Meet the Potter Park Zoo’s new little pride and joey! This adorable new face emerged from the pouch late this winter from red kangaroo mother Roothie.
Roothie came to Potter Park Zoo from St. Louis Zoological Park in May of 2017 with three other red kangaroos. The animal care staff knew there was a possibility that Roothie could be pregnant, but weren’t able to confirm until they started seeing movement in her pouch in January of this year.
Approximately six months ago the new joey was born. Despite being the size of a lima bean at birth, a newborn joey is able to climb up its mother’s belly and into her pouch to finish developing. By the time the joey is ready to start venturing from the safety of the pouch, it has grown to be a couple of feet tall.
Visitors who are patient may see the joey climbing all the way out of the pouch, reaching for his mom’s food and beginning to explore his world with mother Roothie and the other kangaroos. You may see Roothie with a big pair of feet or a tail just hanging out of her pouch too!
The kangaroo group, commonly known as a mob, reside in the exhibit that formerly housed the zoo’s moose before they moved to their new location in 2016.
“We are looking forward to a great season at Potter Park Zoo and we know the kangaroo and new joey will be a part of that,” said Sarah Pechtel. The zoo is expecting to increase the size of their mob in the near future
In line with the Potter Park Zoo purpose and mission ‘ to inspire people to conserve animals in the natural world’ all of the kangaroo at Potter Park Zoo are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are over 170 SSP’s that, throughout the accredited zoo community, work to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations of animals facing extinction in the wild.