Image of tropical trees in the jungle

“This is an exciting birth for the Bronx Zoo and a unique opportunity for people to observe one of nature's most intriguing evolutionary adaptations.”

Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny on the "public debut" of a baby tree kangaroo, the first of its species born at the zoo since 2008.

Published on

may 2, 2022

  • Why It Matters: The baby kangaroo is a Matschie's tree kangaroo — an endangered species whose estimated numbers in the wild are less than 2,500, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • At birth, baby kangaroos (also called joeys) are about the size of a jellybean. With only two front arms developed at that time, they crawl up to the mother's pouch where they stay, nurse and grow until about seven months; then they begin to emerge from the pouch and make their "public debut."
  • Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny explains: "At this stage of development, the joey will spend a lot of time in his mom's pouch with just its head sticking out. As it matures it will begin to explore its environment and start spending short periods of time outside the pouch."

Fun Facts: When you read "kangaroo," you may think of Australia — but Matschie's tree kangaroos are native to forests in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea. They typically live in elevations of up to 11,000 feet and spend most their time in trees, where they eat the leaves. They also enjoy eating flowers, ferns, grass shoots, moss and bark. To learn more about this species, click here!

Matschie's Tree Kangaroo Joey Is the Bronx Zoo's First Since 2008 (Wildlife Conservation Society Newsroom)

It's a joey! Bronx Zoo announces birth of rare tree kangaroo (Associated Press)

Click HERE to see a video of the joey peeping its head out of its mother's pouch

Click HERE to watch a video from National Geographic Wild about how baby kangaroos are born

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