May 5, 2008

Wallaroos arrive at Racine Zoo

Two hill wallaroos have joined the Racine Zoo, arriving from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas. Both are female and will be two-years-old this year. They each weigh approximately 24 lbs.

The wallaroos have completed their quarantine and are on exhibit in the Vanishing Kingdom historic building.

Wallaroos are closely related to kangaroos and wallabies. (Wallaroos fall in between the kangaroo and wallaby in terms of size, hence their name.) They are typically darker on top and have a lighter underbelly. Most wallaroos are only slightly smaller than kangaroos so differentiation can be difficult. The wallaroos at the Racine Zoo can be distinguished from the Zoo’s red kangaroos due to their shaggy grey/brown coat and large black hindquarters.

In the wild, wallaroos typically live on steep embankments, rocky hills and rainforests. They have a lifespan of approximately 15 years and weigh 45-110 lbs. fully grown. They will typically eat grasses, shrubs and herbs.

In July, the wallaroos will join kangaroos, black swans, emus and egrets in the all-new Walkabout Creek immersive exhibit now under construction. This exhibit will allow guests to walk directly through the habitat of these Australian animals.
“We are thrilled to add the wallaroos to our collection and are looking forward to the opening of the Walkabout Creek exhibit this summer. It will be the first immersive exhibit the Racine Zoo has offered and we are anxious to allow visitors such access to our exhibits and our animals,” said Jay Christie, Zoo President and CEO.

The Racine Zoo is open daily. Hours between Labor Day and Memorial Day are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The admission price is $4 for adults, $2 for children 3-15, $3 for seniors; children under three and Zoo Members are free.

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