Hurrah for Lulu the hero 'roo!

In a story that made the news worldwide, Lulu is a kangaroo that saved a Morwell farmer's life. She may be up for an RSPCA National Bravery Award. She apparently made a "noise which sounded like a dog barking" to alert the farmer's family that he was in trouble after a branch hit him on the head during a storm. The medics say he may not have survived if not for Lulu's call. Lulu had been rescued by the farmer's son ten years ago as a joey, but she was not a pet: She comes and goes as she pleases but would often show up at the back door for a feed of Teddy Bear biscuits and milk. The family says she'll be getting silver service from now on, and who's to say she doesn't deserve it?

Now, what impresses me about this story is not so much her so-called 'bravery' (it's not like she was in any danger herself), but the fact that she cared. She was still more or less a wild animal, but felt enough connection to this farmer to know he was in trouble and cared enough to call for help and stay by his side until it came. This provides some much needed positive publicity for kangaroos in contradiction to the kangaroo industry's hysteria over plagues of marauding animals which the media usually so unquestioningly accepts. So, I celebrate not her intelligence or her courage, but her compassion. Well may she be hailed a hero!

But I'm not going to let the media off altogether. I read three separate Australian reports on her and got three different stories. (I've given up tracking the versions now the story has gone worldwide.) The government-owned (but fiercely independent and usually reliable) Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, in a story straight out of Skippy, that she banged on the family's door (with her head?) until they came out and she led them to the prone man. I discounted this version as too melodramatic and my account above is based on the other two articles.

Update

29 April 2004
Lulu the Kangaroo is going to be honoured with the RSPCA's National Animal Valour Award. She will be the first marsupial to have been honoured with this award. Congratulations Lulu! Lulu also has her own website. Learn more about her at www.luluthekangaroo.com.au/.


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