Why couldn’t my mom have been a zookeeper? Yeah, she put food on the table, but having a mom in healthcare means hearing a lot about proper handwashing and absolutely no chance to nurse a baby joey abandoned by his mama!
Eight-year-old Lilly Dyson, however, hit the mom jackpot with a zookeeper mama who has been bringing home a baby kangaroo each day in an incubator designed to act like her mom’s pouch.
The pictures of the Milly the joey and Lilly the kid are the kind you find of your mom’s firstborn cuddling with your mom – the type that make you all indignant that it isn’t you. Nose-to-nose, Lilly and Milly are obviously the best of pals.
The joey’s mom fell ill earlier this month and was no longer able to carry her in her pouch. That was bad news for Milly – joeys generally spend at least nine months in mom’s pouch before their first venture into the outside world (no wonder I’ve always felt a kinship with Kanga from Winnie the Pooh – we have nine months of carting kids in common). The joeys continue to spend a significant amount of time there until they are around a year.
Milly is still too young to come out of the incubator for anything more than limited amounts of time, and she requires round-the-clock care, with Lilly’s mom Deb Dyson and her colleague splitting the bulk of the duties. But Lilly has gotten to lend a hand too – a rare chance, as this is the first joey to be hand-raised by the Melbourne Zoo (where Deb works) in more than two decades.
Baby joeys can be a handful (kind of like baby humans), but Deb says Milly has been a breeze – even with the one and four a.m. feedings. And Lilly looks like the luckiest kid down under!
Image/Source: Herald Sun