SAN DIEGO (June 1, 2023) — The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is celebrating a conservation milestone with the birth of an endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo—only the second time this species has been born at the Safari Park. The female joey, named Kikori, was born to mother Arona and father Bek, at the end of August 2022 at the Safari Park’s Walkabout Australia.
“We are elated with the birth of this Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey,” said Donovan Vila, wildlife care specialist, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Matschie’s tree kangaroos are endangered, so this joey provides hope for the future of this species.”
A rare tree kangaroo joey – the first to ever be born at Chester Zoo – has emerged from its mum’s pouch for the first time.
Conservationists have caught on camera the remarkable moment the tiny new joey – an endangered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo – peeked out from mum Kitawa’s pouch.
The birth has been hailed as a “real celebration” for the conservation breeding programme which is working to protect the highly threatened species from extinction - with only two zoos in the UK caring for the animals.
It’s the first time Chester Zoo has bred the species in its 91-year history where, in a bid to discover more about the elusive creatures, conservationists have documented the growth of the joey using a special endoscope camera carefully placed into Kitawa’s pouch every few weeks.
Experts say the data collected could help tree kangaroos, as well as other similar threatened species found in South East Asia, and their plight in the wild.
David White, Team Manager at the zoo, said:
“Kitawa’s joey is the first Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo to ever be born at Chester Zoo in its 91 year-long history, so it’s a real celebratory moment for the team and our efforts to protect this highly endangered species.
“Tree kangaroos have one of the most complex birthing processes in the animal kingdom. When a joey is first born it’s only the size of a jellybean and is incredibly underdeveloped. Moments after the birth, with eyes still tightly closed, the joey knows to instinctively crawl up mum’s belly and into her pouch – following a channel which she has marked out by licking her fur. Once safely in the pouch, the baby receives all of the nutrition it needs while it grows and develops for a further six months – up until it starts to pop its head out.
“With little being known about these shy and elusive creatures, small mammal experts at our conservation zoo are in a unique position to be able to capture and document the whole process around the development of Kitawa’s joey. These observations could be useful to help inform better conservation action for this wonderful, but sadly endangered species, in the wild.
“The new baby will soon emerge from the pouch fully and begin hopping around and learning to climb trees, under the watchful eye of mum. That’s when we’ll be able to determine if it’s male or female and give the youngster a fitting name.”
Much smaller than the well known Australian kangaroo species, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a tree-dwelling marsupial, using their their strong limbs for climbing and tails for balance. The species is native to the mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea where they are under threat from hunting and habitat destruction – losing more than half of its population in the last 30 years.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the species as endangered in the wild – with conservationists calling for more close monitoring of the animals in their native range.
“These remarkable animals have suffered tremendously in the wild. They are hunted for their meat and their habitat is disappearing around them as forests are cleared for timber and to make way for coffee and rice plantations.
“Zoo conservationists are working with our partners and local communities in areas of South East Asia to make sustainable farming practices the norm, helping to prevent further deforestation across the region while protecting what’s left of the precious forests – home to many of the world’s most threatened species, like the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo.”
The joey was born in December 2021 and is the offspring of and Adelaide and Ecki, who arrived at the SF Teaching Zoo in 2020. This is a pairing through the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Plan and Species Survival Program, and is the first offspring for both animals! The joey started peeking out of the pouch in May, and started exploring outside of the pouch in July!
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.
Bronx, NY – April 29, 2022 – A Matschie’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei) born at the Bronx Zoo has started to emerge from its mother’s pouch, making its anticipated public debut. The joey is the first of its species born at the Bronx Zoo since 2008.
SOUND ON! We didn't want you to miss the cutest crunching in town. Kansas City Zoo's tree kangaroo joey Poppy is learning quickly from mom Nokopo, and that includes snacking style! Currently around eight months old, Poppy can be seen outside of the pouch from time to time. For this crunch session, however, Poppy stayed comfortably inside mom's pouch!
Visitors to Woodland Park Zoo are oohing and aahing as they catch their first sightings of baby girl gorilla, Zuna (zoo-nah). The 11 week old is now with her mom and family in the public outdoor habitat on a limited schedule: 12:30-3:30 p.m. daily (weather dependent).
Zuna, which means “sweet” in the African language, Lingala (lin-gah-lah), is the second baby for 25-year-old mom Nadiri (naw-DEER-ee) and the first between her and the dad, 21-year-old Kwame (KWA-may).
