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Oklahoma woman fights to keep her therapy kangaroo

Irwin the therapy kangaroo

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — An Oklahoma woman suffering from depression has found solace in the company of an unusual companion, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet -- a partially paralyzed kangaroo -- could become a public safety risk.

Christie Carr is seeking an exemption from the Broken Arrow City Council to keep Irwin, a 25-pound great red kangaroo that she cares for much like a child. Irwin rides in a car seat, is dressed in a shirt and pants each day and is rarely away from his doting caretaker.

At the advice of her therapist, Carr began volunteering at a local animal sanctuary, where she met Irwin, then just a baby. Less than a week later, the kangaroo named for famed Australian animal expert Steve Irwin ran into a fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage.

Carr volunteered to take the animal home and, while nursing him back to health, developed a bond. Irwin cannot stand or walk on his own, although he is slowly gaining back mobility and can hop three or four times in a row with assistance, she said.

Irwin the therapy kangaroo

"Irwin will not live if I have to give him up," Carr said, adding that she would rather leave town. "I can't imagine a day living without him."

Native to Australia, healthy male great red kangaroos can grow up to 7 feet tall, weigh more than 200 pounds and bound 25 feet in a single leap. But because of his accident, Irwin isn't expected to get larger than 50 pounds, his veterinarian, Dr. Lesleigh Cash Warren, wrote in a letter to the City Council supporting Carr's request to keep him.

Neutering has also lessened any chance he will become aggressive.

"Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo," Warren wrote. "He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare."

Irwin the therapy kangaroo

Carr, who is unable to work because of her health, changes Irwin's diaper several times a day. She feeds him salad, raw veggies, kangaroo chow, popcorn and the occasional Cheez-Its or a handful of Cheetos.

The marsupial never leaves the house without first getting dressed. The clothes -- a little boy's shirt cut and sewed to accommodate his neck, sometimes a tie, and jeans or slacks with a hole cut for the tail -- are necessary for therapeutic reasons and to protect him against germs, Carr said.

The 1-year-old animal never leaves Carr's side for more than an hour, often accompanying her on errands and going out to eat. He rides in a car seat before being placed in a pouch when going out in public. Carr's therapist certified the animal as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Irwin the therapy kangaroo

Broken Arrow Mayor Mike Lester said he worries what could happen if Irwin is able to regain full mobility. The council has delayed considering the issue until an April 19 meeting, to give City Atty. Beth Anne Wilkening and other staff time to research the issue.

"There's just a myriad of things we need to consider," Lester said.

Every exception made sets a precedent, and the council must take that into consideration, Wilkening said. The council may decide to create an exotic animal review committee that would look at each animal on a case-by-case basis, he said.

Broken Arrow Nursing Home owner Joanna Cooper said she doesn't understand why keeping Irwin has become an issue. Carr has brought Irwin to the nursing home in the past for residents to hold and pet. Several residents of the nursing home plan to attend the upcoming council meeting with signs to show their support for Carr and Irwin.

Irwin the therapy kangaroo

"Why are people giving her problems when people have tigers and pit bulls?" Copper said.

RELATED STORIES ABOUT THERAPY ANIMALS:
Miniature horse becomes guide for blind Muslim woman
Remembering Baxter, therapy dog extraordinaire

-- Kristi Eaton, Associated Press

1st photo: Christie Carr gets a lick from Irwin at her home in Broken Arrow, Okla., on March 30. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

2nd photo: Irwin licks Carr outside the Broken Arrow Nursing Home, where the kangaroo participates in an animal-assisted therapy program. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

3rd photo: Carr feeds Irwin a piece of lettuce. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

4th photo: Carr puts Irwin into a car seat on the way to the Broken Arrow Nursing Home. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

5th photo: Broken Arrow Nursing Home resident Nette Hudson holds Irwin as Marguerite Blakemore looks on. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

 
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Oh yeah, because having a pit bull automatically makes it a danger.

