Kangaroo & Wallaby

Tree Kangaroo Joey Makes Itself Known at Zoo Miami

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An endangered Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo joey from New Guinea has begun to peek out of its mother’s pouch at Zoo Miami. It is still basically confined to the pouch, where it will continue to develop for the next several months before venturing away from its mother. It will not be totally weaned until it is around a year old.

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4_10Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill

Though it is just now revealing itself on a regular basis, this joey was actually born October 14, 2018. As with most marsupials, Tree Kangaroos are born in an almost embryonic state after a pregnancy of about 44 days. The newborn is only the size of a jellybean and slowly crawls into the mother’s pouch where it locks onto a nipple and then the majority of development takes place. It takes several months before the joey actually sticks its head out of the pouch and is visible.

The mother, named Zayna, is 9 ½ years old and was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas and the almost 11 year old father, named Banyon, was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York. The sex of their new offspring has not been determined, but it will eventually become part of an international captive breeding program. Zoo Miami has been a long time contributor to Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo conservation efforts in the wilds of New Guinea. Though this is Zayna’s third baby, it is the ninth of its kind to be born at Zoo Miami.

Matchie’s Tree Kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) live at high elevations in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea where they spend most of their time up in trees feeding on a variety of leaves, ferns, moss, and bark. They are believed to be solitary animals, and the only strong social bond formed is between a mother and her offspring.

More great pics below the fold!

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Dusky Pademelon Joey Peeks Out of Pouch

Rare dusky pademelon born at Chester Zoo begins to peek out from mum’s pouch (5)

Keepers at Chester Zoo are celebrating the birth of the zoo’s first Dusky Pademelon – a small cousin of the Kangaroo from Indonesia.   

Rare dusky pademelon born at Chester Zoo begins to peek out from mum’s pouch  (21)
Rare dusky pademelon born at Chester Zoo begins to peek out from mum’s pouch  (21)
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

The joey has just started to peek out from the pouch of first-time mother Styx. 

Dusky Pademelons, also known as Dusky Wallabies, are small, hopping marsupials found in forests on the island of New Guinea, as well as some neighboring islands. 

Infants are born 30 days after mating and then continue to grow inside their mother's pouch until they fully emerge at around seven months.

Dave White, Team Manager of the zoo’s Twilight team, said, “Just like Kangaroos and other marsupials, newborn Dusky Pademelons will climb up to the safety of mum’s pouch to nurse when they are merely the size of jellybeans. It’s in that pouch that they receive all of the nourishment and protection they need as they develop, right up to the moment they are old enough to begin exploring the outside world for themselves.” 

“An adult Dusky Pademelon’s pouch has a powerful muscle to prevent the joey from falling out, but it won’t be too long until it’s ready to fully emerge and start hopping around on its own two feet. That’s when we’ll discover whether it’s a boy or a girl and choose its name,” White said.

The Dusky Pademelon is listed as Vulnerable to Extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its population is estimated to have declined by 30% in the last 15-20 years, largely due to trapping, hunting and habitat loss.

Tim Rowlands, the zoo’s Curator of Mammals, said, “Relatively little is known about the Dusky Pademelon and we’re working to better understand these fantastic animals. Through the scientific observations we’re making at the zoo, and all that we’re learning as mum brings up her new joey, we’re able to better document Dusky Pademelon behavior. This could help add to the baseline of data that already exists and help other conservation teams to ensure its long-term survival in the wild.”

See more photos of the joey below.

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Tree-Kangaroo Joey Journeys From Mom’s Pouch

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The new little Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo joey, at Woodland Park Zoo, is now venturing out of his mother’s pouch!

The little male, named Ecki, will soon leave the pouch permanently as he gradually grows more confident and independent.

“Ecki” is named after a beloved elder from one of the remote Papua New Guinea villages that works with Woodland Park Zoo to help protect Tree Kangaroos and their habitat. The joey and his mother, 11-year-old Elanna, currently live behind the scenes in an off-view habitat at the zoo.

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Unnamed (4)Photo Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

While Ecki is just now being introduced to the world, he was actually born eight months ago. When joeys are born, they’re only the size of a jellybean! Within just one to two minutes of birth, that tiny baby has to crawl from the birth canal, through the mother’s fur, and into the pouch to immediately begin nursing. That’s exactly what Ecki did, and he’s been tucked away in his mom Elanna’s pouch.

But while Ecki may have been hidden from view, the zoo’s dedicated animal care staff constantly monitored him and his mother to make sure that both were healthy and meeting expected milestones. One way they were able to do that is through routine “pouch checks,” where keepers looked inside Elanna’s pouch to check on the joey.

