It’s always an exciting day for any zoo when one of their animals gives birth: everyone is always proud and happy to have a new baby animal around.
But one zoo recently got an unexpected surprise when one of their kangaroos gave birth to a joey with an extremely rare condition, making this one very special newborn.
Animal Adventure Park, a zoo in Harpursville, New York, is home to a red kangaroo named Rosie, who a few months gave birth to her first joey. Since newborn kangaroos develop inside the womb, the zoo staff didn’t have a good idea what the new joey looked like.
So when they pulled the baby out for an inspection last week, they were shocked: the kangaroo was all-white!
The kangaroo has a condition called leucism, which is commonly confused with albinism: leucistic animals have reduced pigmentation, not a complete lack of it, so this joey doesn’t have the red eyes you’d find on an albino.
It was a big surprise to see the white animal born of two all-red kangaroos. Zookeepers had never seen anything like it.
“We are not aware of any leucistic red kangaroo in the United States; proving just how rare this occurrence is!” they wrote on Facebook.
“Our Jaws Are On The Floor!”
The joey has been returned to Rosie’s care, and the staff are reportedly researching how rare this phenomenon is.
“We are now working with professionals in the zoological community to see just how unique of a blessing this little one is!” they wrote on Facebook.
Finding leucistic animals is always an exciting discovery. Last year photographers took photos of two all-white giraffes, a mother and child, believed to be the last leucistic giraffes in the world.
Sadly, in the wild leucism also can put an animal in danger as it makes them more visible to prey, and pigment-reduced animals can also be ostracized from their community.
But this kangaroo will be safe and sound — and no doubt will be a future favorite of zoo visitors.
Wow, we’ve never seen a kangaroo like this! What a beautiful, unique animal he is. Share this incredible story!
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