When ‘Skippy the Bush Kangaroo’ appeared in 1968, it became a worldwide hit.
But while the talkative kangaroo show is a work of fiction, its creators may have known something.
They hid a tasty delicacy inside a plastic container and when the kangaroos could not open the container, they observed the animals using glances to communicate with the person conducting the experiment.
Ten of the 11 kangaroos examined actively observed the person who had put the food in a plastic container to obtain it.
Nine of the 11 kangaroos also showed alternating gazes between the container and the person present.
“When we saw them exhibit this behavior, we were shocked,” said co-author Dr. Alexandra Green, from the University of Sydney.
“What they did was look up at the experimenter and they actually asked for help, they actually walked up to the experimenter, looked back and forth between the box and the food and were even scratching the experimenter at times as well.”
The study, published in Biology Letters, challenges the long-held belief that only domestic animals such as cats, dogs, horses, and goats can communicate their needs to humans.
Lead author Dr Alan McElligott from the University of Roehampton says that kangaroos are social animals, like dogs and goats, and research suggests that they can adapt their usual social behaviors to interact with humans.
“Through this study, we were able to see that communication between animals can be learned and that the behavior of looking at humans for access to food is not related to domestication,” said Dr. McElligott.
“In fact, the kangaroos showed a pattern of behavior very similar to what we have seen in dogs, horses and even goats when put to the same test.”
The research confirms what keepers at the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo have long suspected.
“Not being born in Australia, kangaroos were a unique species to me, so I’m from Brazil and you think wild animals don’t, you respect their space, you don’t really come close, they communicate with each other, but these girls definitely have. fact. changed his mind, “zoo keeper Andrea Rausa told 9News.
The study involved kangaroos that lived in various zoos in Australia, as wild animals would be afraid of humans.
While these captive roos were familiar with humans, they are still considered undomesticated, as they have not been bred to live alongside humans.