Education folks. If I were her, I'd move too.

barbara for president

I agree with Barbara, pitbulls are not dangerous... people make animals dangerous. And, this disabled kangaroo does not strike me as such. The town should let her stay. This is just another example of Americans being afraid of things they don't understand. Very sad.

Just what would it take to get my pet snapping turtle to be declared a "therapy snapper"? I'd love to be able to take him on a plane with me, or to the mall. He's not mean at all....honest

Wow I didn't see the problem with any of this untill that last line.....
Lumping pitbulls in with wild animals shows your ignorance.

Why doesn't the city just give her a parole-like service? Someone to check in on Irwin's progress on a regular basis to verify the safety level as his health improves. The little thing is not doing any harm, why make it a biger deal than it actually is? If anything, Irwin is making someone's life much better. Isn't it a natural right for a human being to pursue a better life?

I was thinking the same thing, Barbara. The owner of the nursing home that made the pit bull comment obviously doesn't know much about dogs.

I hope that Carr is allowed to keep her pet. While I disagree with the reason (therapy, or whatever), it's not my business what pet she has, and if it makes her happy, well, power to her.

I wish I could own a kangaroo.

I say let her keep him. Its a poor defenseless animal, being taken care of by someone who receives pure unfiltered joy from having him around. Taking him away takes away all of her hope of a happy life.

How on Earth did she even get a Kangaroo? They are wild animals not pets, even in Australia.

in my opinion, ending on that pit bull comment made this entire story seem just as ignorant as the people trying to take away her therapy animal.

just like the woman below me said, get educated before you make a comment like that. and i understand it isn't your comment, but publishing it as your ending "poignant" statement still ruins a perfectly good article.

Wow.

Did people miss the fact that a kangaroo is not a domesticated animal? And that a pit bull is a generalized term for bully breeds that include American Staffordshire Terries, American Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, etc? Oh and that these breeds are actually just breeds of dogs and they are DOMESTICATED?!

The kangaroo has more in common with a tiger than the pit bull does.


That nit pick aside... I do have a problem with people using non-domesticated animals for therapy or to be kept as pets. I understand Irwin is a "special needs" case, but dressing him up in clothes or treating him like a kid with a tail is not going to make him act like anything but a paralyzed kangaroo. In most states you have to have a special permit to keep a wild (non-domesticated) animal, not just your say so that you know what you are doing.

I can see why the city council is looking into this.

Interesting Situation. I can't wait to see how the city officials rule. Novel case of: One's Personal Indulgence vs. One's Responsibility to Society. Commentator Barbara is Right, Ms Carr should move. If she stays, perhaps some Mandated Exotic Animal Insurance would be proper.

Therapy kangaroos? Oh, please. What's next? Therapy spiders, therapy elephants, therapy alligators? Whatever happened to getting therapy from and communicating with OTHER PEOPLE?

So sick of running into ignorance about pit bulls in the darnedest of places!
Get informed, people.

This lifestyle is unnatural and confining for the kangaroo. He's an undomesticated animal, not a baby. Dressing him in a diaper and clothes, strapping him in a car seat, and keeping him indoors can't benefit his wellbeing. Perhaps Ms. Carr doesn't want him to recover so he can be her child the rest of his life. He might not grow big or aggressive enough to defend himself in the wild, but return him to his natural habitat in a better sanctuary with no fences to run into. Also, as he grows stronger, it might be dangerous keeping him housebound. Doubt if the people running animal sanctuaries approve of this type of treatment to injured young animals. This is almost as unhealthy for animals as a circus environment, except the kangaroo isn't forced to perform, but it's not right trying to turn him into something he isn't, sacrificing him to cater to the lady's feelings.

Sad tail.... let the lady look after the poor animal. If she is'nt able to be the caregiver, then look for an alternative.

