Who knew I’d come to Australia and become a mum? I never expected it, did you? Shortly after arriving at Brindle Creek, I became the proud new mum of an eastern grey joey named Charlie. He was my bubba to care for and feed during my stay at the sanctuary.
When Darryl picked him up, Charlie was definitely freaked out despite living with a carer for a short while. Darryl’s vet examined Charlie, then tranquilized him so Darryl could transport him back to the sanctuary.
When Charlie arrived, he was hopped up on drugs and pretty docile. We kept him in his liner and pouch where he felt safe. Since I was his new mum, he stayed with me all day and I was responsible for feeding him. At night, I would bring him into my room with me.
It was a bit rough going the first few days, especially after the drugs wore off and Charlie became more aware of his surroundings. His natural instinct to flee was in full effect, and he wasn’t used to being held. He would struggle and kick his feet when I held him for his feeds. Teaching him to drink from a bottle was also an interesting process.
However, like most animals, Charlie quickly adapted to his new environment. And as I fell in love with him, he fell in love with me. He treated me like his mum, even pestering me by grabbing my leg when I was making his bottles.
After a while, we began taking Charlie outside and allowing him to hop around a large enclosure with the other joeys in care. He really enjoyed the open air and eating grass from the earth (as opposed to the grass I brought in every day). In the evenings, I continued to bring him inside with me.
I had a wonderful time with Charlie and am so grateful for the opportunity. Not many people can say they’re a kangaroo mum, but I certainly can.