Orphaned Goodfellow's tree kangaroo raised through cross-fostering all set to be sent to Singapore!

Cross-fostering, a breeding technique, was adopted by Adelaide zoo in the 1990s and involves transferring endangered joeys to the pouch of a surrogate mother of a different wallaby species.

By Udita Madan | Updated: Jun 28, 2016, 17:09 PM IST
Orphaned Goodfellow's tree kangaroo raised through cross-fostering all set to be sent to Singapore!
Image courtesy: Adelaide zoo/The Guardian

New Delhi: Goodfellow's tree kangaroos are listed as an endangered species. As the world witnessed the birth of the first tree kangaroo last week, in Perth zoo, in thirty-six years, an orphaned Goodfellow's tree kangaroo is being prepared to leave its home in Adelaide zoo for his new home in Singapore.

A seven-week-old Makaia, as he was named, was saved in 2014 after his mother died a sudden death, when vets and keepers used the cross-fostering process and had him raised by a yellow-footed rock wallaby.

Cross-fostering, a breeding technique, was adopted by Adelaide zoo in the 1990s and involves transferring endangered joeys to the pouch of a surrogate mother of a different wallaby species.

Makaia stayed with his surrogate wallaby mother for three months and is now a healthy, maturing adult. The Guardian quoted senior vet, Ian Smith, who said that, “The zoo has been successful over the years cross-fostering between wallaby species, but it had never been used on a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo so it was a huge achievement.

He is extremely genetically valuable for the region and we are hopeful he will form an important part of the international breeding program working to save this endangered species from extinction.”

Makaia's final health checks were completed today and he will leave for Singapore next week, with the hopes that he will mate with another tree kangaroo there, that has been sent from Sydney's Taronga zoo.