New ADA service animal regulations have taken effective as of 3/15. Non-dog service animals are no longer protected under the ADA regulations. There are a few exceptions for miniature horses. Second, a dog that provides only comfort is no longer protected. The dog must provide a service. Google "changes to ada service dogs" and you'll find out most of the information you need.

It is amazing that tax payers money are being wasted here ... The officials should take care of serious matters and leave Irwin with his owner. Why fix something when it is not broken?

Thank You, Commentator Rob M. Your Explanation of the new ADA Rules was a Voice of Reason among a Sea of Irrationality.

A partially paralyzed pet is less danger to the public than a partially intelligent City official. 'Nuff said.

Startha Mewart...Really? Pets are used because humans can let you down, and in times of REAL need, most humans will let you down, that is why so many people are in nursing homes and so many people have home health aids and such. Pets are used in therapy because they are non judgmental, non discriminate, and receptive to attention. If humans weren't such a let down in the first place, animals would not be needed. If you're really so concerned about therapy pets, than why don't you drag yourself out of your house, away from your computer and volunteer to help people out? Right, because it is a burden you would rather not deal with. What animals do for people is amazing, people don't even have to ask and animals give you attention, love, comfort, and you can have fun with them. And the people who need the animals give them love, attention and fun right back. I think it is completely beneficial. Let's be realistic here, This animal sustained an injury fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage. Now, are you saying that just because this is an animal and not a person that it shouldn't be allowed to have someone to take care of it? They need each other. Tell me this, how many paraplegics do you know have miraculously gained FULL use of their limbs, climbed out of their wheelchairs and went around punching people after sustaining equal injuries to that of this kangaroo? Strange...I have not heard of anything at ALL like that. He is permanently injured, brain damage is irreversible. She is in need of therapy. They both need love and support nobody else can give so why on earth would ANYONE dare separate them? That makes no sense at all.

As for therapy alligators, elephants, and spiders, your argument is now and always will be considered invalid. Alligators are reptilians and spiders are arachnids and elephants are pachyderms. While a pachyderm is a mammal, is it not on the same plane as a marsupial. Even though, your argument with elephants makes no sense because elephants and humans have been living together since the beginning of time. A reptilian has no sense of emotions the way mammals do, alligators thrive solely off of their primal instincts which are deep rooted through millions of years of evolution and further exacerbated by the fact that they have remained virtually unchanged for all of that time, while evolution clearly points out many different changes that took place in all mammals, including pachyderms, dealing with emotions and many other things. I think you might want to learn a little about the world you live in before you make yourself look stupid on the internet.


To all of you people complaining about the pitbull statement, it is this simple, in the real world...ALL animals are dangerous whether or not they are domesticated. Dogs don't bite you because they CHOOSE not to (hence the domestication), and they COULD snap at ANY given second with or without reason, but when they do it is often times justified, or rooted in the way they were raised by their owners.

As to AimeeX, are you as uneducated as you seem? You obviously did NOT read this article as it says he is paralyzed and brain damaged. The diaper is because he probably cannot control his bowels or urinal tract. Return him to his natural habitat? He is PARALYZED AND BRAIN DAMAGED. Not only would he DIE from not being able to fend for himself, but he was not raised in his natural habitat. Therefore, your argument is invalid, too.

Get over yourselves people, this lady and this 'roo need each other. It is obviously and it is supported by simple FACTS that he will NOT become a danger and that they help each other. Get OVER it.

I was a vet tech for over 11 years in the Dallas area. I've had to deal alot of animals during that time. Wildlife is just that. Wild. It's not a bad thing but can cause bad things to happen when they are brought to live in captivity. Trying to humanize any animal can not only create a dangerous situation but is very unfair to the animal.
And yes pits are dangerous. You would want to use extreme respect when dealing with one. It's not that they are mean. That's really not important. What is important is the fact of what they are capable of doing. I mean a smaller toy breed could lean towards being more snappy but his bite is doubtful to cause serious injury or death. You better believe that I approached a pit and bit different than I would a snappy Yorkie. lol

@Startha Mewart and the rest of you uneducated people. Read the article and you will see where she got Irwin. SM; animal therapy has proven to make improvements in many people where human contact fails. Animals reach to us on a level no human can. DO some research before making such an asinine comment. Oh, and there are MANY different animals used as therapy animals. Once again.... do some research. I hope she can keep Irwin.
As for responsibility to society? Since when are we responsible for others?

