Monday, July 25, 2016

Miracle Tree Kangaroo Makaia Undergoes Health Check at Singapore Zoo

World’s first cross-fostered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is in quarantine; Scheduled to meet guests in August 

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinarian, Wildlife Reserves Singapore,
 positions Singapore Zoo’s recently arrived Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo Makaia 
on the treatment table for his health check on 12 July. 
While quarantine test results will only be ready in about three weeks,
 an initial health check indicates that he is in excellent shape 
and will be ready to meet the public in early August. 

Singapore Zoo’s recently arrived Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo Makaia underwent his health check today. While quarantine test results will only be ready in three weeks, an initial health check shows he is in excellent shape, at a healthy weight of 8.4kg and sporting a lush, vibrant coat that indicates great body condition. He will be ready to meet the public in early 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. 

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