Please don't die, mum: The heart-wrenching moment a mother kangaroo reaches for her joey one last time - before dying in the arms of her male companion
This is the heart-wrenching moment a grieving male kangaroo cradles the head of his lifeless female companion as she reaches for her joey one last time underneath the shade of a mango tree.
Evan Switzer noticed the touching marsupial interaction while going for a walk on bushland property in River Heads, a coastal town close to Fraser Island in Queensland, on Monday morning.
Continue reading, see additional images, read about a relative of the kangaroo, the wallaby, sharing her lunch with a pigeon.
READ ALSO ABOUT AUSTRALIA'S CRUEL SLAUGHTER OF MILLIONS OF KANGAROOS. After the kangaroo mother is shot by commercial shooters, the joey is wrenched from its pouch and bashed to death or decapitated, while the at-foot dependent joeys are left to die as orphans from starvation, dehydration, stress, predation, exposure, etc
'I saw the male pick up the female, he looked like he was just trying to get her up and see what was wrong with her,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'He would lift her up and she wouldn't stand she'd just fall to the ground, he'd nudge her, stand besides her ... it was a pretty special thing, he was just mourning the loss of his mate.'
See here how her baby reclines his head in sorrow.
The mother's lifeless body is propped up at the neck by the male - who appears to look solemnly ahead, overcome with sadness.
The baby kangaroo can do little but hold out his claws and touch his mother softly, before standing upright to her side in a protective stance.
Mr Switzer - a keen photographer who has been walking in the area with his dog twice a day for close to ten years - first noticed the kangaroos after hearing an unusual 'thumping sound.'
He raced back home to grab his camera and returned to find the protective male in the same position.
'I’ve travelled around a bit and you see a lot of dead roos on the side of the road – but I've never seen anything like that before,' he said.
'The male would chase the other kangaroos that came around away – he was sort of protective over the female.'
Mr Switzer was unsure how the female - who had no visible wounds - ended up limp on the grass.
EASTERN GREY KANGAROO FAMILY LIFE
Eastern Grey Kangaroos are an iconic marsupial mammal that belongs to a small group called macropods
- They live in groups of 10 or more in a home range of up to five kilometres in eastern Australia
- Males can grow up to 1.3 metres tall while females grow up to one metres tall
- The tendons in the legs of kangaroos act like sprung ropes and help propel the animal at fast speed with minimum effort. The highest recorded speed was set by a female Eastern Grey Kangaroo at 64km/hr
- Being nocturnal, large ‘mobs’ will gather at dusk to feed where food is most abundant
- They are herbivorous, favouring grasses but will eat a range of plants, including in some cases, fungi
- Breeding is continuous throughout the year and reaches a peak in summer
- The newborn ‘joey’ which weighs less than one gram is born thirty six days after mating. It climbs unaided into the pouch and shortly afterwards attaches to one of the four teats
- The young kangaroo is raised in the pouch until it can survive outside. At about nine months the joey will begin to leave the pouch but continues to suckle from time to time
Source: Australian Museum Via Daily Mail
A wallaby, a similar kind of marsupial, is shown here offering her lunch to a pigeon at an animal park.
GIANT KANGAROO LOVES STUFFED BUNNY TOY AND WILL ATTACK ANYONE WHO TRIES TO TAKE IT AWAY
Read more and see more pictures
THE TRUTH ABOUT KANGAROOS
AUSTRALIANS CRUELLY SLAUGHTERING MILLIONS OF KANGAROOS