OK fess up, who came here looking for a different kind of grass - ala pot, weed, hash, something along those lines? Chill out here for a while anyway, you'll feel even better. This is the continuing story of a very special kangaroo.
Having overcome her initial illness, and having taken her first few hops from the pouch in the security of my lounge room, it was time to take Merrilyn out into the wild world for her first hops on grass.
With me close by, Merrilyn tentatively comes out of her pouch. It's shady as we are under a tree. Not to protect her from the sun, but to protect her from any birds of prey. She's a little over 2kg and an easy target for local eagles.
Being a little more adventurous now, Merrilyn was willing to hop a way a few steps before turning around and coming straight back to me.
Standing up between my legs, feeling safe. You can clearly see her developing pouch. These initial times out of the pouch are a very dangerous time for a young joey. In the wild 75% of joeys don't make it to 12 months of age.
After just a few minutes it's time to hop back into a now clean pouch. A little bit of sun, in safety and then back into the house. This connection with the grass and dirt is extremely important. Joey's build their gut flora from nuzzling the ground as Mum walks along eating, so when you are raising them you need to find other ways to mimic this and I found a tray filled with bush dirt, (can't be garden bed or potting mix) and grass the way to go. Merrilyn would lean out of her pouch and nuzzle in the dirt as she would in the wild.
On this first day outside though, the excitement had exhausted her and she promptly fell asleep! I tried all kinds of positions to try and stop her flopping out like this - it didn't seem to be a problem for any other joey we raised - but this was a favourite position for Merrilyn and you'll see similar pictures as she grows.
If you've missed the rest of the story and the introduction of her "brother" Buster, you can find all the episodes here. I post about Merrilyn every Friday, and sometimes post about other things on the environment or my piece of scrubby bush between. If you don't want to miss a thing sign up for the email or feed on the side of this blog, and/or join as a friend. If you enjoyed it, please share it via facebook or twitter. Thanks to all who leave comments, I'm thrilled you are enjoying the story and it has many, many adventures to come.
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