Zoo Staff Hand-Raising Orphaned Kangaroo Joey

Published 04/17 2013 08:22AM

Updated 04/17 2013 08:27AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Melinda Arnold with Dickerson Park Zoo stopped by Daybreak Wednesday and brought along one of the zoo's newest residents - a baby kangaroo.

Leia is 7 months old.  She is being hand-raised by zoo staff after her mother became very ill and had to be euthanized last week.  Leia is kept in a padded pouch that simulates her mother and is being bottle-fed several times a day.

Kangaroos are the largest living marsupials from the family Macropodidae. There are four species commonly referred to as the kangaroo: the red kangaroo, the eastern grey kangaroo, the western grey kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo.

Kangaroos are grazing herbivores, which means their diet consists mainly of grasses. They can survive long periods without water.

Kangaroos live and travel in organized groups or "mobs," dominated by the largest male. Male kangaroos are called boomers, bucks or jacks; females are does, flyers, or jills, and the young ones are joeys. The collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop or court.

Come join the Zoo for our annual Party for the Planet - April 27, 2013 10:00:00 am

Celebrate Earth Day at Dickerson Park Zoo with hands-on, conservation learning stations, zookeeper chats and animal enrichment. Party for the Planet activities are free with paid zoo admission.

Date: Saturday, April 27
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Admission: $9 adults and teens, $6 children ages 3-12

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