13 January 2015
Hop, hop, hooray! Australia Zoo is celebrating a very special birthday this week as our much-loved leucistic kangaroo, Ivory, turns 11 on Thursday!
As you can see by the picture, Ivory is not your average looking Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Rather than being the traditional grey in colour, her fur is white. The reason for this is that Ivory has a genetic trait known as leucism.
Leucism occurs due to a recessive gene found in the DNA of animals that stops them from producing certain pigmentation in either their fur or skin. While this condition can be found in most animal species, it is extremely rare, with only 1 in every 10,000 being leucistic. So Ivory is a very special girl!
Leucism is a little different to albinism, and one obvious difference is eye colour. An albino animal will have pink or red eyes from the ‘clear' colouring of their iris, allowing blood vessels to show through. However, if an animal has loss of pigment in the skin and fur and not the eyes, it is referred to as leucistic. That is the case with our Ivory.
Australia Zoo is lucky enough though to have two more beautiful leucistic animals - a saltwater crocodile named Casper, who you can catch cruising around his enclosure next to the Crocoseum - and a Burmese python named Jenny.
This Thursday for her birthday, Ivory will be treated to a delicious meal of her favourite food - corn, sweet potato and apple, as well as extra TLC from her keepers. And as we celebrate Ivory's 11th milestone, Australia Zoo would also like to celebrate all the things that make each of us unique - and encourage everyone to embrace their individuality!
When you next visit Australia Zoo, make sure you head to Roo Heaven to say Happy Birthday to Ivory - her beautiful white coat is not hard to spot!
To find out more about Ivory and her kangaroo friends at Australia Zoo, visit: http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/mammals/kangaroos/eastern-grey-kangaroo
0 Zoo Comments