Kangaroos are born hairless, underdeveloped and the size of a lima bean. When a joey is inside its mom’s pouch it is still developing and cannot thermo regulate. They rely on their moms for warmth, feeding and even pottying while snuggled away in a pouch.
Due to unforeseen circumstances one of the most cherished red kangaroos at the zoo named Lillybet passed away after trying hard to stay alive for her precious baby. Melissa Burns the lead curator at North Georgia Zoo along with Director Hope Bennett stepped into action attempting to recreate, as closely as possible, the environment of the moms pouch. Time was of the essence so with some creativity and thought an incubator was made out of an ice chest, heat pads and mini humidifier. The little joey only weighing 500g, completely pink and furless with ears folded down, was then placed into the incubator and set up on a 2 hour feeding schedule. This little joey is now 2.5lbs and little fuzz is now showing up and ears are upright!
This is Lillypad who is fighting to carry on her mom’s legacy at North Georgia Zoo.