HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (WETM) – Animal Adventure Park has unveiled their newest resident, a rare white baby kangaroo.
The white joey was born several months ago to a red kangaroo and its color is caused by a rare mutation.
Red kangaroos are born about the size of a human’s thumbnail, and much of their development takes place in their mother’s pouch. After 4-5 months of growth and nurturing by mom, keepers are able to safely perform the first “pull”, removing the baby from mom’s pouch for a full inspection and medical review. The joey is then returned to mom’s pouch.
An inspection late last week revealed the very rare leucistic male joey, born to parents Rosie and Boomer.
“We are not aware of any leucistic red kangaroo in the United States, indicating just how rare of an occurrence this is,” Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, said. “We are now working with professionals in the zoological community to determine just how unique of a blessing this little one is!”
Different from albinism, leucism is a partial loss of pigmentation, which causes an animal to have white or patchily colored skin and fur, but the condition does not affect the pigment cells in the eyes. This particular joey has a white coat and black color pigmentation in the eyes, prompting the park’s animal care experts to consider this animal leucistic, rather than albino. The genetic combination between Rosie and Boomer is what yielded this surprising coloration.
Animal Adventure Park is scheduled to reopen for the 2021 season on April 28, 2021.