CHICAGO — The Lincoln Park Zoo's newest resident is the first-ever baby red kangaroo born at the zoo.
Born in May to Anna, 7, and Jacob, 5, the still-unnamed baby 'roo poked its head from its mother's pouch for the first time this week, the zoo said.
“This little 'roo has been very secretive so far. Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch,” said curator Diane Mulkerin.
Baby kangaroos — known as joeys — weigh less than an ounce at birth, and stay in their mother's pouch for the first few months. They leave the pouch only once they are sufficiently developed, but return to feed and for security until they're nearly a year old.
The zoo said the joey will leave the pouch and start hopping about on its own in a few months. Then zoo staffers will be able to determine its sex, and give it a name.
For now, the new parents are "taking the birth in stride, or, I guess I should say, hop,” Mulkerin said. “Anna is a laid-back mom and is going about her normal routine of napping, exercising, and eating plenty of leafy greens.”
Red kangaroos are common in Australia. The zoo is home to six adult red kangaroos.