Skip to main content

Two New Joeys on World Tree Kangaroo Day: Celebrating 50 years of the Endangered Species Act

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

Get excited! This Sunday, May 21, is World Tree Kangaroo Day and Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating by announcing two new endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo joeys at the zoo. 

Female tree kangaroos Elanna, 15, and Omari, 14, gave birth to the unnamed pair of joeys—the zoo’s male tree kangaroo Rocket, 9, fathered both. These joeys were actually born in August 2022 but have recently become large enough to be visible in their mother’s pouches.

The arrival of these marvelous marsupials is particularly exciting because the zoo broke ground earlier this month on their future home. The new immersive, best-in-class exhibit will be home to Matschie’s tree kangaroos, red pandas, keas and forest reptiles. The exhibit, scheduled to open in 2026, will mark the first time visitors at Woodland Park Zoo will have an opportunity to see the tree kangaroos in a decade! Please note, tree kangaroos live in a behind-the-scenes habitat while their new exhibit is being built and are not visible to the public at this time.

The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) is a signature program of Woodland Park Zoo. TKCP works with local communities in Papua New Guinea to save endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroos and, in turn, works to benefit local communities through supporting education, health and livelihoods programs.

While World Tree Kangaroo Day is Sunday, today, May 19, is Endangered Species Day, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Although great strides have been made in conservation over the years, more work remains to be done. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would invest $1.4 billion annually to aid states, territories, and tribes in implementing science-based State Wildlife Action Plans to proactively rebuild wildlife populations and restore habitats. Everyone can help by visiting https://tinyurl/AZA-RAWA  and filling out a short web form letting Senators know you support RAWA. 

Tree Kangaroo Facts:
  • Fifty percent of all tree kangaroo species are classified as either endangered or critically endangered.
  • There are 14 species of tree kangaroos found in only three countries: Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (the Province of West Papua) and Australia.
  • Papua New Guinea is home to most of the species, with six species exclusively found in PNG, three species found across both PNG and West Papua, three species found exclusively in West Papua and two species found exclusively in tropical north Queensland, Australia.
  • Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program and its partners in Papua New Guinea are working to strengthen the protection of wildlife and habitat throughout the country.
  • Major threats to tree kangaroos on the island of New Guinea include habitat destruction from logging and land clearing and overhunting. In Australia, the major threat is habitat loss and defragmentation and injury and death due to cars and dogs.


Anonymous said…
Are the zoo's tree kangaroos housed seperately, or can they cohabitate with each other?