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Chester Zoo Welcomes First Ever Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo Joey

A rare tree kangaroo joey – the first to ever be born at Chester Zoo – has emerged from its mum’s pouch for the first time. Conservationists caught the remarkable moment the tiny new joey – an endangered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo – peeked out from mum Kitawa’s pouch - on camera. The birth has been hailed as a “real celebration” for the conservation breeding programme which is working to protect the highly threatened species from extinction with only two zoos in the UK caring for the animals. It’s the first time Chester Zoo has bred the species in its 91-year history. David White, Team Manager at the zoo, said: “Kitawa’s joey is the first Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo to ever be born at Chester Zoo in its 91 year-long history so it’s a real celebratory moment for the team and our efforts to protect this highly endangered species.” Moments after the birth, with eyes still tightly closed, the joey knows to instinctively crawl up mum’s belly and into her pouch following a channel which she has marked out by licking her fur. Once safely in the pouch, the baby receives all of the nutrition it needs while it grows and develops for a further six months – up until it starts to pop its head out. Much smaller than the well known Australian kangaroo species, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a tree-dwelling marsupial, using their their strong limbs for climbing and tails for balance. The species is native to the mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea where they are under threat from hunting and habitat destruction.
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