The Potter Park Zoo team is pleased to announce the addition of five kangaroos, bringing the total to six who now call Lansing home. The kangaroo group, commonly known as a mob, will reside in the exhibit that formerly housed the zoo’s moose before they moved to their new location in 2016.
“This spacious exhibit will allow the keepers to provide a more complex environment for the animals and ensure they have excellent welfare,” said Potter Park Zoo General Curator Sarah Pechtel. “We are thrilled to add this group of kangaroos to our zoo. They are quite playful and we think our guests will find them very interesting to watch.”
Four red kangaroo, Donald and Bernie, both 1-year-old males, Hillary a 1- year-old female, and Roothie, a 4-year-old female, recently moved to Potter Park Zoo from St. Louis Zoological Park in Missouri. Oscar, a 1-year-old male western grey kangaroo, transferred from the Los Angeles Zoo in California. The five join Potter Park Zoo’s 22-year-old male western grey kangaroo, Sparty, known by the keeper staff as Grey.
Both the western grey and red kangaroo are large marsupials and native to Australia. Females can weigh 40 to 80 lbs. and males 120 to 200 lbs., ranging from 3 to 5 feet tall. They have extremely long and powerful legs, and a long tail used for balance when they are moving on their hind legs. The ability to jump up to 25 feet in a single leap is a characteristic kangaroo are well known for. In Australia female kangaroo are known as does or fliers and males as boomers or stinkers due to their strong odor.
“We are looking forward to a great season at Potter Park Zoo and we know the kangaroo will be a part of that,” said Pechtel.
All six 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 SSPs that, throughout the accredited zoo community, work to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations of animals facing extinction in the wild.