Although we first met Cassie on the 6th August 2003
she was not to become a true Roo Gully roo until 10 weeks later.
Cassie first came to Roo Gully after she was orphaned in a shooting.
A family wanted to care for her so came to us asking what milk they should feed her.
We are happy to advise people wanting to care for wildlife,
because here in Western Australia anyone can care for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife
as long as the creature needs human care.
Once it is better, or old enough to care for itself,
it must be released back into the wild, or deemed to be a 'derelict',
which is the terrible word the government use for wildlife unsuitable for rehabilitation.
We see our role as trying to help people to care for wildlife properly.
We didn't see Cassie again until 13th September
when her family brought her back to Roo Gully
because she was suffering from severe diarrhoea.
Cassie sick

She was a very sick little joey, suffering from a serious salmonella infection
and required antibiotic injections and intensive care so she stayed with us.

Although it was obvious she was dearly loved by her family
we were concerned to observe she was a very frightened little joey,
holding her paws out to protect herself if anyone went close to her.
Something was very wrong.

We suspected it was her environment, especially the fact she was living with 3 very active children,
who although loved her very much perhaps handled her too often.

After reading that salmonella in macropods can be caused by stress,
and definitely knowing stress can kill young joeys
we kept Cassie quiet inside her pouch,
working slowly and gently to gain her trust.

Cassie sick in pouch
I even slept with her, letting her snuggle up to me in bed, despite the fact she had diarrhoea.
Cassie slept in her pouch, wrapped in a towel, which kept washing to the minimum,
but the most important thing for her was that she continued to feel loved
Cassie sick
For many weeks we battled to make her well,
trying to keep her hydrated throughout the worst of her illness.
After a course of antibiotic injections, then being fed live yoghurt
and receiving other treatment she slowly began to improve.
Because she was sick,
we tried to keep her away from the other joeys,
and Cassie appeared to be a lonely timid little roo.
Cassie sad
And so we kept her company
Cassie and Carol
Then we decided she was well enough to join the other young kids.
Cassie with joeys
In the beginning Cassie seemed to be out on her own,
mainly because the other joeys, having been in care longer,
had therefore formed their own friendships.
And it did not help that Cassie was very shy.
But eventually Cassie plucked up the courage to join the younger mob
and oh how she enjoyed their company, easily making friends and joining in their fun and games.
She loved being a kangaroo and being with other joeys.
Cassie with kids

It was wonderful to see Cassie make friends with her own species.

Cassie first befriended Flossie.
She was a slightly older joey, and very confident.
It was then we saw how immature Cassie really was and how much she missed her mother.

She often pushed at Flossie's stomach,
trying to get her head inside her small pouch,
as if she was searching for a substitute mother.
Cassie and Flossie
Cassie drinks bottle
It was a great relief to see Cassie getting better
and becoming a much healthier young roo,
but we did have one worry.

Her family were expecting her to return home.

Roo Gully cares for many sick joeys that are being raised by other carers,
taking them in during the course of their treatment
then returning them to their homes when they are recovering.

Cassie with Flossie
But Cassie had been with us for several weeks
and had bonded with the other joeys.
She was happy.

However, she was also a very gentle, but often frightened joey,
and we felt she was not suited to sharing her home with young children.

Thankfully Cassie's family also realised this, and rang to discuss her future,
hoping she could remain at Roo Gully.
We were delighted to accept young Cassie into the Roo Gully mob.

Cassie continued to improve,
and nothing gave us greater pleasure or satisfaction than to see her hop at speed.
In fact I think this is probably one of my favourite photos,
because it portrays truly that Cassie became a HUGE success.

Cassie hops
After feeling that she must help all the joeys,
Cassie went on to form a very strong bond with young Abby.
Their friendship is still as strong today.
Abby Cassie kiss

Cassie's Tale highlights how important it is to raise
a young orphaned joey in the correct environment.
She was luckier than some, because her family realised
that although young joeys are cute and cuddly
they must never be treated as toys.

There is no doubt her former carers love Cassie dearly.
They cared for as best they could, and they showed how much they really loved her
when they thought of her well being before their own.
We are sure in a few years time, when the children are older,
this family will become very good carers, and offer a loving home,
giving good care, to another orphaned joey.
They often come to visit, and although Cassie now lives with us
we hope they will always be involved in her life.

Roo Gully is committed to wildlife education
and by 'adopting' you will help us fulfil this objective.
Your 'adoption' will help us make educational videos and CDs,
which we hope will be shown in schools so children
will know how to share their home with a baby animal,
and hopefully they will pass on this knowledge to the adults in their lives,
making life better for joeys joining families with young children.

Education is also important for all future carers.
At Roo Gully we encourage those with the right home environment,
and the commitment to caring, to raise orphaned wildlife.
Roo Gully cannot care for all the creatures in our area and besides,
although we hope to be, there is a chance we will not be here for ever.
This means we need good homes now, and in the years to come -
homes where future orphaned joeys will receive the correct care.

If ever think of giving up we only have to go down to the creek and sit with Cassie,
because her Tale is a success story in a year when we suffered so much heartache.
But we won with Cassie, and oh how did we win!

Cassie young
Cassie scratches
Cassie older
On behalf of Cassie and her mates we thank you for caring

Cassie's Tale © Roo Gully 2004