LIBBY'S TALE
Libby arrived to live at Roo Gully on , 13th September 2002, but it was not unlucky Friday the 13th for her.

Libby was orphaned in a road accident and lay in her dead mother's pouch on the side of a lonely road for more than 18 hours, at serious risk from eagles, foxes and any other predators that might have passed by.
A female vet passed the mother's body early that morning on her way to work, and had spent the day wondering on and off if a joey could have survived the accident. Driving home later that night she remembered where the dead kangaroo lay and stopped to check inside the pouch. The little joey was alive.

Libby's problems did not end when she was rescued, because the vet lived over a 100 kilometres away from Roo Gully, and had none of the special kangaroo milk formula needed to feed a very hungry little roo.

Libby posing
Kangaroos are lactose intolerant, and so Libby was given just enough fluids to stop her dehydrating any further before she was brought to Roo Gully the following afternoon. She arrived in remarkable good health despite the physical and emotional trauma of her ordeal, and weighed 1.850 kilos.

Libby meets Meeka
Libby was cared for inside the house with Freckle, Marty and Meeka, but because Freckle and Marty were beginning to spend more time outside with the big roos, Meeka became her new mate.

Meeka is a female Red kangaroo, and a different species to Libby, who is a Western Grey kangaroo. Although Meeka is only a few weeks older than Libby, the Red kangaroos have a shorter pouch life and are therefore more advanced than the Western Grey at this stage of their joeyhood.

Libby was not the only young joey needing our care, because within a week another young joey was orphaned. His mother was also killed in a road accident, but unlike Libby he was rescued immediately and spent a few hours snug inside the sweater of the vehicle driver, before being brought to Roo Gully. He was a greedy little boy and so we nicknamed him Billy Bunter.
Billy is older than Libby but they soon began to bond, sharing a pouch and lots of cuddles.

Libby and Billy
Joeys that are orphaned in road accidents can often suffer injuries to internal organs that are difficult to detect when they first come into care. We were quite worried about Libby when she first arrived because for her age she had difficulty balancing, and we were concerned she had some brain damage, but thankfully within a week Libby was hopping around with her two mates and her balance and coordination improved immensely.
Again Libby was not going to be the baby of the house for long, because within a month Beth's mother was killed in a road accident and she was brought to Roo Gully.
Beth was very frightened, and because Billy and Meeka were beginning to spend more time together exploring, we decided that Beth should share a pouch with Libby. They are now being raised as twin sisters.
Libby and Beth
As we sit watching Meeka and Billy teaching Libby and Beth all the fun they can have being a kangaroo I just know we are in for an exhausting year at Roo Gully - but also heaps of love and laughter.
Libby with Anke
Libby is a very entertaining and cute little joey, and she knows it! Everyone loves her, including the volunteers.
She is also extremely photogenic - and being quite the little poser she also know this fact too!
Libby the poser
We estimate it costs about $1000 to raise a joey. By 'adopting' you will help us to raise Libby, and several others.
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. Volunteers and students will hopefully assist in this research.

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

Libby's Tale © Roo Gully 2003