Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo joyously welcomed the birth of a Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo in October, 2013. Named Holly, the joey is one of only three births of this exceedingly rare species in the U.S. last year.
Coincidentally, Holly's mama was found to be expecting after the Roger Williams Park Zoo had announced plans to build a new tree kangaroo enclosure. With the news of the impending birth, construction was postponed. Zoo Executive Director Jeremy Goodman, DVM, explained,
“The first six months after birth is a critical time for both mother and baby. For this reason, we have put construction of the new exhibit on hold until late June 2014.”
Opening of the new exhibit is planned for early fall.
Tree Kangaroos are an endangered species. Matschie’s Tree Kangaroos typically live in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Experts estimate that there are fewer than 2,500 tree kangaroos left in the world, due to habitat loss from logging and mining, as well as hunting of the species. There are 53 tree kangaroos living in U.S. zoos at present.
Read more and see a video of Holly and her mother at Zooborns.