Extraordinary pictures show mother kangaroo reaching for baby one last time before dying in male companion's arms
The photographer who captured the moment said he had 'never seen anything like it before'
Published 13/01/2016 | 14:05
A mother kangaroo has been captured reaching out to cuddle her joey one last time before she died.
The photographer, Evan Switzer, captured the moment on a bushland property in River Heads, Queensland, Australia.
He noticed what was going on while he was on a walk on the property on Monday morning.
The mother was dying under the shade of a mango tree, and being supported by a male companion as she reached out for her joey.
Mr. Switzer told the Daily Mail: "I saw the male pick up the female, he looked like he was just trying to get her up and see what was wrong with her.
"He would lift her up and she wouldn't stand she'd just fall to the ground, he'd nudge her, stand besides her ... it was a pretty special thing, he was just mourning the loss of his mate."
As she died, the male propped up her head so she could see her joey before she passed away.
The joey stared at her the whole time, and stood in a protective stance near her body.
After she died, her male companion guarded the corpse.
He chased after any kangaroos that came near her corpse.
After the photographer saw what was going on, he ran home to get his camera.
Mr. Switzer has been walking there twice a day for ten years and said he had never seen anything like it.
"I’ve travelled around a bit and you see a lot of dead roos on the side of the road – but I've never seen anything like that before," he said.
"The male would chase the other kangaroos that came around away – he was sort of protective over the female.
"The young one looked kind of confused, it would stand by the mother and then hop off and chew some grass, and then come right back again."
The photographer was unsure how the female kangaroo died. She had no visible injuries.