New Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo, ‘Qwikila’ is proving to be quite a character. The adult female moved from Belfast Zoo, Ireland in January and after completing a period in quarantine, now resides in the lush Tree Roo exhibit next to the Top Plaza Cafe (map reference 7K).
Guests at the cafe get a great view Qwikila as she loves hanging out super high in the trees. She is easy to identify from the other female, ‘Salsa’, by her resting position according to Zoo Keeper, Sam.
Unlike our long term residents’, male, 'Parum' and Salsa, she doesn’t tuck herself up into a ball when preparing for a snooze. Instead she likes to firmly plant herself in the tree and then stretch out using the fork of another branch to rest her chin. Keepers believe she uses this posture to maximise her ability to bask in the sun’s warmth.
Her morning routine also revolves s around sun baking. Sam, explained that as soon as it’s approaching 8am, when the sun hits the exhibits, she stops whatever she is doing, even if it’s breakfast, to get up high in the tree and take full advantage of the morning rays.
This isn’t to say though that she doesn’t enjoy her mealtime too.
Sam said: “She’s a pretty food motivated animal. We reward her with her favourite foods to encourage her to come down so we can check on her. She adores egg, chicken and avocado, but not far behind is beetroot, eggplant, banana and grapes.”
For the moment Parum is being housed separately to the two females. Five year old Qwikila has never been introduced to a male before, so keepers are first introducing her to another female before easing her into Parum’s company.
If everything goes to plan we hope to see a joey in Qwikila’s pouch by the end of the year. A new addition to the global breeding program would be a valuable contribution to the species with numbers continuing to dwindle.
Next time you’re at Taronga Zoo, see if you can spot Qwikila catching the rays.