Depressed Woman Fights to Keep Therapy Kangaroo

Says the animal put a bounce in her step, but city officials worry
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 1:35 PM CDT
Depressed Woman Fighting to Keep Therapy Kangaroo
In this March 30, 2011 photo, Christie Carr dresses her kangaroo, Irwin, in a shirt in her home, in Broken Arrow, Okla., before going out to visit a nursing home. Carr suffers from depression and has found solace in Irwin, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet, a partially paralyzed kangaroo,...   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – A woman in Oklahoma suffering from depression has found an unusual therapy pet—a 25-pound, partially paralyzed, one-year-old kangaroo—but city officials are unsure whether to allow her to keep it, reports the AP. "There's just a myriad of things we need to consider," said the town mayor. To help ease her depression, Christine Carr began volunteering at an animal shelter where she met the baby kangaroo, named Irwin. He was injured a week later after running into a fence, suffering partial paralysis and brain damage. Carr nursed him back to health in her home, and developed a close bond with the animal.

Now, Irwin and Carr are inseparable. She takes him around town, dresses him in clothes, feeds him, and changes his diapers. But city officials are worried because regular kangaroos can grow to 200 pounds and be quite dangerous. "Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo," wrote a veterinarian, who expects his weight will top out at 50 pounds due to his injury. "He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare." "Irwin will not live if I have to give him up," Carr said, saying she would rather leave town than give up the kangaroo. "I can't imagine a day living without him." (Read more kangaroo stories.)

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