World’s first cross-fostered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is in quarantine; Scheduled to meet guests in August
Makaia, whose name means magic in Tok Pisin (a local Papua New Guinea language), arrived from Australia’s Adelaide Zoo on 4 July 2016. In a world first for conservation, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo made headlines around the world in November 2014 when he was adopted by a surrogate yellow-footed wallaby at 47 days old, after the sudden death of his mother. He was subsequently cared for by a keeper when he became too big for the wallaby’s pouch.
The Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is threatened in the wild by unsustainable hunting and deforestation. In the last 50 years, its population has declined by about 50 per cent. To ensure its survival, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) established a Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) for the species. The plan involves co-ordinated efforts of participating zoos to keep Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos as an assurance population should there be a catastrophic decline in the wild population. Pairing suitable individuals from participating zoos also minimises inbreeding of related animals and enhances the genetic pool of the species under human care.
Under the recommendation of GSMP, Makaia will be paired up with Nupela, a female from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, which arrived in Singapore Zoo in June. Guests will be able to see the duo at their air- conditioned exhibit at Singapore Zoo’s new Australasian Zone in early August.