08/01/2019

Rare tree kangaroo branches out

​This tree kangaroo at Bristol Zoo Gardens is doing what he loves best – exploring.

His name is Mian and this is his first winter in a purpose built enclosure where he can climb outside as well as spending time indoors where the temperature is kept at a steady 21C.

Mian shares the enclosure with female Kitawa and it is hoped they will eventually breed.

Lynsey Bugg, curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo, said: “We have seen some promising signs so we are quite hopeful.”

Keepers at the Zoo use a borescope to regularly check Kitawa’s pouch to see if she is carrying a joey.

Mian and Kitawa are Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos and are part of a managed European breeding programme. Bristol Zoo is one of only four zoos in the United Kingdom that has them.

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

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.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity. It relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents. 

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