Andrew Whiteman, Michigan: Visiting the Outback at the Detroit Zoo

In December of 2012, Andrew Whiteman of Michigan received his bachelor of arts in biology from Ohio’s Oberlin College. While seeking employment, he has accepted a volunteer position as a guide in the Detroit Zoo’s Australian Outback habitat.

In the Australian Outback habitat at the Detroit Zoo, visitors view wallabies and red kangaroos face-to-face, unhindered by fences or glass walls. The carefully recreated habitat includes a winding path for humans to walk along, bordered by low cables that guide the visitors through the exhibit. Meanwhile, the animals are free to wander where they will.

Visitors also experience the human side of the outback as they visit reconstructions of settlement buildings, handle aboriginal tools, and view rock painting replicas. Children enjoy a themed activity area, and humans as well as animals can find food and shelter when desired. In the right season, visitors may even catch a glimpse of a newly emerged joey (a baby kangaroo).

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