World First: Endangered Orphaned Baby Tree Kangaroo Saved Through Cross Fostering

World First: Endangered Orphaned Baby Tree Kangaroo Saved Through Cross Fostering

Tree Kangaroo1World First: Endangered Orphaned Baby Tree Kangaroo Saved Through Cross Fostering

Endangered Species: in a veterinary world first, the Adelaide Zoo, Australia has successfully cross fostered an endangered orphan baby Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo with a surrogate yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby mother. The amazing part of this foster is that wallabies are ground dwelling animals but tree kangaroos are arboreal, which means they live in the tree tops.

The zoo had previously cross fostered wallabies with other wallabies with success, but had never attempted the technique to have a wallaby raise an endangered joey tree kangaroo. Usually, kangaroo joeys, whether ground dwellers or tree kangaroos, will usually ONLY drink from what is “their own” teat in the mother’s pouch, which can have more than one teat if the mother has an ‘at-foot joey’ as well. Living up in the foliage, tree kangaroos look like a cross between a kangaroo and a lemur.

The first 24 hours was critical to get the joey to latch onto the new wallaby’s treat. Buried deep in the wallaby’s pouch, tiny ripples of movement over the next days signaled the joey was still alive.

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