“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” Whilst ‘Parum’ our Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo is a way off from accomplishing these feats, since moving to his new enclosure with female, ‘Salsa’ earlier this year, Parum certainly is looking fit, and may soon give Superman a run for his money.
Native to Papua New Guinea, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are considered Endangered. This is due to habitat loss and increased hunting pressures. With numbers steadily declining, breeding programs are just one of the many strategies put in place, to give this species a fighting chance. Although mating attempts have been observed, Salsa is yet to fall pregnant, but hope is still on the horizon.
To aid Parum and Salsa, a different approach has been taken recently. Both Tree Kangaroos, although still within sight of each other, have been separated. Just like many grooms do not get to see their bride before getting married, it is hoped that this separation period may be the spark this couple needs for success. Fingers crossed. As an added measure, zoo keeper, Sam has been doing some ‘station’ training with Parum, teaching him to wait in a specific place, to ensure he doesn’t try to hop through the keeper gates and visit Salsa too early. Usually a piece of cheese or boiled egg works well for Parum.
Whilst the keepers are doing all they can, it would appear Parum isn’t leaving anything up to chance. Since being relocated into their Tree Kangaroo mansion, Parum has made good use of the space and new climbing structures, gaining some added body definition. Although he is not spending his time jumping tall buildings, Tree Kangaroos have success jumping from their lofty homes in the tree canopies to the ground and they can do this in a matter of seconds. Jumps can be in excess of 18 meters and I’m sure you’ll agree is quite an impressive jump!
With Parum in top condition, this ‘Tree Kangaroo of Steel’ is ready to bolster the Goodfellow’s population. Hopefully we’ll hear the pitter-patter of some rather larger wallaby feet in the not too distant future.