Joey joy: Melbourne Zoo welcomes new kangaroo

13 April 2022

It may not be old enough to hop, skip or jump just yet, but an adorable new resident at Melbourne Zoo is quickly winning over the hearts of anyone lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

The Zoo is celebrating the birth of a Kangaroo Island joey to first-time parents, Fern and Moe [pronounced: Mow], with the little one just starting to poke its head out of the pouch.

Kangaroo Island kangaroo joeys typically spend seven to nine months in the pouch before weaning and becoming independent.

Melbourne Zoo Australia Bush Keeper Kody Davidson said both mum and joey are healthy.

“They’re both eating and drinking really well, which is exactly what we want to see in a baby ’roo and a new mum,” Mr Davidson said.

“It’s been incredible to witness this process. We’ve seen this tiny baby kangaroo kicking around in mum’s pouch for weeks, and it has just now started poking its head out for its first look of the world.”

When a joey is first born, it’s really tiny - about the size of a grain of rice. But from there it will attach onto its mother’s teat and start to grow very fast. By the time it is fully weaned it will weigh about five kilograms.

As a crepuscular species, Kangaroo Island kangaroos are typically most active at dusk and dawn, so Zoo Members and visitors are more likely to see the little joey peeking out of mum’s pouch within the Australia Bush precinct in the late afternoon.