There’s an adorable animal living on this planet that you’ve probably never heard of.
This little guy is known as the tree kangaroo, and he is just too cute! These kangaroos are similar to the more common marsupials, with the exception of their limb-size.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, “they have adapted to life in the trees, with shorter legs and stronger forelimbs for climbing, giving them somewhat of the appearance of a cross between a kangaroo and a lemur.”
Tree-kangaroos like to live in rainforests – it doesn’t matter whether they are in the lowlands or the mountains. This special species is found in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia. These might seem like unconnected places, but they are all full of lush landscapes perfect for the powerful primate.
So why haven’t you heard of this animal before? The tree-kangaroo is actually in danger of being endangered. There are 13 species of tree-kangaroo, and according to WWF, many of them are extremely rare.
WWF tells us that one species, the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo, “is critically endangered (possibly extinct) with as few as 50 individuals remaining.”
The main threats to this adorable creature are hunting and deforestation. Wildlife organizations like WWF work to keep the species alive by “reducing deforestation and loss of habitat caused by illegal logging, . . . raising awareness of habitat loss and the effects of hunting, promoting and managing protected areas, [and] reducing illegal hunting through programmes.”
With the help of these foundations, the tree-kangaroo just might make a comeback.
These cute kangaroos really are creatures of the land. Since they live in the trees, they love to pick fresh leaves and fruit. They aren’t limited, however.
WWF informs us that “they will also collect fruit that has fallen to the ground. The animals will also eat other items such as grains, flowers, sap, eggs, young birds, and even bark.”
These primates have a more balanced diet than most humans!
According to National Geographic, the tree-kangaroo mainly likes to fly solo. “Females and males have non-overlapping home ranges . . . [and] the only strong bond these animals form is between mother and offspring.”
Even when a female was completely isolated after becoming pregnant, the alone time did not seem to phase her. The offspring of such situations “almost always survive,” showing that “tree kangaroos are mostly solitary animals.”
That doesn’t mean they don’t have endless bounds of love in their hearts. New mothers keep their newborns, called joeys, in their pouches for up to ten months. Imagine carrying your baby for almost a year straight – after childbirth!
In the final few months, the joey begins to nurse and prepare for life outside the pouch. At 13 months old, it is time to grow up.
Tree kangaroos are considered fully grown at 18 months. At that time, they leave the comfort of their mothers and establish their own home ranges. And the circle of life continues.
This unique type of kangaroo is cute, cuddly, and sure to put a smile on your face.
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