There are more pit bull attacks then kangaroo attacks. That was her point. Quit your whining about her being ignorant.

The reporter writes " Carr's therapist certified the animal as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act."

THERE IS NO SUCH THING!

(1) The ADA does not have or require "certification. Some private organizations purport to 'certify" service animals -- and medical personnel are not, and never have been, the ones who give such documents.

(2) The ADA does NOT cover "therapy" animals. It only covers SERVICE animals (of species like dogs or typical companion animals) and a SERVICE ANIMAL is one who is trained to provide a service for a perosn with a disability. That means the animal must be TRAINED to perform a task.

There is no such thing as a "therapy" animal under the ADA and animals like ponies, monkeys - and undoubtedly kangroos - are explicitly NOT considered to be Service Animals.

An appealing story - but a way way out and dead wrong legal argument. I know - I'm a retired lawyer who now relies upon a Service Dog for mobility assistance after an injury.

This kangaroo is a protected native animal from Australia. The only legal way a kangaroo can be in any other country is if the Australian Government gives one as a gift. So, it is possible this unfortunate kangaroo is a victim of animal smuggling. Further, they are wild animals, not house pets. They are very large and very aggressive. It is ery kind, although ill informed of this lady to be taking care of a wild animal, unique to Australia. Why is an American zoo not looking after this animal? They are not domextic pets.

One last thing: The only bona fide "therapy pets" should be cats and dogs...and they should be used ONLY for bona fide physical disabilities. Anything else is just narcissistic indulgence. Now put THAT in your pipe and smoke it LOL

The city council could let her keep thekangaroo for the time he is disable. If he regain his normal abilities , then he can go back to the natural environment.
That is fair to both; her and the kangaroo.

More "big-brother," government bureaucracy butting into peoples lives just to feel important. These yahoos should be more worried about the larger issues facing our country than non-issues like these.

Mmmmm. Kangaroo chow....

Good on ya, Lady!

Good grief, this story certainly got some people going off on tangents. First, who the hell really cares about some off-hand remark at the very end of the story about pit bulls? My mom owns a pit bull, and it is a sweet dog, but even she has better things to do with her life than get militant over some side comment in an article. Second, the kangaroo is partially paralyzed and SEVERELY brain damaged. If he were a fully functioning kangaroo or even only moderately disabled, then I would say yes, he should be returned to either the wild or an animal sanctuary, as appropriate. But, he is seriously impaired. He would die in either the wild or a typical animal sanctuary since no animal sanctuary I know of provides the constant attendant care he requires--one would only find such care in a pet hospital, and I think he is leading a much happier existence with someone who loves him than if he were to be hospitalized for the rest of his life. Finally, I understand the city's concern. It is reasonable for city officials to be concerned about setting a precedent that could potentially expand the ownership of non-domesticated animals within the city limits. That said, I think a brief review would find that the kangaroo provides no threat to anyone (or at least no more than a typical domesticated animal, such as a dog), and the kangaroo's well being is not being jeopardized. Problem solved.

What is not mentioned or considered is that if the roo recovers and grows to full size ( prox. 6 foot) it can kill someone with just one of it's kicks. Its unfair and ignorant to keep the animal in an environment with elderly people that are gonna be put at a sever risk in that situation. Rehab the animal as best as you can and turn it over to a zoo, or a refuge like the one in Lone Pine Australia.

