A rare albino eastern grey kangaroo has been born at Panorama Garden Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne.
The baby kangaroo inherited its snow-white appearance from its father, who has a unique genetic mutation.
Annemarie Van Rooy, the owner of the extraordinary kangaroo family, quickly noticed the new addition when the baby kangaroo peeked out of its mother’s pouch.
Due to the genetic mutation, the joey looks nothing like its mother, who has dark grey and brown fur.
Instead, the baby kangaroo has lost pigmentation in its hair, eyes, and skin, making it completely white.
Panorama Garden Estate has a history of hosting albino kangaroos, with a mob of white and albino kangaroos living in the sanctuary.
Van Rooy shared that they acquired their first albino kangaroos from Border Town around eight years ago, and there are now about nine in the mob.
According to mammalogist Mark Eldridge, albino or white kangaroos occur in every 50,000 to 100,000 animals.
With an estimated 50 million kangaroos in Australia before the 2019-2020 bushfire season, there could be around 500 white or albino kangaroos in the country.
Albino animals often face challenges in the wild, such as poor eyesight affecting hunting and difficulty finding a mate.
Poachers may also target them. However, the baby kangaroo born at Panorama Garden Estate, owned by Annemaree and her husband Nick, is safe within the wildlife sanctuary.
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