Zoo staff raising orphan kangaroo, ‘Roody’

Chahinkapa Zoo Director Kathy Diekman and staff are helping to foster a baby kangaroo, Roody, pictured here with her dog, Peter.

Here we go again! Chahinkapa Zoo staff are successfully raising little Roody, the kangaroo Joey. Roody’s mother died in early December and her baby was thriving in the pouch. It does not take long for a pouch to cool off and in the short while it took l us to find the situation little Roody was ice cold. Thanks to fast acting and experienced staff, he is doing well in a man-made pouch worn in a swag on the zookeepers.

Kangaroos need a very specific milk replacer and we import it from Australia. Roody also must be kept very warm as mother kangaroos control the temperature of the pouch naturally.

Addy Paul, lead keeper, is Roody’s primary surrogate and occasionally Roody goes home with others. I won’t mention them all as housing landlords may be reading this. Smile. Tuesday night we took a turn. Our dog, Peter, has seen his share of different species through the years and in fact seemed an old pro with Roody after having Barkley in our home so many nights.

Roody has been making his rounds with keepers and I on radio shows, at assisted living facilities and nursing homes. He also visited each classroom at St. John’s School with Addy. It is a good opportunity to educate on this magnificent species and also to inform many about the horrific plight of Australia animals in the wildfires.

For more information on Australia rescues, visit wires.org.au.

Kathy Diekman, director of Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton

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