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Skippy the bush kangaroo

Updated on March 24, 2016

Meet Skippy!

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!

Skip bush-a-roo

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

Grey kangaroo
Grey kangaroo

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

Mother and joey
Mother and joey

Kangaroos are rarely kept as pets

in Australia

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

Big red kangaroos
Big red kangaroos
Gary and Skippy
Gary and Skippy

Garry Pankhurst

played Sonny, Skippy's pal

From Wikipedia

Garry Pankhurst

Born 1957

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.

Clancy and Skippy
Clancy and Skippy

Liza Goddard

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.

Tony Bonner
Tony Bonner

Tony Bonner

played Jerry King, helicopter pilot

From Wikipedia

Tony Bonner

Born 23 November 1943 (1943-11-23) (age 66)

Australia

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

Skippy The Bush Kangaroo Season 1 (Pal/Region 0)
Skippy The Bush Kangaroo Season 1 (Pal/Region 0)

See why Australian kids just loved their hero, Skippy the bush kangaroo

 

Did you watch Skippy as a child - if you grew up in Oz?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is still my favourite show, i recently went to australia, god i love australia and his kangoeroe's and koala's, i recievd the dvd box from my australian friends, and started watching again!

    • PizmoBeach LM profile image

      PizmoBeach LM 6 years ago

      This was my favourite show when I was a child. I recently saw some re-runs on TV and they looked dated but I still enjoyed the programmes.

    • JanTUB profile image
      Author

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 6 years ago from Australia

      @CastleRoyLisa: We used to watch it religiously, because the girls wouldn't miss it!

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Rhode Island

      I wish I had seen this series growing up. looks wonderful