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Snowy Mountains and Alps

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Camping at Tom Groggin in Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, we were greeted by numerous grey kangaroos, clearly having been hand fed, which, of course, is against the rules. They didn't mind at all, posing for photos from a metre or so away.

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But quiet as they are, they are still wild animals and should be treated as dangerous. With the right provocation, they may rip your guts open. Just what that might take, I don't know and intend not to find out.


View Tom Groggin Camp 01 in a larger map
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So it was late afternoon when we arrived at Tom Groggin. Our camp was pretty much set up and ready for the night (a small caravan doesn't take much setting up). The campfire was burning nicely in the fireplace with the local timber (not snowgum). The tranquillity of the Snowy Mountains was beyond description.

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Then along came a young woman in a 4x4, travelling alone, and looked like she was about to camp along side us. She came over to the campfire, no doubt to check us out, and my appraisal of her was that she'd be no trouble.

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In fact she turned out to be great campfire company and a great story teller. While I had a good sleep in, next morning, my wife enjoyed a further lengthy chat with her. Bree is her name.

Well, Bree told some ripper campfire stories and she told us about the orphaned kangaroo that the family raised as a joey.

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When Bree was little, the female kangaroo got a bit clucky. Bree didn't tell us how you identify clucky in a kangaroo.

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Well, her Mum or Dad would put Bree in the kangaroo's pouch which pleased the marsupial no end. She was so protective of the little girl that only Mum or Dad could take her out and then she stunk something terrible, and went straight into the bath.

The family had a pianola and Dad had somehow managed to teach the roo to sit at the pianola and pump the bellows, giving the appearance that she was playing the piano.

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So Dad would get a few mates around for a few beers and when they were well and truly off their faces he'd get the roo in to play the piano.

Sometimes, when they'd sobered up, a mate would come round asking to see the kangaroo play the piano again but Dad was never able to find the animal on these occasions.

The day came when the family's pet kangaroo turned up accompanied by a male. The family was lined up and the roo extended her paw to each in turn for a handshake. Nothing happened.

Then the roo went through the sequence again, at which Dad said: "It's alright. You can go now." and then the tame roo hopped off with her new mate, never again to be seen by her adoptive family.

Thanks Bree, for that great kangaroo story and for sharing our campfire.

The one regret that I have about Bree's kangaroo story is that this very important family member must have had a name and I never got to know it.

Do you have any kangaroo stories to share? Let's hear them in the comments section below.

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