Kangaroos are native to Australia where they are the national symbol. In the rest of the world, they are mainly seen in zoos.
There are people, hopefully few in number, who keep them as pets. If you’re thinking of choosing a cute little kangaroo as a pet, here are some things you should know.
Male kangaroos can reach over 5 feet tall while females are usually up to 3 1/2 feet tall. Add the tail length to that in both sexes. Males can weigh up to 200 lbs. while females are smaller. Lifespan in captivity can be over 20 years – a long commitment. Kangaroos form small groups of 2-4 roos (nickname).
In the wild, a roo’s diet is made up of wild flowering plants and grasses. The groups tend to remain in one area unless food is scarce. Then they will roam over many miles in search of food.
Kangaroos have extremely strong hind legs and can severely injure or kill with a kick. Their young are called joeys and are carried in a body pocket called a pouch for about 8 months following birth.
Kangaroos require a huge area to live on with strong fencing to keep predators away. They need pasture land for foraging and shelter provided for weather protection. Keep in mind that roos can jump almost 10 feet up and a distance of 30 feet in one leap.
Kangaroos are herbivores and a variety of grasses and shrubs should be provided in their diet. The diet can be supplemented with leafy green veggies such as lettuce, some fruits and pellets made for roos. Depending on size, your roo should be eating between 4% and 20% of its weight. Check with your local zoo for feeding instructions if you are not sure. Always have fresh, clean water available.
Depending on how many kangaroos you choose, remember that males will fight by kicking and hitting each other. Females get along well with other females and youngsters.
Before considering a kangaroo as a pet, research them thoroughly. Make sure your vet is knowledgeable about them and willing to treat roos. Keep in mind that they are, after all, wild. And if you still have questions, your local zoo is a good place for information.