A kangaroo found on a truck during a routine police check on a highway near the Bengal-Assam border on Saturday reached the Alipore zoo in Kolkata on Tuesday morning.
Officials of the state forest department suspect the animal was being smuggled. Two persons were arrested.
The animal, a sub-adult male, made a 700-km road trip inside a cage mounted on a mini-truck to the zoo.
The truck halted for a few hours in Bardhaman on Monday night.
“The animal must have spent considerable time on the road before being found by the cops. An additional road trip from Alipurduar to Kolkata must have been extremely taxing,” said a zoo official.
A team of four vets checked on the animal at the zoo. The kangaroo has been kept inside a mini-shelter carved out of the kangaroo enclosure.
Except for the director of the zoo, a keeper and vets, the area is off-limits.
“The animal looked exhausted. But the good sign is that it ate some food,” said a zoo official.
“Kangaroos are extremely shy and suffer from a high degree of stress when confronted with a crowd. On top of it, this animal is already stressed,” said the official.
The marsupial is likely to remain on a largely fruit-based diet at the zoo.
“It will be kept in quarantine for around three weeks,” said Saurabh Chaudhuri, member-secretary of the Bengal Zoo Authority.
Kangaroos, indigenous to Australia and New Guinea, are not found in the wild in India. The Alipore zoo has two male Eastern Grey kangaroos, brought from a zoo in Japan.
The one that arrived on Tuesday was a Red kangaroo, said a zoo official.
Red kangaroos are larger and heavier than Eastern Grey kangaroos, said a wildlife official.
On Saturday, a team from Kumargram police station in Alipurduar was checking all vehicles from Assam. They came across a truck, the rear of which was covered with a tarpaulin sheet.
The kangaroo was inside a cage, which was kept inside a box hidden behind the sheet. The police came to know the kangaroo was smuggled into India from Myanmar.