Mary Rosencrance, owner of Rose Exotics, spoke to students and community members at Lewis County Adult and Community Education Center: IMPACT, but it was her kangaroo, Irwin, who stole the show. Rosencrance adopted Irwin earlier this year after his mother became ill and rejected him. He is roughly nine months old.
Rosencrance is a 2017 Lewis County High School graduate who has always had a love for animals, especially exotic animals. She now has her own business along with her husband. They breed and sell geckos, pythons, hedgehogs, and rodents, which are a food source for some of the animals.
Rosencrance also works with rescue organizations, such as Omen Creek Wolfdot Sanctuary, to rehabilitate wolf hybrids that have come into the sanctuary’s care. She currently has two wolf hybrids, Mishka and Moscow, and is training Moscow to be an ambassador for the breed.
Rosencrance stressed that wolf hybrids are not for everyone.
“There are too many cases of people buying wolf hybrids and don’t know what they’re getting into,” she said.
Rosencrance wants to expand her business. She said she would like to start a reptile focused educational zoo, which would be open to the public.
“That’s the ultimate goal-hands on, educational reptile zoo.”
Rosencrance plans to travel to MI and learn more about how to properly run a reptile zoo.
Currently, the profits made through her business are put right back into the animals, Rosencrance said.
Irwin is not for sale, and there are no plans to breed and sell kangaroos, but Rosencrance said he is like her child. He goes everywhere with her, because he still needs formula even though he is eating solid foods.
Irwin came to live with Rosencrance while she was attending an exotic pet show in TN. Irwin weighed about three pounds at the time, and had to be on a heat source to mimic a kangaroo pouch.
Rosencrance recalled her first meeting with Irwin. She put her hand down in front of Irwin for him to smell.
“He grabbed my hands in his paws and pulled them towards him. He put his head in my hands. I thought, ‘Okay, this is my son now’.”
Irwin was on three medications for three months. He then was taking two more medications to fix the stomach issues caused by the antibiotics.
Rosencrance said while on the medication, Irwin was eating every three hours, around the clock, plus getting a diaper change each time.
Irwin is not on any medication now, and is happy and healthy. A red kangaroo, Irwin could potentially reach five to six feet tall, and weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. Rosencrance said Irwin’s doctor does not anticipate him to get that large because of his illness earlier this year. She added they are building him an enclosure so he will be able to eat grass, which makes up about 80 percent of a kangaroo’s diet.
Irwin will be weaned between 12 and 18 months. Rosencrance has a Facebook page, called Rose Exotics. There are pictures of her animals, and also contact information for anyone interested in exotic pets.