4 min read

People Find The Tiniest Hand Reaching Out For Help

"I am now his mum."

A car hit the kangaroo and sped off, leaving the animal lying on the roadside. By the time someone saw and called for help, the kangaroo was nearly dead.

Melanie Fraser, a rescue worker with Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network and Wildlife Victoria in Australia, rushed to the scene. But it was too late for the kangaroo — she died shortly after Fraser’s arrival.

But in the midst of this tragedy, another life was saved — when Fraser checked the kangaroo’s pouch, she found a tiny, pink baby.  

Baby kangaroo inside mother's pouch
Melanie Fraser

The baby, whom Fraser named Dawson, was already working himself out of his mom’s pouch, waving his little pink arm around in the air. It was a good thing she found him when she did, Fraser explained.

“Had he been left much longer, ants or the elements would have eventually killed him,” Fraser told The Dodo.

Fraser scooped up Dawson, who was probably a couple months old, and delivered him to Christine Gilmore, a wildlife rehabilitation worker. Since then, Gilmore has been doing everything she can to help Dawson — feeding him, cleaning him and keeping him warm.

“I am now his mum,” Gilmore told The Dodo.

Rescue baby kangaroo
Melanie Fraser

Gilmore also paired Dawson with another orphaned baby kangaroo named Nelson so he’d have someone to cuddle with.

“Nelson is a little bigger than him, and they will grow together and be released together,” Gilmore said.

Rescue baby kangaroo
Melanie Fraser

Kangaroos need to stay with their human carers for about 18 months to two years, and they can only be released once they’re no longer reliant on people.

“He will eventually be introduced into his own little mob of orphans, including the one he is currently buddied up with,” Fraser said. “Slowly, he will have less and less interaction with his carer until he is deemed to be a wild kangaroo who is capable of surviving without human intervention.”

Two baby kangaroos
Dawson and his buddy Nelson | Christine Fraser

Dawson is already well on his way to growing up.

“He is doing great, and this morning, one of his eyes opened,” Gilmore said.

While both Dawson and Nelson managed to survive their mothers’ deaths, other kangaroo babies aren’t so lucky. That’s why it’s important to always check the pouch of a dead or injured female kangaroo, as well as other marsupials like koalas, wombats and possums — and opossums if you’re in the U.S.

Rescued baby kangaroo
Melanie Fraser
For more information about how to help injured Australian wildlife, visit Wildlife Victoria’s website. You can also help the organization rescue and rehabilitate more kangaroo babies like Dawson by making a donation.