Red Kangaroo Behaviors & Social Structure


To stay cool on warm days, Red Kangaroos will dig a small depression in the dirt, or sand, to lay in. Sometimes digging a few inches of earth gets them to damper ground, and sometimes they help dampen things on their own. One of the zoo-keepers did mention that the Red Kangaroos love to lounge in their sandbox, (or sand pit).

Red kangaroos generally rest during the midday and eat at night. The group of female Red kangaroos at the Milwaukee zoo spend a lot of time eating, hanging out and sleeping. Red kangaroos can eat several pounds of plants a day.

Here are other pictures of relaxed Red Kangaroos in action:



Social Structure

Red kangaroos travel in groups called "mobs". They tend to be semi-nomadic and are led by an older male. When threatened, kangaroos will usually flee, although they will fight when necessary.

Generally they are quite social, hanging out together. In the wild, a male kangaroo called a will gather about 10-12 females into a “mob”. He will be a primary defender of this group. Other males can hang around until it is during the mating time. The dominant male is more willing to fight other males trying to mate with mob females intrude on the group or fight the lead male to try to take over. Kangaroos fight by “boxing” with the short arms or using their tail as a balance, kicking with their powerful back legs.

Fortunately, the Milwaukee Zoo’s current group of female Red Kangaroos all get along. So, for them, a day at the zoo, especially during hot summer weather, is mostly quiet social resting with a few glances to check out all the zoo’s visitors.


The video and all of the photos on this page were taken by our teammate, Marcia, in the Red Kangaroo exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo.