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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 the San Diego Zoo.
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
SDZWA Library Links
Fact Sheet Index
Fact sheet index, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
Home page, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
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