Kangaroo Dundee: Meet Chris ‘Brolga’ Barnes, the top Aussie bloke who has become a surrogate mother to orphaned kangaroos (VIDEO)

Most people have heard of the Australian character, Crocodile Dundee. But few have heard of the man called "Kangaroo Dundee". But that will soon change for the animal lover who stars in a BBC documentary that follows his unusual life in the Australian Outback where he spends all his time mothering orphaned marsupials.

 Kangaroo Dundee who is really Chris Barnes also known as 'Brolga' (an aboriginal word for stork), left his life in the city to move to the Outback and build a shack with no running water or heat. This is where he cares for the orphaned kangaroos that he comes across. He is a big man at 6'7" but to the kangaroos he is Mum, as he cares for them 24 hours a day. They go everywhere with him, to the grocery store, and they even sleep at the end of his bed.

Chris Barnes, who is in his 40s, started his new life 20 years ago after rescuing three joeys and realising they couldn't go back to the wild. He then decided to build his own sanctuary in the Outback. He single-handedly dug a 2.5 mile long trench and fixing more than 4,000 metres of chain-mesh to 450 hand-hammered fence posts. It took him 2 1/2 years working seven days a week to build the sanctuary in 45C degree heat.

All in all he has cared for over 200 kangaroos over the years. It is not an easy job where many times he is woken up in the middle of the night to tend to crying babies. The babies must be fed every 4 hours. He also has to patrol the perimeter of the sanctuary, making sure the animals are safe from wild dogs. To support himself and his sanctuary he works at stacking shelves and washing buses on the side.

His amazing story has been documented in the two-part BBC2 series 'Kangaroo Dundee'. The film shows him taking on three newly-orphaned and very vulnerable babies: Amy, Daisy and William. But it is all very much worth it to him. As he describes his role, "The first thing a kangaroo mother does is care for her joey. Without their mother, joeys are incredible vulnerable. I find, as a caretaker, that I have a much better success rate if I give the babies lots of love."

The biggest threat to Chris and his kangaroos is from the weather. As he puts it, "A bushfire is the closest thing to hell. If it got into the sanctuary it would be all over, the kangaroos would be burned alive - it would be the worst thing I could imagine. If one day that uncontrollable demon of a bushfire comes to the sanctuary I will take it on to protect my family and I will go down fighting.''


Responses to "Kangaroo Dundee - an Australian man who has devoted his life to caring for orphaned marsupials"

  1. Anonymous says:

    It takes special people to love enough to give up the lives they were raised in and take on a role that completely envelopes every minute of every day! "Kangaroo Dundee" is one of this breed, I admire his determination and the fact that he has given up everything he has ever known to take on the task of saving every kangaroo that is in need. God bless him , we need more like him ( in every manner of human, animal and all other life )if this planet is to survive!I hope that I will be in an area that shows the film!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    i think what this guy does is wonderful. It's so heartfelt - i wish him the very best.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic film shown in the UK today. Very moving. Can we donate from the UK to support the project?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is so great !!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am in awe of Chris he has no facilites apart from water so must put himself through hell for this...he is a truley remarkable person...I can't wait to see the other part of the documentary I wish they would do a film about him and give him the money. A book would be wonderful too...I would love to donate from UK too...he is an insperation to all if I make it to OZ I would love to visit him...and help for a day even just to wash the roos pouches would be an experience..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done Chris a Great guy!!!!
    He's got it right.
    The thing with animals is; they don't know Deceit, Lies and Back Stabbing, Feigning illness and the other traits that sets us from them, .
    A lot of us so called humans could learn more from people like Chris.

  7. Unknown says:

    I wish I lived there so I could volunteer!!!!!! I hope shovels and hands come to Chris !!!! Oh what good this way of life....blessings your way hope

  8. Anonymous says:

    He is brilliant. One of the nicest, kindest human beings that I had the pleasure watching on TV. God protect him and his roos.

  9. Unknown says:

    amazing programme. sitting in the Uk watching! hope you find the right lady to share your life with your roos.

  10. Unknown says:

    amazing programme. sitting in the Uk watching! hope you find the right lady to share your life with your roos.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We have enjoyed watching Chris and the kangaroos enormously. It's truly remarkable to see his love and devotion to these animals. It would be lovely for him if he could meet someone whom he could share his love and passion with, and they too could raise their own human family, still doing what he clearly adores.. Animals and small children. I know it's very cliche, but they are the most honest and loving ones to be around. Amazing guy!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wata good programme this sister lives in oz i dont think shes even heard of this great mans work...xcellent programme

  13. Anonymous says:

    fantastic guy!what a wonderfull he does
    Is there a way to donate ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    God bless you and keep you; and your 'roos'. You do such sterling work, you put the rest of the world to shame!! Keep it up.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yep, because being normal is to kill each other, support the banks who have robbed off us, see half the world starve whilst we eat, turn a blind eye to slavery.
    The world would be a better place with weirdos then!
    Learn from the humble humanity from this man, he's an inspiration.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Having lived for yrs in the mtns, I know all too well what challenges you face just scratching a living out for yourself. I'm very serious about reducing my carbon footprint and taking care of my fellow mammals - but Brolga, my hat's off to you, mate! What you're doing is beautiful - and I wish you the best.

    Don't let anyone tell you you're bonkers b/c you live w/o indoor plumbing and the like. I've done it for yrs. Wood stoves, cistern in the attic, hauled all our water up the stairs 10 gals at a time -- the works.

    I'd still be living there today, surrounded by unspoilt nature, but for the war. I miss the birdsong at dawn, wildlife peeking in my windows and just the simple joy of seeing my crops come in.

    I'm going to surf a bit until I find your website - and kick some support your way. You're a prince!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I feel so humble having seen the programme and yes I did cry with Chris when Daisy had to be put to sleep. Well done Chris and all the best to you and your Joeys.

  18. Anonymous says:

    is there anyway we can donate to this amazing man?

  19. Anonymous says:

    There always has to be someone that comments nasty things about amazing people. Brolga may be different to the average person who relies on technology and being spoilt to get through life, but wouldn't you rather live out with baby kangaroos, doing a job saving hundreds of poor animals and seeing them grow and mature? I certainly would... All that peace not having to worry about technology and not relying on Twitter and Facebook etc. Chris Barnes is an incredibly selfless man who does what he does because he enjoys it. So if you're calling Chris a weirdo I would agree with you, but not with the fact that you are calling an amazing person something out of jealousy and immaturity, but with the fact that he is one of the very few people these days who does not HAVE to use technology and the internet and one of the few people who are genuine, lovely human beings.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Have just watched the second episode and can't believe that this wonderful man lives in the same country as I do and we haven't heard of him. Surely he is a national treasure.

  21. Grushenko says:

    What is the Australian government doing to protect this sanctuary from bush fires, which is the most dangerous thing to them? What are they doing to donate some of the food for his own life and for the kangaroos. Now that everyone is becoming aware of his existence, it is the public's responsibility to truly help him and not just with words...

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