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Desperate plea after 'bloody sad' mistake with rescued joey

A wildlife rescuer is pleading with people to not keep wildlife animals as pets.

A wildlife rescuer is pleading with people to stop keeping joeys as pets after rescuing a "vulnerable" kangaroo from a home in Melbourne.

"She was in a garage on a concrete floor. Just hunched over and looking miserable. It was awful ... I cried as I held her," Krysti Severi from Rescue Rehabilitate Release told Yahoo News Australia.

Wildlife rescuer Krysti Severi is pleading with people to not keep joeys as pets, with a picture of sores on the joeys elbows (left) and the kangaroo hunched over looking somber (right).
Wildlife rescuer Krysti Severi is pleading with people to not keep joeys as pets due to the 'fickle' nature of their care. Source: Krysti Severi

The joey, believed to be only nine months old, was surrounded by her own excrement and dehydrated, as well as having an extreme case of thrush which causes a distinctly "intrusive" smell.

Krysti retrieved the joey on Wednesday night from a property in Meadow Heights, situated in the city's north, and although the family told her they had found the kangaroo "hopping along the street" within the last 24 hours, signs indicated she had been "held longer" inside the home.

Joeys 'not for your entertainment'

The rescuer confirmed the joey is currently in a "critical condition" and only time will tell whether she survives as there is so much Krysti doesn't know, like what she has been fed or how long she has been indoors.

"The family were very evasive, sort of matter of fact — just there it is, get out of my house type thing ... I couldn't get her out quick enough ... So bloody sad," she said.

The kangaroo can be seen inside a blanket with its arms and ears sticking out.
The joey is in a 'critical' condition and is being cared for around the clock by the wildlife rescuer. Source: Krysti Severi

Krysti believes the trend of sharing pictures of "cute" wildlife online is encouraging some Aussies to keep joeys despite the dire consequences for the animal.

"It's always been around, but I find that it's a little bit more [recently] ... There's been a lot of social media, where people will put up cute little videos of joeys and the amount of comments that you see, it's all, 'I want one, I want one.'"

"It's this whole ideology of, 'Oh, it's gonna be so cool having a kangaroo'. But no, it's not. It's so stressful. They're not a pet, they're not for ownership."

Due to joeys relying on intensely specific care from their mums, it is difficult to emulate their ideal living conditions which allow them to thrive, therefore they are "fickle" to care for.

Joeys spend the majority of their time inside their mother's pouches and only leave to "stretch their legs" for a couple of short intervals each day.

If a wild animal is injured or appears misplaced, contacting a local wildlife rescue will give the animal the best chance of survival — with the International Fund Animal Welfare (IFAW) app a tool helpful for pinpointing the nearest wildlife group in the area.

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