The kangaroo has no paws. Let her keep it and screw your bureaucratic laws you heartless bastards.

I don't know... my relatives take care of a friend's pitbull from time to time and it is the SCARIEST dog I have ever been around. I am afraid to make sudden movements or even pet the thing.

However, it seems to really like them. I think they are super protective and can be quite dangerous to strangers, perhaps it's how he was raised? I've never been around a scarier "domesticated" animal though.

let her keep caring for and loving the kangaroo.
he's named after Steve Irwin, who would definately
want him to be cared for.....
and get real people...DEE !!! you have no idea !!!about
how uncared for kangaroos are in Australia.
i hate to burst your uninformed bubble, but they
are culled right and left in Australia!!!!!
(culled is killed due to "over-population".!!!
CLEARLY, this animal is loved and cared for...and it's
a mutually beneficial relationship...and agree with the
author of the "people let you down....animals don't"
mention !!! but this MUST be about care for the animal's
best interest here..and clearly it is.
let her keep the kangaroo..and people........
don't try and bring animals down to our level.
most humans would, admittedly or not, prefer to be
with their four-legged family members than you!!!
hm......wonder why???!!!

Blessings Christie and Irwin !!!!!

Leave dear Irwin alone. Hasn't he suffered enough?

That's right, because pit bulls are comparable to tigers or kangaroos. Pit bulls are a subset of domestic dogs and are both genetically and behaviorally identifiable as such, while tigers and kangaroos are wild animals. What a nonsense line to end this article on.

I understand the council's concern about the kangaroo--a fully-grown, fully-mobile red kangaroo is a very dangerous animal, as are most wild animals. Wild animals, even tamed ones, are not behaviorally the same as domestic pets--they have a much lower threshold to aggression than dogs and cats, and are less likely to practice adequate bite/strike inhibition. By this I mean that a wild animal, startled, is likely to lash out, hard, even if it is normally quite docile.

However, if this little guy's health problems are as described and he will remain small and likely always require assistance to move around, it doesn't sound like he's an issue. Maybe the city could issue a conditional permit, to be reviewed every year to make sure his situation hasn't changed. If he heals to the point where he is in danger of going out of his guardian's control, they can talk about sending him to an animal sanctuary or a zoo where his needs will be properly met. Right now it appears that he is harmless and if his veterinarian thinks he will remain so, and he is being cared for as well as is possible, I don't suppose there's a problem with him being kept as a pet.

Therapy/comfort animals are a real need, and I think the ADA should acknowledge them in some form. Many people with mental illnesses like depression or conditions like autism are very much helped through their day-to-day lives by caring for a pet, even when they are already receiving other forms of therapy. It can prevent suicide or other self-harming behavior. If the animal is being cared for properly and is appropriately restrained and/or trained so it is not a public menace, why should anyone have a problem with it?

Irwin is one poor little kangaroo that has a special person to take care of him. Why can't they just let them live in peace?

What the heck is wrong with this woman? She lumped owning a tiger in with owning a Pitbull? DONE. She is too stupid to own any animal let alone a wild animal who has problems of their own.

WILD ANIMAL does not = Domesticated dog. 1+1 does not = 5

I could care less what the rest of her argument is, she has shown herself to be an ignorant moron. Maybe she should go read the article about the Pitbull who was lit on fire and beaten with a shovel who is as sweet as can be and was even brought into a packed court room at his abusers parole hearing. Bring an abused beaten tiger into a packed court room and see what happens you stupid woman. It's not the same thing. She has no brain so maybe she shouldn't own a kangaroo either.

Totally agree with you Barbara. That last comment was stupid.

Ok people maybe I can help to shed some light as I am familiar with the situation and Irwin the kangaroo specifically!

Irwin was living in the care of a Wildlife Sanctuary. If you read carefully, it does state that in the story. The sanctuary is called Safari's Wildlife Sanctuary and it is located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

I actually know Irwin because I, just like Ms. Carr, volunteer there. He is not a "smuggled" animal that has been bought from the black market. He was not "stolen" from Australia for some woman's perverse desire for a exotic pet that she could try to "humanize".....

