Did You Also Grow Up With a Healthy Fear of Kangaroos?

I 100% did.

I always heard, “don’t get close to kangaroos. Yeah, they are cute and look cuddly, but they will punch a bitch.”

So, I always admired kangas and roos from afar. 

Then I went to the Detroit Zoo, also known as the “Detroit Zoological Park”, yesterday with some friends. 

And we walked within the same enclosure as alive and awake kangaroos. While we were also alive and awake. 

With no barrier at all.  

Spoiler alert: I didn’t take very many photos. 

Big surprise right? The girl who can’t recall things visually forgot to take pictures! You’d think my OCD would bend me towards obsessing over capturing memories with my camera so that I could, you know, remember them?

But nah, I just bop around experiencing things. Taking pics feels like too much pressure for my brain, so I mostly skip it. 

However, I want to have better memories of my experiences (and maybe so I can art them later), so I have started this new trick where I bring Tracy Morban along so that he can make some TikToks. 

Look, sometimes tricking my brain works. And I did take some TikTok-worthy video yesterday. So a win win in my book. 

So first off, I feel like I need to tell you that I am mostly meh on zoos. Seeing animals in cages makes me sad and I don’t want to be sad. 

However, I had heard rumblings that the Detroit zoo wasn’t a sad zoo, so when we had a child slated for a visit, I added the zoo to the “suggested activity” list and I am glad that this is what they chose to do on our adventuring day. 

There wasn’t a cage in sight and often nothing more than a very low fence. 

Instead of me bumbling an explanation, here is a description from Detroit History dot org:

“Renowned designer Heinrich Hagenbeck of Hamburg, Germany accepted the challenge of creating Detroit’s Zoo, creating a “cageless environment” for the animals. Using moat designs, he placed the animals in what looked like their natural habitats.”

Y’all, this felt unreal for many of these exhibits. Look how close this wolf was!!!!

There were a good mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits – the highlight of the indoor exhibits being an incredible Penguin Display with very few swimming fish visible, which I really appreciated. 

In case you didn’t know, I am afraid of fish and have been for a hot minute, aka most of my life. It is a weird thing to explain and I guess I should blog about it maybe someday? Not today though. 

Today is zoo animal day.

So, we spent some time with an eagle.

And a lot of time with this sleeping grizzly, who has a name, which I have forgotten. All of the animals had names, as well as pictures and descriptions of each individual animal’s markings so that folks who process information differently can identify the animals! 

From the big, loosely roaming polar bears to the tiny tiny stationary frogs

Everyone’s brains work differently and I am happy that my new town’s zoo recognizes this and makes accommodations!! Also, there were maps and signposts frequently and we never ever got lost even once. 

So, yeah, the Detroit Zoo is a good one. 

But the highlight for me was an exhibit featuring animals from the Australian Outback. As my friend, her daughter, and I approached, two of us became increasingly apprehensive.

“…Is that where we’re going…”

“…like inside with the kangaroos?!”

“…aren’t kangaroos, like, dangerous?”

“Yeah, don’t they punch you?”

“Yeah, I learned they look cute and cuddly but don’t get close because they will fuck you up”

If it helps you picture this better, we were also attempting to carry this conversation in those weird hushed voices adults use when they’re kind of frightened but they don’t want the intelligent kid nearby to know. 

But yeah, as we drew closer, we realized that, yes, indeed we would be walking inside the same enclosure as some random loose kangaroos. 

And we did it! We steeled ourselves and walked through a human cage to get inside the kangaroo enclosure. 

And we hung out with them!

Here is a video that I took.

Well, really we gingerly walked on the sidewalk and then stopped and watched a kangaroo pee for an uncomfortably long time while we listened to a docent apologize for the wallabies being in the barn because of the weather. 

Like, it was a long slow pee and it felt like it would never stop.

But I had to look at it, cause what was I gonna do… make eye contact with a human?!


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