Kangaroo 'Friends' Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Chandler Moved from Roadside Zoo to Sanctuary

The kangaroos, named after Friends characters, were among the over 200 animals saved from a "deplorable" roadside zoo in Quebec, according to the Humane Society of the United States

Rachel Chandler and Joey Kangaroos
Rachel, Chandler and Joey, Kangaroos, were among more than 200 wild and exotic animals who were rescued from a roadside zoo in Canada. . Photo: Christi Gilbreth/The HSUS

A family of kangaroos named after the characters from Friends is living a lush life after years stuck at a "deplorable" roadside zoo.

According to a release from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), kangaroos Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler were among the over 200 neglected animals Humane Society International and the Montreal SPCA rescued from a Canadian roadside zoo in St-Édouard-de-Maskinongé, Quebec, in May 2019.

HSUS's release described the zoo as a "decrepit, barren and disturbing conditions at an unaccredited facility." It added that the former owner of the zoo pleaded guilty to animal welfare violations, including inadequate and unsanitary facilities and lack of veterinary care, in 2021.

"It was like most roadside zoos — to a visitor, it may have seemed okay as most of the cruelty was hidden from paying customers. But we saw failing, dangerous fences and cages, chewed stalls holding malnourished and lonely animals, dead animals just below the soil, and animals who need to be in social groups anxious and alone. Down the dark corridor of a dilapidated, dank barn, through the pervasive spider webs and air thick with ammonia and dust, we found rows of stalls with isolated animals including a zebra, wildebeest, kangaroos, and so many others," Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for Humane Society International, said in a statement about the three-month rescue operation.

Kangaroos rescued from a Canada roadside zoo
Kangaroos rescued from a Canada roadside zoo. HSI; Christi Glibreth/The HSUS

Almost three years after the rescue, the HSUS is providing a happy update on how some of the animals are doing now, including Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler. Rescuers moved all animals from the roadside zoo to accredited animal care facilities.

Kangaroos Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler — named by rescuers who were all fans of Friends — moved to the 1,400-acre Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas. The sanctuary is part of the HSUS and provides a forever home to wild animals and exotic pets rescued from neglect and animal cruelty.

Before arriving at Black Beauty Ranch, the kangaroo quartet lived in a dark indoor pen with no enrichment. Joey, only a year old at the time of the rescue, had never seen sunlight until the animal left the roadside zoo. At the sanctuary, Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler all enjoy vast swaths of grassy land filled with enrichment elements.

Kangaroos rescued from Canada Roadside Zoo
Kangaroos rescued from Canada Roadside Zoo. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

"These animals will never be neglected or have to face darkness ever again. They are receiving all of the proper care they deserve and now have the opportunity to relax in the sun or under a tree, graze in the tall grass, play, enjoy a proper diet and plenty of treats, and be the wild animals they are," Noelle Almrud, the senior director of Black Beauty Ranch, said in a statement.

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