A Zoo LossZoo Says Goodbye to Loved Kangaroo

September 26, 2018

Marley was a 14-year-old Eastern grey kangaroo who lived in the Zoo’s Australia Walkabout. Marley came to the Virginia Zoo from the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Georgia and has lived in the exhibit with the other wallabies and emus for nine years.

Life expectancy of a kangaroo is generally eight to 12 years in the wild, and longer under human care. At 14 years of age, Marley was considered geriatric, meaning staff will monitor him for conditions that typically affect older animals. Over the last year, the staff has been observing and treating Marley for dental disease, a common problem in older kangaroos. He was switched to a softer diet to make it easier for him to chew his favorite foods but recently, Zoo Keepers noticed that despite this, he was having more trouble eating.

A physical exam revealed signs of advanced dental disease due to old age. In seeing the advanced disease progression and looking at his overall quality of life, the decision was made to humanely euthanize him. Marley lived a good and long life, and he was a favorite among all Zoo staff, volunteers and visitors.

The Australia Walkabout is open daily to the public Memorial Day through Labor Day, but visitors can still visit the exhibit on weekends, weather permitting.