Moving house can be a busy time for even the most organised of people, so when it came time for our Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos to move into their brand new home, we wanted to make it as smooth as possible!
For our male, 'Parum' moving wasn't so much of a big deal as he often moves around because of breeding requirements throughout the year. Parum is a confident and intelligent male and had already been trained to cooperate with the keepers to move to different locations in the Zoo.
Salsa, however, is very timid, and this was to be her first move for some time. So, we decided to teach Salsa how to climb into a transport bag as well. Setting up the bag in the tree roos’ night den was easy but it took time to encourage Salsa to investigate it! Although wary, by using her favourite foods like cheese, boiled egg and hibiscus flowers, we could reward Salsa for each tiny step she made.
After checking it out she gradually became more comfortable until she was sitting comfortably inside, munching on flowers. It took three weeks of training, but we were excited to see her ready for the move.
When moving day came everything went as planned, Salsa climbed aboard for the short ride up the hill, where she and Parum were released into their new night den area which was filled with their favourite foods and treats. Salsa emerged a little bit uncertainly, but on the whole was very calm and started munching on her favourite foods right away – a great sign she wasn’t too worried!
After a few days getting used to this different space, it was time to let them out into their brand new, larger exhibit. Parum was first out and soon exploring every corner and climbing every tree and rope. Salsa took a little longer before heading out and straight up to the tallest branch in the huge tree. Salsa liked her new home a lot and spent several days in the big tree!
After just a week, both Tree Roos had settled in well and were even seen mating. Let’s hope that we’ll see some new additions to our Tree Kangaroo family!
- Laura, Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos Keeper