Wallaroos as Pets

Housing, Caretaking and Feeding

Wallaroos are larger than wallabies but smaller than kangaroos. Like kangaroos, stand on their back, eat with their front paws and carry babies in their pouch. The common grey wallaroo is Macropus robustus and the red wallaroo is Macropus cervenus.

Characteristics

Wallaroos are stocky and powerful with shaggy fur and bare black snouts. Males can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds, while females are more likely to be 40 to 50 pounds.

Males are usually 40 to 56 inches long and females are 30 to 40 inches long. Both are reported to live 15 to 20 years.

Temperament

Wallaroos are shy and it takes time to tame them. However, they are curious and will bond quite nicely to their owners if hand raised (while still nursing), well socialized and treated well. They can be friendly, playful and affectionate but also mischevious albeit entertaining. They can be taught to understand "no" but they need firm corrections and never physical punishment.

On the downside, that mischievousness may lead to damage if you're not supervising them properly. In addition, some species are nocturnal and won't be active during the day when you want to interact.

Feeding

Wallaroos are herbivores, naturally grazing on grasses and shrubs in their natural environment. In captivity, give them a constant supply of fresh, good quality hay (such as Bermuda or rye grass).

Ideally, provide a grass pasture for grazing (securely fenced). You can also feed a commercial  kangaroo/wallaby diet (e.g. Mazuri). Offer a variety of fresh vegetables as treats; a vitamin E and selenium supplement is also recommended.

If you get a baby wallaroo, you'll need to bottle feed with formula every few hours until he can eat on his own.

Housing

If you live in an apartment, a wallaroo may not be the best pet because it's an animal that needs a lot of space. Keep in mind that this marsupial is from the wild pastures of Australia and he's a jumper, so you'll need a large yard, pen or pasture that is secure and fenced for him to run and exercise. The fence should be at least 6 feet tall, and your wallaroo needs 2,000 feet of space. The fence also keeps out unwelcome animals. Cats can be a threat to wallaroos due to the spread of toxoplasmosis. If your wallaroo comes across cat waste that's infected, he can become fatally ill quickly.

If you're considering keeping a wallaroo in the house, keep in mind that these animals won't use a litter box, so you'll need diapers on hand. You'll also need to remove any fragile or breakable objects because the wallaroo is like a bull in a china shop given its penchant for jumping. Wallaroos also require a temperature ranging from  40 and 80 degrees F, so you might need additional provisions for heating or cooling.

Cost

Bear in mind that wallaroos are expensive--expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 to purchase your pet plus an additional investment if you have to set up fencing.  Food adds another $200 and $400 per month.