An especially uncommon white kangaroo was born in a New York zoo
Cosmo, the newest Joey at Animal Adventure Park, was born with leukism, an incredibly rare condition that causes the partial loss of pigment in an animal’s skin and fur. Unlike albinism, leukism does not cause a lack of pigmentation in the eyes. The baby was born at Harpursville Animal Park five months ago, but was first removed from its mother’s pouch by zookeepers on January 15.
Like other baby kangaroos that were born the size of a human thumbnail, Cosmo had to grow in its mother’s pouch for months before being removed for his first full medical exam.
“Right off the bat, when we saw that it was white, it was remarkable, but when we looked closer and saw the black eyes, our jaws dropped to the floor. In that moment we knew we had something that we would never get into we’ve seen entire careers, “park owner Jordan Patch told CNN.
“This is the only kangaroo of its kind currently in North America. It’s that rare.”
Little Joey was born to Boomer, a male red kangaroo who has lived in the park for eight years, and Rosie, who joined the park in 2020.
“Whatever the underlying genetics between the two produced this very unique mutation,” said Patch. “Now we’re looking long-term to understand and study what this gene is. Are both parents recessive trait holders? Is that just a coincidence?”
While Cosmo’s genetic make-up shouldn’t harm his health, the only danger is that he is unable to camouflage himself, so most likely he would never survive in the wild.
“Animal Adventure is no stranger to great events and experiences, and here we go today into 2021 with some light at the end of the tunnel. It’s bright, white and called Cosmo,” said Patch.