posted 04-29-2004 12:11 AM PT (US)
Kangaroo wins award for saving farmer 'Lulu' raised alarm after owner knocked unconscious
Updated: 2:35 p.m. ET April 28, 2004CANBERRA - A kangaroo named Lulu is to receive a national bravery award after raising the alarm to save an Australian farmer knocked unconscious by a fallen tree branch.
Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, last September when he was hit by a falling branch.
In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children’s television series Skippy, in which a kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, Lulu began barking until Richards’ wife came to investigate, said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 meters (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the kangaroo. Richards was taken to hospital to be treated for minor head injuries.
The RSPCA has given Lulu its animal valor award to recognize the kangaroo’s heroic act with a certificate to be presented to Richards at a ceremony next month.
“What she did really was exceptional,” RSPCA spokeswoman Jenny Hodges said on Wednesday.
Lulu was reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother’s pouch and fed her on bottles after her mother was killed by a car over four years ago.