By Jessica Hehir-Smith via SWNS
A mum rescued an orphaned baby kangaroo from her mother's pouch after she was hit by a car and is now nursing the joey back to health - in her top.
Julie Giovinazzo, 52, jumped into action after she was called to a road accident and realized the dead female had a tiny joey in her pouch.
She took the baby in and began the mammoth task of playing kangaroo mum and nursing the tiny marsupial back to health.
Over the last five months, Julie has been caring for the baby kangaroo she named Kiki, feeding her with specialized milk filled with nutrients.
Julie, from Perth, Australia, bought heated joey sacks made of cotton to keep Kiki warm and avoid irritating her hairless skin.
She also keeps Kiki, a western grey kangaroo, inside her top all day to replicate her mother’s pouch - whilst making dinner, running errands, and even brushing her teeth.
The stay-at-home mum has to be very careful to keep enough distance so that Kiki can be returned to the wild.
Western grey kangaroos will remain in their mother’s pouch for nearly a year, so Julie will be looking after her for at least another six months.
Julia has learned everything about Kiki’s care from Kim Grant, founder of Roo Rescue, a Wildlife refuge in Eaton, Western Australia.
She said: “Without Kim’s guidance, it would have been a tougher journey for little Kiki.
“I basically just treat her like a little premature baby. I am constantly making sure that everything is very sterile, and she stays warm.
“She still lives in my crop top to ensure she’s a good temperature and it lets her hear my heartbeat and be comfortable.
“Kiki wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t taken her in. The second she was taken to a center she would have been euthanized for being so small.”
Julie is a full-time mum of four boys and has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), so Kiki has provided her with a well-needed challenge.
She has previously used her free time to rescue a couple of bigger joeys with less severe health conditions.
The total cost of Kiki’s rescue is just under $500 and includes her specialist milk and bottle teats, heated joey sacks and soft baby blankets.
Kiki has had a particularly important impact as 16 years ago Julie lost her firstborn children, two premature twin girls.
Julie said: “I have been so fearful of losing Kiki. I had to make this girl survive - I still do.
“After losing my daughters I’ve felt helpless but Kiki has given me an opportunity to help something innocent survive.”
Although she used to regularly update her Facebook friends on her earlier rescues, Julie has now taken to her new favorite social media app TikTok to share Kiki’s journey with an international audience.
She also uses social media to share information about her life with MS - but her Facebook account was sadly stolen.
@aussiedrunkhousewife Our baby girl🦘Joey🦘 can you believe its been 11 weeks!! I just adore her!!! Tell me your thoughts on the name Kiki the kangaroo ❤️#rescuejoey #rescuekangaroo #australianwildlife #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #kangaroo #australia #kangaroojoey #joey ♬ original sound - Julie Angelina
Julie hopes that her new growing audience will help her to share more educational content about her condition and many other things.
She said: “I used to have an amazing Facebook page called The Real Drunk Housewives Of Australia where I posted about MS.
“It got stolen by a Vietnamese company which absolutely destroyed me and discouraged me from using social media again.
“I used to try to inspire people living with disabilities like myself - I’d teach them how to cook and be independent.
“My youngest son is severely autistic so I would teach people about ASD.
“The amazing reaction to Kiki’s rescue has shown me that social media is not a bad place and it’s SO important to use it for good.”
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