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Thursday, 15 October 2015



When Captain James Cook was exploring the coast of Australia in 1770, his men were amazed by a strange jumping animal. At times the creature stood upright, braced firmly on its hind legs and huge tail. It moved by great leaps. Thus Europeans first met the gray kangaroo of Australia.

The first time many Europeans saw a kangaroo was a painting 'Kongouro from New Holland'  by George Stubbs from a kangaroo skin and a carcass brought back to England by Captain James Cook in 1771.

Boxing kangaroos were first shown by Professor Landermann at the London Aquarium in 1892.

When a farmer was injured by a fallen tree branch in 2003, an eastern grey kangaroo which had been hand-reared, named Lulu saved his life by alerting his family members to his location. She received the RSPCA Australia National Animal Valour Award on May 19, 2004.


A baby kangaroo is called a 'Joey'.

When a baby kangaroo is born, it is the size of a bean and crawls at once into its mother's pouch.

The new-born joey latches onto its mother's nipple and the nipple expands in its mouth. The baby cannot let go for 100 days.

A female kangaroo's pouch may contain two joeys born a year apart. The mother then makes two different kinds of milk for the two joeys.

 In Mandarin Chinese, the word for "kangaroo" translates literally to "bag rat."


Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion.

Kangaroos hop because they can’t move their legs independently.

A fully grown kangaroo can jump up to 40 feet and bounce along at speeds up to 40mph.

Its hopping has been shown to be more energy- efficient than running at speeds over 18mph.

On land kangaroos only ever move their hind legs together, however in water they kick each leg independently to swim.

Kangaroos can only jump when its tail is touching the ground.

Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backwards, which is why they were chosen to appear on the Australian coat of arms.

Male kangaroos flex their biceps to impress females.

Kangaroos keep cool by licking their forearms until the fur is soaking wet.

Almost all kangaroos are left-handed.


There are around twice as many kangaroos in Australia as there are people. The kangaroo population is estimated at between 35 million and 50 million.

A male kangaroo is a buck, boomer or jack; a female is a doe, flyer or jill.


The sale of kangaroo meat in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland was illegal except as pet food until 1993.

There are about 60 species with four used for their meat; the eastern grey, western grey, red kangaroo, and common wallaroo.

Kangaroo meat is considered one of the healthiest red meats, with less than two per cent fat, and high levels of omega threes. It's also high in protein, iron, zinc and B-group vitamins.

The meat needs to be cooked very carefully to avoid drying out.

A diet that excludes all meat except that of kangaroo is called 'kangatarianism'.

Kangaroo hides are sold for use in clothing and shoes, particularly football boots.

Sources Compton's Encyclopedia, Daily Express, The Guardian

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