From The Gazette

St. Lazare

Video: Missing kangaroo found in St-Lazare

  • Luc Lefebvre and his kangaroo were united early Monday evening after a neighbour found Mirka in her yard.
    Luc Lefebvre and his kangaroo were united early Monday evening after a neighbour found Mirka in her yard.
    Photo credit: Peter McCabe

Missing from a St-Lazare farm since Sunday, a kangaroo was back home on Monday evening, enjoying a muffin and a nap.

Local residents had spent the day searching the woods and trails surrounding a Ste-Angelique Rd. property for the two-and-a-half-foot-tall red kangaroo. Mirka, the one-year-old kangaroo, was unharmed but seemed happy to be home on Monday, farm owner and exotic animal keeper Luc Lefebvre said.

“She’s perfect — she ate well and rested well.”

“As soon as I was holding her in my hands she started licking me,” he said.

She was spotted on Monday at around 5:30 p.m. in a neighbour’s backyard near Lefebvre’s farm, he said.

Lefebvre guessed that Mirka, who had been scared by a loud truck earlier on Sunday, had escaped through an open gate.

The St-Lazare resident has been training Mirka to work as a therapy animal for children for about three months. Mirka, who is not yet fully grown, came to St-Lazare from a zoo in Ontario.

Lefebvre runs Murmurs d’animaux, a practice offering animal-assisted therapy to children. The kangaroo is one of the most recent tenants on his large, rural property, which is also home to horses, camels, alpacas, deer, donkeys and one zebra. Murmurs d’animaux.

He said he has recently partnered with three local schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board to begin offering animal therapy in November to children who, because of disability, anxiety or other issues, have difficulty interacting with people.

Pairing children with an animal can help therapists to “open a connection” with the child, he explained. The program will include 12 children and run until May 2015, he said.

Mirka is friendly and accustomed to people, and was specifically chosen for the program as an animal who will work well with children.

“Contrary to popular belief, kangaroos are very, very docile creatures,” Lefebvre said.

Marilyn Embom, a Ste-Genevieve resident who boards horses in St-Lazare, was one of several people who arrived at Lefebvre’s farm on Monday morning to search for the kangaroo.

While trudging through mud and a haze of mosquitos on a trail behind Lefebvre’s property, it occurred to Embom’s impromptu search party of one — plus a journalist — that, even if the creature could be located, no one was entirely sure how to wrangle a kangaroo.

After some discussion, Embom concluded that a game-time decision would be made if the animal were located.

Embom intended to return to the search on horseback later in the afternoon, but Mirka returned home safely before the kangaroo capture question had to be resolved.

4 comments

  1. THIS MAN IS PUTTING CHILDREN’S LIFE IN DANGER!!! THESE WILD ANIMALS SHOULD BE IN THE WILD!!! WHERE DID HE RECEIVE QUALIFICATIONS TO BECOME A ZOO THERAPIST?? NEVER HEARD OF EXOTIC ANIMALS USED FOR THERAPEUTIC PURPOSES?? THESE ARE EXOTIC AND SOCIAL ANIMALS THAT SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED FROM THEIR MOTHER’S ONLY TO BE USED TO APPEASE A MAN USING THEM FOR THE WRONG REASONS. DON’T WE HAVE LAWS TO PROTECT THESE INNOCENT ANIMALS?!?

    • Seriously? I cannot believe the vile accusatory tone and please remove CAPS when typing otherwise you come across as a screaming and terribly angry person. Then again one really does not have to go far in your comments to figure that one out, it really leaves nothing to the imagination. Where does it say that he doesn’t have these qualifications? Hmm? Did you read the whole or just bits and pieces that would suit your contempt? Yes a kangaroo is not a ‘known’ animal in our backyard but seeing as a zoo gave him the animal btw that should give you some solace that they would not give it to just anyone. Really! Oh and FYI the animal was in a zoo which would categorically mean they are not habituated to the wild any longer he did not steal it from its mother nor did he go out of his way to bring it across the oceans in a suitcase through customs. So in essence what I’m saying is read the story before going off the handle.

  2. By Vanda Pietrantonio

    If dogs and horses can be used for therapy so can other animals. Children are for more in danger from adults than animals. If all the zeal for protecting animals was transferred to people the world would be a better place . Look after animals but people come first.

  3. I know the people who found the kangaroo in their back yard which is on Fief Road, a cross road to Ste Angelique. This meant that the kangaroo had a bit of a distance to travel to Fief, I travel this area all the time and could not imagine coming across such an animal on the road, almost of case of seeing the proverbial pink elephant!
    I don’t understand the secrecy as to the location of Murmurs d’animaux – there are several equestrian farms very close by with signs identifying them but Murmurs d’animaux has nothing. Are they trying to hide something and what does the town of St Lazare think about the number and type of animals on the place?

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