An 18-month old kangaroo with stark white fur has found his forever home at Snakes Downunder Reptile Park in Childers.
George the albino kangaroo is the newest addition to the zoo and although he mixes with the other grey kangaroos in their enclosure, you can definitely pick him out from the crowd.
His genetic mutation makes him unique with only one in every 50,000 to 100,000 kangaroos carrying the albino gene, according to mammologist Mark Elderidge.
Snakes Downunder Zookeeper Julianne Nugent said George was moved up to Childers from Victoria and was settling into his new home.
“He is an albino and he is a bit different, he needed a home and so we were happy to give him one,” she said.
Julianne said in the wild and in the enclosure the bright colour of George’s fur posed a risk to other kangaroos and so his new friends at Snakes Downunder were taking their time to welcome him.
“The kangaroos do not fight, and they are slowly accepting him, but in the wild something of this colour would pose a danger to the kangaroos because it can be easily seen,” she said.
“In the enclosure the other kangaroos will let George be in the general area, but he will not be sitting right beside them.”
According to National Geographic albino colouring occurs in mammals when an individual inherits one or more mutated gene from both parents that interfere with the body’s production of melanin.
Melanin is the main pigment that determines the colour of the skin, fur, and eyes.
Julianne said although the rest of the eastern grey kangaroos at Snakes Downunder were slowly warming up to George, visitors to the park had taken a quick liking to him.
“He was here during the July school holidays and a lot of people have said how cool he is!” she said.
You can find out more about Snakes Downunder here.
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