Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Kangaroos are likely to be the most recognised of all Australian wildlife. Images of a joey poking his head out of a mother’s pouch are iconic, and never fail to charm.

The “Gangurru”, as it was called by the Guuga Yimithirr people of Northern Queensland, from which its now commonly name derives, is of great cultural and spiritual significance for First Nations people across the continent. Their meat being high a source of protein, clothing was made from their pelts, and waterbags from their skin.

Kangaroos are famous for their powerful hind legs which allow them to leap as far as 8 metres and reach speeds of up to 60 km/h. They live in social groups which are called mobs. The Kangaroo embryo is born the size of a lima bean after a gestation period of 36 days, and subsequently develops inside her mother’s pouch for a duration of 9 months. Most of this time, the joey remains invisible, its tiny head emerging from the pouch after many months. It will take several more until she is ready to hop out for occasional excursions.

As the name suggests, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo’s home is in the east of the continent where they can be found from Tasmania to Cape York Peninsula.