Kangaroos. These big, strong animals are known for being the most famous animal in Australia (right up there with the koala!), not to mention they’re also famous for walking in two legs and throwing very hard punches.
But today we’re not going to focus on how peculiar kangaroos are, but rather focus on how long do kangaroos live, and how this lifespan can be affected depending on whether they live in the wild or in captivity.
How long do kangaroos live?
Kangaroos are very unique animals: they walk in two legs, they are known for “knowing” how to fight, and they carry their babies in little bags in their bellies until they are old enough to hop on their own.
However, we’re not here to talk about that, but to talk about how long do the live, and what’s their life expectancy like, because you see, kangaroos actually have a somewhat long lifespan and get to live up to 12 years.
How long do kangaroos live in the wild?
Like we have been saying before, kangaroos don’t necessarily have a very long lifespan, but they get to live an average of 8 to 12 years in the wild.
Normally, we would say animals in the wild tend to live less due to natural conditions and predators. Kangaroos have an advantage, and is that they don’t have many natural predators, which causes them to be able to live a longer life and reach their maximum life expectancy without any problem at all.
This doesn’t mean kangaroos don’t have natural predators, because they do. You see, the dingo is one of the only really dangerous predators kangaroos have to face, and even so, they can defend themselves very easily.
How long do kangaroos live in captivity?
As it happens with most animals, kangaroos actually do live longer in captivity than in the wild, being able to easily surpass the 20 year mark on their own.
While living in captivity, kangaroos are separated from their natural predators, and continuing to follow their regular diet (they eat grass, flowers and some small insects), which of course, results in them living a much longer life than they would do in the wild life.
It’s important to mention that no many kangaroos live in captivity in Australia, and that there’s in fact a massive overpopulation of kangaroos living in the wild, with over 10 million of them currently living there! (that’s over the triple of the population of Uruguay!).
As to how much do the different species of kangaroos can live in the wild, there aren’t different species, there’s only one type of kangaroo and they have an average life span from 8 to 12 years, being able to surpass this mark if they live in captivity.
Life expectancy of kangaroos according to the species
- 16 years.
Eastern grey kangaroo
- In the wild: 8-12 years.
- In captivity: 20 years.
Western grey kangaroo
- In the wild: 9-13 years.
- In captivity: 20 years.
- In the wild: 16 years.
- In captivity: 22 years.