Rescue
Kangaroo was saved as an orphan – has hugged rescuers almost every day since
A kangaroo named Abigail saved as an orphan just loves to hug her caretakers, and she's still hugging strong after 13 years!
Jessica
12.06.19

Did you know that kangaroos can give hugs? Well, it’s just as heartwarming as you would imagine – and Abigail is precisely the kangaroo you want to meet.

@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram
Source:
@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram

Abigail (also known as Abi) arrived at Australia’s Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs when she was just 5 months old. She was rescued as an orphan after she was found “quite busted up with cuts and scrapes,” according to one of her caretakers, Chris “Brolga” Barns, who also said that she is the “only kangaroo who comes up and gives a great big rugby tackle cuddle.”

Abi was so grateful to her rescuers for taking her in and caring for her that she started giving them daily hugs.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook
Source:
The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook

Barns first established The Baby Kangaroo Rescue Centre Alice Springs in 2005, followed by The Kangaroo Sanctuary in 2011. The latter is described on its website as “a 188-acre wildlife sanctuary for our rescued orphaned baby kangaroos and adult kangaroos.”

“Our mission is to educate and encourage people to rescue and care for kangaroos and other wildlife and animals. Our motto is Animals Come First.”

Even friends of the caretakers get the occasional hug – like Gary.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook
Source:
The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook

Calling her “unusually light in colour,” Barns described Abi as quite the snuggler.

And 13 years later, she’s still hugging!

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook
Source:
The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook

Abi’s official title at The Kangaroo Sanctuary is “Queen,” and judging by this more recent photo of her, we can see why.

She looks like she’s in charge.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook
Source:
The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook

Abi is now an elderly kangaroo and at least one of the animals she was raised with as a Joey – Roger – passed away this year. But while kangaroos in the wild live for roughly 8-12 years, those cared for in captivity, such as Abi, can live up to 20 years!

That means you still have some time (fingers crossed) to hop on over to Australia if you want a kangaroo hug.

And while you might expect that the hugging would catch on in the sanctuary, Abi is still the only reliable hugger. There are two males kangaroos – Larry and Ralph – who sometimes hug, according to caretakers, but Abi is where it’s at if you want one of these cute creatures to wrap its arms around you.

@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram
Source:
@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram

Oh, and did we mention this sweet girl gives kisses too?!

@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram
Source:
@thekangaroosanctuary/Instagram

In 2013, the Sanctuary was the subject of a documentary by the BBC and National Geographic called Kangaroo Dundee, which followed the animals and other wildlife on the property.

The donations that have poured in as a result of the documentary – as well as Abi’s social media celebrity and visitor fees – allowed Barns to build Central Australia’s first Kangaroo Rescue Centre in 2015.

The Sanctuary still welcomes donations for those who want to support their ongoing efforts and help build fencing, plumbing, solar power; and provide veterinarian care, baby kangaroo milk, and food.

According to the website: “Future plans include: extension of the current large rehabilitation yards and facilities to prepare kangaroos for the wild; specialist veterinarian equipment; assistance with rescue vehicle; and education programs about the care and rescue of kangaroos.”

Oh, and if you want to see sweet Abi in action hugging her caretaker, be sure to scroll down below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jessica
hi@sbly.com
Jessica is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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