Skippy the bush kangaroo
Skippy was favourite of all Aussie kids in the sixties and seventies.
She was heroic, unafraid and very clever.
Her human friend, Sonny, could understand her click-click signals, and went to see what she had uncovered in the Waratah National Park where they both lived.
Image property of Don Stoery
Skippy was a very smart kangaroo
she could tell if people were baddies or not!
In the TV series, Skippy always saved the day.
Many bad guys would come into the park and try to poach animals for illegal pets.
Skippy always told Sonny there were baddies around, and helped to catch them.
Very clever and very brave little kangaroo!
That's what my daughter used to sing
Veronica was born in 1966, the same year that Skippy first aired on Australian TV.
When she was about three or four she would skip around the house singing, "Skip bush-a-roo, skip bush-a-roo."
Our family from then on always called kangaroos "skip bush-a-roos".
You will love this - get it at Amazon
Teach your kids the Skip bush-a-roo song!
Where did 'kangaroo' come from?
a word from ancient aboriginal language
The word 'kangaroo' is from the Aboriginal word (of the Guugu Yiidhirr language) 'gungurru' for the grey kangaroo. However, the English settlers soon used the word, which they pronounced kangaroo, to refer to any of the kangaroo family.
When the early explorers first saw kangaroos, they described them as creatures with heads like deer but without antlers, that could stand up tall like men but that hopped like frogs. Female kangaroos with a joey's head peeping out of the pouch confused them, as they thought they were two-headed animals!
Did you know?
That kangaroos are not born in their mother's pouch?
Even in the largest kangaroo (the red kangaroo) the neonate emerges after only 33 days.
Usually only one young is born at a time. It is blind, hairless and only a few centimetres long, with undeveloped hind legs.
The tiny embryo uses its minute forelegs to climb its way through the thick fur on its mother's abdomen into the pouch, which takes about three to five minutes.
Once in the pouch, it fastens onto one of the two teats and starts to feed.
It lives in the pouch until it's about nine months old, longer in the case of red kangaroos.
Joey in mum's pouch
Kangaroos are rarely kept as pets
Sometimes people might have a joey whose mother has been killed in a road accident as a pet, but it's actually not allowed as a permanent arrangement.
Kangaroos are protected from being held in captivity, and must be released back into the wild once they are recovered if rescued.
A licence is required to keep them at all.
A big red buck - and his doe
played Sonny, Skippy's pal
Occupation Television actor
Years active 1966 - 1969
Garry Pankhurst is a former Australian actor, best known for his role as Sonny Hammond in the 1960s Australian children's television series Skippy. Pankhurst left show-business after the series ended, and now manages aged care homes for the Lutheran church.
He currently lives in the Gold Coast, Queensland and avoids interviews normally.
played Clancy Merrick
Teenage daughter of another park ranger who had been transferred up north.
Clancy remained behind, boarding with the Hammonds in order to finish her music tuition.
Liza (born 20 January 1950) is a television and stage actress best known for her work in the 1970s and 1980s.
She is best remembered in Australia for her role as Clarissa "Clancy" Merrick in Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
played Jerry King, helicopter pilot
Born 23 November 1943 (1943-11-23) (age 66)
Manly, New South Wales
Tony Bonner (born 23 November 1943) is an Australian television, film and stage actor and singer. Bonner became famous in the 1960s children's television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, later moving on to lead roles in the dramas Cop Shop and Skyways.
Get Series 1 of Skippy - from Amazon
See why Australian kids just loved their hero, Skippy the bush kangaroo
Links where you can find out more about Skippy - Australia's favourite 'pet'
Places to visit - to see kangaroos
- Kangaroo Island, South Australia
About Kangaroo Island Think of an island seven times the size of Singapore. Think of native bushland, wildlife and pristine beaches. Think of adventure and days of exploring. Think of beach houses, local wines and sunsets. You're thinking of Kangaroo