NEWS

Meet the next Bindi Irwin!

Maggie and her family are on a mission to save the kangaroos.
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When Maggie Banton jumps into bed each night, she looks over to the baby kangaroo nestled beneath the blankets.

The seven-year-old loves taking care of her new companion, often checking to ensure the joey is as cosy and comfortable as possible.

Maggie’s mum Tiffany says the pair have become inseparable since they discovered ‘Star’ stranded on the side of the road.

“They are best friends,” Tiffany, 33, tells New Idea. “Maggie is so content with Star’s company and does not leave her side.”

Girl helping pick up kangaroo
Maggie rescued this young Joey. (Credit: Supplied)

The Banton family, from Kangaroo Island in SA, took on the incredible feat of making sure the joey was safe and cared for following an accident last December.

The young joey was found next to her dead mother, who had been hit by a car on Stars Road.

Maggie, Tiffany, and grandmother Bev ran to the rescue when a member of the public alerted them about a Joey peeking out of her mother’s pouch.

They scooped her up, ensured she wasn’t injured, and immediately gave her a bottle feed to help keep her strength up.

girl bindi kangaroo joey
Maggie fed Star and helped keep her comfortable. (Credit: Supplied)

Star, who was aptly named after the location of her discovery, has since become a much-loved member of the Banton clan.

“The joey was only nine months old and looked OK when we got there but was still in the pouch and needed saving,” Tiffany says. “Eventually, she will be released back into the wild.”

Grandmother Bev has been caring for injured wildlife across the area for more than 30 years. Through her work at Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery in Macgillivray, Bev says rearing orphaned animals can be a fulfilling but difficult challenge as some are “little rascals”.

With an estimated 65,000 kangaroos across the island, locals are always giving Bev a call to come to the rescue if they spot an injured animal or baby roo.

girl in bed with kangaroo
The Banton family gave Star a loving home. (Credit: Supplied)

It’s a practice that has become second nature to the close-knit family, with little Maggie now involved in their care.

“We are classed as a wildlife sanctuary and have large fences around our 650-acre property to keep them safe once they are released back into the wild,” Bev says.

“Star is free to hop around the farm during the day but at the moment she stays very close and always comes back when you call her name.”

Bev advises that if anyone finds a sick or injured wild animal, you should contact your nearest veterinarian or wildlife carer organisation as soon as possible.

WIRES provides information and rescue advice nationwide. For more information, contact 1300 094 737.

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