Friday, October 14, 2011

Last Call for Bottles - Merrilyn Part 21

So we reach the final bottles for the three musketeers.  The final real contact as we send them on their way into the wild.  It's a very sad day for us all.  Merrilyn has been in care now for almost 12 months, and every day of that time she has enjoyed her bottles of milk, (special kangaroo formula - never give kangaroos normal cow's milk), and as she drank she would close her eyes and I just knew she was in seventh heaven.  I loved every tug of the bottle and was always sad to see the bottle empty and now I was giving her her very last bottle.  Tears come to my eyes just thinking about it.

  Buster too loved his bottle, almost as much as his pouch (See Last night Merrilyn part 20).  Though we were trying to minimise contact he always managed to talk Stephen into giving him a cuddle post bottle and Stephen knew this would be the last as Buster must stop making contacts with humans.  A 50-60kg eastern grey male is not something that you want cuddling humans! 

He sucked his last bottle down.

 And had one last cuddle.

He seemed to know something was coming to an end.

Bob too loved his bottle and I fed him with Merrilyn.
I wanted to cuddle them both too, but simply didn't have enough arms.  I had other joeys in care to feed, but somehow the three musketeers, and especially Merrilyn, had captured my heart in a way no others had.  Tears fell as I fed them for the last time.

So now all three were fully weaned, out of their pouches and out of the safety of the pen. They were totally free, 24 hours a day and no longer needed humans to survive.  This isn't the end of the story though - not by a long way!  Stay tuned for their adventures as they make their way back to a life in the wild.

As you journey in life, think of the animals who don't have a voice of their own, and speak up for them as they live here too.  Take care until next time.  Cheryl

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last Night - Merrilyn Part 20

Time flies by in this life.  It has for me lately with blog episodes not being delivered on time, sorry, and it did for the growing joeys too.  One minute Merrilyn was a fur less, helpless joey dependent on me for everything and suddenly it was the last night she would ever spend in her pouch!

In fact her last night was the night before this photo was taken.  The joeys had been outside now for weeks.  Initially they had their freedom only during the day, but now they could also come and go at night.  They only had their pouches at night and it was time they left their pouches behind.

In the wild, eastern grey kangaroos spend roughly ten to twelve months in their mothers pouch.  Buster and Bob had been able to spend much longer as we were releasing all three together and Merrilyn needed to catch up.  It was Merrilyn who eventually led the way.  She was always the strongest of the three, despite her younger age.  She had let us know that it was time, spending less and less time in the pouch.  This last night of the pouches I left my bed several times and every time the two boys were tucked up inside their pouches whilst Merrilyn stood guard beside hers.

Buster, by far the oldest, was the most attached to his pouch.

By now he could barely fit inside.

When I told him this was his last night - he was not impressed!

Oh no - losing my pouch?  Please no.

And so the very next day the pouches were taken away for the very last time.

And so the little band of musketeers... 
.. became big brave musketeers.

Buster left, Merrilyn and Bob.  Now living permanently outside the safety of the fenced area.

They were still having a daily bottle and some pellets.

(Excuse Buster rolling out the lipstick in this photo - male kangaroos are excited by females and food!)

Soon it would be time for the final bottles and their real move for self sufficiency back in the wild.
Until next time!