A paralysed kangaroo may be taken away from its carer, who dresses it up in jeans, a t-shirt and a nappy.

Christie Carr says the kangaroo, which she named Irwin after renowned Australian animal expert Steve Irwin, is helping her battle depression.

But city officials in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, fear the partially paralysed 25lbs animal, a great red, could be a danger to the public.

Carr has cared for the kangaroo since it was a baby. She was doing voluntary work at a local animal sanctuary at her therapist’s suggestion when Irwin ran into fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage.

Native to Australia, a healthy male kangaroo can grow up to seven feet tall, weigh more than 200lbs and bound 25 feet in a single leap.

But because of his accident, Irwin isn’t expected to get larger than 50lbs and can only hop a few times with assistance. The kangaroo has been neutered to reduce any chance it will become aggressive.

Carr said: “Irwin will not live if I have to give him up. I can’t imagine a day without him.”

Veterinarian Dr. Lesleigh Cash Warren is backing Carr’s fight to get a special exemption from the city council.

In a letter to officials, she wrote: “Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo. He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare.”

Carr’s therapist has certified the kangaroo as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But Broken Arrow mayor Mike Lester said he worries what could happen if Irwin is able to regain full mobility.

Last week the council delayed making a decision until later this month to give City Attorney Beth Anne Wilkening time to research the issue.

He said: “There’s just a myriad of things we need to consider.”

Carr takes her kangaroo to the Broken Arrow Nursing Home where residents hold and pet the animal. Many plan to support her at the council meeting.

Owner Joanna Cooper said: “Why are people giving her problems when people have [pet] tigers and pit bulls?”


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