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Visitors at The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas can now observe a rare sight – the tiny head of a Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo joey peeking out from its mother’s pouch.
The vulnerable species has been successfully bred for the third time at the leading Australian wildlife experience, one of only two wildlife parks in the world to house the tree-dwelling marsupial.
Wildlife Manager Clare Anderson said the little joey has finally shown itself after 5 months of rapidly growing in the pouch, but will not fully emerge for at least another month.
“Initially, it will only venture out for very small periods under the watchful eye of its mother and the ever-caring keepers here at Wildlife Habitat,” she said.
“Quinnie, a first time mother, is doing an amazing job of caring and nurturing for her joey, cleaning, feeding and tending to its every need.”
The newest addition was conceived in December, and born the size of a jellybean at only 44 days of gestation, with nothing more than 2 front legs to claw its way into mum’s pouch.
After 2 months of age, the keepers were able to observe the new little joey was in fact a boy.
“It’s incredibly exciting to have a new addition to the family, and the world’s only breeding Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo population in captivity,” Ms Anderson said.
“His father, Burnu, was only born at the wildlife park in mid-2009, which makes him one of the youngest Lumholtz Tree kangaroo dad’s on record.”
“Young males usually spend up to 3 years with their mother, and then leave their side when they are sexually mature, but Burnu was ready at a mere two and a half years.”
One of only two species found in Australia, the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is listed as near threatened in Queensland due to the restricted habitat found only in the Wet Tropics region from the Daintree River to Ingham.
The new tree kangaroo joey is yet to be named, with the Wildlife Habitat holding a naming competition some time in the near future.
Situated in Port Douglas, Wildlife Habitat is Australia’s leading wildlife experience. Tropic Wings and Jungle Tours visit Wildlife Habitat every day, providing visitors with a chance to observe up close a huge range of flora and fauna, including the only breeding colony of rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos in captivity.
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Source = Wildlife Habitat