Having a pet is no longer enough. Increasingly fashionable are exotic pets, animals that are not common at all. Whether it is a pure attachment to a certain animal not at all ordinary or a desire to stand out, the answer is known only to those who have such passions.
Most kangaroos live on the continent of Australia, although each species has a different habitat. Kangaroo is the unofficial symbol of Australia. It is present on the national coat of arms, coins, airline logos, tourism, postage stamps, popular culture, etc.
Because of their large size, keeping kangaroos as pets is not usually recommended. The largest kangaroo is the red kangaroo. The length from the head to the croup is 1 to 1.6 meters, meaning around 6 feet high. Its tail adds another 90 to 110 centimeters to its length and its entire body weighs about 90 kilograms. Some exotic animal breeders recommend wallabies because of their smaller size.
Their interesting features make some people want to own kangaroos as pets. Although it’s legal to own kangaroos in thirteen states from the U.S. they do not make good pets and should not be kept at home, mostly due to their wild side.
How much does a kangaroo cost?
The cost of a kangaroo ranges from $1,600 up to $9,500 and more, depending on its age, gender, color, and even breeder. Because kangaroos are exotic animals you won’t find too many breeders and they will expect you to pay the entire price plus the extra fees like the shipping cost or any other paperwork, like special permits.
For example, on ExoticAnimalsForSale they have female red kangaroos for sale from $2,500 up to $8,000. On this website, they also have babies for sale, and a six-month-old red female baby kangaroo costs an average of $6,500. A red male kangaroo that is about 1.5 years old costs around $1,600, and baby males at up to $2,500.
Factors that influence the cost of a kangaroo
When you decide to buy a kangaroo as a pet, first you must find a good breeder, as it’s not uncommon to find just a few. The breeder should offer you all the needed information regarding its proper care. Kangaroos are wild animals, but exotic too, and they will need different and more expensive care than most animal pets.
The cost of a kangaroo varies so much because it depends on:
- Whether it is a bottle baby or an adult. Joeys will always have a higher price;
- Whether it is a male or a female; females will have the higher price;
- Species and specific color; wallabies and white kangaroos are rarer so they are more expensive than red or grey kangaroos;
Additional costs for a pet kangaroo
Kangaroos are native herbivorous animals. They eat herbs, flowers, leaves, ferns, mosses, and even insects, and when they are babies, they are bottle-fed. Like cows, kangaroos regurgitate their food and chew it again before it is ready to be digested completely. To offer them a proper diet you will spend around $10 a day for feed or about $3,000 – $3,500 a year, besides the initial cost of the purchase.
You should also consider the cost of the fencing and enclosure which will be between $400 and $4,000, depending on how much space you have. Don’t forget that they are really good jumpers and like open spaces to roam, and not a small yard.
If you are getting a kangaroo baby you should also purchase a kangaroo joey pouch, that imitates the one in which the mother carries their young, which costs $50 to $80. You will also need some other accessories like brushes, bottles, or toys which cost another $50 to $200.
Some breeders offer you the possibility to receive a medical exam and health certificate from a licensed vet who specializes in exotic animals. The veterinarian medical bill will cost you $50-$100 and you will need it for interstate travel. They can also offer you the possibility to bring the pet to your home for $400-$500, depending on the traveling distance.
Depending on the state where you live, you may need to get a permit to have a kangaroo as a domestic pet, as well as pay some taxes.
Is it legal to keep a kangaroo as a pet?
When you decide you want a kangaroo as a pet, first you must check with your local legislation whether it is legal or not to own one. Here are the US states where you can legally own one: Washington, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, West Virginia, Nevada, Maine, Idaho, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. In these states, you will need a permit to have a kangaroo as a domestic animal, which can be expensive and quite hard to get.
Why should kangaroos not be kept as pets?
Like many wild animals, joeys are small and cute. They can be gentle and loving. However, they are wild animals and will grow to a height of almost 1,6 meters and, depending on the species, can weigh around 100 kilograms. Most people simply do not have enough space to properly care for a kangaroo.
Along with their size, adult kangaroos can be quite aggressive. Combine these two elements and you have a recipe for disaster. They have strong legs, strong teeth, and jaws. When threatened or upset, kangaroos are known to attack by kicking and biting.
Moreover, kangaroos are very social animals as they like the company of their own kind, and in the wild, they live in large groups of up to 50 individuals. Their lives together revolve around communication through eye contact, hissing, and physical contact. When you keep them as pets you separate the kangaroos from their natural social life and can make them anxious, depressed, and upset, leading to stress-related diseases.
The kangaroo is often a friendly animal, but most of the time it becomes aggressive when it comes to defending its offspring, occupying the territory, or reproducing. Kangaroos are hunted by humans, dingo dogs, foxes, and eagles. The kangaroo’s kick is so strong that it can end the life of a mature man, and the very sharp claws at the feet can split a small animal in half. The marsupial animal defends itself in a very interesting way. If a kangaroo is chased, it turns to the water and tries to drown its enemy.
According to Australian authorities, the best way to defend yourself against a kangaroo is not to be around it. However, experts suggest that the best chance to get rid of the “bully” is to take a step back and keep a calm behavior.
Even though it is technically legal in your state and you afford to buy one, you should not keep a kangaroo as a pet. It is dangerous for you and harmful for the animal to keep it away from its normal social group. Instead, take advantage of some of the responsible ways to enjoy these beautiful creatures, like seeing them at the zoo.