He is an animal that suffered a terrible injury when very young and has been dependent on human involvement and care his whole life. We used to take him to do benefits and school functions to further educate children and adults about "wild" animals and the reasons why wild animals should stay wild and not kept as pets. This means schools as well as public events. This sanctuary takes in animals that have been many times illegally kept by ignorant people that purchase an animal and then realize it is not suitable for a housepet, and then dump it off. There is a tiger there at the sanctuary, for example, that was bought as a christmas gift by grandparents to give to their 3 yr old grandson!! Seriously??? But I regress....

Irwin is not being just dressed up and played with like a toy. He requires the "clothing" to help him stay warm. He requires to be bundled and put into a carseat because of his injury and is unable to just be put into a cage to be moved around. She does not do these things just to treat him as a child.

Possible adoption parents are screened very very carefully before allowed to recieve such an animal. It's not like she acquired him off-hand. She went into this knowing full and well just how much extra help and time and commitment he would require. She keeps in touch with the sanctuary constantly, giving updates and notices about how he is doing, as they care for this animal too, and didn't just dump him onto her. If there is ever a time that she is unable to take care of him, they would willingly take him back. There are other kangaroos there at the sanctuary as well.

As far as him living a lifestyle that is "confining and unnatural", well, yes it is, but considering the fact that the kangaroo is PARALYZED... I'd say it is a far better situation for him than the alternative. His life will forever be unnatural because he is dependent on human care to stay alive. He is not able to stand, he is unable to care for himself. He would be cast out of any group of kangaroos and would ultimately die if not for the outside help of humans.

I mean, everyone did read that part right?? The kangaroo is PARALYZED.... not just injured. He is unable to care for himself. He has to be fed, changed, and everything else, just like a person that suffers that type of injury.

Oh and one more thing..... a "therapy" animal and a "service" animal is not necessarily always the same thing. I can get my pet certified to be a therapy animal and take him to hospitals, schools, nursing homes....etc to help cheer people up. That does NOT mean that I need him to perform "services" for me as I am not disabled in any way. A service animal has much stricter requirements and training. Please understand the difference before ya'll start bickering. The two terms are NOT interchangeable so voids the whole discussion about how this 'roo is not a service animal.

And no, a pit and a kangaroo should not be compared against each other. But I think she was just trying to make a misguided point. Wild animals and domesticated animals BOTH have the capacity to attack an individual. Domesticated dogs and other pets usually bite when either provoked or have been ill-trained. But ALL animals have the potential to attack an individual. Pits have a bad rap b/c of bad publicity and poor ownership. But other domesticated breeds do bite as well. There are many cases for all breeds... even the happy-go-lucky labs and golden retreivers.

Wild animals should not be kept as pets, that is why there are sanctuaries that end up with the misbegotten animals that HUMANS assumed that they could make "safe". I made my point earlier with the tiger story.

Irwin is not being kept as a "pet"!!! He resided at the sanctuary where he was severely injured. She has been well-educated in caring for this animal. If there is a point in time that she is unable to provide proper care for him, he will either be returned to the sanctuary, or found another home that will also be well-versed in the amount and type of care he will require. Please do not jump to conclusions without knowing more facts or at least ask to further educate yourself.

I hope that I could help people better understand the situation and allay any concerns for this woman and/or the kangaroo.

I'll write to anyone I can to say that Irwin should be allowed to stay with his caretaker. He has been certified as a service animal so he has been determined safe and should be allowed to receive the care he needs!

Irwin and the woman seem happy and good for one another. Leave them alone.

"I agree with Barbara, pitbulls are not dangerous... people make animals dangerous. "

The both you and Barbara are wrong; it's an aggressive breed. Just do a search on Google for pitbull attack and the facts speak for themselves. After one killed an infant here in Jacksonville the distraught father noted it was never abused and even slept with their 4-year old son on occasion.

