If you have ever seen a video of little kids and pets, then you know how amazingly sweet they can be. The ones we like around here typically involve toddlers and dogs, but cats, and other animals will also do in a pinch.
That being said, we never imagined we would find anything like this next video. In it, a tiny tot meets a baby kangaroo, of all things, for the first time. If this video clip does not melt your heart, then you should probably check your pulse.
This clip was shot by one of the child’s parents, while they were on a trip to a reptile park in Australia. While the video does not last very long, the impression will stay with you all day.
Kangaroos may look like a weird cross between a deer and a rabbit, but they are actually a member of the marsupial family. Marsupials also include koala bears and possums. The big difference between marsupials and other mammals is that marsupials give birth to their young will they are still developing, and care for them in a pouch until they mature enough to kep up on their own.
While here in the US, kangaroos may be seen as an exotic and sweetly funny animal, to the Australian government, they can be pests. The national government estimates that there are about thirty four million kangaroos living outside of protected reserves. They are often harvested for the commercial meat packing industry.
If you have ever wondered what the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby is, it turns out, not much. They are both members of the same family, Macropodidae, and the biggest difference is really size. Wallabies are the smallest member of the family, with kangaroos being the largest. There is also another species, called the tree kangaroo, which can be found in tropical forests from New Guinea to the northeastern parts of Queensland and smaller islands.
The largest subspecies is the red kangaroo, which can grow up to six and a half feet tall and weigh in at around two hundred pounds.
Kangaroos are also very fast. Their average hopping speed is around twelve miles an hour, but can maintain a speed of twenty-five miles an hour for up to a mile and a half. In short bursts, kangaroos can hit about forty-five miles an hour. It is a good thing they only eat grasses.
They also can swim, believe it or not, and if they are chased by a predator, they often jump into bodies of water to escape. They have also been documented as using their forelimbs to hold a would-be predator’s head underwater so as to drown it. Yikes!
They often travel and graze together in large groups, called mobs or troops.
Until its extinction from hunting in the early 1900’s, the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was it’s biggest predator. Today, dingoes and goannas, a type of monitor lizard, are the biggest, non-human predators of kangaroos, although they do sometimes face threats from introduced species like feral cats and foxes.
In addition to drowning a potential predator, they have been seen to hold a wild dog with their forelimbs while disemboweling them with their hind legs.
Have you ever seen a kangaroo in the wild? Please share your stories with us here.