Lehigh Valley Zoo
August 19, 2021
Lehigh Valley Health Network is the Official Motherhood Partner of the LV Zoo
(Schnecksville, PA) – Lehigh Valley Zoo, in conjunction with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), is hopping with excitement is hopping with excitement to announce that zookeepers recently spotted two little feet emerging from the pouch of one of our kangaroos – indicating the birth of another new joey at LV Zoo. LVHN is the Official Motherhood Partner of the LVZoo.
First-time mother, Sophie, started showing an enlarged pouch and movement indicating to staff another zooborn was present — and a third-generation joey born at LV Zoo. The most recent addition is also the fourth born in the exhibit over the past three summers, joining Hopscotch (2019), Jenga (2020) and Uno (2020). All four were fathered by George, the lone male kangaroo at the zoo. The gender of the newest joey is yet to be discovered.
Since kangaroo pregnancies only last around 30 days, it is difficult to determine exactly when a joey is born. Instead, joeys grow inside the pouch and go through many developmental stages after they are born — more than a human baby does before birth. Researchers are still learning about the various stages of a joey’s development and some Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are even assisting in this research through voluntary pouch checks with their animals.
When they are first born, newborn joeys are smaller than a cherry. After birth, the mother will lick a pathway up the fur of her pouch for the joey to climb unassisted into the pouch where it stays until it is between two- and four-months old. For this reason, the kangaroos don’t have a birthday but a “pouch day” — the first time a joey makes an appearance outside the pouch and can be seen on exhibit.
Kangaroos are incredible mammals and can have multiple joeys at one time or delay their pregnancies until their environment or conditions become better. While joeys will occasionally leave the pouch to explore, they will immediately dive back into the pouch if they feel scared or sense danger. As joeys grow, it is a common occurrence to see their head and feet hanging outside of the pouch since they are becoming larger over time. The pouch will continue to expand to accommodate their growth. When joeys are between eight and ten months, they are mature enough to leave the pouch for good. During this time, a female kangaroo can produce two different types of milk to feed two separate babies: one that has emerged from the pouch but is still nursing; and another newborn.
The newest resident still needs a name. In partnership with LVHN, LV Zoo is hosting a naming poll. The zookeepers will narrow their list of possible names down to four finalists. Guests will then decide the final official names by voting for their favorite using tokens. Two lucky winners will receive a Family Four Pack for picking the winning name.
To see our newest joey and to vote on its new name, be sure to visit LV Zoo by purchasing tickets at lvzoo.org/ticketing.
Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 22 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the region’s only hospital nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top five hospitals for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting www.LVHN.org/motherhood, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.
As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society was founded in 2004, but as a treasured community landmark, the Zoo’s history spans over a century. Founded in 1906 by General Harry C. Trexler, a local industrialist, the Lehigh Valley’s Trexler Game Preserve has educated and entertained more than five million people.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Lehigh Valley Zoo hosts year-round, family-friendly events and activities, educational programs, and camps. With a mission to create a safe, engaging and enlightening wildlife experience for guests of all ages, the Zoo demonstrates leadership in the cultural, scientific and conservation communities. To learn more about Lehigh Valley Zoo, we invite you to visit our website, www.lvzoo.org, or follow us on Facebook @LVZOO.