WATCH LIVE BEHIND THE SCENES
Tune in to see what amazing Woodland Park Zoo animal is featured this week on the roving live web cam. The cam travels around the zoo to feature new babies, behind-the-scenes happenings, and cool new angles on the exhibits you know and love.
Featured this week – Tree kangaroo joey
Born the size of a lima bean in June 2012, this tree kangaroo baby is just starting to emerge from its mother’s pouch. The joey and its mom, Elanna, are seen here in a behind-the-scenes maternity enclosure where they bond in a quiet, controlled setting. The cam is streaming live from one of their rooms, but the family has access to an adjacent room, so there may be times when they are not visible on camera.
Best time to watch: Tree kangaroos are crepuscular, which means they are most active in the morning and at dusk. The cam is equipped with night vision, so you can tune in any time.
As these animals are shy and sensitive, mom and joey will remain behind the scenes to allow them to thrive in a calm, secluded environment. While there are currently no plans for the young family to go on view, you can visit an adult tree kangaroo on your next zoo trip when you stop by the Day Exhibit.
Conserving endangered tree kangaroos
This rare birth is part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program across Association of Zoos & Aquariums-accredited zoos that seeks to maintain genetic diversity for healthy populations, while contributing to research and field conservation for endangered and threatened species.
The zoo is committed to the Species Survival Plan for this endangered species, and currently houses two of the most genetically desirable adults in the captive population. The joey’s father is the highest ranking male in the captive population, which means his genes are most in demand. Since this joey is the only progeny of its in-demand dad, it makes the birth all the more significant for the health of the population. Woodland Park Zoo recently transferred in the highest ranking female in the captive population as well, so the zoo is home to two of the most genetically important animals in the entire Species Survival Plan.
Photo by Bruce Beehler/Conservation International
In the field
Woodland Park Zoo also works to preserve wild tree kangaroo populations through its Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP). TKCP fosters wildlife and habitat conservation and local community livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (PNG)—home to the endangered Matschie's tree kangaroo—working with local communities to save the animal and the forest resources they share.
TKCP worked with local landowners to help develop Papua New Guinea's first ever Conservation Area, officially recognized by the national government in 2009. Landowners pledged more than 180,000 acres of their own land to create the protected area for tree kangaroos, rain forest habitat and endemic species of PNG's Huon Peninsula. By uniting PNG landowners, government officials and conservation partners, TKCP has created a community of conservation advocates to address long-term management for the Conservation Area and improvement opportunities to better the livelihood of the surrounding communities.