Natural and Non-natural mothers

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Roof Rack Forum Member • Posts: 72
Natural and Non-natural mothers
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A natural mother at work: An Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis) female surveys the world as does her ever curious, pouch young, or 'joey'. It has just rained after about five rainless months - hence the dry grass - and probably the first rain the joey has ever experienced. Before becoming independent at about 7 months, a joey is fed, sheltered and transported 24/7 in its mother's pouch. Here, the tip of its tail hangs out of the pouch just below its chin.

A non-natural mother at work: This young woman and her partner found an orphaned Agile wallaby joey and have begun the task of feeding, sheltering and transporting it 24/7 until it can be returned to the wild in 3-4 months’ time. 24/7 with a non-natural mother has the benefit of eating out at night in restaurants - it had vitamin-enriched milk - as well as exotic new sights and sounds.

What impressed me was its calmness and endless curiosity about what it could see and hear. There were about 50 people in the large room providing an endless pattern of noise, colour and movement combined with the curious ones stopping by to admire and photograph it. Apparently, it was entirely comfortable and safe in its homemade pouch warmed and massaged by a human body.

Natural mothering, finely tuned by evolution, is obviously highly successful. But there are times when help from non-natural mothers can make a positive contribution.

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