Doodlebug the kangaroo joey became an Internet sensation overnight, when photos of him hugging his teddy were posted online.
The 15-month-old eastern grey kangaroo joey was hand-raised by Gillian Abbott on a property in country New South Wales, Australia, after coming into her care in a most unusual way.
He is now old enough to begin venturing out into the world by himself, but he still has a special relationship with his teddy.
Young kangaroos usually come into the care of wildlife volunteers when their mother is hit by a car. It’s not uncommon for a joey to survive a car’s impact from inside its mother’s pouch.
Orphaned marsupial joeys can be successfully raised and released back to the wild through a “soft release” method. This strategy allows young animals to explore the surrounding bushland, while at the same time having a safe haven to return to each night, until they are independent enough to rejoin the wild population.