A tiny good thing
November 19, 2018 11:22 AM   Subscribe

About 50,000 Australian marsupials orphaned by automobiles are rescued from their dead mother's pouches, rehabilitated and released by volunteer wildlife carers every year. Here we have a joey being rescued. (May squick the squickable.)

Here, a brief description of the sort of people who rescue. You may someday want instructions on how to rescue an orphan joey. If so, you may want to know how to care for it. You will want a pouch.
posted by ckridge (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I already want a pouch.
posted by The otter lady at 11:40 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Always nice to read a positive story amongst the relentless waves of tragedy and awfulness of the current climate.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 1:37 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Okay, okay. I'm so excited to have something to jump in with, which is my absolute favorite You Tube channel, an amazing wild life rescuer and rehabilitator in Australia, Megabattie.

As she says in her description, she mostly rescues flying foxes (which are AMAZING - the babies are so cute) but she also visits a macropod rehabilitator and spends time with all the adorable joeys.

Some of the stories are very sad, but she always says in her description so I skip those, and the babies are just the cutest and she posts a lot and makes my days a little brighter. Please watch some of the joey and baby bat videos if you need some happies.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:17 PM on November 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

Ms. Wagner (bless her heart) says they "chucked a u-turn" when they thought they saw the pouch move. Do u-turns routinely get chucked in Australia? What else gets chucked? (No, really, I'm serious.)
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 2:41 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

"chucked a u-turn" is the polite usage. The casual usage is to "chuck a u-ey".

I believe you can also chuck parties, chuck a sickie (when you use your legally entitled sick days to take a day off when you're not sick), and, apparently, chuck a browneye. I have not heard of this last one.
posted by Merus at 3:11 PM on November 19, 2018 [10 favorites]

I would either like a pouch to carry baby kangaroos in, or a pouch to be carried in. Either way. I'm not fussy.
posted by The otter lady at 3:53 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thank you, Merus.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 4:14 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

What else gets chucked?

posted by pompomtom at 6:06 PM on November 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

Good-o on those rescuers. Babby joey is adorable.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:08 PM on November 19, 2018

Oh man.

We have a professional wildlife carer on our street. Inner city! He's got one of the last treefilled half acre blocks in the area, and this big old Queenslander with big verandahs. They're netted in. He and his partner spend all their time on the verandah, because every inch of living space in the house - and most of underneath - has been converted to wildlife cages, vet style, and good sized pound style runs under the house. Not an inch of the house is people space - even the kitchen is chockas with huge bins of animal feed. He does basically anything furry that had a pouch, so possums, roos, wallabies. No koalas that I could see (or smell - they're pretty pungent in a cage) but then there's a huge koala rehab like a half hour from here so there's probably not as much need.

My son and I caged a visit when he was very small. We'd spotted him ambling around with a joey in a bag, and he was super enthusiastic to have anyone show an interest. He just wanders around the neighbourhood from time to time with a hopping stage creature, and takes the odd pouch sized joey to the shops near ours for a bit of lightweight on-the-fly fundraising. He's usually got a few almost ready to release "hoppers" in the yard too, just chilling. He had some rock wallabies and another rarer roo in the yard when we visited. Does dozens and dozens of rescue, rehab and release a year.

He's totally nuts. Like, barking mad level bonkers for marsupials. Never sleeps. How could he? He's got a dozen baby possums wanting a feed every few hours. He probably sleeps like in 45 minute blocks at most. Chainsmokes on the veranda with Priscilla, I think her name was, an Eastern Grey who he adopted years ago when she steadfastly refused to go back to the wild, scrubland being sadly lacking in arrowroot biscuits and ear scritches. Mostly gets by with a handful of corporate and community sponsers. I think he owns the property because he mentioned selling up and being released into the bush himself when he gets too old for it, Priscilla along for the ride whether she likes it or not.

I think you do need to be a bit loopy to do this kind of work. It's relentless. Even where I am, largely inner city, I see comprehensively flattened possums and fruit bats on the side of the road with saddening frequency. There's never going to be a break to it and a lot of the really little ones die. A bit of disconnect to keep your heart for imploding.

