Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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December 26, 2012

Perfect gift

Aussie native’s girlfriend gives him baby kangaroo as birthday present

(Continued)

As office and breeding manager for Slate River Ranch cutting horses, Cosgrove has a fairly flexible job and totes Bruce around during the day. He literally dives headfirst into a big floppy floral bag, custom-made by one of Cosgrove’s friends, and tucks himself in without anyone knowing he’s there.

Cosgrove feeds Bruce a bottle of kangaroo formula every four hours — he bites her nose when he’s hungry — and changes his diaper five or six times daily. The animals can be house-trained, she said.

Bruce also nibbles kangaroo kibble and attempts to consume the Christmas tree’s leaves, which are made of plastic.

“They love [real] leaves,” Cosgrove said. “Geordie shot kangaroos, growing up in Australia, because his dad was a farmer and they would eat the crops. There are so many there you have to cull them.”

Bruce mostly stays inside for now, Cosgrove said — moving slowly on the slippery hardwood floors — and may do so for some time.

She showed photos of the breeder’s house, home to two does, one more than 2 years old. The animals are sacked out on a bed.

“Bruce follows me around inside, and grabs my pants leg when he wants to be picked up, which is a lot,” she said, “but he sleeps a lot, too. They grow slowly.”

When Bruce is allowed out on the couple’s fenced acreage, he kicks it into overdrive, Cosgrove said, displaying a phone video of hopping far faster than any rabbit’s.

Cosgrove said Bruce will stand 5 feet tall when he reaches maturity. She said she doesn’t worry about the powerful kicks that full-grown kangaroos are known to deliver.

“He’s neutered,” she said. “He’s been around people, and all the ones I saw — including his father — were really docile.”

Richardson’s Australian parents are less than enthusiastic about the new pet — from their viewpoint kangaroos are a nuisance — but everyone else likes him, Cosgrove said, including the couple’s dogs.

“A little boy tried to put his hand in the bag, and the poodle growled at him,” Cosgrove said. “The corgi will lay down with Bruce and watch him.”

Despite his human and canine companions, Cosgrove guesses that this icon of the “Land Down Under” would do best with a friend.

“We’ll probably get another one,” she said. “They’re herd animals.”

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