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Last Updated: Monday, 22 September, 2003, 20:18 GMT 21:18 UK
Skippy to the rescue
Lulu
Lulu: Hand-reared by the family
A female kangaroo has saved an Australian farmer's life by alerting his family that he was lying unconscious in a field.

The pet kangaroo, Lulu, made noises outside the family home in the state of Victoria, until the farmer's wife paid attention.

In a scene reminiscent of the 1960s Australian children's television series Skippy about a resourceful kangaroo, the animal then led the woman to her husband.

Leonard Richards, 52, had been checking his property for storm damage, when he was knocked unconscious by a falling branch on Sunday.

Dad could have been there for hours if it wasn't for her
Farmer's son
He could have died had he not been found so quickly, an ambulance paramedic told Melbourne radio.

The farmer's wife, Lynn, said she had been alerted by the kangaroo's out-of-character behaviour.

"I heard Lulu, she has this bark, and its a very loud bark that she gives out, not like a dog's sound it's quite a nice sound," she said.

"I just looked down and I [saw] her at the paddock and Brendon our nephew was with us and I said to him, Len's down there," she told Reuters news agency.

Lulu was hand-reared by the family after her mother was killed by a car four years ago.

Mr Richards was taken to a Melbourne hospital with suspected head injuries, but was allowed home on Sunday night.


Have you ever been rescued by an animal ? Use the form below to send us your experiences. If you have any good photos send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

My sister in law was a new parent, living on the South coast with her aging dog. One evening she was woken by the dog nuzzling her and whining. Perturbed as to the very out of character behaviour she got up and followed her dog into her child's room to find her child had stopped breathing. She successfully resuscitated him. The following night she woke frequently to check on her boy and found on every occasion the dog, who she had always left sleeping in the hall, attentive under her child's cot.
Mark, UK

It is really amazing how these animals sometimes prove to us that we are no better than them. If we look at our world, we are fighting everywhere instead of helping each other and fighting real enemies like poverty and life threatening diseases.
Sanjay Raizada, Australia

The farm house was ablaze. We were worried that our younger brother had been burnt to death.
Godwin, Sierra Leone
The farm house was ablaze. We were worried that our younger brother had been burnt to death. Mummy cried profusely. However, we also seem not to have seen the dog. All of a sudden, it re-appeared barking non-aggressively and held Mummy by her clothes attempting to take her to the nearby bush. Daddy as experienced hunter encouraged Mummy to follow the dog. To her great surprise, she found her baby in the safety of the bush sleeping. He was no doubt carried there by the dog.
Godwin B Samba, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Two girls were setting fires one evening, and they set two mattresses on fire outside my apartment door. My smoke detector failed to function, but my cat went to the door and started howling. I just barely made it to the fire escape. The smoke by that point was very heavy. If the cat had not alerted me...
John Thompson, Canada

They sighted a pod of dolphins and to their relief saw they had surrounded the child
Alan, UK
Some of you might remember I am collecting stories of dolphins for publication may like to know of this story. Whilst doing an information stall in Salisbury on Saturday, I was approached by a gentleman of around 80. Whilst on board a navy ship either during or just after the 1939-45 war, a 4 year old child of one of the serviceman fell overboard. The gentleman said by the time the crew realised and turned the ship around to go back they were 10-15 miles away. They sighted a pod of dolphins and to their relief saw they had surrounded the child and were prodding her upright. They rescued the child whose only injuries were slight bruising from the dolphins prods.
Alan Cooper UK

My cat once alerted my parents when I was a baby in my baby walker, that I was too close to the fire and my jumper actually caught alight. She meowed extremely loudly and caught their attention just in time.
Davina Kylassum, UK

I was 8 months pregnant and my dear old dog was old and crippled and had cancer. I put a bed for him in the horse barn so he could be with me as I cared for our horses. One day late in January, I was calling the horses in for feeding. The horses were galloping to the narrow barn door when I slipped and fell right inside the doorway. I cried out in pain and was unable to move. I could hear the horses pounding along, eager to push their way through the doorway. Patrick pulled himself up from his bed , staggered over to the doorway, stood at my feet and barked at the horses until I was able to crawl out of the way. I had to call him to me and he made his way to my side and collapsed. He only lived two weeks after that.
Roan, USA

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WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nick Thatcher
"Lulu was adopted by the family ten years ago"



SEE ALSO:
Australia takes aim at kangaroos
21 May 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Kangaroo cull targets millions
21 Feb 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Kangaroo off the menu
04 Feb 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Gourmet kangaroos face extinction
22 Apr 01  |  Asia-Pacific


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