Belfast Zoo visitors catch glimpse of new tree kangaroo
Visitors to Belfast Zoo were treated to an extra special surprise over Easter when a new resident made her bouncing debut to the crowds.
Kau Kau, a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo, was born to mother, Jaya and father Hasu Hasu last summer however only ventured out of her mother's pouch in recent days to take in her surroundings.
Described as "quite a character", Kau Kau is a tree-dwelling mammal, native to the mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Tree kangaroos are well adapted to a life in the trees by climbing up to 20ft high and leaping more than 30ft through the air from branch to branch.
However, the species is facing increasing threats due to habitat destruction and hunting.
Andrew Hope, zoo curator, said: "When the joey is first born it is the size of a jelly bean and remains in the pouch for eight to ten months so Belfast Zoo staff were unable to determine the sex of the joey immediately.
"When we started to see the joey peak out of her pouch, we began to affectionately refer to her as ‘wee spud’. We then named her Kau Kau, a Papua New Guinea word for ‘sweet potato’ which happens to be our tree kangaroo’s favourite food".
He added: "Kau Kau is already proving to be quite a character and we hope that visitors to Belfast Zoo will enjoy seeing her first ventures outside of her pouch".
Visitors can see Kau Kau and her family at Belfast Zoo as the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos have a public feeding time everyday at 11.15am.