A kangaroo was saved after taking a dunk in the ocean off the coast of Australia by a rookie lifeguard.
Onlookers enjoying the surf and scenery on a rock shelf over-hanging the ocean in Bundjalung National Park were surprised to see an eastern grey kangaroo jumping across rock pools and tumbling into rough surf.
“My other workmate, Carissa and I, we were sitting on the tractor and she goes, ‘Oh my God, there’s a kangaroo jumping off the rocks!’” said 17-year old Lillian Bee-Young, a new lifeguard who had a surfboard nearby. “We were just figuring out what we should do… because we’ve never had that happen before.”
There were rough conditions that day on the north coast of New South Wales. Lillian believed the kangaroo was trying to avoid some fishermen and just “got wiped out by a set (of waves).”
Lillian told ABC News Australia that she didn’t quite know how to proceed as she paddled out with the rescue board. She didn’t know whether to try and get it onto the board, for example, or if that would put her in danger and stress the marsupial out even more.
It was just managing to keep its head above the water, but didn’t want to come ashore due to a gathering crowd.
Her friend Carissa cleared an avenue to allow Roo to feel comfortable, and after a few stumbles, it made it back onto dry land and immediately went off into the bushes.
“It was quite special. There were people cheering and clapping… and then [the kangaroo] was just sitting there up in the bushes, almost, I thought, as a thank you… It was really serene,” Lillian said.