“It was a pretty special thing,” the photographer said of the moment

By Kelli Bender
Updated January 13, 2016 09:07 PM
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Evan Switzer’s casual walk through the bushland of Queensland, Australia, turned into a tearful saga after he spotted a family of kangaroos.

According to The Telegraph, the photographer was enjoying some time outside when he saw a kangaroo in distress. The female was lying underneath a mango tree with her head propped up by a male companion. Standing beside the ailing animal was the kangaroo’s joey, looking down at his mother.

“I saw the male pick up the female, he looked like he was just trying to get her up and see what was wrong with her,” Switzer said. “He would lift her up and she wouldn’t stand she’d just fall to the ground, he’d nudge her, stand beside her.”

Eventually, the male grasped the mother kangaroo’s head and turned it towards her baby. Once the mom saw her child, she spent her final breaths reaching out to touch the joey one last time, a bittersweet scene Switzer caught on camera.

After the female passed, both the male and joey stood guard over the body, scaring off any other animals who came near.

“It was a pretty special thing, he was just mourning the loss of his mate,” the photographer said of the protective male. Switzer also mentioned that he has seen multiple dead kangaroos during his time in Australia, but has never seen an emotional reaction like this.

The female’s cause of death is unknown at this time. Switzer could not see any injuries on the kangaroo from where he was taking photos.