I want to be like roo! Adorable images of girl best friends with a kangaroo!
Meet Alia the beautiful baby girl who has formed an unlikely friendship with a KANGAROO.
At just 14-months-old Alia is not only one of very few babies to have been lucky enough to have met a kangaroo, but possibly the only baby in the world to have become friends with one.
The kangaroo called Boomeroo is cared for by Alia’s parents Julia and Jason Heckathorn from Northern Virginia, US, and Alia was first introduced to her when she was just a few days old.
Since then the pair have formed an extraordinary bond and are now inseparable as they play in the garden together, eat together and sometimes even dress like one another.
Boomeroo is very gentle towards Alia and will sit next to her while she draws, snuggle up next to her while she sleeps and was even there when she took her first steps.
Alia loves nothing more than to toddle after Boomeroo and can often be seen kissing and cuddling her.
Mum Julia said: “Boomeroo and Alia love to eat outside together. Alia will share treats, which makes Boomeroo a happy girl.
“Alia will sit on the deck and draw with her sidewalk chalk while Boomeroo sits by and watches, and in the yard, they’ll walk around together as Alia talks to Boomeroo and offers her grass or hay.
“Sometimes they’ll just sit together, and Alia will pet Boomeroo as they both take in some shade on a warm day.
“At times Alia even tries dressing Boomeroo after walking around and inspecting her, all the way from her tail up to her ears, meticulously touching each part as she passes by.
“She’s fascinated by the kangaroo.”
Julia writes and illustrates a series of children’s books called Search for the Hidden Clover, which chronicle the adventures of animals in a bid to educate children about the importance of caring for the environment.
Boomeroo, is one of the characters in Julia’s books along with Noche the anteater, Daisy the sloth, and Dexter the sugar glider – who are also cared for by Julia and her team.
For Alia, having a mum as an author means her bedtime stories really do come alive as the characters in the stories her mum writes and reads to her before bed, are her friends.
Together Alia, Boomeroo and her friends Daisy, Noche and Dexter join Julia as she visits schools across America where she reads books from the Hidden Clover series, gives talks about conservation and enables students to meet their favourite characters from the books.
Julia said: “Alia loves when I read her my children’s books just as much as other kids. Sometimes I sit with her while I write, talking to her about the animals in my educational and interactive children’s book series, Search for the Hidden Clover.
“When she recognises animals in the books, she will try to say their names, and will even lean forward to kiss them on the page.
“When she was old enough, she began playing outside with Boomeroo.
“Boomeroo has always been one of her favourite animals.
“Alia would sit in the yard and pick grass next to Boomeroo as she ate.
“A few months later Alia would lean against Boomeroo while learning to balance on two feet. Boomeroo would take small steps forward, and so would Alia.
“Soon, Alia learned to let go of Boomeroo and stand on her own as she babbled to Boomeroo in an intense baby conversation.
“It’s incredible to see her learning through interaction with an animal.
“Alia is safe around Boomeroo, but only because she was raised as a licensed educational animal to be good around children.
“She is extremely gentle, and is very laid back. I do not recommend exotic animal ownership.
“While Alia is safe with our animals it is important for all children to know that they need to keep a safe distance from wildlife.
“It feels good to see her so excited about nature, animals, and books at such a young age through her experience with the hidden clover nature books and the animals.
“Alia came home from a short family trip recently where Boomeroo wasn’t able to attend.
“When we arrived home we saw Boomeroo outside grazing on the grass, Alia ran up to her, took her face gently in her hands, and kissed her twice.
“Alia then sat next to Boomeroo, reaching up to pet her in the sweetest way. Alia then walked into the animal barn and noticed that some of Boomeroo’s food had been displaced from her bowl.
“One by one, Alia picked up the pieces of displaced food pellets and placed them back into Boomeroo’s bowl.
“Alia has learned to be caring towards animals, she cares because she loves every bit of nature, she’ll admire wild flowers as she walks through the forest, and collect fallen pine needles to play with later.
“I was never worried about how Boomeroo and Alia would get along.
“I know that Boomeroo loves children, and most of the time when children grow up with animals, they come to love them.
“I just never knew that they would love each other as much as they do.”
“Seeing the joy in children’s faces at schools when they see my educational animals and interact in my nature book readings is a delight.
“Seeing my own child have the same experiences, makes me even happier as a mother and an author.
“Writing books and educating while raising a child gets tiring, but it’s the moments when I get to see children’s hearts touched that make it all worthwhile.”