Kangaroo and Joey

This post is for the benefit of my overseas friends and followers.  While not all Australians get to see this site regularly I’m very blessed to live in an area where I can see kangaroos in the wild (well, it’s a national park) and get relatively close to them – close enough to photograph them.  I remain wary and watchful, they are wild animals after all and can be unpredictable, but all the same these ones are used to seeing humans in their territory on a regular basis.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Joey in pouch. Love it!

_DSC0041 _DSC0042 _DSC0043

Big old boys

I went with a group on a photowalk at Lysterfield last Saturday and we came across, a couple of times, two big old boy eastern grey kangaroos. One member obviously hadn’t been that close to a kangaroo before and was concerned for their safety. I explained that as long as the kangaroo didn’t feel cornered and could see ways to move away from us, then we weren’t in danger. We just needed to give them space and time to make their decision to move away if they felt we were too close. In the meantime we were able to get some decent shots. For those of you keen to get close shots please be aware I was using a super zoom lens so the kangaroo looks closer than what it actually is and yes, I was a safe distance from it.

One shot is taken in the bushland and another on the beach at the park.

Large male Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Eastern Grey bounding

Young bucks at play

As I headed towards one of my favourite conservation walks at Lysterfield I noticed a group of young male eastern grey kangaroos at play.

Young Bucks at play

Young Bucks at play

Young Bucks at play

Gotcha!

Eastern grey kangaroos

Kangaroos at Lysterfield Lake Park

I went for a walk on Saturday with my husband around the lake at the park. It’s a total of 5.5km and was a lovely surprise as I wasn’t sure if he’d be up to it. It was a cold but sunny and clear winter’s day – just great for walking in the sunlight.

Saw a few things I’d not seen before, and in particular, a couple of kangaroos mating.  In all the times I’ve walked around the park, I’ve never witnessed this event, although it’s evident it happens due to the number of young roos we see at the park.  It was funny, perhaps timely, that we should see this, as we’d been watching a program on the Taronga Zoo (Sydney) only the previous night, about the challenges the staff go through in introducing different animals to their mates and getting them to reproduce. I do have a couple of video clips too but they’re very shaky – I rarely carry a tripod with me and didn’t have anything to lean on where I was standing to witness this event.

Eastern Grey Male Kangaroo

Just finished inching his way up her back and ready to mount.

 

Kangaroos in the act of mating

Why people should not walk dogs in conservation parks

Take a look at this poor kangaroo.  When I saw it I thought it might have been diseased and took photos to send to park rangers so they could capture it for treatment to ensure that other roos weren’t going to get infected too. What I found out once showing the photo to the Parks Vic employee was that kangaroo did have an infection, but not from a disease. Rather it was from a dog bite. Note the swollen jaw and torn ear. The poor thing.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are signs on our conservation park entrances that dogs are not allowed in the parks, and yet, time after time, whenever I’ve been walking at Lysterfield Lake Park, I’ve frequently seen people walking their dogs in the park on the tracks, often without a leash on. Other times I’ve seen them playing with their dogs on the picnic grounds. What makes them think they can ignore the rules? What makes them think they know better than the rangers who look after the park? The trouble is, the rangers have set working hours and it doesn’t include evenings (in the spring-autumn seasons when it’s still light) or the weekends. Consequently people think they can do anything they like because there is no-one around that they have to answer to. This also includes the enormous amount of rubbish that is just dumped on evenings and weekends at the park.  I’m sure other parks must suffer the same.

The employee I spoke to was busy picking up rubbish left from the previous evening by those who have no respect for the grounds they so freely get to use and not have to pay for.  He was checking out a young kangaroo that was on its own, i.e. no mum nearby, it had been in the water and he was concerned for its health and safety. When I remarked it looked like it had been in the water he said they go into the water for safety when being chased by something, most likely a dog.  I told him then about the roo I’d seen and he asked to see the photos. When he saw it he said the swollen jaw was most likely from a dog bite and he asked where he could find it. I directed him to where I last saw the roo and he went off in search of it.

There have been times when I’ve walked along the dam wall at Lysterfield Lake and seen two large dogs running along the grounds at the base of the wall. I must admit I’ve been concerned for my own safety when no sight of the owner was evident and I didn’t know how safe those dogs might be.

Clearly there are people who don’t give a damn about nature, conservation of nature and the fact that their dogs should be restrained when out of their homes, and not allowed in a conservation park in the first place.