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Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo, Age 16, Gives Birth!

Matschie's tree kangaroo joey

Posted July 2014

Our newest Matschie’s tree kangaroo, born December 2013 to 16-year-old mom, Kiama, recently emerged from the pouch. This is the sixth offspring for Kiama, who at age 16 is the oldest Matschie’s tree kangaroo living in a zoo to give birth and successfully raise a joey. The joey is often seen with its head out of the pouch, but complete excursions out of the pouch are still rare. Occasionally, the joey exits the pouch and sits on mom’s lap when she’s stationary, but as soon as mom moves the joey climbs back into the pouch. The joey’s sex has not been determined yet.

Matschie’s tree kangaroos are a critically endangered species. The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) is spearheading wildlife and habitat conservation programs to help this endangered species survive. The Milwaukee County Zoo is a proud financial supporter of TKCP.

Matschie's tree kangaroo, Kiama, and her joeyOn August 2, 2014, the Milwaukee County Zoo will celebrate Tree Kangaroo Awareness Day with an informative zookeeper talk and an enrichment demonstration. Additionally, we will sell an exclusive roast of Caffe Vita coffee grown in the YUS Conservation area of Papua New Guinea. YUS represents the three main rivers that flow through the Matschie’s tree kangaroo’s native Huon Peninsula region and includes the Yopno river, the Uruwa river and the Som river. This organic, fair trade exclusive coffee helps provide income for the native people who share the Matschie’s tree kangaroo’s habitat by allowing the native people to supplement their incomes versus taking additional resources from the forest. We will also provide coffee samples, while supplies last.

Please visit our newest Matschie’s tree kangaroo in the Australia Exhibit daily and don’t forget to visit the Zoo on Tree Kangaroo Awareness Day, August 2, 2014.

Matschie's Tree Kangaroo Facts

  • Matschie’s tree kangaroos have a long cylindrical tail (instead of a tapering tail) that serves as a counterbalance to their body weight and helps them maneuver the dangerously tall trees of their native habitat in Papua New Guinea.
  • Matschie’s tree kangaroos prefer to walk instead of hop.