It’s hard to say really. It depends on how kangaroo’s impact on your life. In the city people think they are Sooooo cute. Overseas they think kangaroo’s are sooooooooooo cute, and just a trifle odd if truth were told.
In the country the farmers curse them. They eat the grass. They jump out in front of you at dawn and dusk, and also on cloudy days all day and night. Some people only think of them in winter – those are the people who don’t live here – just visit for the snow. Some of us think of them every day, and especially every night when we are picking up the kids who work at Macca’s.
I used to curse them when they clipped the electric fence with their back feet which flips its up and it catches on the barbed wire and then shorts out the energiser electrifying the fence! $100 to fix it and the risk of escaping cows if they twigged the fence wasn’t working. But they really are sooooooooooo cute.
I’m getting a bit of a ribbing about ‘my roos’ at the moment. Now that I don’t have cows anymore I don’t really mind the roo’s too much. They are fascinating when you watch them.
I was on the computer one day at the window and glancing out saw a big group of roo’s lying down on one elbow with their bellies exposed, sunning themselves! They looked like a bunch of pot bellied sunbathers in the middle of the dry and yellow paddock. Then they all got up and hopped off. One of the mothers hopped over a fence but the baby didn’t make it. It kept hitting the fence and falling back. She spent about 20 mins with it and finally it got over the fence! Guess she knew that it needed to learn to do it for itself now that it was a bit too big for the pouch – neither of them would last long if it couldnt get over a fence in an emergency, and there was no way she could get both of them over anymore!
There are so many people who drive down to the snow in the NSW snowfields and don’t even think about the wildlife, well until they see them on the side of the road dead that is.
People come to visit us and ask – why do they have red and green paint on them? Is it some form of mad graffiti? Nope, it means they have been checked by someone to make sure a) they are dead and b) there is no one in the pouch. As to why some are marked with red and some with green? I’m not to sure about that, maybe one ‘checker’ uses green and another red. Or else the $2 shop has different colours on special on different weeks.
Have you ever wondered why a group of kangaroos will hop off , then the one standing next to the road jumps out just in front of you? I must admit I have wondered if they say to each other………..the fifth car is mine; or the third red car is mine. I’ve watched them in our paddocks (which I admit is a bit of a kangaroo paradise) and when they feel they have to move out in a hurry this is how it goes:
Mothers and babies move out first, babies will jump into pouches and mum jumps off while they are trying to turn around which means she is a bit erratic. Pretty funny watching mum jump awkardly while these long legs twist and turn!
Also mums with jumping babies will go, altho the mums often move away from the baby to make two targets.
Then the middle age group move out, all the time there are two lookouts who look continuously in opposite directions without moving.
As the last of the adult roo’s move off the two lookouts turn their head look at each other and the bare paddock and hop off in opposite directions.
That’s the bit where they jump out in front of you unfortunately – their job finishes just as you arrive – so its still deadly but not intentional.
Watching them is like watching a well choreographed dance routine. Roo’s are such well designed creatures too.
The way they move is magical. Looks impressive and when you look at the design who thought it up?
Innovative to say the least.
And the fact that they can save a pregnancy until a drought breaks – for years! Totally awesome in my book. And the way they blend into the bush makes camo clothing look clunky.
You can be almost on them and then just catch them stealthily moving off – even the kelpie has missed them! And that dog has a sharp eye.
I love going out in the morning and seeing them all standing around the house paddock eating – or drinking in the case of the joey’s.
Nothing so amusing as a roo standing there looking at you with a joey standing in front of her head in the pouch. They know they are safe from me.
I usually just say ‘Don’t worry it’s just mum’ and they all carry on.
If there is something else happening tho the mother’s must turn the milk off like a tap cause those joey heads come out of the pounches in a hurry and then the baby jumps in and they take off, or they move off together.
The big roo’s have fights to work out who are the bosses. Its hilarious watching a large roo take one of the juniors on.
Junior comes up all bluster and cops quite a few punches and kicks. Eventually junior goes off shaking his head. They make these deep coughing noises when they are about to have a punch up.
One night my daughter and I were outside near the cars and heard what we thought was the horse walking up – pitch black – so we walked towards him and then heard a cough nearby!
We were horrified – those big roo’s are BIG! And they don’t pull their punches, and have spurs that can rip you open. We froze!
Then started backing up to the car in a hurry.
As my daughter would say ‘Fudge!’
Normally they wouldn’t come up to us like that – but in the pitch dark when we walked out………I wouldn’t want to bet on how they’d behave.
I have to say though that if you hit a roo please move it off the road. So many times a baby or a mother gets hit and the other one hangs around and gets hit next. So sad.
Roo’s are notoriously hard to raise, they often die of shock. We have a group around here called L.A.O.K.O it stands for Looking After Our Koscioscko Orphans Wildlife Rescue Snowy Mountains.
They do a great job saving wildlife. There are lots of people who take in an orphan here or there. And a few people who take in all orphans. Its a huge job – I’m not up for it. But its also hard because you have to raise them to be wild animals not pets. Its pretty hard not to make them into pets when they are so cute, but then they can’t be released.
So don’t forget if you have any spare change when you’re driving through the Snowy Mountains area there are boxes for LAOKO and they need all they can get. And slow down so there are fewer orphans to start with.
We could talk about wombats too………..but thats a whole ‘nother story! 😉