Check dead roos for joeys

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian

The onset of “pinkie season” has prompted Greenough wildlife carer Michelle Jones to appeal for people to check the pouches of dead kangaroos for joeys.

Ms Jones said she had been receiving more requests than usual to care for joeys orphaned after their mothers had been hit by cars.

“Now is the time of year that we see a lot of newly developed grey kangaroo joeys in pouches,” she said.

Ms Jones said safety precautions must be followed when checking a dead kangaroo’s pouch.

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“If the animal is still alive you need to call the Wildcare Helpline straight away on 9474 9055 before you do anything,” she said. “Safety is paramount, because even if an animal is terribly injured, it can still inflict a scratch or a good kick.

“Once you know the mother is dead, you can open the pouch and look for the joey, but make sure you’ve got the animal off the road first by dragging it by the base of the tail.”

Ms Jones said sometimes the pouch had to be cut to access small joeys.

“Sometimes, depending on their age, their mouth is actually fused to the teat, so you have to then cut the teat at the base and then the joey will let go of it,” she said.

“Don’t pull the joey straight off the teat because you can damage its mouth.”

Once the joey was removed, Ms Jones said to cover its head by wrapping it in a blanket or towel.

“That’ll keep it warm and make it feel nice and safe while you call a carer,” she said. “Don’t wrap it up with a heat pack because you can overheat them.

“If you’ve got nothing to keep it warm you can just pop it up your jumper.”

‘Seiko’ is recovering well.
Camera Icon‘Seiko’ is recovering well. Credit: Supplied

Ms Jones has four joeys in her care, including Seiko.

“Two young girls hit his mum on the road, and they brought him over to me really quickly,” she said.

“They followed everything they needed to do, and he is coming along in leaps and bounds — pardon the pun — because of what they did.”

She said the Wildcare Helpline would put callers in touch with licensed wildlife carers.

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