Skip to main content

Tree roo joey emerges fully from pouch

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Our Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey is growing up fast, so we wanted to share some new photos and video and fill you all in on how it is getting along in its behind-the-scenes exhibit.

Now eight months old, the joey has begun to leave its mother’s pouch for short bursts, doing a little exploring and then retreating back to the pouch for naps.

We do not know the sex of the joey yet so it does not yet have a name.

The joey is mostly eating leaves and munches on greens including kale, romaine and celery. Its mother, Elanna, is not so great at sharing, so the joey has learned to go after the food it wants for itself.

Elanna and joey are in a behind the scenes exhibit to give them the quiet and comfort this sensitive species requires, especially since Elanna is a first time mother. We’re using cameras and students are assisting us with observations so we can study the interactions between the mother and joey and keep a close eye on their progress.

Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered tree kangaroo and help maintain the unique biodiversity of its native Papua New Guinea in balance with the culture and needs of human communities. Our scientists recently returned from Papua New Guinea with some very exciting news—we’re bringing coffee from the remote YUS region of Papua New Guinea to the Seattle market to help build economic opportunities for the local people of PNG who have pledged their own land to conservation. We’ll be sharing updates on that coffee project soon. Drink coffee, save tree kangaroos--you can't beat that!

Video: Footage from keepercam, produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.
Photos (from top): Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo, Bruce Beehler/Conservation International.