We have been holidaying in our neighbouring Australian State of Victoria, showing many of the tourist attractions to a visiting friend from a neighbouring State on the other side of us, the vast State of Western Australia. This friend comes from the same area where I once raised kangaroos, and so when we heard at the local Information Centre that we could view a pair of these creatures that were just a little bit different, we were all interested.
A small animal reserve alongside a nearby family picnic spot contained some emus, and several varieties of ducks, some koalas and a large variety of birds. For us however, the most intriguing inhabitants were a pair of snow-white kangaroos. OK, so we are aware that there are albinos in almost all species of animals, although individual cases are quite rare – in fact estimated at one in 10,000 marsupials are born with albinism.
But these white kangaroos are not albinos – they are in fact, a breed - a genetic strain of the well known Western Grey. My research indicates they do not occur naturally in Western Australia, and the few existing in that State have been imported from the eastern states for breeding purposes. So that explains why they were not one of the many varieties I hand-reared. I have a photo of some of my ‘babies’ on Raising ‘Roos and even more in my stories Kangaroo R&R – Rescue and Rebirth and Ooroo the Kangaroo,
Such special creatures – such a blessing and honour to have been able to share a little of some of their lives.
Thanks to the curiosity of emus and their love of anything that sparkles or shines (or looks ‘different’ in any way) and insatiable compulsion to investigate, my photos of them had to be taken from my side of the fence, instead of pressing my camera through as I did for the wonderful white kangas.
I always find them a little scary, with their great big stary eyes, and the way they raise their heads up as tall as they can, and that beak always looks capable of inflicting pain. It’s not sharp – but it does seem to fit the description of a ‘blunt weapon’, and all the possibilities for damage that seems to promise.
But I do love their ‘talk’. It’s kind of like an air lock moving up a long pipe. In this case, a kind of ‘doonk-doonk-doonk’ rolling up or down their long neck. Hope you’re impressed with my attempt at writing down their sound. Believe me, it’s not easy – not even vocally!
Stay tuned for more holiday ‘animal’ stories.