White kangaroo creates bright spot in drought

White roo has Wanaaring locals on lookout for a rare pic


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A rare white kangaroo at Wanaaring. Photo by Ben Strong

A rare white kangaroo at Wanaaring. Photo by Ben Strong

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Drought throws up a natural gem

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In far outback New South Wales, they face adversity with a fair bit of humour. If you ask them if there’s been any rain they’ll come back with a rejoinder like “rain would only spoil a good drought”.

But in the severe conditions, that they are pretty used to and approach with a “soldier on” attitude in the Wanaaaring district, there are some natural gems that add to life’s richness.

Take for instance this rare white kangaroo, which has taken up residence around Wanaaring.

Ben Strong, store owner and local postman, caught these pictures of the rare roo recently near Wanaaring.

Mr Strong said the white roo had taken up “residence” on one property outside Wanaaring and the owner was feeding it, as the locals and wildlife hang out for rain to replenish the landscape. Wanaaring has received just 45mm of rain so far this year, about a quarter of the average rainfall – and that’s not a lot.

“The property owner thinks it is very special and has been supplying her with a bit of tucker to keep her going until it rains,” Ben said on the Wanaaring Caravan Park and Store Facebook site.

“How cool would it be to see a joey in her pouch, Grey or white what would it be?”

The Land featured the Strongs in a story last year about trying to sell their Wanaaring store. Not only do the Strongs run the store and caravan park, but also take the rainfall measurements for the Bureau of Meteorology. Of course there has been little to report all year  and spring does not look like breaking the drought. Wanaaring is on the Paroo River in far west NSW, just below the Queensland border. 

“We’re not hopeful of any rain until next year,” a local said.

Maybe the sight of the rare kangaroo will lift spirits a little bit.

A University of Adelaide ecologist said white kangaroos were “unusual”, and usually had a genetic flaw. It’s believed that ones that aren’t albino, which this one appears to be,  are even rarer.

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