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Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)


Caring for orphaned joeys

  • More difficult than for many other mammals 
    • A natural response occurs when joey experiences a fall in nutrition quality:
      • Thymus glands shrink
      • Immunity to infection is lessened
      • Joey may die of bacterial infection
    • Care givers need to provide adequate nutrition to overcome this problem
  • Require sunshine and exercise outside of the pouch substitute in order for strong bones to develop
    • The Achilles tendons need exercise to stretch as the leg bones grow
      • Without exercise, young kangarros will eventually be unable to walk or hop
    • Joeys need encouragement (from their mother or caregivers) to gain enough confidence to exit their pouch and explore the outside world

San Diego Zoo

Red kangaroo at San Diego Zoo

Red kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Staker (2006)

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