Living a Zoo Dream – Red Kangaroo

In my first year working at the Lake Superior Zoo, it has been fun to see the changes that occur on our grounds with the seasons.
Being a native Minnesotan, I have learned to appreciate that we get to enjoy four unique seasons—as well as the diversity that each brings to our landscape, our environment and our outdoor experiences. As the snow melts and temperatures begin to rise, fun, new things are happening at the zoo.
First, beautiful Kingsbury Creek, which runs through our zoo, is flowing at a brisk pace. Within its short stretch through the zoo, there is a cascading waterfall, lovely rapids and a slower section into which you can wade. You can also fish the creek, as it is a trout stream designated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to do so this summer.
Second, many of our less winter-hardy animals start coming outdoors to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Animal regulations mandated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums dictate appropriate temperatures for animals to be outdoors. Earlier this week, our kangaroo and wallabies got out into their yard for the first time this spring. We have five wallabies and one red kangaroo, Tazi.
Red kangaroos, which are native to Australia, are the largest of all kangaroos, weighing between 40 and 80 pounds. With the growth in agriculture in Australia, kangaroo populations in Australia have increased. And much like expanded deer populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, kangaroos have become hazards to automobiles in Australia. We are sure to keep Tazi away from our work vehicles—and our vegetable garden.
Third, and most important, it is exciting to see more people come out and enjoy the zoo as the weather warms. Though I enjoy the zoo in all seasons, it is natural for more people to visit zoos starting in the spring. The Lake Superior Zoo exists for all people in our region to visit and enjoy, and it wouldn’t exist without the support of our members, visitors and generous donors. Also, we cannot meet our mission of promoting conservation without having people at the zoo engaging with our exhibits and learning about our animals.
I enjoy seeing everyone getting out in the sunshine, becoming active and interacting more in the spring. I love how, at this time of year, neighbors start to talk more, more people are out for walks with kids and pets, and a certain energy fills the air.
So as our temps start to warm into the 50s, put on your shorts (or Zubaz, if you prefer), get outside and soak up some sunshine. If you can, visit the Lake Superior Zoo, catch some rays with Tazi and enjoy the rest of our more than 125 different animal species.
Corey Leet is CEO of the Lake Superior Zoo. You can contact him at cleet@lszoo.org or 218-730-4500, extension 203. Find his blog at lszooduluth.org and on the Lake Superior Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.

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