It is regrettable that we humans often forget the importance of gratitude. Gratitude for the appreciation we receive is one way to acknowledge the goodness in our lives. It has been proven to be associated with happiness, as it increases positivity, builds strong relationships, enjoys good experiences and improves health. Like humans, animals will never forget to thank us for the love and care we show them.
The story of Abi, the hugging kangaroo, proves it. A series of YouTube videos show Abi hugging her rescuers. She is probably one of the most loving rescue animals in the world, and her story has raised awareness of hunting issues and orphaned and numerous joys for Australians.
The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs provides specialist care for kangaroos, rehabilitates orphaned animals from hunting and helps them get into the wild. Queen Abi lost her mother when she was just a few months old, and the volunteers at the sanctuary welcomed her with open arms. She begins her day by hugging the people who care for her in the kangaroo sanctuary.
The founder of the nonprofit sanctuary, Chris Brolga, founded the sanctuary after realizing that the nearest wildlife rescue center was a hospital 1,500 miles away. The sanctuary has 188 hectares of land and a rescue center that offers guided tours for visitors.
Kangaroos are known to have a long memory and are occasionally known to form special relationships with human keepers who are in daily contact with them. Abi has lived at the sanctuary for almost a decade and has developed a special relationship with her rescuers.
In a Facebook back in 2013, one of the sanctuary caretakers wrote:
“Abi came to me as an orphan of 5 months old and was quite busted up with cuts and scrapes. And [she] is my only kangaroo who comes up and gives a great big rugby tackle cuddle.”
Many Australians believe kangaroos populate the outback because the sale of kangaroo meat, skins and leather is tolerated by locals. The export of kangaroo products represents an export business of 29 million dollars per year and finances more than 4,000 jobs in the countries of Oceania. For Sanctuary staff and volunteers, the loving, caring and hugging of a kangaroo is part of a larger, heart-warming kangaroo human family. Queen Abi has been a happy and loving animal for several years and she is a regular with a massive giggle to show her care how grateful she is.
The refuge objects to the attitude of mothers who shoot when Joey’s life is threatened. Without care, many would have died.
Let’s hope the love and affection Queen Abi spreads raises awareness of the importance of animals and is able to bring about positive change.