Perth Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo joey, the first to be born there in 36 years.
The male joey, which was born the size of a jellybean eight months ago, is now out of his mother’s pouch. The joey is named Mian after a province in Papua New Guinea, the native home of the species.
Photo Credit: Perth Zoo
The joey’s birth is the result of successful matchmaking between mother Kaluli and father Huli, who were identified as the best genetic match. Mian is one of only 15 males in the global species management program, so his genetics will be highly valuable when he reaches breeding age.
Perth Zoo keepers were able to keep a close eye on the joey’s development because they trained Kaluli to have her pouch checked.
Keepers used a small camera to peer inside the pouch and were able to see when Mian’s toenails developed, when his eyes first opened, and when he first grew fur, all without disturbing Kaluli. The information gained is extremely valuable for managing the species.
Perth Zoo partners with the Tenkile Conservation Alliance in the mountains of Papua New Guinea to safeguard Tree Kangaroos in the wild.