Bindi, Kali & Sydney
Bindi, Sydney & Kalina (AKA ‘Kali’) are our three female red kangaroos who were captive raised in the United States. Both are being hand-reared for the purpose of serving as ambassador animals for their species.
‘Bindi’ is an Australian Aboriginal name, meaning, ‘butterfly’.
‘Kalina’ is an Australian Aboriginal name originating with the Wemba Wemba tribe that means “to love'”.
‘Sydney’ is named after the the largest city in Australia. Sydney is a unique ambassador animal for us in that we are very lucky to also have pictures and video showing her development in the pouch from her breeder in Sebring, Florida.
Red Kangaroos are a national symbol of Australia and are both the largest marsupial and the largest Australian mammal. Their name comes from the reddish color of their fur, although they can appear more brown or grey. Kangaroos are currently being slaughtered throughout Australia in large numbers to serve the exotic meat and pet food industry. Kangaroo populations have declined by 40% since 2001.
Red Kangaroos have an average lifespan of 12-18 years.
The males can grow to be up to six feet tall and weigh close to 200 pounds. The females are smaller with a size of about 4 ½ feet and they weigh about 100 pounds.
The Red Kangaroo has a naked muzzle with a black and white mark on the sides of the muzzle and a broad white stripe running from the corner of the mouth to base of the ear.
Kangaroos have very strong legs that operate like springs enabling them to leap more than 15 feet at a time and to be as much as 5 feet off the ground when they do. The prefer to hop because their bodies use less energy when they do. The hind feet are long and extremely powerful enabling the Red Kangaroo to travel at speeds as fast as 40 mph.
The tail is a vital part for them to be able to balance themselves both while moving and when standing still. While moving it works to help them land and keep their weight evenly distributed. When they are standing still the tail serves as a third leg. This allows them to be standing like a tripod would be.
The short arms of these animals allow them to grasp things. They have very sharp claws on the ends of them. The females have the trademark pouch where they will carry around their young joeys.
The Red Kangaroo mates year round. The females have the unique ability to delay birth of their baby until their previous Joey has left the pouch. This is called embryonic diapause.
Like all marsupials, kangaroos are born extremely early with a gestation period of about 33 days; the equivalent of the seventh week of pregnancy for humans. They travel from the birth canal as little more than an embryo by blindly propelling through the mother’s fur to the safety of the pouch, where they will spend several months developing before finally leaving to explore the world.
The young Joey will permanently leave the pouch at around 235 days old, but will continue to nurse until it reaches 12 months of age.
Kangaroos are social animals which stay in groups of at least 3 or 4 individuals. Some groups can comprise of as many as 100 individuals.
In captivity our red kangaroos are fed a pelleted diet along with browse from bottle brush and bamboo trees, timothy hay and bahia and cord grasses. They are occasionally offered sweet potato or bits of banana as a treat.
Although Weisberg Stables does not have male kangaroos in our exhibit, it is advisable to neuter any bottle raised males or males that are not used for the sole purpose of breeding within a controlled mob. Females are not sexually altered.