Detroit kangaroo ID'd after video goes viral

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A kangaroo in a video clip that went viral after it was spotted hopping down a Detroit street has been identified.

The exotic animal is named Darwin, according to his handler, Javon Stacks of Exotic Zoo. He’s a 2-year-old red kangaroo.

The Snapchat video posted on Twitter had drawn nearly 10,000 retweets by Tuesday afternoon. In the video, a man, apparently Stacks, is seen running down Birchcrest Drive with a 4-foot-tall kangaroo on a leash. A small crowd can be seen watching.

Stacks said he was in the neighborhood for a birthday party.

“The kangaroo is too big to be in the house,” Stacks said. “The birthday kid and all their friends wanted to see him hop around. Someone was driving by and took that video.”

As of Monday afternoon, Detroit Animal Control said they were investigating the kangaroo’s appearance in Detroit.

“We have field teams out to drive the area, speak to citizens,” said Kelly McLaughlin, spokeswoman for Detroit Animal Control.

McLaughlin said it’s illegal to own an exotic animal in the city.

However, Stacks, who would only say he’s based in Michigan, said his traveling zoo is licensed. During the past 10 years Stacks said he’s traveled to schools, libraries and private parties with exotic birds, reptiles and mammals.

“We educate people,” he said. “When people don’t know, people tend to judge things.”

Stacks said he stresses that exotic animals are not pets.

McLaughlin said it’s not every day Detroit Animal Control receives calls about an exotic animal sighting.

“Half a dozen times a year commonly,” she said. “We’ve had in the past alligators, snakes and mini horses. Things of that sort. Never a kangaroo. This is our first.”

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