Why isn't the news filled with reports of deadly Collies and Labs? It's only pitbull owners who are "making them that way?" Come one, a little less denial and a little more common sense please.

Cannot work because of her health, but can take care of a semi-paralyzed kangaroo. Who is footing the bill for this?

What I find absolutely fascinating about this story is that she's "disabled" but manages to volunteer at the animal sanctuary, take care of this kangaroo full-time, and take him to visit at the nursing home. How is it possible that this woman can't work, but can be so active? Surely, there's something she can do with her time to support herself, instead of living on the public dole. The rest of us shouldn't have to pay for her kangaroo food.

Many people who "suffer" from depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, persistent back pain, and all the other "disabilities" that give people like Carr a free ride, work full time supporting themselves, while paying taxes to support the otherwise able-bodied "disabled." The system is completely broken when people who are obviously capable of working get disability, while the rest of us hard-working people are forced to pay for their indulgences.

Im sorry, this is wrong on SO many levels. For starters, this animal is a RED kangaroo - they eventually grow out of being loved by humans. Irwin should not be getting dressed up, he is not a doll. Irwin should not be eating human food - his gut will not cope with it and he will end up very sick. This animal will never hop like he should - quality of life needs to be looked at here. He needs to be destroyed. YES I said it! He is a kangaroo and not some little doll needing looking after. I am a wildlife carer in Australia, I raise these orphaned animals and release them back into the wild - where they belong. They are not pets, they are a animal with instincts. Im ashamed and feel sorry for him. I pray his suffering ends one day and he still has some dignity left. Irwin needs to be taken off this woman.

I am a kangaroo carer in Australia and I must say this story is causing some degree of debate amongst us kangaroo (and other wildlife) carers. I have read through the comments and read this story. The only problem I see is the demeaning way in which this beautiful animal is dressed. Carer's take kangaroos (joeys) to schools etc to try and teach AUSTRALIAN'S to treat this wonderful animal better. Reality is, the kangaroo, in its own country is treated very cruelly. My concern if the diet of junk food, a worry as he can develop diabeties and other problems, especially if he isn't going to be very mobile, so maybe the vet should be encouraging this lady to feed an approriate diet. Since the Australian government cares very little about kangaroos and cares even less once they leave this country and are bred by others, I doubt this lady received this kangaroo illegally. Therapy animals are very important, as those who are in nursing homes, and the like, are starved of being able to nurture an animal, what-ever it is. Kangaroos are NOT dangerous, and like any other animal, if provoked or startled, may respond not unlike any human that is feeling threatened. Kangaroos naturally are a 'flight' animal and like any animal should be respected. Kangaroos are born tame (otherwise we wouldn't be able to rehab them) and are then tought to be 'wild' so they can be released.
Whatever people think about this story, Irwin should be given a chance and given the best therapy, for him. It would be detrimental for Irwin to be separate from his human mum as he would have strong bonds with her. I just wished she would stop making him look so demeaning. Otherwise, good luck for them both!

Sadly, this has become an issue weighing on 'public' emotion rather than rational thinking.
Many people commenting are uneducated on marsupial care and seem more focused on Ms Carrs mental state and Irwin's 'cute' factor.
What IS important is Irwins long term care and quality of life.
I suggest that people put their emotions to the side and really think about what is in the best interest of Irwin. Educate yourselves on how Red Kangaroo's live, the impact being in his condition has on his body, the health risks that he will face in the future.
Many "experience" people have commented on this issue and are getting shot down by people who have no experience with marsupials. Maybe these people need to take a step back and wonder WHY these people have concerns. Could it be they are actually right because they know what they are talking about?Are you all just wanting to prolong the inevitable and make this roo suffer?
Its a very sad situation.

 
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