But I'm glad he's there, just a bit of wildness being nourished despite the city.
posted by Jilder at 6:30 PM on November 19, 2018 [17 favorites]

This is one of the reasons I don't drive.
posted by aniola at 7:36 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of my favourite colleagues ever, who died a couple of years ago (in her 80s) spent years as a registered wildlife rescuer. She used to mainly have kangaroos and wombats. One of my favourite stories she told was how she and her husband (a physicist) had one of the earliest computers at home, that I think they had borrowed from work, and they had punched tape all lined up and spread across the lounge ready to feed in.

She said, "And at that time of course we had a couple of indoor kangaroos, and one of them jumped into the middle of the tape, panicked, and ripped it up, dragging it around the house. And that was the end of those calculations."

And there we have some early Australian computing history, people.

Who knows what exciting breakthroughs might have been thwarted by that kangaroo.
posted by lollusc at 7:57 PM on November 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

My family cared for a pair of baby wallabies for a period of time (I don't remember how long, but from able to exit the pouch for short times through to able to live outside the pouch) when we lived on Bathurst island.
They were cute and beautiful little things, had a soft bag that was their replacement pouch and would pop their heads out while we watched TV or whatever.

It was a relief when they went on to the next stage of care (I think they were shipped to Darwin for that) though because they were messy, and a lot of work, and weren't meant to be pets.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 3:22 AM on November 20, 2018

We have a professional wildlife carer

Is he single? *hopeful look*
posted by The otter lady at 9:23 AM on November 20, 2018

Thanks for the suggestion, Squeak Attack! I've been watching her channel all day and already recommended it to a family with a little boy who is really interested in animals and animal welfare. :)
posted by RhysPenbras at 9:27 AM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Otter lady: No, actually. He has a small, ancient partner who may or may not be his wife who also chain smokes relentlessly on the front verandah with Priscilla, but she's much more retiring and I've only met her for like five minutes. She looks a bit like a concerned brushtail possum in large glasses and a wig, so I guess there really is someone out there for everyone.
posted by Jilder at 12:57 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

What else gets chucked?


Chucking a wobbly is an ugly, angry tantrum, usually by people who should be able to behave in public ('tantrum' is usually reserved for small children). Someone shouting at a sales assistant or knocking over signs in frustration is chucking a wobbly.

If you are in customer service, please, we bestow this gift of vocabulary unto you. The next time a customer is chucking a wobbly when they don't get their own way, you will find it difficult to take them with the seriousness they are hoping for if that's your word for it.
posted by Merus at 5:32 AM on November 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

In counter productive moves to my father's pest eradication roo shooting regimes on our farm, my mum, sister and I rescued joeys from their dead mothers. Some were so tiny they were completely hairless. We sewed teatowels into pouches or used pillow cases and then hung them next to the wood fire in our kitchen and fed them with formula until they grew up.

My all time favourite was Nosy, so tiny hairless when I brought her in. I fed her with an eye dropper and she always stuck her nose out of her pillowcase and coughed hello when I walked into the kitchen. Then as she grew she used to watch TV lying inside my woolly cardigan. When I hated eating the tomatoes mum put on my dinner plate, I could hide them in Nosy's pouch and deal with binning them later. (Actually I got a belting for doing that when it was discovered, but it was a neat strategy for a few months) Nosy followed me everywhere. I can close my eyes now and hear her making her way across the Jarrah floorboards to my bedroom door. She'd stand up tall and box the washing I hung up, she'd grab me on the sides of my head with her paws and scruff me up when I got home from school. She'd follow my sister and untie her shoe laces. She and our Labrador were mates and she slept in the kennel with her. Eventually she hopped off into the bush, coming back from time to time - every six weeks or so - for a check in.

This continued for six years. When I found Nosy lying in our gunya/ chookhouse, bitten by a snake, I was in mourning for a long time and never raised another roo in all the years since. That might need to change I reckon. Thanks for the post!
posted by honey-barbara at 6:36 AM on November 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

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