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Kangaroo Saves 7-Year-Old Boy

(Mr.Keef@Flickr)

From over the weekend comes the incredible story of a 7-year-old boy who spent 24 hours in the Australian outback but survived because of the help of a kangaroo.

It’s winter time in the southern hemisphere, and Simon Kruger was wearing just light clothing when he wandered away from a family picnic to pick some flowers for his mother.

With just a fleece top and track pants, he would have had a hard time surviving the elements after dark, but deep in the underbrush, he was approached by a kangaroo who ate some of the flowers he had picked, then fell asleep next to the boy.

Rescuers say the warmth of the kangaroo kept the boy alive. He was found the next day by a helicopter crew and hoisted to safety.

Kangaroos are unique because they’re native only to Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. They’re the only large animal that uses hopping as their main way of traveling. They can easily travel at speeds of 15 miles an hour, but over short distances they can go 25. They’re good swimmers, and if they’re chased into the water by a predator, they can use their front paws to hold an attacker underwater and drown them.

Some adult kangaroos can grow to over 6 feet tall and weigh in at 200 pounds.

Baby kangaroos are called joeys. When they’re born, they’re about the size of a Lima bean, and they climb into the pouch of the mother, where they stay for the next nine months to mature.

The old story about why they’re called kangaroos is that British explorer James Cook asked the natives what the animal was called, and they responded, “Kangeroo,” which in their language means “I don’t understand you.” They accepted it as an answer.

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