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Julia Heckathorn is a writer of children books. The message in her stories concerns conservation and preservation, and the voice of those messages is Boomeroo the kangaroo.
But Boomeroo doesn't only exist on the pages of Heckathorn's books.
Two years ago, with the help of the U.S.D.A., Heckathorn and her husband Jason adopted a real-life three-week-old kangaroo from a farm in Texas. The kangaroo, named for the titular character of her books, now resides with the couple in their home in Virginia.
"She's very loving," Heckathorn tells "Today" of daily life with Boomeroo. "She will follow me through the house and when I go outside."
Boomeroo is not the only exotic animal to live with Heckathorn. The writer and her husband also care for an anteater, four sugar glider possums, and one not-so-exotic pet: Larry the cat. And Larry and Boomeroo have become firm friends since the kangaroo took up residence.
Check out Boomeroo and Larry in the video above from "Today."