Tree Kangaroo

Tree Kangaroo

A superb climber and capable of leaping long distances, this Tree Kangaroo spends much of its time hanging out up high.

Scientific Name: Dendrolagus goodfellowi
Common Name: Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo
IUCN Status: EN - Endangered

Making their mark

The Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo is a slender-bodied tree kangaroo has short, usually woolly fur that ranges from chestnut-brown to crimson, with a paler underside, grey-brown face and yellow neck, cheeks and feet. A stand-out pair of golden stripes runs down the centre of the back and each individual has a unique pattern of yellow rings and blotches on the tail. 

His and hers

Males are slightly larger than females with life primarily a solitary one with territorial ranges overlapping. Breeding occurs year round with sexual maturity being reached at two years of age for females and around four years for males.

Pouch perfect

Like other marsupials female Tree Kangaroos have a pouch that house a solitary joey that is born undeveloped. The blind joey will climb up into the pouch and attach itself to a teat to suckle. The joey stays in the pouch until it develops completely. The pouch life for a joey is approximately 9-10 months, however, the young kangaroo continues to feed on its mother's milk for the next 3-4 months. A joey will stay with its mother until its around 18 months old and well equiped to look after itself in the wild.

Life up high

This Tree Kangaroo has all of the specialised adaptations needed for an arboreal life. Shorter hind limbs, strong, stocky arms, and a long tail for balance while leaping among the branches. Their feet are broader than those of ground kangaroos, and have padded soles to aid with gripping and sharp curved claws for climbing. The hands have individual fingers that move independently which provide greater dexterity and grip.

Jump to it

Tree Kangaroos are naturally strong and long jumpers, able to bound nine metres across to neighbouring trees and 18m down to the ground! When on the ground Tree kangaroos are slow and clumsy, and tend to walk awkwardly when on the ground. Since their tails are heavy, they tend to hop and walk with their tails up while on the ground.

One at a time

Compared to other macropods, tree kangaroos are the only ones that are able to move their hind limbs independently while walking, instead of moving them in the typical synchronous manner (together).

Snooze time

Despite spending about 60% of their time sleeping, Tree Kangaroos don’t build nests for slumber. They just sleep on whatever branch they feel safe in!

Keeper Nat Holdsworth with one of our Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos.
Keeper Nat Holdsworth with one of our Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos.

Come and meet us

You can meet our Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos at Taronga Zoo Sydney.