09 de diciembre de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

Khya, a baby kangaroo being raised by humans in western Mexican city

By Mariana Gonzalez

Guadalajara, Mexico, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Khya, an eight-month-old red kangaroo, is being raised by humans inside an artificial pouch at the Guadalajara Zoo in western Mexico after her mother died of heart problems three months ago.

Veterinarian Alma Ortega has been Khya's "substitute mother" for the past 10 weeks, a task that has taken up about 12 hours each day and means carrying the young 'roo around in a sack to make her feel safe and protected.

"There are two things that represent safety to her: Her pouch and me. So she can be with me but outside her pouch, but if I put her into (a pouch) and she's afraid it doesn't matter who's with her. What she needs is the protection of her first skin," namely that artificial sack that has replaced her mother's pouch, said the director of the zoo's "Australian Village."

Ania, Khya's mother, died suddenly in captivity in May. A few days before her death, she stopped caring for her "joey" - as baby kangaroos are called - and went away to die alone in one of the zoo areas where she lived with other kangaroos.

Veterinarians at the facility took over feeding and caring for Khya to make sure she develops as normally as possible. Without that care, she would have died or had growth problems, since female kangaroos never adopt babies that are not their own, Ortega said.

"There are very loving mothers, but it's not that way with other babies. The mother kangaroo always has a baby, in her two uteruses, in her pouch and on the outside and that makes it difficult for a mother to adopt another baby, even if a kangaroo by mistake gets into the wrong pouch. That mother's going to react aggressively and will swat it, and even bite it to get it to go away," she said.

Ortega began acting as Khya's mother from the very first. She plays with her, pampers her, caresses her, encourages her to jump, to interact with the other kangaroos, she stays close to her and, above all, is her protector when the little 'roo feels insecure, nervous or wants to sleep.

When the joey became an orphan she was five-and-a-half months old, the equivalent of a six-month-old human baby who has to be taught how to do everything. Being left without a mother midway through her rearing left Khya feeling insecure and vulnerable, and so the zoo vets consider her to be almost a premature baby.

So, when Khya jumps farther than before, or lets the other baby kangaroos approach her or urinates on her own, her human mother hails the event as if it were her own achievement.

She sees to whatever the baby needs, always has the pouch with her for Khya to crawl into and holds her in her arms. If the joey is afraid, Ortega knows that she must hug her just like a kangaroo mother would do.

Besides following the instructions in a kangaroo-raising manual, Ortega has learned from the other kangaroo mothers in the Australian Village how they look after their own babies and "educate" them, applying those same techniques to Khya.

"It means a lot of sacrifice because it takes up all your time and all your thinking. (Her routine) is very changeable and there's always something new, sometimes big advances, sometimes small ones. Raising her is a day-by-day process, and we can't lose hope. We can't pretend that she'll grow up like a kangaroo with her (real) mother," she said.

Although Khya and Ortega have bonded, the vet knows that there will come a time in a few weeks when her ward will leave her side and become independent, and then Khya will interact virtually exclusively with the other kangaroos and will sleep on the ground with them rather than in the artificial pouch.

"She already doesn't fit into her pouch, but she keeps trying to get in, she's going to be feeling so uncomfortable (soon) that she's going to be forced to be on the ground. She's not there yet, but she's already spending lots of time with her fellow kangaroos. She's doing it because we're her protection, but instinct is instinct and she's going to figure out how to be a kangaroo," Ortega said.

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Trump warns Kim he will lose everything if he takes hostile action

Washington, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday that the latter will lose "everything" if he acts in a...

Beekeeping, alternative to unemployment and social crisis in Nicaragua

By Martha Delgado

Artists give rhythm to Colombia protests with 6-hr music concert in Bogota

By Ares Biescas Rue

Dragon Spacecraft delivers cargo to International Space Station

Miami, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- A Dragon cargo spacecraft belonging to private space services company SpaceX delivered its payload on Sunday to the International...

Art Basel Miami Beach banana ends up where it should

Miami, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- "The Comedian," the controversial work of art by Italy's Maurizio Cattelan consisting of a banana fastened to a wall with duct tape...

PETA asks Nordstrom chain to stop selling garments made from animal hides

New York, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization on Thursday staged a "bloody" protest in front of a...

Heroes, villains and Hollywood stars, face to face in Brazil

By Nayara Batschke

Argentine President-elect Fernandez's law students discuss him as a teacher

By Carmen Herranz

Pelosi takes offense at reporter's question about whether she hates Trump

Washington, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday took offense at a reporter's question about whether she hates President Donald Trump, a...

Pelosi takes offense at reporter's question about whether she hates Trump

Washington, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on Thursday formally instructed the Judiciary...

US urges countries to suspend digital taxes, calls for OECD talks on issue

Washington, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged countries to "suspend" their individual digital services taxes and to...

Santa Claus taxi driver collects toys for poor kids in Mexico

By Manuel Lopez

Trio of legal scholars tell Congress Trump abused his power re Ukraine

Washington, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Three prominent experts on constitutional law, called to testify by Democrats before Congress on Wednesday, told the House...

US proposes tariffs on France after Paris imposes digital tax

By Alex Segura Lozano

Barcelona's Messi wins his 6th Ballon d'Or

Paris, Dec 2 (efe-epa).- Argentine striker Lionel Messi won his record sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday, pulling ahead of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo,...

LatAm seeking non-traditional methods for managing data traffic

By Giovanna Ferullo

Indignation, fear in Paraisopolis, the Brazilian shantytown where 9 died

By Alba Santandreu

Brazil party ends in tragedy with 9 trampled to death

Sao Paulo, Dec 1 (efe-epa).- A huge party in the Sao Paulo shantytown - or "favela" - of Paraisopolis ended in tragedy on Sunday when at least nine people...

Guelfenbein: All my novels are feminist but I couldn't say so before

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Trump celebrates Thanksgiving with troops during surprise Afghanistan visit

Washington, Nov 28 (EFE).- US President Donald Trump on Thursday celebrated Thanksgiving with troops stationed in Afghanistan, saying during his surprise...

Chilean central bank to sell $20 bn to try and halt peso's fall

Santiago, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- The Chilean Central Bank on Thursday announced that it will intervene in the currency market by selling up to $20 billion in...

People with eye injuries in Chile protests announce complaint against Piñera

Santiago, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- A group of people who have received eye injuries from shotgun pellets fired by Chilean security forces on Thursday announced...

New Yorkers turn out for Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

New York, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- "Hey Astronaut Snoopy, we are clear for take-off!"

Brazil court hikes 2nd sentence for Lula to 17 years

Sao Paulo, Nov 27 (efe-epa).- A Brazilian court on Wednesday added five years to a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering handed down...