If you see a dead kangaroo on the road, check if there is a joey in the pouch. Mum may be dead, but the joey may not be. Please be aware of your own safety if pulling off a busy road.
If you find a live joey in a deceased female kangaroo, remove it gently from the pouch. If it has a firm clasp on the teat you may need to cut the teat from the kangaroo, but make sure the cut end has a safety pin or similar so it cannot be swallowed.
Wrap the joey in a soft towel (if you like, you can rub the towel over the mother’s body first to make it smell of the mother) and keep the joey warm using either the warmth of your body or a hot water bottle wrapped in another blanket. Furless joeys are like premature babies: they are unable to regulate their body temperature.
Common mistakes and how to prevent them:
- Noise causes stress, which can kill. Keep the joey quiet, do not play with it, and keep it away from children, pets and loud noises.
- Do not force-feed a joey or offer it cows’ milk, as this will cause diarrhoea.
- Joeys have to be properly toileted after feeding. If you do not have any experience toileting marsupials, please hand it over to a a marsupial rehabilitator as soon as possible.
Native Animal Rescue has experienced marsupial rehabilitators, and has other contacts that can assist with rehabilitating kangaroo joeys. Please bring the joey into NAR for an check-up, and we will then find the joey a carer.