(MARSUPIALS) AUSTRALIA — A 5-month-old baby kangaroo, Anzac, and a 5-month-old wombat named Peggy have become the best of friends. The unlikely pair of marsupials bonded after both their mothers were hit by cars. They share a man-made pouch together and spend their days cuddling like siblings. Look below for more on Peggy and Anzac and their incredible bond. — Global Animal
USA Today, Jillian Eugenios
When Anzac, an orphaned 5-month-old kangaroo, was found in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne, Australia, rescuers thought he looked a little lonely.
Anzac’s mother had been hit by a car. Thanks to the safety of her pouch, Anzac survived even though his mother did not. In order to comfort him, workers at the Wildlife Kilmore Rescue Center introduced him to Peggy, a 5-month-old baby wombat whose mother was also killed after being hit by a car. The two, who are both marsupials, shared a pouch together and have become inseparable.
Lisa Milligan, the owner and operator of the rescue center and shelter, told TODAY.com that injured animals usually come in at night because marsupials are nocturnal and are hit when drivers don’t see them.
Car accidents are the most common cause of death to marsupials, as urbanization has caused traffic and animals to collide in what were once rural areas. Milligan said she goes out on 10 to 15 rescues per week.
TODAY.com reported last week on Caddy, an 18-month-old wombat who was rescued after her mom was run over as well. She won the hearts of people around the world when photos emerged of her poking her head out of a pouch that rescue volunteers had made for her.
Anzac and Peggy have become fast friends due to their complementary personalities, according to rescuers. Anzac, with his doe eyes and soft fur, is described as very social. Peggy, on the other hand, is rambunctious and sassy.
According to Milligan, the baby animals she takes in are usually very friendly and often grateful for affection and food. “These animals totally trust you because they know you’re helping them,” Milligan said. Just three weeks ago, rescuers saved a kangaroo out of a dumpster. “Within 2 days he was putting his arms around rescuer’s necks and cuddling, showing no aggression and taking baby bottles.”
The shelter goes through an average of 40 bottles each day, which are specially formulated for marsupials. Anzac is on four bottles per day and Peggy is on five.
Though Anzac and Peggy are cuddle buddies now, the two will have trouble fitting into their man-made pouch once they really get growing. It may be especially challenging for Peggy to keep up with Anzac, as kangaroos can reach well over 100 pounds and leap across the landscape at over 25 miles per hour. Wombats, on the other hand, are known for their burrowing and are smaller, weighing in at around 50 pounds. They are slow, and tend to waddle rather than leap.
In the meantime, the pair share their nursery with two baby wallabies and five other joeys. Anzac and Peggy fit right in, as the other joeys snuggle each other as well. “They feel each other, they touch noses, they groom each other, they’ll suckle on each other’s ears,” said Milligan. “They bond to each other very quickly.”
And even with the difference in size and speed, Milligan said it’s likely Anzac and Peggy will remain friends. “If they grow up together they’ll stay together,” she said.