Irwin is a brain-damaged kangaroo & therapy pet
April 7, 2011 1:28 PM   Subscribe

You know, I've heard for YEARS that one of the best cures for depression is to find a way to stop dwelling on your own state and find a way to direct energy outside yourself. And while I wouldn't recommend a broken, brain-damaged kangaroo to everyone as a good focal point for one's energy, it really seems to have helped this woman. Plus, the kangaroo (based on what little I've seen) really seems to know that she's caring for it and helping it to be alive and as healthy as possible.

Wonderful story. Thanks so much for posting. A tiny bit of happy vibes goes a long way in my life these days.
posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM on April 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

If you wish to continue the happy vibes, don't read the comments on the LA Times article.
posted by tommasz at 1:44 PM on April 7, 2011

People read comments on any website other than MetaFilter? Foolish mortals, endangering your souls like that.

Stay with the pure and true, and avoid all comments which aren't Blue.
posted by hippybear at 1:52 PM on April 7, 2011 [20 favorites]

I'm generally somewhat of a pragmatist when it comes to human interaction (interference?) with wildlife, but I really don't see what the problem is with allowing this woman to continue to nurture poor Irwin. It seems that he won't eventually become a danger to her (a la the late Knut to his late handler), & I suspect he likely won't have the normal lifespan of his species because of his injuries. Leave the poor woman alone & allow them both to nurture each other!
posted by PepperMax at 2:28 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Nope. I don't get it either. Restrictions on exotic animals are meant to protect 1) the general public from potentially dangerous beasties [remember that chimp-ate-her-face story?], 2) said beasties from ignorant caregivers [status lions and tigers and bears], 3) all wild beasties that might become pet fads and lead to trapping/poaching or killing adults for babies and further endangering wild populations.

Don't think any of the above applies.

And um, exemption is kinda the giveaway. No catastrophic precedents here.
posted by likeso at 3:23 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love this, from her nursinghome visits with Irwin;

"You have no idea the feeling it brings over you when you walk into a room with a little lady there in a bed and you reach over with this kangaroo as big as she is and her feeble arms scoop under him," Carr said. "They hold onto him and don't want to give him back."

I can picture that. Just once in my life, I'd like to cuddle a kangaroo too.
posted by dabitch at 3:28 PM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

I mostly don't see the problem with letting her keep her 'roo, but from the article...

"Every exception made sets a precedent, and the council must take that into consideration, Wilkening said."

To some extent, I can see the town's objection. I mean, before the next chimp-ate-her-face, I could see the city being worried that if they allow this, they will have to allow the next CAHF or be sued. A not unreasonable fear.

I think there can be some way to work this out, like deciding on a case-by-case basis based on temperament etc. but
posted by xetere at 4:07 PM on April 7, 2011

How about allowing all residents to keep kangaroos under 75 pounds?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:08 PM on April 7, 2011

Metafilter: the next chimp-ate-her-face
posted by likeso at 4:18 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

(sorry, couldn't resist. thanks, xetere ;)
posted by likeso at 4:19 PM on April 7, 2011

I hope the council lets them stay together. The kangaroo seemed pretty innocuous on the news the other night, so I don't see him becoming some sort of neighborhood threat unless he's completely restored to health & escapes the lady's control.
posted by dragonplayer at 6:06 PM on April 7, 2011

I am not a big fan of keeping exotic animals, but this seems like a reasonable situation. And it seems a bit ridiculous to take it away from her based on vague worries that it might do something, someday, that it probably isn't actually capable of doing.
posted by OolooKitty at 6:22 PM on April 7, 2011

My college mascot was a kangaroo, and they actually had a live kangaroo on campus during my freshman year. It was a sweet animal to interact with overall. Not really sure about whether it was representative of the species. Sadly, stray dogs in the campus neighborhood jumped into its pen and killed it one night. I doubt it would have been much of a neighborhood threat if it had been loose instead of the dogs.
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on April 7, 2011

I second all of the "awws" and the "let her keep the kangaroo" posts, but it just occurred to me that naming an animal after Steve Irwin was... um, asking for trouble?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:58 PM on April 7, 2011

I read this a little differently about the town council. It seems to me they are trying to find a way to let her keep it without setting a precedent for other wild animals or exotics and to set limits to protect the public. I certainly hope my faith in them is not misguided.

As for Irwin, he seems cute enough. I hate when the little NYC ratdogs get all dressed up in clothes. It is a little weird that Irwin is wearing t-shirts and jeans even if they serve a health purpose.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:32 PM on April 7, 2011

If you wish to continue the happy vibes, don't read the comments on the LA Times article.

Welcome to sunny LA.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:37 AM on April 8, 2011

Mayor Mike Lester
City of Broken Arrow
220 S. First Street
Broken Arrow, OK 74012

Since it's what I do I sent a letter saying they'll look pretty stupid if they don't let her keep the kangaroo. The vote is on the 19th (I believe).
posted by cjorgensen at 2:53 PM on April 11, 2011

Sounds like the lady's going to have to move--she can't afford the $50,000 liability coverage the city is proposing. The updated ordinance will be voted on in about 2 weeks, according to Channel 2 in Tulsa. Once it goes through, the lady has 60 days to comply.
posted by dragonplayer at 7:23 PM on April 20, 2011

The Tulsa World reports that an anonymous donor has paid for the liability insurance. Hooray!
posted by dragonplayer at 3:41 PM on April 22, 2011

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