Orphaned Kangaroo Joey Rescued by Australian Wildlife Rangers

An orphaned kangaroo joey was rescued by wildlife rangers based in Tamalla, New South Wales, as seen in footage released on August 12.

In a press release sent to Storyful, Aussie Ark explained how their Rangers discovered a baby kangaroo abandoned by its mother, curled up on the ground in freezing cold temperatures. The joey is a Rufous Bettong, also known as a rat-kangaroo.

Ranger Kelly Davis brought the joey inside to warm him up, perform a health check, and feed him. The joey is believed to be three months old, is in good health, and has been named Stanley.

Stanley will receive around-the-clock care for the next 6-8 months, which involves bottle feeding every three hours, even during the night. Rangers will monitor his health and ensure he is developing well. Once he reaches maturity, he will be released into Aussie Ark’s conservation program with other Rufous Bettongs. Credit: Aussie Ark via Storyful

Video Transcript

- So this morning, we were doing our normal day morning rounds. And we came across a young, really young, Bettong joey, who'd obviously been abandoned by mom overnight. So we grabbed him up and took him straight back to headquarters.

So it was really cold this morning. We wanted to warm him up straight away and put him into some clean artificial patches and into a hot box. Up at HQ, we then gave him a health check we wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with him to find out how old he was and make sure he was in good health. So based on his body measurements and weight, we estimate he's only a few months old. So he's going to need around-the-clock care for at least the next six months.

So lucky job of looking after him falls to me. And around-the-clock care really just means all through the night, he's going to need feeds. He's used to milk on tap from mom, and I need to replicate that. So the Rufous Bettong is a bit of an unusual one, not many people have heard of. They're one of the smallest kangaroo species. They often get referred to as the rat kangaroo, but we definitely prefer it Rufous Bettong.

So Rufous Bettongs, much like a lot of our small marsupial species, are really under threat. They make these little nests on the ground. And their defense is to stay there when they feel threatened. And unfortunately, that just doesn't work against a cat or a fox.

Rufous Bettongs are real keystone species and ecological engineers. They help turn over the soil, help reduce the severity of bushfires, and also maintain the health of the ecosystem. So this little one's name is Stanley, which is very, very cute for a cute little guy.

To find out more about Stanley's journey and all of the species we look after here at Aussie Ark, head to aussieark.org.au.