Marsupial

Endangered Tree Kangaroo Joey Peeks Out of Pouch

Harolitreeroo_237A0952

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. 

Haroli_treeroo_237A0959
Haroli
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.”

Continue reading "Endangered Tree Kangaroo Joey Peeks Out of Pouch" »


Abandoned Kangaroo Joey Receives Care at Brevard Zoo

170130022
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.

170130023
170130017
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.

Continue reading "Abandoned Kangaroo Joey Receives Care at Brevard Zoo" »


"Royal" Bilby Babies a Taronga Zoo First

Bilby Joeys_Photo by Robert Dockerill (15)

Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of its first-ever Bilby joeys. The births cap off an exciting year that saw The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially open the zoo’s new Bilby exhibit named in honor of their son, Prince George.

Bilby Joeys_Photo by Robert Dockerill (4)
Bilby Joeys_Photo by Robert Dockerill (5)
Royal_Visit_2 Photo by AuspicPhoto Credit:  Auspic (4), Robert Dockerill (all others)

Two joeys were born about 10 weeks ago, but have only just begun to emerge from their underground nest alongside first-time mother, Yajala.

Yajala arrived from Monarto Zoo in 2013 and her successful pairing with Taronga’s resident male, also named George, is a triumph for the national breeding program for this threatened marsupial species.

“This breeding success will help us build on the incredible exposure of the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son Prince George, which brought the message of Bilby conservation to the world,” said Taronga Zoo Director Cameron Kerr.

The Royal couple visited Taronga on April 20 for the dedication of the Prince George Bilby Exhibit, part of the Australian government’s official gift following his birth in mid-2013.

“I’d like to think there was a little Royal magic at work in the birth of these joeys. You could say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought us good luck, as it’s after their visit that we’ve been able to breed Bilbies for the very first time,” said Bilby Keeper Paul Davies.

The gestation period for the bilby is only 14 days, one of the shortest of all mammals. Joeys are then carried in their mother’s pouch for about 75 days.

Davies said keepers had yet to determine the sex of the two joeys, who still spend much of their time underground in their home.

Bilbies once ranged over most of mainland Australia, but have suffered a catastrophic decline over the past 200 years due to introduced predators such as feral foxes and cats, competition with rabbits and habitat degradation.

Taronga has begun conservation partnerships with the Save the Bilby Fund and Australian Wildlife Conservancy to help protect Bilbies and their remaining habitat in the wild.

See more photos of the Bilby joeys below.

Continue reading ""Royal" Bilby Babies a Taronga Zoo First" »


Waffles the Wallaby Comforts Kids

1379708_10151763534048068_49551857_n
Animals can bring smiles and laughter to everyone, but they make special connections with children.  That was the idea when Zoos Victoria's Healesville Sanctuary sent Waffles the Wallaby to the Monash Children's Hospital.  Waffles shared a special moment with William, then went on to spread cheer to the entire ward.

Studies show that visits from animals like Waffles the Wallaby can make a positive difference for children in traumatic situations.  They provide a comforting presence, resulting in both psychological and physical benefits. 

Zoos Victoria includes the Melbourne Zoo, the Werribee Open Range Zoo, and Healesville Sanctuary, which features native Australian wildlife.  All three facilities are located in and around Melbourne, Australia. 

Photo Credit:  Alex Coppell/Herald Sun

 

 


Orphan Opossum Finds a Home at Northwest Trek

Baby Opossum Close-up at Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington recently welcomed a rescued baby Virginia Opossum. Hand-raised, the tame animal will join the park's Animal Trailside Encounters team, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with local wildlife handled by a trained keeper. 

The Virginia Opossum is the only North American marsupial that lives north of Mexico. When frightened, these animals often pretend to be dead (i.e. playing possum) so curious predators lose interest in them. While this defense mechanism seems to be involuntary, don't be fooled into thinking Virginia Opossums are defenseless: they can also be quite feisty when cornered!

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 2

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 1


What's a Feathertail Glider?

FTG's-004-with-credit

Meet one of Taronga Zoo's tiniest new arrivals. It’s hard to believe that this Feathertail Glider is too big for its mom’s pouch. It moved into the nest box about a week ago with its siblings. Australian Feather-tail Gliders are the world’s smallest gliding mammals. Thanks to their special gliding membrane, Feather-tails can glide for up to 20 meters. Their feathered tail (which is – Surprise! – where their name comes from) also acts as a rudder when they fly, thus helping the Gliders to steer. Although one of the lesser known Australian animals, the Feather-tail Glider used to feature on Australia's one-cent coin before it was taken out of circulation.

FTG's-003_with-Credit

FTG's-001_with-Credit
Photo credit: Robert Dockerill


Meet Swiss, a Little Ringtail Possum on the Mend

Baby Ringtail Possum - Swiss - Taronga Zoo

Meet Swiss, a tiny Ringtail Possum orphan being looked after by her new surrogate mum and elephant Keeper Bobby-Jo at Australia's Taronga Zoo. Swiss and her sister Miss both came in to care after a good Samaritan found them. Vets at Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital think Swiss fractured her wrist when her mother died, but with a tiny splint on her wrist, the two are doing well in Bobby-Jo’s care. Follow Swiss and other Taronga Zoo critters on their Facebook page.

In the wild, Ringtail Possums live in communal nests where they sleep by day and socialize by night.


Bronx Zoo Tree Kangaroo Still Needs Mom

Cuter than ever, the pink bundle of "Joey" we brought you in late December is almost all grown up now, although Mom's pouch is never far afield. 

_JLM5283-tree-kangaroo-joey

The Bronx Zoo's Tree Kangaroo Joey can be seen exploring his exhibit on his own, as well as darting back to Mom's pouch for a snooze. This exhibit is one of the highlights at the Zoo's "Jungleword" attraction which offers year round access to tropical creatures including otters, gibbons, and a tapir.

_JLM5275-tree-kangaroo-joey

_JLM5157-tree-kangaroo-joey

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Continue reading "Bronx Zoo Tree Kangaroo Still Needs Mom" »