Every now and then, especially in the summer, groups of wild stray dogs would get in to the Zoo grounds and wreak havoc. This had been a problem for 50 years and was why they finally put a fence up around the place.
It was Zoo policy to leave the Zoo animals out in their yards as long as possible since this was the most natural setting and was most conducive for their well being. Certain animals were quite hearty and could stay out all night, even days at a time weather permitting. One such animal was the kangaroo.
We had a mob of roos that numbered upwards of 40. They bred like rabbits and were very easy to take care of. Every now and then though, we would have to separate the males, or boomers, from the mob. There would be various reasons to do this and each time, it involved hand catching these buggers. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've hand-caught a 6 foot / 150 pound boomer. It's hilarious AND dangerous. Kind of like my honeymoon.
Anyway, this one day we had the mob separated. We usually kept them in adjacent yards, but because we had just received a new giraffe and she was in the second roo yard; we had to move the males across the walkway to an empty antelope yard.
As you'll recall from previous stories, these yards sat down about 8 feet from the raised public viewing area. Each yard was connected by a tunnel to the back of the corresponding cage inside the Antelope House.
Because the new giraffe was so close to the roos, they were spooked and refused to go back inside. We had tried setting their grain and hay inside the cage to tempt them, but they refused to go in through the tunnel. We figured that since it was summer and quite warm, it would be fine to leave them outside. So we did. We had the females (flyers) and babies (joeys) in the left yard, and the males ( boomers) in the right yard. We threw them some feed outside and filled their water buckets and went home.
Good night, roos.
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