WILDLIFE

Kind Woman Helps an Orphaned Animal, Surprised to Realize it was a RARE Wallaby

A few months ago, midway through October, a Good Samaritan found a tiny, orphaned baby on the side of Stuart Highway, near Mataranka, Australia.

The confused passerby grabbed the little animal and devotedly drove him to a wildlife carer nine hours away. Face to face with the fuzzy guy, the experienced carer had no idea what type of animal he was.

She sent a photo to Kristie Argall, another expert from Wildcare Inc. NT. But Argall was equally stumped.

wallaby

“I was also puzzled by him,” Argall told The Dodo. “I had never seen a wallaby like this before.”Argall messaged a photo to the president of Wildcare Inc. to see if they might know.

Soon, they had an answer. The wayward animal, now named Stuart Little, was a spectacled hare-wallaby — a rarity in the area.Spectacled hare-wallabys are marsupials native to Australia.

According to Australian Geographic, these animals are known for the bright golden coloring around their eyes, as well as their ability to withstand extremely hot temperatures.

wallaby

Animal experts couldn’t believe it. Stuart’s veterinarian hadn’t seen a spectacled hare-wallaby in his clinic in over 10 years.“There is only a very small population of spectacled hare-wallabys in Mataranka, where Stuart was found,” Argall said.

“I have previously lived in Mataranka for one year without seeing one. There are populations in other areas of the Northern Territory, but compared to more common species of macropod, they are few and far between.”Everyone was amazed by Stuart’s one-of-a-kind coloring and physique.“

The first time I met him, I was in awe of him,” Argall said. “I had never seen a macropod so small with fur. His gorgeous spectacled eyes were so unique. I held his whole body in my hands and I could not believe how tiny he was.”

woman holding wallaby

Safe with rescuers, Stuart’s personality soon began to shine.

“He loves to stick his nose right up and smell the fresh air and bushland surrounding,” Argall said.

“He is sweet and gentle, with a cheeky side too. He waves his tongue around in the air at bottle time — it always makes me laugh. He can be quite dramatic.”

wallaby

When he’s ready, Stuart will be integrated into a program at Territory Wildlife Park, where experienced carers and conservationists will ensure he has everything he needs to thrive.

It’s clear that Stuart’s surprise arrival has impacted so many for the better. “He is just gorgeous,” Argall said. “He certainly reminds us to appreciate the simple things in life.

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