Rare tree kangaroo emerges from mum’s pouch at Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo had cameras at the ready for the remarkable moment a tiny new joey – an endangered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo – peeked out from mum Kitawa’s pouch.
This is the first time the species has been bred at the zoo, making this moment a cause for celebration for animal conservationists.
The joey, who was born in July, has been developing inside its mother’s pouch for the last few months.
Unlike its famous Australian counterpart, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a shy and elusive species that lives in trees.
The birth of this joey is a huge step forward for the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo conservation breeding program, which is working tirelessly to protect this highly threatened species from extinction.
The species is native to the mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea, but hunting and habitat destruction have led to a decline in population, with over half of the species disappearing in the last 30 years.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the species as Endangered in the wild. Conservationists are calling for more close monitoring of the animals in their native range.
The zoo works closely with partners and local communities in areas of South East Asia to promote sustainable farming practices and prevent further deforestation, helping to protect the precious forests that are home to many of the world’s most threatened species, such as the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo.
Dave White, Twilight Team Manager, said: “Tree kangaroos have one of the most complex birthing processes in the animal kingdom.”
“Moments after the birth, the joey knows to instinctively crawl up the mother’s belly and into her pouch.”
“Once safely in the pouch, the baby receives all of the nutrition it needs while it grows and develops for a further six months.”
He added: “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.”
“The zoo works closely with partners and local communities in areas of Southeast Asia to promote sustainable farming practices and protect what is left of the precious forests.
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