- After they’re born, baby kangaroos grow inside their mother’s pouches for another eight months.
- A Florida safari park has gone viral for filming an in-depth look at this process on TikTok.
- Viewers have been shocked by the reality of what a joey’s growth in the pouch looks like.
A TikTok series providing an inside look at newborn baby kangaroos growing inside their mother’s pouches is both intriguing and horrifying viewers.
With an array of furry creatures at their disposal, including porcupines and otters, staff at the Animal Edventure Park and Safari in Florida have been using TikTok to show viewers what looking after their animals is really like, going particularly viral by opening up a series of kangaroo pouches and filming what lurks inside.
One video, from April 4, which has received 71 million views, shows a staff member opening the pouch with their hands, to reveal walls of pinkish skin with a small, hairless baby kangaroo nestling inside of it.
Though common media portrayals of kangaroo pouches show the joeys’ brown, furry heads sticking outside of a small opening at the front of their mother’s bodies, when they are first born, a joey is the size of a jelly bean, and is blind, deaf, and completely hairless, Insider previously reported.
The length of a kangaroo pregnancy is about 33 days, and after that, the newlyborn joey spends eight months in its mother’s pouch, a pocket of skin that acts like a second womb where it can more fully develop. The pouch stretches to fit the baby as it gets bigger, and is lined with powerful, muscles and ligaments that the mother can tighten to keep the joey safe.
Commenters under the Florida park’s video, which provided a close-up of this “second womb,” said they were shocked by the size and appearance of the pouch’s interior, as some people said they imagined it would be lined with fur.
“There’s 1 mystery I never wanted solved…..it’s not fluffy,” one user wrote.
“There is so much I want to say and I’m horrified,” another person commented.
Park staff have since been filming more developments seen inside the pouch of this particular kangaroo, who is called Kalin, according to captions under the posts.
They have also started to film the pouches of other kangaroos on the property, comparing the growth of the joeys inside of them, to show viewers what the development process looks like. Their footage shows joeys at the very beginning of their time in the pouch before their arms and legs have fully developed, as well as joeys who are closer to stepping out of the pouch for the first time, following the gradual opening of their eyes.
Commenters have responded with complete shock at how small the baby kangaroos are while they are growing in the pouch, and with appreciation towards the park staff for helping them to learn more about kangaroos through TikTok.
“Wow! Thanks for sharing and showing!! I knew none of this. Very interesting!” one user wrote.
Animal Edventures did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
TikTok is often hailed as a platform where viewers can learn new things, as ordinary users take their cameras with them to provide inside looks at niche careers, experiences, and lifestyles that viewers might not get the chance to see or live through themselves.
Animal content is a hugely popular genre in this regard. Clips of animal caretakers and vets handling creatures, doing anything from popping abscesses to trimming hair, have previously received millions of cumulative views on the platform.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.