Joey rescued after roo dies in bike chase
A baby kangaroo — now named Raven — was rescued last Sunday from the pouch of her mother who died after she was chased by children on bicycles.
The kangaroo was chased and pinned down by dogs in her attempt to flee — and despite the best efforts of Albany woman Maureen Lewis, the mother died during her frantic attempts to escape.
Mrs Lewis said she witnessed two kangaroos being chased down in Warrenup.
“I heard a commotion outside, it turned out to be two kids on their bikes chasing down two kangaroos, and one was Raven’s mum,” she said.
“She jumped one fence to get away and the two dogs started chasing her, so she jumped another fence but it was a vacant block.”
Mrs Lewis said when the kangaroo tried to jump another fence, she was attacked by a dog in the backyard.
“While the dogs were pinning her, she was covering her pouch, which was when I realised she must have been carrying a joey,” she said.
“She managed to get away from the dog, but she jumped into a fence and that’s when she broke her neck. It was awful to see.
“I yelled at the kids to stop as they chased them and they scattered. They didn’t see what happened to the roo.”
Mrs Lewis said her husband spotted movement in the mother’s pouch where the joey was concealed.
She called her sister-in-law and wildlife carer Camille Gray, who has saved and raised more than 30 joeys in her 17 years as a carer.
“The noise she made when we took her out was horrible; the screech was horrible,” Mrs Lewis said.
“I think that kids think they are just playing around but they don’t realise what can happen. Parents should teach their kids not to do that sort of thing with wildlife.
“The best part to come out of this was that we saved the joey. She’s so young but she’s a fighter and even though her mum passed away, it will be great to see her grow.”
Ms Gray said that judging by her weight, Raven was about five months old.
“I will have her in care for about two years. A lot of work goes into caring for Raven now. She needs to be fed every four hours, day and night and kept at the right temperature,” she said.
Ms Gray said she was disappointed to hear about the behaviour of the children and she was considering reporting the incident to police.
“I think kids need to learn respect and be educated in schools about wildlife,” she said.
She said Raven was a fighter.
“I think she’s going to make it, but there’s never a guarantee ... she’s looking good and I’ll do everything I can for her,” she said.
RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said the children’s behaviour was unacceptable and could result in penalties.
“Unfortunately, we do hear about people who think it’s funny or entertaining to chase kangaroos — this is very stressful for the animals involved,” she said.
“Australia has many unusual and iconic native animals, and they all have a right to protection from pain, fear and distress. We have a duty of care to all living animals, and causing unnecessary harm to wildlife is simply not acceptable.
“In cases where kangaroos are concerned, there could be charges and penalties for interfering with wildlife under legislation administered by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.”
People who find sick or injured wildlife should contact their nearest vet, RSPCA WA’s Cruelty Hotline or the Wildcare Helpline.
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