it was a great move as she survived), is carrying a joey of her own. 

Although she is wild, I see her daily and we are often privileged to have her come and show us her latest offspring.  Sadly many eastern grey kangaroos in this area are disappearing as we humans clear more land, build more houses, and bring in more dogs and allow them to roam freely.  It is my dream to be able to purchase properties in this area, and protect them, to enable the wildlife here, including Merrilyn and her mob, to survive for the long term. I hope you'll enjoy hearing stories of Merrilyn and her group.  Mostly the stories will make you laugh, but there will be tears.  It's tough in the wild.  Cheers for now.     


  1. Definitely looking forward to reading more about Merrilyn :)

  2. Cute!!! I love it so when people get passionate about their lives and where they live... yours shines through.

    Can I ask you a little favour? I see my blog in your sidebar there (thanks!) and wondered if you could update the link to my new blog (same stuff, different look) - www.bushbabeofoz.com )


  3. Hi BB - all changed and thanks. C

  4. I feel passionate about my wild squirrels in my yard. We live near a natural preserve that almost became 3000 houses. The wild animals and the local pop. are thankful to the state of California by buying the property and making it a sanctuary. It was an on going fight for many years. Finally WAMU sold the property to the state. In that area are coyotes, mountain lions (right now there are only 2 in the Santa Monica mountains, oncelots, bob cats, crows, hawks, eagles, owls, raccoons and more. So far I've had possum, raccoon, crows and squirrels in my yard. This year we had construction done (floors and painting) but it scared all the animals away. I miss my squirrels. They entertained my cats and I.

    Of course none of my animal stories are anywhere as dramatic as saving kangaroos. It would be wonderful if one day they could have a sanctuary too.


What do you think?