08/05/2018

New attraction and animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Work is well underway on a new enclosure at Bristol Zoo Gardens that will see Goodfellows tree kangaroos living there for the first time in its 181 year history.

 It involves transforming an area at the heart of the Zoo so visitors can get up close to these eye-catching marsupials.

 The two tree kangaroos, called Kitawa and Mian, will have centrally heated houses with picture windows so visitors can easily see them when they are inside.

 There will be special bridges leading from inside the roof of their house into two outdoor enclosures.

 The enclosures will have 1.5 metre high glass panels around parts of them to ensure everyone can see the tree kangaroos climbing and playing outside.

 An “S-shaped” path through the tree kangaroos’ enclosure will lead visitors to a special exhibit about sustainable palm oil production.

 Exhibit Development Manager Rebecca Cole said: “What makes this exhibit special is that it will focus not only on the tree kangaroos but also on sustainable palm oil as well.”

 Construction of the new enclosure will continue for the next few weeks ready for its opening for the half-term holiday.

 The Goodfellows tree kangaroos are part of a managed European breeding programme. Once they have settled into their new enclosure it is hoped they will breed to sustain their species.

 In the wild tree kangaroos have suffered from hunting and a loss of habitat. At least one of the 12 tree kangaroo species is close to becoming extinct.

 Another the Dingiso tree kangaroo has seen its population fall by more than 80 per cent during the past 30 years.

 Many of the areas where they used to live have been lost to logging or timber production or used to grow wheat, rice and coffee plants.

 This loss of habitat can also leave tree kangaroos prey to domestic dogs.

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