Monday, June 17, 2013

Cavorting with Kangaroos in the Wild


Cape Hillsborough
It was dawn.  We stood on a vast beach, just the two of us, next to a dramatically time-sculpted volcanic rock, watching the sky brighten.  Suddenly we heard a “thump, thump, thump.”  What the heck?  A kangaroo went jumping by.  Then another.  Then another.  The trio whizzed by us, along the gently-lapping water line.   We looked at each other:  No way! 


hanging with wallabies and roos

As we followed in their path, tears sprung to my eyes.  I felt the answer to my unasked question:  Why were we doing this again?  Why had we left our home and friends and family and beloved seaside town?

This was why. For experiences like this.

We spent at least 45 minutes watching these exotic-to-us beasts.  At one point, as Dave filmed, they came hopping toward us.  Closer and closer.  Almost like they were charging us.  

I’ve seen scary videos on TV of people getting kick-boxed by kangaroos and for a second imagined that might happen to us.  But earlier we’d seen one kanga and six wallabies on this same beach who’d run up to a guy who had barley to feed them.  So I was pretty sure this trio of kangas was just hoping for a free lunch.  

Dave, on the other hand, wasn't concerned at all. He felt they were just curious.

Still, I positioned myself behind him, just in case.  He fashions himself to be a Dr. Dootlittle, so I let him deal with the possible consequences of being a talk-to-the-animals sort. 




In this video, you can see why I wasn't sure what direction it was going. You can see the animals running toward us with the camera trained on them. When front-runner reaches Dave, he drops the camera down and laughs saying, in Dr. Doolittle fashion, “What do you want, buddy?” Indeed, the kanga sniffed Dave, instead of KO’ing him with a spring-release foot.

After my heart stopped palpitating, I stood in awe.  Did we really just have that experience?  Two California natives interacting with kangaroos for the first time--in the wild?  On the beach at sunrise?  


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