This pic went viral because animal activists were convinced this kangaroo was grieving for his dead friend….
What first appeared to be a tender image of a kangaroo grieving over his dying mate might actually show something quite different.
The image, which went viral, shows what some believe is a male kangaroo raising the head of a dying female so she can look at their little joey one last time.
In reality, the male kangaroo may have had something else in mind entirely.
He was “trying to get a female to stand up so he can mate with her,” Mark Eldridge, principal research scientist at the Australian Museum, said in a blog post.
“Great photos of the kangaroos, but I think they are fundamentally misinterpreted,” Eldridge said.
“The male is clearly highly stressed and agitated, his forearms are very wet from him licking himself to cool down. He is also sexually aroused: the evidence is here sticking out from behind the scrotum (yes, in marsupials the penis is located behind the scrotum).”
Photographer Evan Switzer, who snapped the viral photo, told the Daily Mail that it was “a pretty special thing” and said he believed the male was “mourning the loss of his mate.”
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