We are elated to announce the arrival of new joeys at Kangaloom! Prepare for cuteness overload as you can now observe these little guys and gals beginning to discover the outside world. A joey is a baby marsupial. What a lot of people don’t know is that they are not just riding around in their mom’s pouch for fun, they are actually born at a very immature stage and move into the pouch to finish developing.
The life of a joey is fascinating. Female kangaroos have a gestation period just over 30 days before they give birth to a joey the size of a jelly bean! The tiny joey then makes its harrowing journey, relying on instinct and a trail licked by the mother, up into the pouch. But the journey does not stop there. Once inside, the little marsupial latches on to the bottom of the pouch and forms a seal that will keep it latched on for the four months while the baby nurses from mom’s milk.
One of the exciting stages guests can see is the first time the joey pokes its head outside of the pouch to observe its surroundings. At this stage, the joey doesn’t have any fur and has floppy ears. Once it develops fuzz across its whole body, the ears will start to stand straight up, and you may be lucky enough to see the little marsupial take its first trip outside of the pouch.
Much like a baby deer learning how to stand, it takes the joey a little bit of practice to learn how to maneuver those long legs and tail. However, the joeys learn quickly and start to take longer trips outside of the safety of the pouch, only to dash back in when startled or hungry. Once a joey stays out of the pouch indefinitely, he or she will still hang out pretty close to mom for a while and sometimes will even continue to nurse until they are a year and a half old.
Most of the joeys this year belong to our red kangaroo moms, while only a few of them belong to our newest species on the habitat, the tammar wallabies. Our tammar wallaby moms are often mistaken for babies themselves, as adult tammar wallabies will only weigh about fifteen pounds at most! These joeys will be tiny when they make their guest debut. Keep an eye out in the grass areas of the habitat or over in the bamboo, these are the wallaby mom’s favorite hiding spots!
Kangaloom, located in the Bird Gardens area of the park, is a walkthrough kangaroo exhibit available to all guests ages five and older. For a truly unique encounter, guest feeding times are available and listed in the front of the habitat. Come by and feed kangaroos, wallaroos, and wallabies while keeping an eye out for our newest members of the Kangaloom mob. This will be a sight you don’t want to miss, so hop on over to Kangaloom for a visit!
Enjoy animal celebrations all year long at Busch Gardens with the 2017 Fun Card. For a limited time, guests who purchase a Busch Gardens Fun Card receive a FREE Adventure Island Fun Card. Click here for more information.