Healesville Sanctuary's newest Tree Kangaroo joey has decided to start peeping out of the pouch to observe the world for the very first time.
The little one with big blue eyes, just like her mother and father, has been named Ori [Pronounced: Or-ree], which means cloud in a region of Papua New Guinea where the Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo species lives.
It is the third time mum Mani [Pronounced: Ma-knee] and father Bagam [Pronounced: Bag-am] have successful produced offspring, however it is the first time the pair have produced a female.
Healesville Sanctuary Mammal Keeper Katherine Sarris said breeding a female was exciting due to the needs of the international breeding program.
“We were able to tell early on that this joey was a female during a voluntary pouch check,” Ms Sarris said.
“We have built-up a strong relationship with Mani over many years that allowed us to check on the joey’s development and observe milestones such as first whiskers, first toenails, and eyes opening for the first time.
“There is nothing cuter than a Tree Kangaroo joey and the best time to see Ori at the Sanctuary is during the morning and afternoon when mum is eating. The joey will smell the food and will likely pop her head out to investigate.”
This is the first time Ori has poked her head out. She has spent six months tucked inside Mani's pouch. However, as she grows larger and becomes more confident, she will be exploring the environment more. Her male siblings Kofi and Chimbu were born in 2018 and 2019 and now reside at other zoos where they are contributing their genetics to the breeding program.
Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos are native to Papua New Guinea and are listed as Endangered with a decreasing population on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list. Two species of Tree Kangaroos are native to Australia. The Bennett’s tree-kangaroo and the Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo. Both species are found in Far North Queensland.
Zoos Victoria members and Healesville Sanctuary visitors are reminded that all tickets must be pre-booked online at zoo.org.au
Source: Zoos Victoria