Red kangaroo in exhibit

Red Kangaroo

Scientific Name

Macropus rufus

Geographic Range

Australia

Diet

Grass and other grazed vegetation
Red kangaroo in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

About This Animal

Red kangaroos are the world’s largest marsupials; they’re reddish-brown in color with muscular feet, legs, and tails. They have a length between 3.25–5.25 feet long without their tails, which can add more than 3 feet to their total size. Adults weigh in at around 200 pounds.

These mammals live in deserts and open grasslands. They reside in groups called mobs, which generally number between 2–10 individuals. Red kangaroos can move at speeds of more than 35 miles an hour and can cover 25 feet of distance or 6 feet in height in a single leap. When moving more slowly, they walk with a “five-foot” gait that includes balancing on their tail and forearms while swinging hind legs forward, then bringing arms and tail up.

As with all marsupials, red kangaroos are known for their pouches. Infants are born semi-developed, then climb into their mother’s pouch for several more months. They won’t stick their heads out until about 150 days later, finally coming out for good at around 235 days.

Red kangaroos occupy a large range and have a stable population. No major threats to this species are documented, other than hunting by humans for meat and hides.

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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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