EUCALYPT'S TALE
Eucalypt was born at Roo Gully on 8th January 2000,
and died after drowning in the pouch on 9th August the same year.
Eucalypt peeps
This Tale began on the 9th December 1999 when Oliver,
a wild buck who visited Roo Gully, before it was fenced, caught and mated Rosie.
Rosie mated by Oliver

A month later, on the 8th January 2000, Rosie gave birth to a daughter, Eucalypt.

Eucalypt new born
Rosie wants Heidi
Rosie was the nanny of the Bush Gang, caring for the young joeys,
and as we expected she proved to be a good mother.
At the time we were filming Sadie and Katie's joeys, Wattle and Tingle,
growing inside their mother's pouches as part of our study into joey development,
and we were hoping we could observe Eucalypt too, but Rosie had other ideas.

She was a protective mother, and respecting her wishes we only filmed Eucalypt
when Rosie was completely happy about it.

This limited the amount of footage we captured,
but we still gleaned a great deal of useful information
about her which helped our research.
Rosie protective

Not seeing us as often as Wattle and Tingle did Eucalypt was a shy little joey.

Eucalypt young
Eucalypt in pouch
Eucalypt sucking
And she often turned her back on the camera, but we still managed to obtain valuable data.
Eucalypt shy

Because we had been observing Wattle and Tingle we knew that by July Eucalypt
would be old enough to pop her head out, and we sat for hours waiting for her to appear.

Eucalypt peeps out
First her nose emerged from the pouch opening and she sniffed the winter air before disappearing back inside the warm pouch.
The next day it was one eye taking a quick peep.
A few days later we finally saw her surveying her new world for the first time.
Eucalypt looking

Sadly 10 days later, on the 9th August, tragedy struck.

The magnificent creek that runs through Roo Gully dividing our property,
the creek we love, the creek the Bush Gang love
because it offers food and shelter...

Swollen creek
...the creek that was so swollen after the heavy winter rains,
claimed its first victim.

Rosie tried to cross the creek and fell. The pouch filled with water and Eucalypt drowned.
Rosie, in a vain attempt to save her joey tipped her out onto the creek bank.
Astoundingly instead of staying with her joey Rosie came home for us.
She bounded into the kitchen, looking very agitated, and quickly attracted our attention.
Suddenly we realised her pouch was empty.
Where was Eucalypt? Had she fallen out?
How on earth were we going to find her?

We did not have to!

Rosie waited until we put on our boots then led the way
right to where Eucalypt was lying in the grass.
Eucalypt by creek

By the time we knelt down beside her all the other roos had gathered around in a circle
and we will never forget their faces as we held Eucalypt in our hands.
It was a look of pleading, begging us to do something.
Oh we tried.

After we had showed Rosie her dead baby and allowed her to sniff it we rushed home with her,
hoping we could perform a miracle.

Eucalypt in bowl

There was a small chance she could have been hypothermic,
her heartbeat too slow to register, so we submerged her in a bowl of warm water hoping to heat her back to body temperature.
But when we started mouth to mouth resuscitation
we could hear water gurgling in her lungs.
There was no heartbeat.
Eucalypt was dead.
Eucalypt mouth to mouth
There are some scientists who say animals have no emotions,
but as I cradled Eucalypt in my arms and watched the Bush Gang bid her farewell
we knew they were all affected by her death.
Katie good bye
Molly Good bye
Each roo licked her gently, and clucked softly, none more so than her mother, Rosie.
Eucalypt buried
Later that day we buried Eucalypt in our bush cemetery.

Ironically Rosie gave birth to a second daughter, Bracken,
on what would have been Eucalypt's first birthday.

On behalf of Eucalypt we thank you for caring, and for loving her too
Eucalypt's Tale © Roo Gully 2000