Garry from Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary with Eastern Grey Kangaroos.
Garry from Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary with Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Mike Richards GLA170217ROOS

Heartbreaking journey after dogs, farmers slaughter roos

KANGAROOS are pinching cows' grass and outraging farmers across Australia, according to a local wildlife carer.

Horizon's Kangaroo Sanctuary wildlife carers Garry and Denise McLean said humans and dogs were the biggest threat to the extinction of the kangaroo.

"Humans and domestic dogs are kangaroos' biggest enemy," he said.

"Kangaroos eat grass and cows eat grass and farmers shoot kangaroos because they eat the grass from the cows.

"My theory is meat is bad for you. The government wants more and more cows and the problem is we've done a free trade agreement with China and we'll sell China a lot of meat so the cattle industry is getting bigger and bigger.

"So there's a lot of Australians not looking after native animals."


Mr McLean said Agnes Water was a good place for kangaroos because of the lack of farming and threats to their species.

At the sanctuary, the kangaroos roam free with the house not off limits and the ocean as their only fence.

The McLeans dedicated more than a decade of their lives caring for orphaned joeys with round the clock care.

With about nine joeys currently living in the house with them, Mr McLean said they received orphaned joeys whose mothers had been killed by cars.

"We get babies from about 500g up to 2kg," he said.

"The smaller they are, the more chance they have of survival because mum's pouch protects them more."

Mr McLean said they spent from 6am until midnight every day caring for the joeys who required full time care until they were 18 months old.

"It's pretty full on," he said.

"A while back we were doing 56 bottles a day, like 20 hours a day.

"They all have different bottles at different times of the day. The bigger ones have four bottles a day and the big big ones have two bottles a day."

And it is not just feeding that kangaroos require. The constant cleaning of their man made pouches and toilet training keeps the wildlife carers busy.

Mr McLean said when they had a lot of joeys in care, they go through $1000 in toilet paper.

"When we have babies, we toilet them on our lap," he said. "When they're in mum's pouch, she opens the pouch and licks colita and stimulates the baby to go.

"We give them a bottle on our lap and we stimulate them with toilet paper. They do a poo and wee and it keep pouches clean."

Raising the kangaroos with donations from visitors, Mr McLean said it was an expensive and time consuming job.

The passionate carers said they run 'kangaroo experiences' where people could hand feed the kangaroos and joeys.

"We've raised well over 150 kangaroos ... every day there's different kangaroos here," he said.


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