Kangaroos and Wallabies ~
Kangaroos and wallabies are part of a group of mammals known as macropods (large feet). The greatest difference between kangaroos and wallabies is their size. The four largest species of macropods are kangaroos, followed in size by three species known as wallaroos, and greater than 40 of the smallest macropods are considered to be wallabies. Macropods are marsupials (pouched mammals) that give birth to a poorly developed fetus after a very short gestation of approximately one month. The newborn macropod is only approximately 1 gram or the size of a lima bean at birth, and the blind newborn uses its well-developed forelimbs to pull itself up into the pouch or marsupium where it is nurtured.
All macropods except for tree kangaroos move both hind legs at the same time and hop or jump for locomotion on land. Their hopping motion has the ability to store elastic strain energy within specialized tendons in the legs in order to actually reduce the amount of energy used the faster or farther a macropod hops. Macropods have poor ability to regulate their body temperatures (thermoregulate) and don’t sweat or pant. At the zoo, you will frequently see the macropods digging shallow holes in the soil to get access to a cooler surface, and you may see them licking their forearms to allow their bodies to cool from evaporative cooling.
The Good Zoo participates in the red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, and red-necked wallaby Species Survival Plan breeding programs with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited institutions to ensure sustainable populations of these species in human care.
We care for a mob of red kangaroos and red-necked wallabies. We feed the mob a pelleted kangaroo and wallaby diet, grapes, bananas, carrots, and yams. The mob loves peanuts, fresh grape leaves, fig newtons, hide structures, play pieces, bedding materials, and punching bags! If you’d like to meet the kangaroos and wallabies and learn more about them, you can schedule an animal encounter.