“We continue to bottle feed Zuna for her nourishment while mom Nadiri provides maternal care. She’s doing an excellent job. Once Zuna’s feedings are reduced, we’ll be able to extend her time outdoors,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo.
The baby gorilla is becoming more active and steadily becoming stronger and more observant. “Zuna’s watching the other gorillas in her family with growing curiosity. Kitoko, our 1-year-old boy, is especially interested in her,” said Ramirez. “Once Zuna becomes more mobile, our zoo visitors are going to be in for a real treat watching these youngsters romp and play. As symbols of hope for their cousins in the wild, our gorillas can inspire our community to care about and take action on behalf of these gentle giants and other wildlife.”
The other members of Zuna’s family are: Nadiri’s 5-year-old daughter, Yola, Akenji and Uzumma, the mom of Kitoko.
Stay tuned to updates and milestones by visiting zoo.org/growingupgorilla and following the zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #GrowingUpGorilla.
Every visit to Woodland Park Zoo supports conservation of animals in the wild. Join the zoo by recycling old cell phones and other used handheld electronics through ECO-CELL to help preserve gorilla habitat. Funds generated from ECO-CELL support the Mondika Gorilla Project and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
ZooParent adoptions are the perfect way to pay tribute to Zuna. ZooParent adoptions help Woodland Park Zoo provide exceptional care for all of its amazing animals and support wildlife conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
Baby Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo
Woodland Park Zoo is jumping for joey over its 8-month-old Matschie’s tree kangaroo! The male joey (a baby marsupial), born last August to mom Omari and dad Rocket, is just beginning to venture outside the safety of his mom’s pouch. To the surprise of no one, he’s positively precious.
The 2-pound joey is named Havam (hay-vam) which is the word for “tree kangaroo” in one of the many languages of the YUS Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea, home to wild but endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroos. YUS is home to Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, whose amazing work for the people and wildlife of Papua New Guinea would not be possible without support from donors and organizations like the Shared Earth Foundation, which ensures that all creatures have an enduring claim to sustainable space on this planet.
This joey’s journey may surprise you: Tree kangaroos are born hairless, blind and only the size of a jelly bean. In order to survive, the joey must quickly crawl from the birth canal, through its mother’s fur and into her pouch to immediately start nursing. At first, Havam did get a little bit too eager to make his debut, explains animal keeper Beth Carlyle-Askew.
“Havam exited Omari’s pouch a little early — we actually had to put him back in to finish growing for a few more months. Luckily an animal keeper saw him outside the pouch and knew exactly what to do. She kept him warm by putting him in her shirt, then put him in a fabric pouch with a heated pad until he could be returned to Omari’s pouch,” said Carlyle-Askew.
As each day passes, little Havam is familiarizing himself with the world around him. He makes short trips out of the pouch to explore his new home, but he still prefers the warmth and safety of Omari’s pouch. When he’s not nursing, Havam is starting to try solid foods, sampling all of his mom’s food to figure out what he likes best. He’s even been learning to climb up and around his enclosure! At 14 months old, Havam will wean from nursing and eventually become fully independent.
Havam is the third joey for dad Rocket, who fathered Havam’s half-siblings Ecki and Keweng, born to the zoo’s other female tree kangaroo Elanna in 2018 and 2020, respectively. This is the fourth joey for Omari, who had three other joeys at Santa Fe Teaching Zoo before coming to live at Woodland Park Zoo. All of the zoo’s tree kangaroos are currently living in a habitat that is off view to the public.
Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered Matschie’s 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. Consider supporting the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program here: www.zoo.org/tkcp/donate.
Taronga's ridiculously cute tree kangaroo joey 'Taro' has finally decided to fully emerge from his mother's pouch. At 10 months old and weighing just under 2kg, the little late bloomer was a touch hesitant in venturing out of his mum Kwikal's pouch earning himself the nickname 'pouch potato'.
Taking inspiration from the joey's nickname, keepers have settled on the name 'Taro' for the youngster, which is a form of sweet root vegetable, one of his favourite treats popular in his native homeland of Papua New Guinea.
Taro has become incredibly active and confident over the last couple of weeks. Guests will have the opportunity of witnessing Taro exploring and attempting to climb to the tops of trees in the final days of the school holidays.
Guests can also take advantage of their “Dine and Discover” vouchers and receive $25 off the purchase of their Zoo ticket and animal encounters as well as $25 off any food and beverage purchase. To find out more and book your tickets, please head to www.taronga.org.au/buy-tickets