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Santa Barbara Zoo welcomes new residents to the new Australian Walkabout exhibit

Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 01:42:15-05

The Santa Barbara Zoo announced Thursday that they have welcomed three male Western grey kangaroos.

Zoo officials say the kangaroos are the last species who will call the Australian Walkabout exhibit home. They join four Bennett's wallabies and two emus.

Construction on the 15,000 square-foot Australian Walkabout is nearly complete and scheduled to officially open on January 8, 2022. Zoo officials say the exhibit is designed to transport guests "Down Under," where they can walk among the wallabies, kangaroos, emus, and also see native Australian birds and plants.

"So far the animals all seem to be adjusting really well, and we're really looking forward to introducing these unique and iconic animals to our guests very soon!" said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo's Vice President of Animal Care & Health.

One of the kangaroos, Max, was born in May 2020, and came to the Santa Barbara Zoo from the San Diego Zoo. The two other kangaroos, Aspen and Coolibah, are brothers that arrived together from the LA Zoo.

Zoo officials say Western grey kangaroos are in the family of marsupials called Macropodidae ("big foot"). The adult males weigh around 120 pounds, and the females weigh in at around 60 pounds. They are a social species and usually live in groups known as 'mobs' of up to 50. Contrary to its common name, they are found throughout southern Australia, from the Indian Ocean in Western Australia to western Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland.