Inside the Australian Outback Adventure at the Detroit Zoo

- G'day mates! Ron Kagan from the Detroit Zoo joins us on The Nine to show us one of the most unique habitats at the Zoo, the Australian Outback Adventure. It's an immersive exhibit, which means visitors can get up close and personal with the kangaroos and wallabies.

Unlike what you and I think of when we hear the word "mob," in the animal world it means a group of marsupials. The mob at the Australian Outback Adventure includes 19 red kangaroos and two red-necked wallabies.  While we don't allow visitors to touch the animals for the safety of our guests and the well-being of the animals, this is a great experience because visitors can actually share space with the animals while they roam and graze where they please.

ALL ABOUT THE ... Kangaroo

The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial. It can hop at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour and can cover 25 feet per jump.

It is an herbivore and eats grass, shoots, herbs and leaves.

The female kangaroos and wallabies have pouches, where their offspring, called joeys, are free to be "pouch" potatoes until they are old enough to be out and about on their own.

ALL ABOUT THE ... Wallabies

This habitat is also home to red-necked wallabies.

One of the wallabies, you may recall, was part of the 2010 Texas rescue, which was the largest animal raid in U.S. history.

Like their cousin the kangaroo, the wallaby uses its large tail to help keep its balance while hopping, usually in a zigzag manner.

It can cover more than 5 feet in one jump.

The wallaby is an herbivore and feeds on leaves, grass, bark, twigs and fruit.

ALL ABOUT THE ... Habitat

The habitat is designed to mimic the actual Australian Outback to give visitors and animals a naturalistic experience.

There are three Outback settlement buildings equipped with tin roofs and sunbaked exterior, two of which serve as holding buildings for the animals with food and shelter.

The habitat also includes learning opportunities for visitors of all ages, like graphics, artifacts, costumes, petroglyphs and music as well as an interactive "kangaroo jump".

For more information, or to check out the Zoo's holiday events, visit www.detroitzoo.org.


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