With the three musketeers successfully released and growing well, it was time to turn to smaller joeys who needed help. One eastern grey joey we knew would come into care shortly had been dubbed "Blossom" by the lady who called to alert us there was a problem. Blossom's mother had been chased by dogs and injured whilst trying to clear a fence. The injury was significant, but not enough to enable us to get near to her for treatment.
Though we all know tranquiliser guns exist, the reality is very few vets have them, they are expensive to use, and anyway no one is interested in using one on an adult kangaroo that clearly was going to have to be put down in the long term. (Wild adults do not take well to vet care and usually do not survive.) Though there was obviously a joey in the pouch, the "bump" still seemed quite small. Maybe too small for long term survival. As the mother was still able to feed and move about, the decision was taken to let her live on, under observation and protection from dogs, to allow the joey to grow some more and in the hope nature might do some healing.
The healing didn't happen and after a couple of weeks it was obvious the mother was weakening and that it was unfair to leave her in what must be some pain. Stephen was a shooter for our wildlife care group and so the day arrived to do what had to be done. We both hated it, but it was the most humane option available. By this stage the mother could be approached quite closely and I braced for the bang that would make me jump even though I knew it was coming. I can still hear that particular shot, even though I had heard plenty before and more since.
I quickly went to the pouch and here is what I found, a beautiful female joey - Blossom.
This photo was taken once she was stabilised and feeling a bit more comfortable in our care and she was a little over 1kg and starting to fur up. She so reminded me of Merrilyn when she was the same age and I knew this would be another special bond.
She had many of the same personality traits of Merrilyn, including her love of a bottle.
Here both Bob (on the right) and Merrilyn helped themselves to the grass I had pulled for Blossom to chew on. At this point Blossom was not leaving the pouch. Next time you can see how the relationship developed between Merrilyn and Blossom as Blossom grew. It was to be both a heart warming, and heart breaking relationship.
Until next time...