A helpless baby rock wallaby has been filmed trying to pry its way into its dead mother’s pouch, as she lies decomposing on the side of road, crawling with ants.
The joey was spotted by travelling cyclist, Chris Rishworth, at Magnetic Island – an island and suburb of Townsville in north Queensland.
Mr Rishworth noticed the heartbreaking interaction, and placed the joey into the basket of his bike, taking her to the local wildlife rescue shelter.
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The baby rock wallaby was frightened and tried desperately to find her way back into her dead mother’s pouch
Rock wallabies have had a tough history in Australia, where they are virtually extinct many parts of the nation as they struggle to fend off feral predators and land clearing.
The conservation of wallabies on Magnetic Island has allowed for a strong colony to flourish, along with a handful of other colourful wildlife species including turtles, koalas and over 180 species of birds,.
On the video clip, Mr Rishworth says: ‘The joey’s still trying to suckle off the nipple … and ants are just eating the mother alive’.
‘I’ll have to take her to town, otherwise she’ll die soon’.
Unfortunately, it’s quite common to find baby wallabies attached to the teat of their dead mother – often due to roadkill.
Experts suggest that it’s better off cutting the teat off than risking damaging the baby’s mouth, stressing the importance of keeping the baby warm and immediately into the care of a professional.
Baby wallabies can die very easily from stress.
Thankfully, this precious little marsupial was taken care of quickly, and is expected to make a full recovery and integration back into the wild when it grows older.
Brought to the Wallaby Refuge on Magnetic Island, the owner said she was ‘fine physically but a very frightened little girl’, and would be receiving a lot of tender loving care to help her recover.
The baby wallaby was probably trying to suck from her mothers teat, despite her damaged condition
The wallaby was spotted on Magnetic Island, a tiny land mass just off the shore of Townsville, Queensland