Wednesday, April 28, 2004 Posted: 2:39 AM EDT (0639 GMT)
SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Lulu, a pet kangaroo that helped save the life of an Australian farmer last year, is to be honored with one of the RSPCA's highest awards for animal bravery, the National Animal Valor Award.
The 52-year-old farmer, Len Richards, was knocked unconscious by a falling tree branch on his farm in the Gippsland region of Victoria state, during a storm last September.
Lulu came to his rescue by going to the family home and making a barking noise to attract the attention of Richards' wife Lynn.
Richards went looking for her husband with a nephew and found him lying unconscious in a field.
Lulu has been reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother's pouch after the mother was killed by a car more than four years ago.
In comments to Australian Broadcasting radio Wednesday, Richards says it seems Lulu also applied some first aid.
"My nephew, when he got to my side, said she'd actually tipped me on my side and vomit was coming out of my mouth so she'd actually saved me from choking," he said.
The RSPCA's Victorian office confirmed to CNN Wednesday that the award will be presented to Lulu next month.
Lulu, who has her own website www.luluthekangaroo.com.au, is the first kangaroo to receive the Animal Valor Award, which was set up by the RSPCA in Australia in 1998 to recognise the deeds of animals.
The RSPC says it "acknowledges the performance of a deed by an animal that displays exceptional courage in the face of danger, thereby greatly benefiting a human or humans."
Lulu's actions are akin to those of another resourceful kangaroo, Skippy, who was the hero of a 1960s Australian children's television series of the same name.
Kangaroos are common throughout Australia. Lulu is an eastern grey, one of the five main types.