After many months down under -- or rather, inside mum's pouch -- the Lincoln Park Zoo's red kangaroo joey has finally popped up to say hello to the world.
(Check out photos of the baby joey's peek-a-boo below.)
The joey, whose sex is yet to be determined, was the first-ever red kangaroo born at the Chicago zoo. The baby arrived in early May to first-time mom Anna, 7, and father Jacob, 5.
“Both parents are taking the birth in stride, or, I guess I should say, hop,” zoo curator Diane Mulkerin said in a statement. “Anna is a laid back mom and is going about her normal routine of napping, exercising, and eating plenty of leafy greens.”
Though the joey had heretofore been unseen by the outside world, zoo officials say such behavior is normal for the marsupials. Baby kangaroos are born weighing less than an ounce and remain nestled in their mother's pouch for the first several months of life. It's not until they're nearly a year old that baby kangaroos leave to hop on their own independent of their mother.
“This little roo has been very secretive so far," said Mulkerin. "Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch.”
Zoo officials say they will name the joey once the sex is determined in several more months.