Saint Louis Zoo has welcomed a mastiches tree kangaroo into its family at the zoo’s Emerson’s children zoo. Recently she has begun to take her first peeks out of her mother’s pouch.
Rocket the tree kangaroo was born six months ago. Life for him began as a tiny joey which was the size of a jellybean. The tiny joey born pink and blind would have climbed up the front of the mother and into the pouch.
In the pouch rocket grew on a diet of his mother’s milk becoming the size of a small cat.
Currently the little joey is spending time with his head out of the pouch reaching for the food his mom is eating and exploring. He is preparing for when he moves out of the pouch at 10 months of age. Even when he does not live in the pouch he will return to poke his head in for a drink till he turns 16 months of age.
He is an important birth for this species which is endangered. His parents Kasbeth and Iri were paired as part of a species survival plan run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For this pair Rocket is their 5th child and he is also the 5th joey to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Found only in the mountains of Papua New Guinea an island which lies just above Australia near the equator. The reddy brown and cream kangaroos may live in the trees but they can still leap a fair distance. They can jump from a tree and land on the ground 30ft later.
Papua New Guinea is being ravaged by logging and exploration for oil and minerals. They are also hunted by the local people of the island. The animal’s numbers are declining in the wild.
Photo Credit: Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo.