Baby Kangaroo Hero’s Amazing Role as ‘Mum’

Chris ’Brolga’ Barns heard only the sounds of his shoes scuffing along the ground as he stepped out of his car and walked down the roadside toward the body of an adult female kangaroo who had died from the impact of a car.

Having worked as a zookeeper from the time he was a teenager, Brolga knew there was a chance that the kangaroo was a mother. Sure enough, as he knelt down to inspect the inside of her pouch, two eyes looked back at him. In that instant Brolga knew he would have to take over the role of “mum” to one little joey.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

Brogla took the little one home with him and began making a regular practice of pulling his car over to check the pouches of deceased kangaroos. But he soon realized that wasn’t enough. He wanted to educate others to do the same.

“I decided education would be my life – teaching people how to become kangaroo rescuers themselves,” Brogla said.

And today, he’s doing just that.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

As star of the BBC documentary series Kangaroo Dundee, Brogla’s messages about wildlife protection are broadcast in over 90 countries. Brogla’s Kangaroo Sanctuary in central Australia’s Alice Springs is home to 30 orphaned kangaroos at the moment, and is his base of operations. Most of the kangaroos he cares for were brought in as orphaned joeys, some of them who lost their mothers during hunts by Aboriginal people.

“When they heard about this tall skinny bloke (who) set up this place in town where people can drop a baby kangaroo, they would travel out of their way – in the car with 10 people and three dogs and a baby kangaroo that they’re bringing in to give me,” Brogla said during an interview with One Plus One.

But when it comes to the rescue and raising of orphaned joeys, photos tell the story better than any words ever could.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

“Favourite photo of mine from a while back,” Brogla said. “Taking my baby kangaroos with me to visit friends. Baby kangaroos feel safe, comfortable and secure hanging in their pouches.”

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

Maddi and Sebastian are learning how to eat grass.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

When Brogla has to drive into town, the littlest joeys come with him.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

Kangaroo milk all around.

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

Baby Kangaroo Hero's Amazing Role as 'Mum'

“One of the reason I saw a need for our own Kangaroo Hospital is that it’s pretty difficult transporting a heavy old kangaroo like my gorgeous Little Miss into the vet in town and sitting in the waiting room with her. Lucky she is ok and has recovered well from a leg injury,” Brogla said.

Today, Brogla is also building Central Australia’s first wildlife hospital. To learn more, visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary website.

Credit for all photos: The Kangaroo Sanctuary / Facebook


John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks Laura for sharing this wonderful story, along with the info, great pics and links.

Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba2 years ago

I love kangaroos, koalas, and dingos, need to visit Australia.

Sue H.
.2 years ago

Thank goodness for such an inspiring human being rescuing and nurturing all those Joeys!

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

federico bortoletto

Una storia bellissima.

Maria Papastamatiou

Congratulations! Great job!

jill Campbell
jill Campbell2 years ago

He is a very kind and caring person......but he refers to the Joey's as "my" Little Miss, "my" babies. They are not "yours"....and I hope that you are caring for them properly with the intension of setting them all free.

Vikki Drew
Vikki Drew2 years ago

As an Austealian, I appreciate so very much what this wonderful man does. Too many of these beautiful joey babies loose their mums and their lives.

It is heartening to read a story of a human rescuing these helpless, innocent babies. Unfortunately, a lot of these babies die due to commercial kangaroo shooting; very cruel.

I thank this man with all my heart

Jan W.
Jan W2 years ago

Wonderful story, great man!

Leo Custer
Leo C2 years ago

thank you for the information