All about the *captive* Red Kangaroo. These short armed bouncers are native to Australia. In Australia they are as common as white tail deer in Texas. They are commonly seen on the sides of the road, in peoples yard and they are known to be prolific breeders. They have been in the United States for decades now. There are various ranches small and large all over the US in almost every state with red kangaroos! You can find them in zoos, farms, education programs or even in homes as companions.
When our guests meet a kangaroo for the first time, they usually say that their fur is softer than they expected. What they also are about to find out is that kangaroos are extremely docile as companion or working animals despite what they might think from kangaroos in the media. Adult females do not grow very large, they stay about 4 ft high, and about 60 lbs. The adult males can become big (almost 6 feet!) and aggressive but if they are neutered at a young age they do not become aggressive. Neutering the males is a common practice for people who have pets, or for animal ambassadors. Unless the male is specifically used for breeding, it is best to have him neutered for health and safety.
We pull babies at a specific weight, once the baby reaches 5 to 6lbs we bring them into the nursery and begin bottle feeding. Once the babies start suckling the bottle good they start socializing and meeting our guests.
Its important for us that the kangaroos in our mob are friendly and trust us. This helps if we need to transport them to the vet, or for any examinations that they need. This is accomplished by hand raising them as babies. If the babies are left with the mom for the duration of weaning the babies would not have the connection to us and would not be as manageable. They would run and have fear of us, and examinations or medications they need would be stressful to give. This is why most zoos and animal ranches also bottle feed the babies.
Once the babies are several months out of the pouch we then decide to sell them as companions or keep them for our programs. This decision is so hard because we want to keep them all! But we understand that our purpose cannot continue if we did. We place our babies in like minded facilities, or as companions to private homes.
An interesting fact about kangaroos is they don't have a smell! They do not produce a body odor and stay very stink-free. Of course their poop stinks like any other animal though. 💛 I love being able to give them a belly rub or a back rub without getting the stinky hand.
My team is very hands on and loves working with the kangaroos. Since ours are friendly it makes feeding and daily status reports very easy on our keepers and on the animals.
Right now we have 7 Red Kangaroos that call JEAR home. They are loved, they are cared for and they are living a spoiled life!