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How to Check a pouch and safely remove a joey.

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Easy to follow steps... You've got this!

  1. Check your surroundings and only enter the road when it's safe to do so - Remember, our safety comes first!

  2. Move the deceased animal away from the road

  3. Check to see if the animal is female - this can be done by having a look between the back legs. Male marsupials have very obvious and visible testicles!

  4. Find the pouch (if the animal is female) - sometimes the pouch can be hard to find because of fur or positioning of the animal. Turning the animal on it's back and feeling down the centre of the abdominal area with your fingers can help you find the pouch if needed

  5. Gently open the pouch (use gloves if available) and have a good look inside

  6. Sometimes joeys are very small and aren't immediately obvious. It's always good to double check

  7. Joeys can be at different developmental stages inside the pouch and very young joeys mouths may be fused to the teat in a suckling position - pulling these joeys off the teat forcefully can be fatal.

  8. If the teat is still inside the joeys mouth, use scissors to snip the teat from the inside of the pouch, leaving it inside the joeys mouth. Attach a safety pin to the loose end of the teat to prevent the joey from swallowing or choking on the teat.

  9. If it is not attached to the teat, gently remove the joey from the pouch. It is important to be extremely gentle when removing the joey from the pouch because it is small, fragile, and possibly injured.

  10. Warm the joey. Joeys rely on their mothers for warmth because they can't regulate their own body temperature. gently place the joey in a pre-made fabric pouch, beanie, towel or jumper and use your own body heat to keep it warm. You can also use a hot water bottle or shop bought hand warmers, however caution needs to be taken not to overheat the joey.

  11. Take the joey to the nearest vet clinic or call Bonorong immediately and follow advice given

What not to do...

  • Do not try to give the joey food, water or milk, this can make the joey sick and in some cases be fatal

  • Do not heat the joey using artificial means such as electric blankets or heaters, these can overheat the joey, causing dehydration, organ failure, or death

  • Do not attempt to interact with the joey or take photos for social media, this is disrespectful and can be very stressful for the joey - stress can cause death.

For all wildlife related emergencies call Bonorong: 0447 264 625



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