riley.jpgThe Prospect Park Zoo's recent marsupial addition was named Riley this week, following a public contest (even though no one knew the animal's gender!).

Riley is a Western Grey Kangaroo--a species native to Australia that can jump 30 feet at a time. Zoo keepers were only able to determine Riley's sex this week, which required that the names for the contest remain gender neutral (Kinta, Kylie, and Nari were the others).

In a vote organized by the cultural group Heart of Brooklyn, 208 submissions were winnowed to four options for voters, who determined that Riley was the best of the lot. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, building his future constituency, announced the winner in front of many appreciative children and that Allison Make had submitted the winning name (apparently the 48th most popular name for baby girls in the city in 2006, 159th most popular for boys).

There's a video of Riley taking some tentative first hops here. Little Riley didn't emerge from mother Christy's pouch for a month after her birth.