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Red Kangaroos

Fact File

Continent: Australia
Habitat: Dry grassland, plains, desert, scrub
Weight and Length: 39kg, 2m

Diet: Herbivore
Gestation: 33 days
Number of Young: 1

Conservation Status: LC


  • Have pouches for their young, a characteristic of all female marsupials.
  • Are the largest kangaroo species, and the largest living marsupials.
  • Use their tails as a tripod to help them balance when they stand on their back legs.
  • Males are larger and redder than the greyish females.
  • Have excellent vision and hearing.
  • Can cope with high heats by panting, sweating, and licking themselves.

Red Kangaroo

Macropus rufus

Animals —  Mammals — Diprotodontia (koala & related marsupials) — Macropodidae (kangaroo family)

Red kangaroos are the largest type of kangaroo, and even the largest type of marsupial. Like all marsupials, females have pouches in which they carry their young. Red kangaroos get their colour from the orange-brown fur of adult males. Females are much smaller than males (about half the size) and are mostly grey.

Red kangaroos usually live in small groups of 2-4, though members of groups are very flexible, and much larger groups can be found. Females that are carrying a joey (baby kangaroo) in their pouch can still get pregnant, as they have a special ability to “pause” the embryo until the older joey leaves the pouch. Once the joey is old enough to leave, the embryo will start growing and will be born in only 33 days. The mother kangaroo could have three young at a time: one out of the pouch who still drinks milk, one that lives in the pouch, and a paused embryo.

The red kangaroo is classified as “least concern” by the IUCN as it has a large range, and there are many wild individuals.

Safari Zoo co-ordinates the breeding studbook for Europe for this species.

Habitat: Open dry plains, grasslands and desert

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 39kg
–Average length: 2m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 22 years
In captivity up to: 25 years

Diet: They are herbivores and so eat plants.They are grazers so they mostly eat grass.

Distribution: Much of central and western Australia.