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Baby Tree 'Roo Is Popping out of the Pouch


Woodland Park Zoo's Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo joey is growing up fast, so here are some new photos and video to fill you in on how it is getting along in its behind-the-scenes exhibit. Now eight months old, the joey has begun to leave its mother’s pouch for short bursts, doing a little exploring and then retreating back to the pouch for naps. Keepers do not know the sex of the joey yet so for now he or she remains nameless. The joey is mostly eating leaves but also munches on greens including kale, romaine and celery. Mother "Elanna" is not so great at sharing, so the joey has learned to go after the food it wants for itself.

Follow Matschie's progress and other Woodland Park Zoo babies on their outstanding blog.

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Photo credits (from top): Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Video credits: Footage from keepercam, produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Elanna and joey are in a behind the scenes exhibit to give them the quiet and comfort this sensitive species requires, especially since Elanna is a first time mother. The Woodland Park Zoo is using cameras and students are assisting with observations so they can study the interactions between the mother and joey and keep a close eye on their progress.

Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered tree kangaroo and help maintain the unique biodiversity of its native Papua New Guinea in balance with the culture and needs of human communities. Their scientists recently returned from Papua New Guinea with some very exciting news—they're bringing coffee from the remote YUS region of Papua New Guinea to the Seattle market to help build economic opportunities for the local people of PNG who have pledged their own land to conservation. The Woodland Park Zoo will be sharing updates on that coffee project soon. Drink coffee, save tree kangaroos--you can't beat that!