Some zoo owners are quickly losing hope they’ll ever see their baby kangaroo alive again. The baby kangaroo, commonly known as a joey, was taken sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon right before it was set to return to Special Memories Zoo in Greenville, Wisconsin. Police have no leads to go on, and the rough way the thieves took the little joey might prevent the mother from ever having babies again.
According to ABC News, animal handlers fed the baby kangaroo late Tuesday night in an unsecured, insulated shed around eight miles away from the zoo. When they returned Wednesday afternoon, the joey was gone, along with four baby goats.
Donna Wheeler, the owner of Special Memories Zoo, called the police, but the cops have little to go on and time is running out quickly.
The joey was about five months old. Baby kangaroos need the shelter of their mother’s pouch for the first year of their lives. Likewise, the infant needs to eat a special formula; normal milk will kill the little animal.
Wheeler explained, “You can’t just feed it anything.”
“I’m thinking by now… if a person took it who knew what they were doing it probably has a chance of living. But if somebody didn’t… I know we’ve got high school kids around, if someone did it as a joke, I’m sure by now it’s probably dead.”
She added, “I feel absolutely horrible. We do everything in our power to keep animals alive. Right now, my stomach is just turning to think somebody would do that.”
The burglars also hurt the baby kangaroo’s mother in the robbery. According to PostCresent, the mother’s pouch was damaged and outturned from the theft, and it’s not clear if she’ll ever be able to raise babies again.
Donna Wheeler and her family kept the baby animals in an insulated winter shed that had no security cameras, and they didn’t lock the doors. They found themselves unprepared for the robbery, and were most disappointed that someone would take from a special place designed for children — the baby goats would have gone into a petting zoo.
“We don’t have any idea who would do something like that,” Wheeler explained, “It’s very disgusting.”
The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the theft, but they have no leads. They’re reportedly canvassing the area and seeking information from the public, which can call 920-832-5000 to give any information.
As for the Wheelers, they’re going to try to prevent future baby kangaroo thefts and install security cameras.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]