The Austin Zoo has a new addition. His name is Jason, and he’s learning to box.
The one-and-a-half-year-old red kangaroo, made his zoo debut this week. Georgetown animal control confiscated him from a man who bought the marsupial illegally. Head zookeeper Sara King says zoo staff are helping him adjust to his new home.
“Before he was eating some dog kibble, which is obviously not great for herbivores, so we’ve got him on the proper diet,” says King. “He also gets hay and grasses. As you can see he’s a grazer, so we’ve got him out here with some of our grazing animals.”
Jason makes his own mud to stay cool. He and some llamas in the next pen over are keeping an eye on one another.
King says Jason is only playing when he tries to box with the llamas – normal behavior for the young male who will eventually grow to six feet tall and weigh 200 pounds.
“He’s adorable,” says zoo visitor Lori Baker. “I wouldn’t expect to see a kangaroo out here in Texas.”
King says Jason will likely have a permanent home at the zoo. That means lots of food and a larger enclosure as he keeps growing.
It’s an expensive investment for the non-profit. But the zoo hopes the young “Roo” will bring a jump in attendance and donations.