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Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Spot Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emu, Brolga and Koalas in the native grasslands of Australian Journey at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
As kangaroos are most active in the evening and at dawn, you may need to search for them resting in the shade of the trees or lying down in the tall grass. Kangaroos are herbivores and are a grazing animal – eating mainly grass and shrubs.
Their fur is thick and fluffy and can range from light grey to grey-brown in colour. They have a small head with big ears. They can grow to be up to seven feet tall with a long, powerful tail that they use for balance when hopping and as a fifth limb when moving slowly.
Female kangaroos breed all year round and have one baby at a time. The joey weighs less than a gram when born and makes its way unaided up the mother’s abdomen to her pouch. It attaches to one of her four teats where it remains for many months. After approximately eight months, the young joey will start to venture out of mum’s pouch for short periods, returning if cold or scared! The little joey will continue to return to the mother’s pouch until it is up to 12 months old. By this time the joey will be too big for the pouch and she will refuse to let them in! She may already have another joey suckling on her teat by this stage.
Kangaroos are social animals living in groups called ‘mobs’. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are usually found in groups of approximately ten individuals but several mobs will often come together to feed in areas where food is abundant.
While Eastern Grey Kangaroos are listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (the IUCN ‘red list’), they still face many threats including dog attacks, natural disasters, drought and injury from vehicles.
A wander through Australian Journey is an excellent opportunity to learn about Australian animals and the history of the area. The kangaroos at Werribee Open Range Zoo share this predator-proof exhibit with other native animals who once roamed the grasslands that covered over a third of Victoria. Today, due to many factors including development, weed invasion and grazing, less than one per cent of these grasslands remain. Luckily, kangaroos are very adaptable and are found in areas ranging from sea level up to sub-alpine as well as a variety of habitats from scrublands and forest to grasslands and arid desert.
- An Eastern Grey Kangaroo can reach speeds of up to 60km per hour
- They can cover over eight metres in a single leap!
- A group of Eastern Grey Kangaroos is called a ‘mob’
- A joey is smaller than a cherry at birth!
- Healesville Sanctuary
- Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Melbourne Zoo