“Training Elanna to cooperate with pouch checks required a solid foundation of trust between Elanna and her keepers. Using positive reinforcement, our keepers trained Elanna to come down to a platform when asked, place her front feet onto a white tube, and extend the time holding still in this position. At the same time, keepers slowly desensitized Elanna to gently touching and opening her pouch until they were able to see inside it,” said Animal Care Manager Rachel Salant.

Finally, keepers spent some time slowly introducing cameras and cell phones near Elanna so that she would be comfortable with having the devices around to record video of her pouch.

As part of all of the zoo’s animal training sessions, Elanna had the choice to leave any session at any time, so any video recorded was because Elanna fully allowed it. The result is a rare, up-close look at a Tree Kangaroo joey in his early stages of life, and it’s incredible to watch.

In the coming months, Ecki will become fully weaned from his mother, and eventually grow independent. In the meantime, animal care staff will continue to observe Ecki and Elanna to make sure both are happy, healthy and thriving.

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 the people who live there.

Woodland Park Zoo invites the public to consider supporting the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program here: https://www.zoo.org/tkcp/donate


Kangaroo Joey Given Bright, Shiny New Name

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About three months ago, a little Kangaroo joey at Allwetterzoo Münster lost her mother. Ralf Nacke, zookeeper, has since been foster parent to the joey, and he has lovingly devoted himself to her care.

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4_20645191_10159100335080263_3390958574437080484_oPhoto Credits: Allwetterzoo Münster 

According to zoo staff, bottle breeding does not always work with Kangaroos, particularly when the baby is transitioning from breast milk to bottle. There were initial difficulties for the joey at the Münster Zoo, but she is now developing magnificently.

The female was recently named Alinga, which is the Aboriginal word for “the sun”. Although Alinga still requires bottle-feedings and likes to spend time in Papa Ralf’s “pouch” (backpack), keepers are introducing her to solid foods and are hopeful she will one day be integrated with the other Kangaroos at the zoo.

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Brevard Zoo’s Kangaroo Joey Reunites With Mob

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After five months of round-the-clock care, a young Red Kangaroo with a rough start to life has defied the odds and reunited with other members of her species at Brevard Zoo.

Lilly, born in August 2016, was found on the floor of the Zoo’s Kangaroo habitat in the early morning hours of January 23. Stress caused by a severe storm the previous evening likely caused Lilly’s mother, Jacie, to eject the joey from the pouch. After several failed attempts to reunite the two, animal care staff made the decision to hand-raise the tiny, helpless marsupial.

(Lilly was the subject of a ZooBorns feature from early February: “Abandoned Kangaroo Joey Receives Care at Brevard Zoo”.  At the time of our original post, Lilly was “yet-to-be-named” and had only been in keepers care for about two weeks.)

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3_March 15Bindi Irwin spends time with Lilly during her April 2017 visit to Brevard Zoo:

4_April 28 (with Bindi Irwin)Photo Credits: Brevard Zoo

Lilly lived in an incubator with precise temperature and moisture levels that emulated a kangaroo’s pouch for several weeks. Lauren Hinson, the Zoo’s collection manager and Lilly’s primary caretaker, removed her six times a day for bottle-feedings.

As Lilly grew less fragile, a fabric pouch suspended from Hinson’s neck replaced the climate-controlled incubator. The joey became something of a fixture at Wednesday morning staff meetings.

“I took her home every single evening and brought her with me wherever I went,” said Hinson, who estimates she conducted 1,000 bottle feedings. “It was an incredible amount of work and a lot of missed sleep, but well worth it.”

Lilly has been taking supervised “field trips” to the Kangaroo yard since late May, but not until recently had she stayed there permanently. Keepers will need to keep a close eye on the joey in the new space and bottle-feed her twice a day for the next several months.

Although Zoo staff hopes to avoid hand raising more joeys in the future, Hinson is more than willing to put the pouch back on if need be. “I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.


Endangered Tree Kangaroo Joey Peeks Out of Pouch

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Perth Zoo welcomed an endangered Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo joey, the second to be born at the zoo since 1980.

Born the size of a jellybean in July 2016, the male joey, named Haroli, is just starting to become noticeable to zoo guests.  This successful birth follows the arrival of Mian, the first Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo joey born at the zoo in 36 years, whom you met on ZooBorns last summer.  Both joeys are important contributions to the World Zoo Association global breeding program for this rare species. 

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Photo Credit:  Perth Zoo

Zoo keeper Kerry Pickles said, “Haroli and Mian are half-brothers, both fathered by Huli who came to Perth Zoo from Queensland in 2015 after being identified as the best genetic match for the breeding program.”

 “Mother Doba is a first-time mum and is very cautious with her joey who has been keeping his head out of the pouch more frequently,” said Kerry. “Tree Kangaroos remain in their mother’s pouches for approximately six to eight months before testing out their wobbly arboreal legs.”

