Teen Puts His Life On The Line To Reach A Tiny Kangaroo That’s Sinking Into A Muddy Grave

All kinds of nasty dangers lurk within the bush and beneath the sun-baked soil of the Australian outback, from spiders so venomous they can hospitalize a human being to the infamous brown snake that’s caused record numbers of deaths. But in April 2018, two teenagers ran into another kind of danger they never expected to face.

The teens had been riding through mud flats on motor bikes just outside of Sydney when an unusual sight caught their eye. Lodged in the mud was something they hadn’t quite expected to see—and they instantly realized it was a life or death situation. The boys then had to make a decision: play it safe and stay away, or risk their lives to save another?

In April 2018, two 19-year-old Australians, Jack Donnelly (left) and Nick Heath (right), were cruising on their motorbikes through the Agnes Banks near the Nepean River in Sydney, Australia, when something caught Jack’s eye…

Nick Heath / Facebook

A pair of ears was sticking out of a crevice in the muddy soil that stretched towards a faraway embankment. Whatever owned those ears was groaning and whimpering—so the boys investigated.

Nick Heath / Facebook

About 100 feet away in the mud was an animal beloved throughout Australia: an Eastern gray kangaroo (similar to the one pictured here, though much smaller). “We think he went searching for water there,” Nick surmised on Australia’s Today. “And it was really muddy so he got himself really stuck.”

Wikimedia

The boys could’ve let Mother Nature handle the teeny kangaroo; he was a wild animal, after all. They could’ve called animal services. But time was of the essence. So they bolted home, grabbed some rope, and rushed back to where the kangaroo was fighting for his life.

TODAY via 9News

“The ‘roo’s life was important to us,” Nick said. So he did something daring—and dangerous. He tied the rope around his waist and army-crawled out to the mud-logged kangaroo. Would it be enough to pull the poor marsupial to safety?

TODAY via 9News

Meanwhile, Jack stood back, camera and rope in hand; he was ready to pull his friend back once he was given the command. Nick continued to brave the mud. His path toward the animal—who still groaned for help—was not as glorious as the boys had supposed.

TODAY via 9News
“Update,” Nick yelled back to his filming friend. “This is a lot harder than we thought.” Nevertheless, after a painstakingly slow crawl through the thick sludge, Nick managed to wrap his arms around the suffering kangaroo.

TODAY via 9News

The small marsupial securely in his grasp, Nick turned back towards his friend. “You want to start pulling, Jack?” he asked, cool as a cucumber. Jack did so, and in moments, Nick had both feet on semi-solid ground, still clinging tight to the kangaroo.

TODAY via 9News
Unfortunately, after struggling for who knows how long in the mud flat, the kangaroo wasn’t ready to accept his rescue just yet: he continued writhing even after Nick pulled him from the mud!

TODAY via 9News

Eventually, the kangaroo was free, but cold mud was caked his body. Exhaustion and starvation had sapped his strength. The boys knew this rescue effort wasn’t even close to complete. They needed to make a calculated next step…

TODAY via 9News

Jack and Nick contacted WIRES, a wildlife rescue organization based in Brookvale, New South Wales. But as a WIRES volunteer traveled out to the boys’ location, the duo realized something about their little ‘roo in distress…

WIRES / Facebook

Why, he didn’t have a name! So while they waited, Nick and Jack searched for the most popular baby names online and picked the perfect one for their new kangaroo buddy: Lucas. “We liked it,” Nick said. “It’s cute.”

Nick Heath / Facebook

Unfortunately, the fun and games were momentarily over for Lucas. The WIRES volunteer retrieved him and brought him back to headquarters for inspection. Workers had a lot of work to do to get him healthy.

WIRES sedated Lucas, and according to the non-profit’s Facebook page, “He was slowly warmed, then washed in tepid water to get rid of all clay that was coating him, then warmed up again slowly to get his body temperature up and given warm fluids.”

Within a few days, Lucas was hopping around WIRES headquarters like he’d never been trapped in the mud flats at all! But the rescuers still had some concerns about the little guy.

WIRES / Facebook

“Without knowing how long he was struggling to get out of this clay pit,” WIRES shared on Facebook, “we don’t know the extent of his exertion, and he is still at risk of myopathy which sadly can be fatal.” In the meantime, though, he looked just fine!

Jack and Nick were “keen” to see their new friend who they admitted helped raise their stock among pals who were impressed the two made national news. “They appreciate what we did,” Nick said of his friends.

TODAY via 9News

Even Jack’s grandmother, Kerry Reynolds, weighed in on the rescue to 9 News Australia: “It was just good that they stopped and went to the effort of helping the poor thing,” she said. But did the duo have any regrets?

TODAY via 9News

Not at all! “It’s a pretty patriotic thing to do and we’re proud of what we did,” Nick later told TODAY after the rescue. “If we saw something like that again, we’ll do it all over again.”

TODAY via 9News

The world’s a better place when people are willing to help a struggling animal—even if it means risking your life and wading through dangerous mud. It’s good to know that animal lovers like these young fellas Down Under are always happy to help a ‘roo in need!

Nick Heath / Facebook

Kangaroos may be talented jumpers, but that skill only takes you so far when you’re stuck in the mud. Lucas lucked out that Nick and Jack took the time to help him out!

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