Orphaned kangaroo finds new home in zookeeper's artificial pouch

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 9, 2016 at 1:48 PM

WAHPETON, N.D., March 9 (UPI) -- A North Dakota zookeeper says she has a new appreciation for working moms after adopting an orphaned baby kangaroo that will spend six months in her makeshift pouch.

Amanda Dukart, 25, a zookeeper and animal trainer at the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, said she was drafted to take care of Barkly, a 4-month-old joey orphaned when her mother died unexpectedly about a week ago.

Dukart said Barkly will spend the next six months in the artificial flannel and polar fleece pouch that was custom-fitted for the keeper to wear on her hip.

"It's quite an adjustment," Dukart told ABC News. "It's like a new baby."

Dukart said kangaroos, like many marsupials, are born under-developed and spend their first 10 months finishing their development in their mothers' pouches.

"It's a little different than human development, where it happens inside," Dukart said. "Joeys are very underdeveloped when they're born."

Dukart said the baby kangaroo requires round-the-clock attention.

"I'm working all the time, but I still have a baby to take care of ... I can sympathize with working moms now," she told WDAY-TV. "Every day is something different. And she's getting personality. It's just really fun. It's a really cool experience."

Tonight on WDAY 6 News at 6, reporter Catherine Ross introduces you to Chahinkapa Zoo's newest addition--a baby kangaroo named Barkley!

Posted by WDAY TV News on Tuesday, March 8, 2016
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