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After a 27-year hiatus, red kangaroos are hopping at Memphis Zoo

You could see the marsupials play boxing when you visit the new ‘KangaZoo’ exhibit at the Memphis Zoo.


The land down under is coming to the Bluff City with the opening of KangaZoo

Experience the outback and meet one of Australia's largest marsupials, the red kangaroo. Guests will stay on the designated path, but the kangaroos will have free range so guests may take pictures if they come across any of the animals. We will also offer a unique VIP experience where guests can hang out with baby kangaroos aka joeys for an additional charge.

After a 27-year hiatus, Memphis Zoo is thrilled to welcome back red kangaroos! 

Red kangaroos are native to the central and western parts of mainland Australia and are the largest of all kangaroo species. Kangaroos can weigh anywhere from 40 lbs. to 200 lbs. and some can grow to be over six feet tall! Kangaroos are in the Macropod family. Macropod means large, big, or long footed. Other macropods include wallabies, tree kangaroos, wallaroos, pademelons and quokkas. 

What is in a name? A group of kangaroos can be referred to as a mob, troop, or court. Male kangaroos are often called boomers, bucks, or jacks. Female Kangaroos are called flyers, does, jills, or blue flyers. They have a bluish color to their coat. Baby kangaroos are called joeys.

Kangaroos are also marsupials meaning they have young that are born incompletely developed and are typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother's belly. Female kangaroos will carry their young inside that pouch for 120-450 days before the joeys will start exploring on their own. Most marsupials are found in Australia or New Guinea, with one exception being the opossum that is found here in North America.

Kangaroos are herbivores. They chew their cud like cows and are fermentation digesters. They have micro-organisms in their gut that help break down the cellulose that comes with a plant diet. Their teeth are incisors that are very sharp and can cut grass to the ground and their molars can easily grind foliage. This helps them eat a large quantity of grass very quickly.

When it comes to kangaroo movement, kangaroos can travel up to 35 miles per hour and they can jump up to 25 feet in one bound. Their tails act as an extra leg to give them more power. Kangaroos are not able to move backward and cannot walk on all four of their limbs. Just like humans have a dominant hand, kangaroos do too. Kangaroos are left-hand dominant. 

Kangaroos are usually very calm unless they come face to face with a predator.  They will kick predators to defend themselves and that kick is very strong.

If you visit our kangaroos, you may witness the animals play boxing. When the weather gets a little warmer, you may also see them digging shallow holes to keep cool. They also keep cool by licking their front paws.

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