Can Kangaroos Swim? (Yes. It Can)

Kangaroos are the most incredible animals hopping around the Australian grassland. They have exceptional features and are best known for the strength of their hind limbs. They are the largest marsupial ever existing on earth, with a fully grown weighing up to 90kg. However, many people have many questions concerning the kangaroos’ swimming ability. So, can kangaroo swim?

Because we understand your thirst for knowledge, we’ve taken deep research and developed a solid answer to this question. So, this article dives deep and gives answers to the most burning questions you could have. Keep reading and increase your knowledge.

Can Kangaroo Swim?

A kangaroo can swim. It swims when escaping dangers like forest fires, attacks from enemies, and when crossing rivers. A fully grown and healthy kangaroo can swim up to 300 meters long in the water. It uses its legs and tail to push forward and help in buoyance. However, unlike other animals like hippos, they cannot dive into the water.

Kangaroos have body adaptations like a strong tail and enlarged hind limbs. These adaptations help them swim in the water and hop on the ground. Like on the ground, they use the tail to support an upright posture in the water. They also move the tail left/right to propel forward, making them incredibly best in swimming.

How Do Kangaroos Swim?

Kangaroos use forepaws to draw pursuers, tails, and powerful hind legs to pedal in the water. They are well known for the art of moving their legs simultaneously, and the tail left and right to push forward. They keep their heads above the water for breathing as they pedal with their legs. Their swimming technique resembles that of dogs.

However, it’s an advantage for the kangaroo if the run happens to be near a river or water body. Because kangaroos are known to be the best swimmers, it’s hard for the predator to kill them in water.

Why Do Kangaroos Swim?

Kangaroos swim to escape danger or cross a river. Although they are best known for their hopping character as part of their movement, they are also the best swimmers. The tail and limb power allow them to swim faster, especially when in danger from predators like wolves and hunters. 

It’s very rare to find a kangaroo swimming for pleasure. Most of them swim if there is a reason to do so. On the other hand, wolves can swim but are best known for hunting in the grasslands. It is very challenging to hold and take prey out of the water. This makes water bodies safe for the kangaroos when an enemy approaches.

How Fast Can Kangaroos Swim?

It is not yet determined how first the kangaroo can swim. However, they swim at an impressive speed, especially when escaping danger like forest fires, floods, and predators. This swimming power normally comes due to the adrenaline hormone produced by the body when in panic. The adrenaline produces extra energy for the limb’s power.

However, its body size could be a limiting factor during swimming only when young. Young kangaroos lack the experience and skills to swim. Hence, the swimming speed varies with the fully grown kangaroos.

Also, kangaroos vary in weight and height depending on their species’ family. There are four main species. They are the red kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, the eastern kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo. The heaviest kangaroo specie is the Gray Kangaroo which can weigh up to 200 pounds. The Red Kangaroo is best known for its height which can grow up to six fits.

If you could consider tallness and heaviness in determining their speed, the Red Kangaroo could be the best. This is only valid if they paddle at the same speed.

Generally, kangaroos weigh between 50 and 200 pounds and can measure anywhere, ranging between 3 and 8 high. This physical appearance may determine the speed at which they swim.

How Far Can Kangaroos Swim?

From the research by George R. Wilson, kangaroos can swim as far as 300 meters when frightened. They did this research on gray kangaroo. Generally, kangaroos cannot withstand long-distance swimming as they get exhausted and can even drown. However, the swimming distance depends on the kangaroo’s body energy and limb power. 

If you’re a good swimmer, you’ll move a longer distance than when you have no skills and power. This also applies to the kangaroos. When it is its first time in the water, it will try to hop on the shallow waters as if it’s on the surface. When it moves deeper, it uses its paws and limbs for buoyance. Eventually, it gains experience and uses its tail to propel forward.

kangaroo-on-beach

Can Water Fill Into the Pouch of a Kangaroo?

Water cannot fill in the pouch of a kangaroo. Besides being small, the inside of the pouch is quite sticky. The stickiness acts as waterproof. Also, it’s covered with muscles that tense up whenever there is danger; therefore, sealing the babies makes them safe if the kangaroo is forced to swim. 

The kangaroo’s pouch is an important feature for the baby’s survival. It serves as a shelter for warmth and danger in case there is any. Also, there are breasts inside to provide milk for the young. If water skips in, then the life of the young one is interfered with.

However, the performance to prevent water from filling depends on the baby’s size. It is only possible to seal the baby inside if it’s small. Large babies push the pouch’s muscles; therefore, water can fill.

Due to the risk factors, kangaroos with joey avoid swimming. Some of the risk factors can be a hunt by predators or running from forest fires.

Is It Dangerous to Swim With a Kangaroo?

Yes, it is dangerous to swim with a kangaroo. Kangaroos are wild animals with less interaction with human beings. There is no way it will never flee if you are to approach it. Therefore, when swimming with a kangaroo, it could become aggressive and try to defend itself from you. Male kangaroos are the most dangerous because of their strength.

You can interact with a kangaroo, depending on the circumstances. Out of the water, you could interact with a kangaroo when giving it food or water. You could end up being a close friend, but it can become aggressive at any time because it’s an animal.

The same situation happens when swimming. The only thing the kangaroo could think is that you’re about to hurt it. Therefore, it’ll try its best to flee. If it’s impossible, then it could try anything to defend itself. This may include becoming aggressive and eventually hurting you in the process.

So, it is clear that there may be no danger unless the kangaroo needs a way to escape. However, the risk of the kangaroo to the swimmer depends on its size. Large and heavier kangaroos are much more dangerous than medium-sized and small ones. 

Get too close and lose your skin. Leave them, and they are harmless.

Can Kangaroos Drown You in Water?

Kangaroos can drown you in water, especially when it’s large. Large kangaroos have strong forepaws that could use to hold you without getting room to escape. But the most dangerous ones are large male kangaroo. They are known globally for their reputation for drowning predators, especially dogs.

Due to this character, do not swim around kangaroos even when they seem unaggressive.

Kangaroos are known for being feisty, especially during mating seasons. This character is seen when there is an unwitting passerby or when a male is fighting. Being herbivores, you could think that they should have no reason to be aggressive. 

Is a Kangaroo Pouch Wet Inside?

The inside of a kangaroo pouch is not wet but is somehow slimy. The sliminess is due to the waste excreted by the joey inside the pouch. Also, it may be caused by the mother’s saliva and leaked milk. Most of all, the mother’s body produces a fluid that always keeps the pouch lubricated. The secretion also acts as an oiling fluid for the developing joey. 

If you open the pouch of a kangaroo, always wear gloves. Otherwise, you’ll never love the experience or happen to repeat it.

Also, the fluid is important for sealing the pouch opening. It helps to protect the joey by acting as a waterproof in case the kangaroo swims in water.

Are Kangaroos Mean?

Kangaroos are not mean. They are shy and will always retreat as soon as they can. They may only become aggressive when cornered or when you threaten them. However, for the fully grown male and female, they are always unpredictable. They could attack without any warning. And they may even chop off your skin.

Fully grown wild kangaroos are never friendly as you may think. They normally attack by grappling their opponents and using the lethal hind limbs claws to disembowel. This makes their enemies helpless, and you could even die depending on the extent of the injuries they may cause you.

Final Verdict 

Kangaroos are good swimmers. They can swim up to 300 meters, especially when escaping danger. They normally use the tail, forepaws, and hind limbs for pedaling in the water. The swimming technique is exactly like that of dogs. They simultaneously move their limbs as they pedal.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.