Based on a story by Dorothy Cotterell, Orphan of the Wilderness deals with the issue of animal cruelty. Chut, a joey orphaned by hunters, wanders through the bush until he comes across the homestead of Tom Henton. Tom raises Chut in a loving atmosphere and, among other things, teaches him to box. When drought strikes the district, Henton finds himself in desperate need of money and is forced to sell Chut to a sadistic circus owner, Shorty McGee. Tom's girlfriend, Margot, is a performer in the circus and promises to keep an eye on Chut. The kangaroo's prowess as a boxer helps make the circus famous, but only later does Margot find out that McGee has been whipping the kangaroo into obedience. One day, Chut fights back against his new owner and severely injures him. After escaping to the bush, the kangaroo is pursued by hunters and their dogs. Tom and his station hand manage to rescue Chut, despite a brawl with the hunters, and they all make their way back to the homestead where Chut is once again safe.