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Toddler Forms Friendship With Kangaroo

While most toddlers strike up their first friendship with the little one next door, 14-month-old Alia Heckathorn has found a companion in a kangaroo named Boomeroo. The duo has been inseparable since the day they met when Alia was just a few days old.

As a licensed educational animal, Boomeroo is being taken care of by Alia's parents Julia and Jason, who live in Northern Virginia. From playing in the garden to eating next to each other to donning matching outfits, the baby and the kangaroo do everything together. It was even there to witness Alia taking her first steps.

"Boomeroo and Alia love to eat outside together," Julia told the Daily Mail. "Alia will share treats, which makes Boomeroo a happy girl. Alia will sit on the deck and draw with her pavement 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."

The furry animal is also the subject in Julia's children's book series "Search for the Hidden Clover," which centers on animals who strive to educate children about the environment. Although kangaroos are known to be aggressive, Boomeroo has been nothing but gentle and safe with the baby. Forming a bond with the kangaroo, Alia has come to appreciate nature and animals at a young age.

"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. 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."­

Photo credit: Daily Mail/"Search for the Hidden Clover"

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