A 15-year-old red kangaroo named Dave who is a fixture at the Bronx Zoo has made front-page headlines not once, but twice in his life so far.
According to Animal Planet’s The Zoo television series, this beloved animal ambassador was originally ordered off the internet by a New Jersey child who had stolen his parents’ credit card. In 2004, the then-joey escaped into the Garden State, but was eventually tracked down by police who brought him to a local animal shelter. The shelter contacted the Bronx Zoo, which was initially hesitant to take him since kangaroos tend to live in packs, but the famous animal park decided it could not turn him away.
Years later, Dave is a favorite of zoo staff, who describe him as part of the family. Red kangaroos usually live 15 to 17 years, and although the Australian marsupial is in great shape for his age, he does suffer from arthritis.
After his back leg gave out, and because he also showed symptoms of stiff and achy joints, the zoo staff started him on a cryotherapy program. This type of alternative medical treatment, which is also used by humans (particularly athletes) is a cooling therapy for pain. It works by reducing blood flow and eases swelling. It’s but one of many advanced treatments the Bronx Zoo offers its charges.
Find out more about Dave and his fascinating backstory in the clip above. And be sure to tune into Animal Planet’s The Zoo, a first-of-its-kind series that goes behind the scenes at the world-famous Bronx Zoo. The show, which focuses on animal care as well as the bond between staff and animals, is back for an all-new season.
We’re particularly excited for next week’s episode about a rhino named Penny who needs an ultrasound. Be sure to watch The Zoo on Animal Planet this Saturday, March 17, at 9 p.m. for more insights into these magnificent beasts.