Story behind heartwarming 'nice moment' captured in Aussie outback

It's not every day you see interactions with Aussie wildlife quite like this one.

Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot Mick Young pictured. Young was catapulted into the spotlight over an image of him holding hands with a kangaroo.
Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot Mick Young has revealed the touching story behind this viral image taken with a kangaroo. Source: RFDS/ABC

An Aussie pilot has revealed the touching story behind a "beautiful" viral photo that captured hearts all over the world, showing the volunteer hand-in-hand with a curious kangaroo.

Royal Flying Doctor Service volunteer Mick Young said he was working at an airbase in Port Augusta in South Australia earlier this month when "this young female roo wandered quietly up" and began interacting with him and a colleague.

Young said that off-camera, the kangaroo actually first "introduced" herself to his colleague, Dave, placing her "head on his right shoulder" and her "paw on his left shoulder". Moments later, she turned to Young, when the now-viral image was snapped.

Curious roo 'wanted human interaction'

"Dave gave it a pat, but unfortunately we didn't get that bit of footage," Young told ABC News Breakfast. "We weren't quite sure what was going on — we thought 'maybe it needs a drink' so we grabbed some water and gave it a drink, but you could see that wasn't its primary focus.

"It really just wanted human interaction, and that started [us] questioning whether this was actually a wild kangaroo or an orphan-raised one that got away. The slight hint of shampoo gave it away, it had more meat on it than I had. It was obviously a pet.

"Once it interacted with Dave it walked around and I put my hand out.. and that's the footage you've seen — it was a nice moment."

Pilot pictured in the outback holding the paw of the kangaroo.
It doesn't get much sweeter than this. Source: Dave Rose/Facebook

'Nice moment' not the first time roo sought human company

Young said that wild kangaroos wouldn't normally ever approach humans in this manner, unless they were extremely thirsty. "Certainly not put their paw in your hand and introduce themselves, it's not a common thing really," he said.

"It was quite funny, I saw her a couple of times [after], there's actually some footage of her in the terminal at the airport here, that was taken about a week later, where a young lady was opening up the terminal and [she] wandered in.

Mick Young is pictured. He said he suspects the roo grew up in captivity and was more than happy to
Mick Young said he suspects the roo grew up in captivity and was more than happy to 'introduce itself' to himself and a colleague. Source: ABC

"I'm sure i've seen it a couple of times bounding across the road. Different to the way other kangaroos would, this was bounding like it hadn't run before. It's obviously relishing its freedom out of the yard it had grown up in."

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