Baby kangaroos now peeking out of pockets at Prague Zoo

An unusually large number of kangaroos can be seen in the zoo’s Darwin’s Crater exhibit.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 25.02.2022 14:32:00 (updated on 25.02.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Zoo has new baby kangaroos, while the Liberec Zoo started its breeding season with a baby zebra.

Officials at Prague Zoo aren’t sure how old their new generation of baby kangaroos are exactly, but several can be seen in their mother’s pouches or just starting to hop around on their own.

“With kangaroo cubs, we never actually know when they were born. A newborn kangaroo cub is very small, completely bare, blind, and has no hind legs,” mammal curator Pavel Brandl said.

“After birth, it has a long journey to its mother's pouch, where it attaches itself to the teat and then just drinks and grows. It takes a few months before it starts to stick its head out,” Brandl said.

Karkulka and her baby. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.
Karkulka and her baby. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.

The most recent addition peeking out of a pouch is a baby red kangaroo in the Darwin’s Crater exhibition. It poked its head out for the first time less than two weeks ago. Darwin’s Crater opened to the public in 2020 as a place for Tasmanian and Australian fauna. The round enclosure is inspired by a crater in western Tasmania.

Three baby red kangaroos can now be seen. One born to Mošátko has already jumped out of her pouch. The other two are still peeking out of the pouches of females Miy and Karkulka. In Czech, Karkulka refers to Little Red Riding Hood, and this kangaroo has a particularly red coat for a female.

Eastern grey kangaroos – called the giant (obrovský) kangaroo in Czech – are also at Darwin’s Crater. Despite the Czech name, the giant kangaroo is actually smaller than the red kangaroo.

The greater forest wallaby herd has grown to eight thanks to two babies. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo
The greater forest wallaby herd has grown to eight thanks to two babies. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

One of their babies peeked out of the pouch on Christmas day. Although still drinking its mother's milk, it is also already eating solid food including bamboo leaves, grass, and hay. Meanwhile, another slightly older baby of the same species is a bit less adventurous and still prefers to spend her time drinking milk in her mother's pouch.

“Because each offspring needs a different composition of breast milk depending on the stage of development, the female kangaroo can produce a different type of milk in each teat,” David Vala, the breeder of the Darwin Crater exhibition, said.

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Hagen's kangaroos – more properly known as the white-striped dorcopsis or greater forest wallaby – are not far behind in breeding. There are two cubs in the pouches of two females. The first stuck its head out at the end of January, the second in the first half of December last year. The older cub also often moves independently around the paddock, but still follows its mother.

Prague Zoo isn’t the only one in the Czech Republic, though it is the most famous. The breeding season, at least for larger animals, at the Liberec Zoo began with the birth of a Chapman's zebra on Feb. 6. She is now named Amari, and the fourth offspring of the zoo’s almost 7-year-old mare Amondi. The father was Ismael, who was born in a Polish Zoo.

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