Mis­sing kan­ga­roo home safe

Com­mu­ni­ty hel­ped hunt for zoo-therapy marsupial

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

A ba­by kan­ga­roo that went mis­sing Sun­day night in Saint La­zare cap­tu­red wi­des­pread me­dia at­ten­tion and brought a large por­tion of the com­mu­ni­ty to­ge­ther as people tried to help bring the marsupial home.

And though Mir­ka, a 12-month old do­mes­ti­ca­ted kan­ga­roo was found safe and sound not that far from home Mon­day af­ter­noon, al­most 24-hours af­ter she had gone mis­sing, her ow­ner said the ex­pe­rience wasn’t one he plans on re­pea­ting.

Luc Le­febvre said the kan­ga­roo had got­ten loose Sun­day night at around 6:30 p.m. from his farm si­tua­ted on Ste-An­ge­lique near Fief Rd.

The 2 1/2 foot tall gentle marsupial had es­ca­ped from a pen that had been clo­sed but not pro­per­ly lo­cked, ac­cor­ding to Le­febvre.

“I think she was sca­red by the sound of the truck,” he ex­plai­ned.

Mir­ka was found Mon­day at around 5:15 p.m. in a neigh­bour’s yard.

“My neigh­bour saw her (on Sun­day) and he saw her again in his yard today and he cal­led me,” Le­febvre said, ad­ding he drop­ped eve­ry­thing and ran over to the neigh­bou­ring pro­per­ty.

“I cal­led to her and even­tual­ly she came to me.”

The ani­mal trai­ner said Mir­ka was fine, though ti­red.

“We gave her a muf­fin and a coo­kie and she was ve­ry hap­py,” he said of the kan­ga­roo that is still bottle fed a few times a day.

On Mon­day be­fore she was found do­zens of people hel­ped search for the ani­mal by wal­king in the woods while mem­bers of a lo­cal horse club al­so rode the trails cal­ling to Mir­ka.

The ani­mal is one of se­ve­ral that are part of Le­febvre’s non-pro­fit zoo-therapy pro­gram, Mur­mures d’ani­maux. He has been wor­king with her for the past th­ree months.

Saint La­zare mayor Ro­bert Gri­mau­do hel­ped in the search Sun­day night af­ter his daugh­ter spot­ted the kan­ga­roo hop­ping down the road.

“She cal­led me and told me she’d just seen a kan­ga­roo on the road,” Gri­mau­do said. “I was hel­ping not as the mayor of the town, but as a re­sident trying to help ano­ther re­sident; this is so­meone’s pet and he’s wor­ried about it.”

Mu­ni­ci­pal post­ing

The town al­so did its part by post­ing a no­tice Mon­day as­king re­si­dents li­ving near Fief Rd. to be on the loo­kout for the ani­mal.

Saint La­zare Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Di­rec­tor Ge­ne­vieve Hamel said the no­tice went out to close to 3,000 re­si­dents.

Mir­ka, who was pur­cha­sed from a zoo in On­ta­rio, is one of se­ve­ral ani­mals Le­febvre trains for his zoo-therapy pro­gram. Other ani­mals at his fa­ci­li­ty in­clude a ze­bra, horses, deer, ca­mels, as well as a mi­nia­ture horse and don­key. Le­febvre will of­fer the zoo-therapy pro­gram to cer­tain stu­dents wi­thin the Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board. He says he and the board re­cent­ly rea­ched an agree­ment. He is al­so consi­de­ring whe­ther or not to open the zoo a few days a week to the pu­blic. “We are a non-pro­fit so it might help to make ends meet,” he no­ted.

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

The Bu­run­di Drum­mers were an awe-ins­pi­ring sight to hear and see Sa­tur­day when they per­for­med on the lawn

at the Hud­son Com­mu­ni­ty Centre.

PHOTOTHEQUE

A kan­ga­roo na­med Mir­ka es­ca­ped from the Saint La­zare non-pro­fit zoo therapy zoo Sun­day night.

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