HARPURSVILLE, NY – Almost 4 years after April the Giraffe rose to fame, Animal Adventure Park is celebrating another animal rarity.
As NewsChannel 34’s Emily Venuti shows us, Cosmo the Kangaroo was recently born at the park and has a unique white pigmentation that makes him the only Kangaroo of his kind in North America, and possibly the world.
Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch was in for a shock last week when the joey born on the property 5 months ago turned out to be a leucistic red kangaroo.
Leucistic kangaroos are white in color, however, they are not albino as their eyes are not pink.
They are incredibly rare.
“We’ve been working inside of the Zoological community, talking to other zoos and professionals that work even specifically with kangaroos and macropods as a group and no one has been able to identify a living leucistic kangaroo in North America at this time,” says Patch.
While there are rumors of some in Australia, no other leucistic kangaroo has yet been identified in the world, so Cosmo might be the only one.
“Upon identifying the fact that we had a very rare kangaroo, I immediately took to Google and I Goolged ‘leucistic kangaroo’ and when nothing came up, I knew we had something unique,” says Patch.
Cosmo’s parents, Rosie and Boomer are typical colored red kangaroos who have never mated before but both are believed to carry the recessive gene for the condition.
“Now we enter what is going to be a very long term project. Over the next few years we’re gonna see if Boomer and Rosie produce another white kangaroo. We’re going to see if little Cosmo here, when he matures, reproduces and produces white kangaroos. So now it’s a long term study of the genetics, isolating the trait and seeing exactly what we’re working with,” says Patch.
But for now, Cosmo will be with his mom at the park and will be on display at the new kangaroo exhibit when the park reopens to the public in April.