Red kangaroo in exhibit

Red Kangaroo

Scientific Name

Macropus rufus








Graslands, shrublands, and deserts

Estimated Wild Population

Red kangaroo in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

As the world's largest marsupial, red kangaroos can reach more than five feet tall and weigh up to 190 pounds. They move by hopping on their large lower legs and using their thick tail for balance. Red kangaroos have long and narrow heads with large ears. Their small arms are used for grasping food, like grasses and plants, and grooming. They live in large groups called mobs. Female give birth to relatively undeveloped offspring, called joeys, that weigh less than an ounce at birth and remain exclusively in her pouch for several months.

Interesting Fact 1

Thanks to the powerful muscles in their legs, red kangaroos can jump as far as 30 feet in one leap.

Interesting Fact 2

Over short distances, they can move as fast as 35 miles per hour.

Interesting Fact 3

They can survive without drinking water for long stretches of time, instead gaining moisture from various plants.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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