It’s a sight that conservationists have long been waiting for.
At the Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia, zookeepers captured the moment a rare baby tree-kangaroo emerged from its mum’s pouch for the first time.
The video below shows the joey – a member of the endangered Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo – popping its tiny head out of the pouch. It then looks at its surroundings before smiling and going back inside (probably to take a nap).
Saying g’day: Healesville Sanctuary’s new arrival, a rare tree kangaroo. The joey spent six months inside its mum's pouch before tentatively popping its head out for the first time. This is the first one ever born at the sanctuary. @zoosvictoria #7News pic.twitter.com/da4xOanLSB
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) September 12, 2018
The proud mum, Mani, and her breeding partner, Bagam, were successfully paired in 2016 as part of the sanctuary’s conservation efforts. The jelly bean-sized newborn then spent six months growing inside the pouch until the big moment.
According to the zookeepers, the yet-to-be named joey will start to venture in an out of the pouch more and more in the coming months.
⚡ Newsflash! ⚡ There is a baby Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo popping its head out of the pouch at #HealesvilleSanctuary! Repeat: there is a baby Tree-kangaroo at Healesville Sanctuary! Read more: https://t.co/0UEhcQ2FNr #babyanimals pic.twitter.com/yr2xoJVFdS
— Zoos Victoria (@ZoosVictoria) September 12, 2018
The Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo is a species native to Papua New Guinea. They are considered endangered, with about 2,000 individuals left in the wild.
The birth, the first ever of its kind at Healesville Sanctuary, is a welcome development for Zoos Victoria, who are working to save the tree kangaroo family from extinction.