top of page

the Breeze

Please send us your comments

Thanks! Message sent.

new logo.jpg



Kangaroos are not native to our SMBI Islands. However, there is a family of them continually living on Russell Island and being cared for by animal lover Michelle McCarthy. Michelle has been involved with animal care in various ways for many years. “I started out volunteering with the RSPCA on the mainland a long time ago. “It was too difficult to stay involved when we moved to the islands about seven years ago,” Michelle told The Friendly Bay Islander. “It was the best thing we ever did!” Michelle then joined an organisation called BARN (Brisbane Area Rescue Network) and ever since has been caring and minding small Australian animals, mostly kangaroos and possums. Michelle is given the very smallest to care for and has become expert in the upbringing of Kangaroo Joeys in particular. The animals that Michelle cares for are all orphaned, for various reasons. They are all very tiny, and they stay in her care until they are about 10 kg in weight. Because there is a huge weight and size transition, Michelle has been expert in feeding the small Australian native animals. “With Kangaroos, I feed the little ones Womaroo milk several times a day by hand. “As they grow larger, I then add progressively chaff (yes, the stuff horses eat), Weetbix, rolled oats, and, believe it or not, cat litter!” Fruit and other vegetables are added, too. To care for them, the small animals get to live with Michelle, her partner and her father, in the lounge room of their Russell Island home. She has a humidicrib and special hanging pouches to house and care for the little Joeys. You would think Michelle would get some financial assistance to do all this, but BARN volunteers pay for all the foods and equipment required. “There is no funding, and we provide everything including bottles, the milk, medication and equipment.” Michelle does receive help from Russell Island Pharmacist Don Frost, and Supa IGA when it comes to some of the fresh fruit and vegetables that are required. All the Joeys and possums that Michelle cares for are all returned to the wild on the mainland. “You do get attached to them They are so cute and lovely. “However, we know that they need to get back to their natural environment. “It does hurt and there are always a few tears.They are really very special.” Michelle McCarthy intends to keep caring for our Aussie wildlife. “I love them and I love helping them.” Well done Michelle!

• Michelle McCarthy with some of her Joeys in her special pram, headed for a check to the mainland!

bottom of page