As I mentioned in this initial post about our visit to Coober Pedy, we made a stop at a kangaroo sanctuary (to see some baby kangaroos), or more specifically Josephine’ Gallery which, as described, is “Coober Pedy’s only one-stop tourist complex.” There’s a fair bit more to it than that though, and that is the primary focus of this post.
Or baby kangaroos. Baby kangaroos are commonly called joeys, but sadly, these ones don’t get to live in their mothers pouches.
It really depends on your preference, but either way, they are amazingly cute little things. The orphanage which rescues these kangaroos has a range of different ages, sizes and genders, but all of them have been rescued from the outback for whatever reason. It might be that their parents were killed in a road accident (one of the things which makes the Stuart Highway dangerous at night is wildlife), or it could even be that they themselves were injured and have been taken in for rehabilitation.
The baby kangaroos at the orphanage are usually shown to the public a couple of times a day, as well as some of the larger kangaroos. Eventually, once they’ve recovered or are large enough to once again fend for themselves, they get released back into the wild. Consider that a male red back kangaroo can tower over a fully grown man and you soon come to realise why the orphanage can’t keep these guys around forever.
Not all of the kangaroos are the sanctuary are taken in as babies, or released when they’re still young. These guys are still relatively young but they were quite friendly and playful.
‘Scuse the lighting. You may or may not know (I didn’t) but when taking pictures of animals it’s better to turn off your flash so that you don’t blind/startle them. That’s why I only have the soft reddish light to brighten these guys up.
Tweaking colour balance in photoshop is amazing if you want to get a clearer picture of a young stud.
These kangaroos we’re pretty amazing guys, and if you drop by the gallery (which you should), you’ll get to not only see them in person, but learn more about them, their individual stories, and the stories that Terry and Josephine have to share with you.
Anyway, a little later on and the highlight of the night came along.
Joeys tend to rely on their mothers, just like most animals do. Baby kangaroos are no different, but when they’re separated due to death or injury, as sad as it might be, someone else has to step in. The result looks a lot like this. And by a lot, I mean exactly like this:
The little fella took a while to wake up, and probably ended up a little bit scared to find a group of big ugly humans eyeballing him. We didn’t frighten him too much though, as before long he finally found his feet and began jumping around the sanctuary.
At the end of the day we got to see a bunch of cool kangaroos, a baby kangaroo (being fed too, not bad!) and heard a whole bunch of interesting stories. The guys that run Josephines Gallery don’t do this for profit, they do it to help the animals. As a result any donations are always kindly welcome, as is any other support you might have to give. So you can at least follow these guys on facebook, and in return you’ll get to see a bunch more awesome baby kangaroos; they live and work there, I only stopped by 🙂
Even if kangaroos aren’t your thing (which they should be, but I won’t judge you!) then there are other things to see and do at the gallery, and you can find out more about the place on their website. Just a tip, the aboriginal art is pretty awesome. If I could create art that good I’d probably be a millionaire right about now.