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A true-life Skippy

A kangaroo named Lulu has been hailed a hero for saving an unconscious Australian farmer in Canberra by alerting the man's wife and leading her to where he lay trapped under a fallen tree branch. Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, on Sunday morning when he was hit by a falling branch.

In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children's television series Skippy, in which a pet kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, the kangaroo began barking until Richards' wife came to investigate. She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 metres (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the grey kangaroo. Lulu was hand-reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother's pouch and fed her on bottles after her mother was killed by a car about four years ago.

"Dad was totally out of it and Lulu was sitting by him in the bush making this really unusual yapping noise until Mum got there," Richards' 19-year-old son Luke told Reuters.

"It was so lucky. Dad could have been there for hours if it wasn't for her," he said.

Richards was taken to hospital with suspected head injuries but allowed home on Sunday night. Animal welfare group the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) called for Lulu to be nominated for its annual national bravery award.

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