When you think of Kangaroos, you probably picture brownish-reddish fur, giant dark eyes, hopping around in the Australian wilderness. Sometimes kangaroo species are greyish-brown, like the Eastern Grey kangaroo or the Antilopine, while some are slightly beige and orangish.
But have you ever seen a kangaroo that is stark white? If you live in New York, you might want to visit the Animal Adventure Park where a rare kangaroo was born recently with white fur. If you can’t go there, check out the picture below.
The new joey, who has been named Cosmo, has a rare genetic mutation known as leucism. The Animal Adventure Park took to their official Facebook page to announce the newest addition to their family. They began the news with a very emphatic phrase to encapsulate their happiness, “Our Jaws Are On The Floor!” then they go on to reveal that this little joey is not any standard red kangaroo.
Kangaroos are marsupials, which means they raise their young ones in a pouch-like structure around the belly. The new-borns descend to the pouch while they are still technically in gestation. These young ones stay within the pouch, attached to the mother’s mammary glands for nourishment. The zoo authorities clarified that they do not remove the joey from the pouch till it is 4 or 5-month-old. New-borns are smaller than an average man’s thumbnail and they are still developing into an infant as descend into the pouch. It would be like a foetus inside a human except it has descended from the uterus into the pouch.
However, during their first ‘pull’ (removing the joey from the pouch for medical inspection) from its mother Rosie, 5 months after birth, they discovered something fascinating. The red kangaroo species' joey wasn’t red at all! This is also Rosie’s first pregnancy and birth. She had joined the Harpursville-based zoo last year.
He is leucistic, which means his skin lacks pigmentation. Hence, he has a white coat. However, it should not be confused with albinism, in which the eyes also lack pigmentation. Cosmo has white fir, but dark, black eyes. This is classified as “extremely rare by the zoo.” They go on to say there aren’t any leucistic red kangaroos in the United States, as per their knowledge. They said they will be contacting other zoo and animal conservations to know how rare this new baby is or if others like him exist.
They shared a picture of Cosmo as he met his dad, Boomer.
The post is flooded with comments of amazement and well wishes to the new mother.