BETH'S TALE

Beth arrived to live at Roo Gully on 5th October 2002.

Although Beth was physically uninjured after the road accident that resulted in her being orphaned,
the circumstances of how she was taken from the pouch left her emotionally traumatised.

Beth pretty

Beth's Tale is shared by many joeys all over Australia every night of the year.
Far too many kangaroos are killed by motor vehicles,
often leaving a live joey in the pouch
to suffer a long lingering death from either starvation, hyper or hypothermia,
or to be eaten alive by passing predators.

Beth's rescuers shared the dilemma that faces many people driving on our roads.
Not many Australians carry guns in their cars,
and so the dilemma of how you end the suffering of an injured animal on the side of the road
is one that hits the consciences of many travellers,
including the people who arrived at Roo Gully with Beth wrapped in their arms.

They could see that Beth's mother was dying,
but not wanting to do the 'deed' with a rock, or any other blunt object,
they took Beth from the pouch before the mother died.

Beth looks

This meant Beth did not hear her mother's heartbeat stop,
and this fact seriously affected her first few weeks with us.

Beth had problems accepting that she was never going to be reunited with her mother.
It only usually takes a couple of days for joeys to settle
and accept their new artificial pouch as their safe haven,
but Beth was very timid and behaved as if she thought her mother
would suddenly reappear and take her away from this human life
she had been so tragically thrust into.

Beth shy

Beth's life was made a little easier because she arrived during our busy time of the year,
and therefore she was introduced to evenings on the couch where she watched TV with the other joeys.

Libby welcomes Beth!
And she soon found out what a real Roo Gully welcome was when young Libby began to suck her ear.
Outside Beth, from the security of her pouch,
timidly watched the other joeys enjoying their adventures exploring the front lawn and bushes.
Beth peeps
Beth watches
And although she was very nervous
when she took her first run away from us.
It was not long before she was hopping around
and joining in the fun.
The other joeys helped Beth settle into life at Roo Gully, and she bonded closely with her new family.
In fact it was fantastic to observe last year's joeys grow together.
They were a wonderful little group of mates, and they really did love one another.
Then disaster struck.
Early one morning young Stuey was killed by a fox.
Because the joeys were always together, we knew it could have been any one of them.
We enlisted help from the police and local rangers, and implemented gun patrols and a fox baiting programme.
But we were still very worried for the safety of the young joeys, and every morning it was such a relief to see them emerge from the bush by the creek as they made their way home for breakfast.
Young Libby was definitely the most nervous of the joeys and we suspect she was with Stuey when he died.
Luckily the joeys had a strong bond and eventually Beth was able to help Libby get over the trauma.
These two remain friends to this day, and because the young females do not get involved in the serious business of kangaroo boxing, Libby and Beth enjoyed their play fights, while Billy attended boxing lessons with the big boys.
However Bron, the kindergarten teacher, was always close at hand to pull the girls into line if these play sessions become too over enthusiastic.
And it was interesting to see that they heeded her warnings
and graze peacefully beside each other until Billy got out of class.
Beth has had a fairly healthy first year at Roo Gully.
She suffered from the usual young joey complaints while she got used to the change of milk and routine.

And her only other treatment was in October 2003 when she was injected with antibiotics for an infection on her leg.

That has since cleared up and Beth is back to normal.

Every year we share the lives of young joeys and it is fascinating to watch them develop into young roos.
Each one is different, and although we can truly say Beth was without doubt our most timid joey in the beginning
she soon became one of the cheekiest young roos we have raised.

But it is Beth's love for Billy that truly amazes us.
The bond between these two kangaroos is the strongest we have ever seen between a young male and female.
 

 

We estimate it costs about $1000 to raise a joey. Your 'adoption' will help us to continue to care for Beth, and several others this year. You will also help with our studies into kangaroo behaviour.

Beth has been involved in these studies since the day she arrived to live at Roo Gully.
During Roo Gully's study into joey development we learned how kangaroos teach their young, what makes a joey feel secure, and how they are taught to gain confidence. Learning from the mothers in the Roo Gully mob we improved how we cared for the orphaned joeys, and discovered how responsible we are for their early education.
The relationship between joey and human works well until the joey gets older, and wants to be more active during the evening. Then the time has arrived for the joey to join the mob. It is important to find out how the joey gains its ranking within the mob, how it learns to become a kangaroo, and which kangaroos continue its education. Hopefully we shall also discover what a joey knows instinctively, what it learns from its human carers and what it must learn from other kangaroos.


Libby thoughtful
On behalf of Beth and her mates we thank you for caring

Beth's Tale © Roo Gully 2003