The six-month-old male joey is popping his head out of his mum, ‘Kaluli’s’, pouch, just in time for visitors to see him during the school holidays.
Australian Fauna Keeper, Kerry Pickles, said: “Suli was born the size of a jellybean in October last year, and is a wonderful contribution to the global breeding program for this incredible animal.”
“Native to Papua New Guinea, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are so endangered that we work with zoos all over the world to help fight extinction.”
“Our breeding program at Perth Zoo has been very successful. In the past few years we have been able to breed two other male tree kangaroos. One now resides in NSW, the other lives at Bristol Zoo in the UK, helping to share genetics and strengthen the global program,” said Kerry.
“Kaluli is an incredible mum, she is very relaxed, but also attentive to her joey, constantly checking her latest arrival or grooming him.”
Infants remain in their mother’s pouches for approximately six to eight months before testing out their legs.
“We have observed Kaluli preparing Suli to start venturing out of her pouch, so it won’t be long before visitors get a look at him investigating his rainforest themed exhibit on his wobbly legs.”
As part of Perth Zoo’s commitment to reversing the decline of the species, the Zoo also works with partners in Papua New Guinea to protect wild tree kangaroos.
“Our work for tree kangaroos extends beyond the Zoo gates. We also have a long running partnership with the Tenkile Conservation Alliance, as part of our commitment to save tree kangaroos from extinction,” Kerry said.
Tenkile Conservation Alliance works with more than 50 village communities to protect these animals. The Zoo’s community fundraising has assisted with wildlife surveys to collect more accurate population data on tree kangaroos, as well as education and community development programs.
“Essentially our Zoo has helped turn tree kangaroo hunters into protectors,” said Kerry.
“We encourage the public to come and visit Suli and all of our tree kangaroos, to see why we are working so hard to save this species,” Kerry said.
Anyone wanting to help celebrate Suli’s arrival, is encouraged to consider donating to Perth Zoo’s conservation program. More information can be found at www.perthzoo.com.au