I was so excited to see joey number 7 hop out of the pouch for the first time. (Well the first time I'd seen him out). Yes it is a him. Check out little tough boys "lipstick" wound out between his legs. This often happens with little boy joeys, they get very excited to be hopping out for the first few times.
It all happens very quickly. Merrilyn decides things are safe around her, she relaxes her pouch and the new joey tumbles out. They are very Bambi like at this stage. They struggle to their feet, swaying about on their long back legs, and then immediately try to get back into the pouch.
Mum keeps her pouch relaxed so he can't get back in for a few seconds and she takes this time to give him a clean.
And there is the proof he's a little boy. This is Merrilyn's second male joey. The first was her very first joey, Mickie. Sadly Mickie died after being injured. We think Merrilyn was being chased and she snagged herself on a branch and fell. When she arrived here she was bleeding from a tear in the pouch and the joey's head was twisted around strangely. He was probably trapped between her leg and a log when she fell. He sustained spinal injuries and couldn't be saved. People think these animals don't feel too much, but Merrilyn mourned the loss of her first joey quite clearly and so I am hoping this little boy makes it through. It is a sad fact that 70% of kangaroo joeys don't make it to 12 months old, so fingers crossed.
After just a few seconds out, he's heading safely back into the pouch. Merrilyn will let him out more often and for longer periods and he'll grow very quickly now. One of the dangers at this age is eagles, so she'll be sure she is in the shelter of some trees.
Safe back in the pouch.
Thanks to those who've been letting me know you're receiving the new feed. I'm still adding a link to the old "Scrubby Bush" to be sure.