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Special skills and care needed to rescue joey

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A baby Joey that needed rescuing from its mothers pouch.

A recent call out to save a baby joey has prompted a local wildlife carer to share advice about what to do if you find a young kangaroo in need of rescuing.

When it comes to caring for sick or injured animals, the team at Bundy Wildlife Rescue Inc have shared key tips and tricks to ensure their survival.

Bundy Wildlife Rescue Inc President Linda Karlsen said injured kangaroos were a common sight in the region which was why it was important for people to become aware of what to do if they came across a joey.

“I have had two pinkie joey rescue calls in the last seven days, for example, but I may not get any for a month or I may get a call tomorrow,” Linda said.

“You just never know.”

Linda said when a joey was rescued it was critical that they were taken to an experienced and licenced carer as soon as possible.

“They are usually dehydrated and we often need to give them subcutaneous fluids when they arrive at care so an experienced and knowledgeable person is vital if you want the joey to survive,” she said.

“It is important that they are not given anything such as water or milk.”

Linda said rescuing a joey straight out of a pouch required the utmost care.

“When they are pinkies they are attached to the teat and pulling them off can result in their death a few days later,” Linda said.

“Take a pair of scissors and cut the pouch open, don't try to pull them out.

“When you have the joey, cut the teat down close to the mother’s body and put a safety pin through the end of the teat.

“Wrap the joey in something like an old pillowcase and then tuck the joey down your top to keep it warm.”

Linda said when rescuing a joey so young, they remained with the carers for over a year in most cases before they are released.

“In the case of the little grey, they are not fully weaned until around 450 days old so the joey will be in care for over a year before it is released,” she said.

“In three and a half months from now he will be furred and will start coming out of the pouch a little.

“Five and a half to six months from now the joey will be fully out of the pouch but may still decide to seek comfort there when he needs it.

“Another four or so months after that he is weaned.”

You can find out more about Bundy Wildlife Rescue Inc. on Facebook.

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