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Rescued Kangaroo Can’t Stop Hugging The Volunteers Who Saved Her Life

Kangaroos are sweet, gentle, and affectionate creatures. Sometimes they can even seem human-like in their overt expressions of emotion, and more vulnerable than they actually are. (1) One literal depiction of how loving a kangaroo came out of Australia in 2017. In a series of Youtube videos, a thirteen-year-old female kangaroo, named ‘Queen Abi’ is affectionately giving hugs to the folks who originally rescued her.  Her love brings attention to kangaroo hunting, a problem that has left numerous joeys orphaned in the outback of Australia. (2)

The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Located outside of Alice Springs, the Kangaroo Sanctuary provides specialized care to kangaroos. More often than not, orphaned joeys from the hunting of kangaroos are taken to the center and rehabilitated to enter the wilderness. The founder of the Kangaroo Sanctuary, Chris Brolga, founded the facility after realizing the nearest wildlife rescue center and a hospital was over 1,500km away (not much animal care is available in the outback!). The non-profit sanctuary has 188 acres of land, a rescue center, and provides tours to visitors. (3)

Queen Abi

Though many animals can be friendly with humans, Queen Abi is a particularly special kangaroo. She offers hugs to the many people who look after her at the Kangaroo Sanctuary, an unusual level of contact for the species. However, kangaroos do have long memories and have on occasion been noted to form special relationships with human caregivers. To form these relationships, carers usually have to have almost daily contact with the kangaroo. For Abi, this makes sense as she has been living at the sanctuary for over a decade and has had lots of time to get to know the humans around her. Abi is also known to hop, wildly, up to humans she knows for a hug and kiss!

As a whole though, the kangaroos at this Australian wildlife facility are darling. Check out their Facebook page for hours of loveable kangaroo pictures and videos. Each kangaroo there also seems genuinely card for and adored for the volunteers and employees. Abi is definitely a part of a large, loving kangaroo and human family.

Kangaroo Hunting Is Big Business

Many Australian’s believe kangaroos are over-populated in the outback, as the natural predators of the species have diminished over time. Therefore, the sale of kangaroo meat, hides, and leather is generally condoned by residents. A sub-group of locals even feel that kangaroo meat is a more environmentally friendly alternative than other meat sources. Overall, the export of kangaroo products makes up a $29 million dollar a year export business, and funds over 4,000 jobs for the Oceania country. (5)

Bolgra’s sanctuary falls on the opposite side of this conversation, showing a more devastating side to quota-based culls of kangaroos. Joey’s often grow slowly, and even if well-nurtured, many are believed to die early on. The life of a joey is strongly threatened when their mother is shot. In order for the kangaroo species to continue, joeys and their mothers need to live. Unfortunately, Bolgra and others against kangaroo hunting are with a minority of Australians, as the demand for kangaroo products expands globally. Hopefully, Queen Abi, spreading her message of love, will bring more attention to the plight of Australia’s kangaroos and show why this species is worth caring about! (5)

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