This ND zookeeper is carrying around a baby kangaroo in a fleece pouch

Publish date:

A North Dakota zookeeper is playing mom to a baby kangaroo.

Amanda Dukart, who works at Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, is carrying a 4-month-old joey around in a pouch after the animal's mother died unexpectedly about a week ago, WDAY reports.

Kangaroos are very underdeveloped when they're born. Most of their development happens inside their mother's pouch, where they gestate for 120 to 450 days after being born, Live Science says.

So in order to survive, the joey – named Barkly – needed a pouch. And Dukart stepped up.

“It’s quite an adjustment,” Dukart told ABC News about caring for Barkly. “It’s like a new baby.”

"I'm working all the time, but I still have a baby to take care of … I can sympathize with working moms now," she told WDAY.

For the next six months, Dukart will carry Barkly around in a pouch with a sling made of polar fleece. After 10 months, Barkly will be able to wander in and out of the pouch, and be slowly weened off of it by the time she's 18 months old, ABC News reports.

WDAY says the joey has a one in four chance of survival.

Next Up