The Emperor Valley Zoo has four new additions.
On Friday night, four Red Kangaroos arrived at the zoo from a facility in Texas, USA.
They were on display yesterday, hopping around and exploring quite happily in their new home opposite to the lion’s enclosure and were a major attraction to children and visitors.
Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, Zoological Officer Sharleen Khan said the two male kangaroos were two years old and the females were 14 months old. They came from a facility in Texas and were bred in captivity at Safari Enterprises.
“They are settling down pretty nicely; we have a new kangaroo habitat for the kangaroos and they’re doing pretty well. The kangaroos are a hit with the children and guests, everyone loves animals and they’re incredible mammals,” Khan said.
“Kangaroos are fascinating creatures, you see the Australian mammal on television shows, books and online, you can actually come and see them live at the zoo.
“We can relate them to the only marsupial in Trinidad the opossum, or manicou, the unique traits they share is that mothers carry their young in their pouch and kangaroos and opossum also have one baby at a time.”
She said the kangaroos had not been named but the zoo would have a competition for the public to name them.
Khan said they were not related so they could be bred at a later date, adding the female kangaroos would come into maturity at the age of four. She said the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) was the largest of all kangaroos and was native to Australia.
Red kangaroos live in the desert and open grasslands, are the largest marsupials in the world and can reach up to 200 pounds.
Khan said the kangaroos could attain up to 35 miles at full speed and leap over 25 feet or six feet vertically.
She said people were fascinated observing the kangaroos bouncing around their enclosure and it was amazing viewing their anatomy, posture and behaviour.
Khan said they were herbivores, ate a lot of grasses and plants that were available locally and had a balanced diet which was also supplemented with pellets.
Zoological Association of America executive director John Seyjagat accompanied the kangaroos to Trinidad.
Zoological Society of T&T president Gupte Lutchmedial said the zoo attracted a quarter million visitors annually, which was more than some dedicated tourist attractions. He said the zoo was an educational facility and a living museum of animals.