Red Kangaroo [Macropus rufus]

Quick Facts

Size: Males: up to 6 feet tall, up to 200 pounds; Females: up to 3.5 feet tall, up to 90 pounds

Lifespan: in the wild, 8 years; in zoos, up to 25 years

Color: Males: reddish-brown; Females: bluish-gray

Range: Western and Central Australia

Habitat: Scrubland, grassland, and desert

Location in the Zoo: Kids Kingdom


The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo species on the planet. It is a marsupial, or pouched mammal. Females give birth very early in the development phase, and these immature newborns crawl into the mother’s pouch where it is protected as it nurses and continues to grow. 

The kangaroo’s long tail can support its weight and prevents it from falling forward when hopping. When seated, the tail acts as a tripod. The kangaroo can reach speeds up to 15 miles per hour. When in danger, kangaroos pound the ground with their hind feet. This loud alarm signal carries over a long distance. Males often kickbox during the breeding season with the two opponents clasping forearms and trying to kick one another in the belly.

Red kangaroos are sociable animals and are often found in small groups of 2-10 individuals, called “mobs.” They eat grasses, leaves, and roots. They also live on very little water.


We are excited to partner with WQED to present WQED’s Cartoon Academy at the Zoo! Follow along with Pittsburgh cartoonist, Joe Wos, as he teaches you how to create a kangaroo in the video below!