Bronx Zoo Has Announced The Birth Of A Rare Tree Kangaroo
The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is a mysterious and remarkable creature that lives in forests of high trees that are covered in moss and ferns. Locals refer to it as the “ghost of the forest” because it is so difficult to locate and because it moves so swiftly.
No one knows exactly when this marsupial member of the kangaroo family began to live in the trees, but it is definitely well equipped for life in the trees, thanks to its long, bark-gripping claws, powerful limbs for climbing, and a long tail to keep it from falling over. Those are definitely the characteristics of an animal that spends most of its time 100 feet or higher above the ground.
And just recently, the Bronx Zoo announced that for the first time since 2008, they spotted a baby tree kangaroo that’s just poking its nose out of its mother’s pouch!
According to zoo director, Jum Breheny in a press release, the birth of the Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey “is an exciting birth for the Bronx Zoo and a unique opportunity for people to observe one of nature’s most intriguing evolutionary adaptations.”
This species of tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea and is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its declining population. Because it spends the most of its time in trees, the Matschie’s tree kangaroo is an arboreal species that can be found in cloud forests at elevations of up to 11,000 feet in the mid- to upper-montane.
While they are on the ground, these kangaroos may appear to be slow, clumsy, and totally uncoordinated, but when they are up there hanging from the branches of the trees, they are bold and agile because they are in their natural habitat.
As good as tree kangaroos are at climbing and jumping, most of their time is spent curled up in the trees they are in at any given time. Matschie’s tree kangaroos are very solitary even though they live in the same tree. They don’t really care about other animals as long as they are good in their own tree.
In general, females don’t share space with each other. It’s more common for women to claim 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) of land than it is for men to claim 11 acres (4.5 hectares) of land together (4.5 hectares). But of course, males will have more chances to breed when their territories are bigger.
According to the zoo officials, the Matschie’s tree kangaroo is much smaller than Australia’s well-known red kangaroo. An adult male Matschie’s tree kangaroo weighs between 20 and 25 lb (9–11 kg). And the joey is about the size of a human thumbnail at birth.
It was such a joy for the zoo personnel when they saw the tiny joey crawling through its mother’s fur to enter her pouch. The joey then stays there for about seven months.
Breheny added, “At this stage of development, the joey will spend a lot of time in his mom’s pouch with just its head sticking out. As it matures it will begin to explore its environment and start spending short periods of time outside the pouch.”
It is estimated that less than 2,500 Matschie’s tree kangaroos survive in the wild, according to conservationists. Their survival is jeopardized by habitat destruction, hunting, and a variety of other human activities.