Australian carer nurses kangaroos back to health

[Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Volunteer, Christie Jarrett]

“When you see the suffering, you need to do something. It just inspires you to do something and I haven't met anybody who can just look at an animal suffering and not try and help."

Christie Jarrett runs a kangaroo care home in Australia

Location: Bathurst, Australia

"So, Frankie came to us from a road accident victim. So, she was found in the pouch of a dead mum out in our area in the central west of New South Wales. She was a 600 gram joey so she came in and needed a lot of health support, heat, you know, lots of regular feeds, day and night. Thankfully another carer did that in the beginning and then she's moved to us for release down the track".

In 10 years she has cared for more than 200 kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos

All have been nursed before being released back into the wild

"It was such an eye opener to learn how very human they were. How emotional, how, you know, interactive. They're not pets, they are wild animals. But they are so amazing to learn about and that's something that I think wildlife care gives me that I can't get anywhere else."

Andy is an orphaned seven-month-old joey

"He had been attacked by a crow, so you can a little bit of skin off his nose and he's also had some damage to his foot and his tail. He's had a bit of surgery and he's doing really well now. He'll be in care for probably about twelve months, eighteen months until he's ready to be released. He's a pouch-bound joey so he stays in his pouch all the time. And yeah, he's going really well. We change the bandage every day or so, a couple of days just to make sure that there is no underlying infection. But the wound was quite a bit bigger when we first had him. And so, it's been healing nicely over the next few weeks, and hopefully that will all scab over and we won't have to bandage it any more."

"Well, this is the good part. There's plenty of terrible, traumatic parts. So often times, we can't save the animals that we rescue. There might be an issue that makes them not releasable or they are so badly injured and damaged that rehabilitation would be inhumane. So, you know, on those occasions we have to make the hard call and that is to euthanise them. That takes a lot of emotional resilience and it's not for everybody, that's for sure."

Jarrett runs the facility with her partner Matthew

"Sometimes we argue about it or you know, there are issues as well. He (Matthew) built me my first joey pen. So he really supported me and my caring and he joined as well and now he's, you know, he's more involved than I am in a lot of ways. So, it bites you and hooks you in pretty quickly. Whether or not you can ride the rollercoaster for very long is the question. I've been doing it now for 10 years and every now and then I feel like I need a break. Getting the break is tricky. But, I wouldn't swap it for the world."

When it's time for the animals to leave, the gate is left open

until they feel safe to leave for good

Some continue visiting Garrett's home long after release