One of two new baby kangaroos born at Chehaw sticks her head out of her mother’s pouch. The joeys just recently made their way out of the pouch, about nine months after being born. (Submitted photo)
Ben Roberts, manager of animal programs at Chehaw, talks about the wild animal habitat's kangaroos. Joeys that are 9 to 10 months old have just left their mothers' pouches at the Albany, Ga., zoo. Kangaroos also have an affection they share with a lot of Southerners. They love white bread. (Video by Jim Hendricks)
ALBANY — Chehaw has two new additions to its animal park.
The park now has two new female baby kangaroos who are now out of their mothers’ pouches. One baby was born to Durry Jr., and is her first successful birth. The other was born to Arniebounce Pants, making this her second successful birth.
Initially born about nine months ago, park officials say the joeys can be seen wrestling and sparring with the rest of the kangaroo mob and seven emu in Chehaw’s Australian exhibit.
“They are now out of the pouch and you can see them playing,” said Morgan Seegmueller, public relations coordinator at Chehaw.
Now that they are out of the pouch, it appears they are in good health.
“They are out doing kangaroo things,” said Ben Roberts, manager for animal programs at the park. “They are doing OK. Once they are out of the pouch, the questionable period is gone. (When they are in the pouch) a lot can happen. (With exposure to dirt) there are chances for infection.”
The two kangaroos are expected to be named by Chehaw’s staff soon, Roberts said.
“This time, the staff will do it,” he said. “Last time, Turner Elementary did it.”
This is the second set of successful kangaroo births that have taken place at the park, and based on last time, it is expected that the most recent additions will bring in a good crowd of visitors.
“So far when we have had baby kangaroos, people have responded,” Roberts said. “It’s cooler now, so they are more active; they are sparring with their parents and still nurse every now and then. In the summer it’s hot, so they are laying around more then.
“This is the second time we have had successful babies, and normally they are quite a bit of an attraction. It is worth it to come out and see them.”
A joey is roughly the size of a lima bean at birth. It will then spend the next six months inside the mother kangaroo’s pouch growing and developing until the baby kangaroo is sufficiently large and developed enough to make its way out of the pouch. It will stick its head out for a few weeks until it eventually feels safe enough to fully emerge.
From then on, it spends increasing time in the outside world and eventually, at about nine months old, it leaves the pouch for the last time. The joeys will continue to nurse for up to a year, officials at Chehaw say.