Monday 20 May 2019

This adorable baby kangaroo just popped its head out of its mum’s pouch for the first time

The rare joey birth is just the second in 24 years at Taronga Zoo.

The little joey
The little joey

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

A tiny baby kangaroo has just popped its head out of its mum’s pouch at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

The little one, a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo, was born in September 2017 but keepers have only just spotted its head with mother Kwikila in the trees.

Surprise! An endangered Goodfellow's Tree Kangroo joey just started popping its head out from Mum's pouch. This is only...

Posted by Taronga Zoo Sydney on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This is Kwikila’s second joey, though they don’t yet know whether it is male or female.

The tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea, and is adapted for life in the trees with special paws perfect for climbing.

The kangaroos in the trees

The joey’s birth is a boon for the species as encroaching human activity has left them classified as endangered.

Habitat destruction caused by humans means more than 50% of wild populations of tree kangaroo have been lost over the course of three generations.

The little joey looking out their pouch

The new joey is part of a global breeding conservation programme for the species, and raises the population in the scheme to 52.

The joey in the trees with mum

“This is the second tree kangaroo joey born at Taronga Zoo Sydney in 24 years, which is wonderful news,” said keeper Sam Bennett.

“Keepers have occasionally seen a leg or tail pop out since then, but now the joey is starting to take a more active interest in the world outside the pouch.”

Press Association

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