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Kangaroos - The 100 Days Project: Day 20 [81]

The Story of Cooper and Merlot

You’ve seen photographs of them already in the posts for Day 6, Day 8, and yesterday (Day 19): two at-foot Eastern Grey Kangaroo joeys deeply and lovingly bonded. They were orphaned in the bushfires that devastated so much of southern Victoria on Black Saturday (February 7th) 2009, and met when they were each brought, separately, to the Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter, which had itself been destroyed in those same fires. Cooper, the taller, male, had been found, after the fire, in the vicinity of a brewery, and Merlot in a burned-out vineyard. They were inseparable from the moment they met: Stella Reid, who has provided the photographs, says it was a matter of love at first sight.

All photos in this post: Stella Reid

Quite literally, they grew up in the fires’ aftermath. As the months, and eventually years passed, the bush around them, black and leafless in the beginning, grew greener and began to thicken. You can use it to follow their ages in the photos below.

At Wildhaven they formed part of a family with two other roos and a wallaby named Alice, who appears to have been rather envious of their attachment:

Of course, the Black Saturday fires were almost nine years ago, and we can’t expect Cooper and Merlot to have stayed cute young joeys all that while. While they stayed very close to her during their teens –

– they are now getting close to ten years old. While she can still walk with them, Stella says, they now have children and grandchildren of their own to protect.

You’ll see more of them, as the weeks pass.

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