For Woodward 2nd Graders

Roger Williams Park Zoo shared news of a rare birth that just took place this week. It’s not exactly Southborough news. But what’s the point of having a mother who blogs if she can’t throw up a page for you and your classmates?

So in honor of my 2nd grade daughter and her classmates headed to the zoo on the 13th, here is the zoo’s news with photos. 

Just in Time for Mother’s Day: Roger Williams Park Zoo Announces Rare Birth

First Matschie’s tree kangaroo birth at RWP Zoo in over 20 years, and one of only three born in captivity in the U.S. last year

Click on photos to enlarge

Providence, R.I. – Just in time for Mother’s Day, Roger Williams Park Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo. This is the first tree roo birth at the Zoo in over 20 years, and one of only three that were born in captivity in the U.S. last year. Tree roos are an endangered species, and are part of RWP Zoo’s Species Survival Program – a cooperative breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that aims to rehabilitate endangered and threatened species populations.

Zoo keepers discovered that our female tree kangaroo was pregnant after the announcement of the Zoo’s plans to build a new tree roo exhibit in the Australasia building by spring 2014.  “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,” said Zoo Executive Director, Dr. Jeremy Goodman, DVM. The exhibit will feature indoor and outdoor viewing areas with easy access for the animals between both spaces, giving guests a much improved view of the animals. Opening of the new exhibit is planned for early fall.

The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is indigenous to the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. It is estimated that there are less than 2,500 tree roos left in the wild, because of factors like habitat loss due to logging and mining, as well as hunting. Currently, there are only 53 tree roos in the U.S. living in captivity, and seven in international facilities. Along with our tree roo breeding program, RWP Zoo has also supported and worked with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) since its inception. The TKCP is an organization with the mission of establishing an officially recognized conservation area in Papua New Guinea for tree roos to live without human interference.

Until the exhibit is completed, images of the baby roo’s development in the pouch will be displayed in the Australasia building so Zoo visitors can appreciate the baby’s first months of life.

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