November 13, 1996 in Nation/World

Kangaroo Orphan Lives In Knapsack

Cox News Service

A knapsack’s as good as the pouch for Edie, a 5-month-old kangaroo that has become the latest crowd favorite at the Dreher Park Zoo.

Edie was orphaned about two weeks ago when her mother died of an infection. In her mother’s place has stepped Teri Blake, a zoo worker who bottle-feeds Edie every four hours and carries her around in a canvas backpack mimicking her mother’s pouch.

Edie goes just about wherever Blake does. At night and on weekends, Blake takes Edie home, where the kangaroo dangles in the backpack from the bathtub faucet while Blake steals a few winks between feedings.

“I’m not used to getting up at 3 in the morning, then 6 in the morning,” Blake said.

The young kangaroo, called a “joey,” spends 12 to 14 hours a day in Blake’s backpack, where a heating pad keeps the temperature around 90 degrees, just like a mother’s pouch.

Edie, who weighs 5.2 pounds, is expected to need the pouch for the next three months.

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