Native to Papua New Guinea, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are so endangered that zoos around the world have been working together to coordinate breeding with the aim of reversing their decline.

“Young Haroli is only the 16th male Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo to be born as part of the global program,” said Kerry.

“Their genetics are vitally important once they reach sexual maturity. Mian is coming of age, so there are already plans in progress for him to go to the UK to be paired with a female and help provide an insurance against extinction for his wild counterparts.”

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Abandoned Kangaroo Joey Receives Care at Brevard Zoo

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A tiny Red Kangaroo abandoned by her mother has another shot at life thanks to the dedication of Brevard Zoo’s animal care team. 

The as-yet-unnamed female, who is approximately five months old, was discovered out of her mother's pouch on Monday, January 23. She was likely ejected from the pouch due to stress from a storm the night prior. After several unsuccessful attempts to reunite the joey with her mother Jacie, animal care managers made the decision to raise the joey by hand.  This joey is Jacie’s fifth baby.

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Photo Credit:  Brevard Zoo

“Red Kangaroos don’t start emerging from the pouch until they’re about seven months old,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “We think this joey is five months old, so the situation is still very precarious.”

Keepers feed the joey every four hours, day and night, and weigh her once per day.

Joeys are born after a 33-day gestation and complete their development in the pouch, fully emerging for the first time at seven months.  At that time, the joey begins to nibble grass and leaves, but returns to the pouch to nurse until it is about a year old.

Red Kangaroos are found only in Australia and are the largest of all the world’s marsupials (pouched mammals).  They inhabit Australia’s arid interior and can survive on very small amounts of water.  Red Kangaroos stand more than six feet tall and weigh well over 150 pounds.   The species is not currently under threat.

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Meet Mian, the Endangered Tree Kangaroo Joey

Mian-8Perth 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. 

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Doug DPaW5Photo 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.


Kangaroo Joey Tumbles Into the Sunshine

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A Western Grey Kangaroo joey emerged into the sunshine recently at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon, UK.

The rather ungainly exit from its mother’s pouch was probably the youngster’s first attempt. Born in May or June last year, it’s been developing in its mother’s pouch for months.

Paignton Zoo Curator of Mammals, Neil Bemment, said, “It’s been peeking out for a while, but the weather was just too chilly and wet for it to want to come out completely...and who can blame it!”

Photographer, and regular Paignton Zoo visitor, Miriam Haas, who took the photos, said, “It [the joey] spent a good 10 minutes or more enjoying the sunshine before returning to the safety of the pouch.”

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4_2016 03 PZ joey 3 by Miriam HaasPhoto Credits: Miriam Haas

The Western Grey Kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus (also referred to as a Black-faced Kangaroo, Mallee Kangaroo, and Sooty Kangaroo) is a large and very common kangaroo found across almost the entire southern part of Australia.

The Western Grey Kangaroo is one of the largest macropods in Australia. An adult can weigh 28–54 kg (62–120 lb) and have a length of 0.84–1.1 m (2 ft 9 in–3 ft 7 in), and a 0.80–1.0 m (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 3 in) tail. They stand approximately 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) tall.

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There's a Joey Boom at Zoo Basel

Za_160317_15Pouches are packed in Zoo Basel’s Kangaroo yard this spring:  nearly all the females in the mob have babies!Za_160317_04

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Za_160317_24Photo Credit:  Zoo Basel

The youngsters are of varying ages, but they all have the same father, five-year-old Mitchel. No one knows the exact birthdates of the babies, which are called joeys.  That’s because Kangaroo babies are the size of jellybeans at birth, and they begin life by making a very dangerous journey – the blind babies, which have only front legs, crawl unassisted from the birth canal to their mother‘s pouch. The entire birth process takes only about five minutes.

Once inside the pouch, joeys latch onto a teat and begin drinking nutritious milk.  They remain in the pouch for several months as they develop, then gradually start exploring the world around them and eating solid food.

Most of Zoo Basel’s joeys were born last fall, and only recently started coming out of the pouch.  One little joey named Manilla lost her mother to illness recently, but luckily two of the nursing females will allow her to drink their milk.  Manilla is starting to eat solid food, but milk will be very important for her growth for another six months.  One of those females, Lamilla, has her own joey in the pouch, and it peeks out from time to time.

The zoo’s Kangaroo mob has ten adults and five young kangaroos, which were born in late 2014, plus the new joeys.

Kangaroos are marsupials.  Unlike placental mammals (such as humans), marsupials give birth to highly underdeveloped young which complete their development in the pouch.  Most of the world’s 320 marsupial species live in Australia.     

See more photos of the Kangaroo joeys below.

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