A keeper at a North Dakota zoo has become a first-time mom. But the baby she carries around the clock in a colorful flannel pouch is not a little human, it’s an orphaned kangaroo.
Amanda Dukart is a zookeeper at the Chahinkapa (cha-HINK’-ah-pah) Zoo in Wahpeton. For the next six months, she will carry the joey wrapped around her throughout the day to help it develop.
WDAY-TV reports the zoo is hoping the joey survives after its mother died unexpectedly several weeks ago. Dukart says most of the animal’s development happens inside the mother’s pouch.
Dukart says she can now “sympathize with working moms” because she works all the time and also cares for baby Barkley.
Barkley will join the zoo’s kangaroo exhibit when it turns 18 months old.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.