Riley the wallaby defies the odds and bounces back after 'terrifying' ordeal

Riley the wallaby was found cold, wet and terrified. A new photo reveals how far he's come.

Left - a tiny wallaby clings to his mother's lifeless body next to a puddle. Right - Riley the wallaby looking older and fatter nine months later.
Riley the wallaby was discovered "terrified" after his mum was killed by a car. But nine months later the youngster is thriving. Source: Hamilton Wildlife Shelter

Nine months after a joey suffered a catastrophic start to life, new photos show the wallaby has bounced back and is thriving.

Riley was orphaned after his mother was struck by a car on a country road. Pictures of the frightened creature standing next to his mother’s lifeless body broke hearts around the country when they were shared to social media.

Now the woman who rescued Riley has shared new pictures showing how he looks nine months later, after growing from a tiny 600 grams to a massive 10kg. “He’s looking quite chunky which is really good,” Shelly Burrowes told Yahoo News.

When Burrowes visited him he was sunbaking in his pen without a care in the world. “Wallabies love to sit on their bums with their tails forward and snooze. He was in heaven sitting in the sun,” she said.

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Riley the wallaby's heartbreaking start to life

Riley was discovered by Burrowes just after she crossed over the border into South Australia, in the tiny town of Frances in the state's east. She gasped so hard when she spotted the wallaby that her children wondered what was wrong.

“He was just so scared and sad, it was heartbreaking,” Burrowes said. “He was clinging to his mum’s fur and trembling. It was raining and he was so cold. As I approached him he did this weak little chitter.”

Burrowes scooped the muddy joey into her jumper to try and keep him warm until she could get him to a care facility.

Although Burrowes has her own wildlife rescue shelter, she was unable to take him home because it’s located in Victoria and there are regulations about taking native animals across state lines.

Riley will now be free to live out his life in a large wildlife sanctuary, where he’ll be safe from predators and cars. His carer described him as a “lovely little boy” who is always the first wallaby to meet her at the gate.

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