Cats Protection Inverurie


Kangaroo wins award for saving farmer CANBERRA

A kangaroo named Lulu is to receive a national bravery award after raising the alarm to save an Australian farmer knocked unconscious by a fallen tree branch.

Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, last September when he was hit by a falling branch.

In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children's television series Skippy, in which a kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, Lulu began barking until Richards' wife came to investigate, said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 metres (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the kangaroo.

Richards was taken to hospital to be treated for minor head injuries. The RSPCA has given Lulu its animal valour award to recognise the kangaroo's heroic act with a certificate to be presented to Richards at a ceremony next month. "What she did really was exceptional," RSPCA spokeswoman Jenny Hodges said on Wednesday. Lulu was reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother's pouch and fed her on bottles after her mother was killed by a car over four years ago.

A mother kangaroo was dying.
Beside the road they found her lying.
And when beside her they did crouch,
They found a joey in her pouch.

The Richards' took the young Roo home.
They couldn't leave her there alone!
The family reared her as a pet,
And Lulu was the name she'd get.

She'd follow Len around the farm
And soon became his good luck charm
For when a branch fell on his head
He lay unconscious - as if dead.

When Lulu saw he'd come to harm
She barked and barked, to raise the alarm.
The family were at once alerted,
For the barking now was quite concerted.

They found her there beside her master.
Did her quick response avert disaster?
If Lulu had not been their guide,
Perhaps he could have even died!

Such loyalty deserves great praise,
Though kangaroos would rather graze.
But with a medal in her paw,
She'll be a legend that's for sure.

And maybe somewhere in her mind
That Roo has traveled back in time
And seen a human in a crouch,
Lift a joey from its pouch.

Bill Charlton ©2003
Australian Poet