Joeys come into care for a number of different reasons: bushfire, drought,
the mother is hit by a car or shot or chased by motorbike riders or dogs.
When a joey comes into care, the wildlife carer has to keep the joey at the same temperature as it would be in the mother's pouch.
It will need more warmth if it is unfurred
The carer then has to work out how old the joey is. This is done by observation and measuring its feet and tail.
The carer makes a pouch for the joey to keep it warm and quiet and safe.
Each day the carer feeds the joey special kangaroo milk formula using a small bottle and teat.
The joey must be fed, kept warm and clean just as the mother would do.
The amount and type of formula it is given depends on the age of the joey.
It must be the right type of milk and the right amount for the joey to grow and be healthy.
Usually the carer also has other joeys so all the joeys get to know each other.
When the joey is ready, the carer encourages it to get out of the pouch and back in again.
When the joey is older then it is encouraged to eat more grass and to practise hopping and jumping with other joeys.
By the time the joey is 10 months old it will not need a pouch any more.
It will sleep and eat and exercise with the other joeys and will gradually not need a bottle because it is eating a lot of grass.
It now spends very little time with its human carer.
When the joey becomes independant and ready for release with a little group,
then it should be able to look after itself and be ready to join a small kangaroo mob.
From the time when the orphaned joey first comes into care until it becomes independent,
the wildlife carer must use a different milk formula at different stages of the joey's development
(just as the mother kangaroo would do) to give the joey the nourishment it needs at different stages of its growth.