Morisset kangaroo defies the odds

A KANGAROO named Australia has defied the odds to be released back in the wild with her joey this week.

The eastern grey kangaroo was found close to death and stumbling around Morisset Hospital’s grounds on Australia Day.

Native Animal Trust Fund carer Margaret Howley said Australia had two ticks on her and was suffering from cattle tick fever, which attacks the red blood cells in animals.

The kangaroo’s face and belly were swollen and her joey, which was a newborn, was struggling.

‘‘There was one chance in a million she was going to make it,’’ Mrs Howley said. ‘‘We were saving two lives, not just one.’’

Mrs Howley had previously lost 12 kangaroos to the tick disease. Once an animal’s face was swollen there wasn’t much time.

‘‘I had the injection for the fever here and I brought it with me to the hospital because we had already lost so many,’’ she said.

Despite Australia being extremely sick and having a broken arm, Mrs Howley successfully nursed her back to health.

The joey, who is now four months old and has been nicknamed Aussie, will also be released with its mother at Morisset Hospital at 11.30am tomorrow. Mrs Howley has been looking after sick and injured animals for 30 years on her modified property at Marmong Point on Lake Macquarie.

‘‘I class myself as the guardian of the Morisset kangaroos,’’ she joked yesterday.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service said the hospital site was a prime foraging area for kangaroos because of its mowed lawns and available water.

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