ABBY'S TALE
Abby cute
Abby came to live at Roo Gully on the 7th July 2003 after her mother was shot by a farmer.
Discovering a young joey inside the dead mother's pouch
the farmer rang us and, when we heard that the joey was unfurred,
a team of Roo Gully volunteers set off in the dark,
driving through the bush, to bring her to her new home.
Abby young
Abby weighed just 788 grams and, if she had been left without any milk overnight,
she would have been dehydrated and very sick by the next morning.
Abby young
Abby was not the only newcomer to Roo Gully. Kristin,
a young American girl, was staying with us as a volunteer,
and knowing she wanted to learn as much as possible
about caring for a young joey we placed Abby into her care.
Under our supervision, Kristin became Abby's human mother.
She fed her, toiletted her, oiled her skin, was responsible for keeping accurate feed, weight and growth records,
and she even slept with her. It goes without saying that they bonded strongly,
and Kristin fell totally head over heels in love with her little charge.
Abby loved
Abby in the sun

Although Abby was still very young,
and would not have left her mother's pouch,
she had reached the age where she would be peeping out
and having a look at her new world.

It is during these periods that pouched joeys absorb Vitamin D
from sunlight, which is essential for the healthy growth of their bones. Therefore it is vital that joeys in care also get exposed
to sunlight as often as possible.
Abby posing

These short ventures into the outside world also gave Abby the chance to have a look at her home.
And of course this gave some of the older roos the opportunity to meet the new addition to the family.

Abby meets Splodge
Although, like all young joeys in care, Abby had to learn
to accept humans, it was very important for her future
that she also associated with kangaroos.

After all, one day, she would become a member of the Roo Gully mob.

Abby was fortunate in that she was not the only joey being raised inside the house.
Roly
and Tilly were inside joeys too.

 

Roly was a much older joey,
and having been raised almost as an 'only child'
he had no idea he was a kangaroo.
When they first met outside we were unsure
who was the most afraid - Abby or Roly.

Abby meets Roly
Thankfully for Abby, Tilly was still quite young, and was very happy to socialise with Abby.
Tilly Abby watch TV
Each evening they cuddled together
on the couch while everyone watched TV,
and it was during these special times that we saw
Abby was enjoying the company of another kangaroo.
Abby was not the new kid for very long.
Within a few weeks young Flossie was orphaned and came to live at Roo Gully.
Although she was older than Abby, Flossie was a very timid
and frightened little joey when she came into care,
but Abby helped her settle into her new life
by willingly sharing her pouch.
Tilly checks joeys
Tilly looked very surprised to see two joeys in the same pouch!
But she too quickly accepted our new baby.
And soon these 3 joeys were all sharing a pouch together.
Girls in pouch
The girls were not on their own for very long.
It was joey season and soon Cassie joined our young mob.
Other joeys were coming to us too before being found new homes
and some came to us on Roo Gully Holiday Stay
while their families took a well deserved break from their adorable, but very demanding, babies.
Abby enjoyed the company of all the other joeys,
and even though she was still the baby of the mob
she loved joining in their fun and games.
Abby with joeys
But Abby was also discovering that play time can also be exhausting.
It sure was wonderful to see the little roo who was so frightened when she first arrived at Roo Gully
lying in the spring sunshine completely happy with her life.
Abby enjoys sun
Abby lys sun
And she never stopped loving the sunshine.
Abby enjoying sunshine

Every year we tend to push certain joeys together thinking they should become mates,
and every year the joeys show us they want to form their own friendships.

Abby chose Flossie.

She loved her new mate and it was interesting for us to see
that Flossie's confidence rubbed off onto Abby.
The timid girl became the adventurous joey,
and we were fascinated by the change in her behaviour.
Abby and Flossie

These 2 joeys enjoyed lots of fun and explored the bush by the creek and the nether regions of Roo Gully.
Then, tragically, Flossie literally dropped down dead while out playing with the other joeys.
Abby had lost her best mate - and her confidence.

Cassie loves Abby
Thankfully, young Cassie realised Abby's plight.
And strengthened the friendship they began as very young joeys.
Cassie kisses Abby
A few weeks later Buster joined us.
He was then the new kid on the block,
and Abby seemed to regain a little of her old confidence.
Abby, Cassie and Buster
Cassie and Buster
But Buster was very timid,
and it seemed Cassie thought her role was to help him.
Which once again left Abby as the odd one out.
Carol loves Abby
Fortunately Buster soon gained confidence.
Joeys drinking
And the joeys became a threesome once more.
That is until Buster realised he didn't want to hang around with the girls,
and teamed up with Roly and the other boys.
This left the 2 girls together.
They became best mates.
Abby and Cassie
And today they are still together.
Abby Cassie graze
Abby Cassie alert
Abby has been an interesting little joey to raise.
The smallest of the joeys of 2003, she is still the smallest.
But she is healthy, she enjoys life with her mate Cassie,
and there is no doubt she is the cutest!
Abby scratches
Abby smiles
Abby munches
Roo Gully becomes home to many joeys each year.
We estimate is costs approximately Au$1000 to raise each one.
Your 'adoption' will help us to raise Abby and many others this year.

Abby is only one of several very young unfurred joeys we cared for in 2003,
and it fast became Roo Gully's year of caring for the unfurred joey.
Sadly some of the unfurred joeys did not survive,
but the experience we gained with every joey helped us learn much more
about the specialised care needed to raise these very precious marsupials.

Your 'adoption' will help fund this study, and also help us to pass on the information we glean to other carers.
We hope this will lead to unfurred joeys having a better chance of survival when they come into care -
and that means all marsupial joeys, including endangered species.
Abby pretty
On behalf of Abby and her mates we thank you for caring

Abby's Tale © Roo Gully 2004