Australian wildlife carer gives orphaned baby kangaroos teddy bears to play with

Gillian Abbott says the joeys respond to the soft toys 'in the same way as a toddler'

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A wildlife carer in Australia is giving orphaned baby kangaroos teddy bears on strings to make them feel like they have a companion.

Gillian Abbott, who runs a business rescuing and nursing abandoned joeys, finds they respond to the bears "in the same way as a toddler" because it is "like a companion" to them.

A picture taken by Ms Abbott featuring an orphaned Eastern Grey Kangaroo named Doodlebug went viral on Twitter on Tuesday after it was tweeted by her son.

Tim Beshara, a political adviser to Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, tweeted the picture his mother Gillian, a wildlife carer, took while caring for her joeys. It was retweeted by his boss and subsequently went viral.

He explained to the Daily Mail Australia that Doodlebug had been abandoned as a new born. He said: "'He may have fallen out of his mother's pouch or his mother may have died. He was a couple of months old when he was passed onto my mother's wildlife company WIRES.

"She has since nursed it back to health and it is now hopping around the forest and coming back for the occasional feeding or cuddle, as the image shows." 

He insisted the picture was not staged, saying his mother had used teddy bears as company for the orphaned animals in her care “for years”.

Mr Beshara also said he had been corrected by his mother and the photo was not a wallaby as he had first assumed.

"It was pretty embarrassing given my background in science." he said.

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