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A pet kangaroo stole my place in a Florida phone store

Updated on November 21, 2008

"Bob the kangaroo" video

Minding my own business

I saw my first non-zoo kangaroo this spring. In Florida. In the cell phone store. It stole my place in line!


There I was, standing at the counter trying to explain my internet issue to the woman on the other side.

She was only half-listening, obviously intent on a nearby customer with a phone problem. That customer had some damage to her phone and kept talking away at the same time she was stroking a bright pink, canvas bag slung over her shoulder. The rest of customer service people were clustered around this girl and her pink bag.

A second look at the bag revealed part of a furry head and a bit of soft pointy ear sticking out of the bulging bag.

Not a cat, of course. No self respecting cat would allow itself to be carted around and concealed in such a way.

Not a dog. The ears were wrong.

Probably a pet rabbit; they’re docile enough to cart around. And quiet. But the ears looked wrong although they were longish and pointy.

Out of the tote bag, a muzzle and a pair of elongated, pointy brown ears were now showing more. It didn’t look like any pet I had seen carried around before. The girl kept fondling the animal's ears and began shifting the heavy bag from shoulder to shoulder.

Finally, encouraged by all the store personnel, she poured the animal out of the bag and onto the carpet.

"My kangaroo" video

'Roo in action

It was a little kangaroo!

The fourteen-pound animal was dark toast brown and about two and a half feet tall with a very solid-looking long tail that provided balance. To the delight of everyone, the animal hopped slowly about the store. I wondered if it was looking for an escape because it headed toward the back door.

How had it fit in that bag? Amazingly, she stuffed it back into the tote without the kangaroo making a sound and the show was over. I was wondering how everyone would handle it if there had been an incident. . .

Is it selfish to keep exotic pets?

Apparently, it was a dwarf kangaroo that she had ordered online from a breeder somewhere in States. Everyone to whom I mentioned this story asked me, “Is it legal to keep a kangaroo in this country?”

There weren’t as many questions about whether it was nice to the little kangaroo. Or if it was a good idea to adopt wild or exotic species. I just imagined that kangaroo living a lonely and bewildered, albeit pampered life, in a suburban Florida home. Maybe she takes it to the beach to the delight of other beach-goers?

This woman said the kangaroo plays with her cat and they get along really well. So, why’d she bring it into the store? Is carrying a kangaroo a huge attention magnet, or what?

What do you think? Do kangaroos belong in American living rooms and back yards? I did see an article where they can be dangerous to other people (like delivery people) due to their size, but am not sure in exactly what way.

Note: I hesitated about adding the videos because the 'roos are so cute they would make anyone want a pet kangaroo. It just seems like a very lonely and alien life for a wild animals. Consider reading my hub about our confusion between pets and children as well . . .


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      Pamela 6 years ago

      I have owned many kangaroos and wallaroos. They are great pets as long as they have a habitat that offers them the life thy need, but they love coming in the house, and sleeping in the bed. They are very docile if raised properly & love people & other animals. Get educated before you make stupid comments.

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      rooburger 7 years ago

      i am going to order one so i can butcher it