Adorable photos show rare ‘miniature kangaroo’ baby peeking out of mommy’s pouch

A zoo in England has released several photos of a dusky baby pademelon — a marsupial species sometimes referred to as a “miniature kangaroo” — emerging from its mother’s pouch.

The staff at Chester Zoo, located in the northwest of the country, managed to capture the moment when the new baby, known as a joey, first peeked out of the pouch.

Marsupials are a group of mammals known to give birth to babies in a premature state. In most species, the young then continue their development in the mother’s pouch.

Dusky pademelons – also known as dusky wallabies – are found only in the forests of New Guinea, a large island north of Australia, and some smaller islands in Indonesia.

An image of the dusky baby pademelon peeking out of its mother’s pouch at Chester Zoo.
Chester Zoo

These marsupials resemble their closest relatives, the kangaroo, but they grow much smaller, hence their nickname.

While adult male red kangaroos — the largest kangaroo species — can grow to over five feet in height, according to the Billabong Sanctuary, dusky pademelons typically only grow to about six feet in height.

Speaking of the moment zoo staff first saw the baby pademelon, zookeeper Megan Carter said: “It was the moment we noticed Mother Styx was slowly gaining weight that we were paying extra close attention to her behavior and diet. started watching, and we were hopeful that she was raising a baby.”

“Seeing the magical moment when her new arrival first peeked out of the pouch has brought us immense joy!”

Dusky pademelon babies are born in their mother’s birth canal just 30 days after successful mating. At this stage, they are about the size of a jelly bean.

“When a dark pademelon joey is first born, it is about the size of a jelly bean, so it stays in the safety of mommy’s pouch for about six months, where it gets all the nutrition it needs to grow and thrive. developing,” Carter says. said.

After this period is over, the joey will be ready to come out of its mother’s pouch. A Chester Zoo spokesperson told news week that they often spend some time exploring before jumping back into the mother’s pouch — all until they’re confident to be completely independent.

A dusky pademelon in Chester Zoo
The joey peeking out of his mother’s pouch for the first time.
Chester Zoo

“It will take a few weeks for the new baby to fully emerge and hop around and explore all by itself — then we can determine if it’s male or female and give it an appropriate name,” Carter said.

Unfortunately, wild populations of dark pademelons have declined by about 30 percent in the past 20 years due to a combination of factors, including capture, hunting and deforestation.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the species as vulnerable to extinction.

“The decline of dusky pademelons has been under the radar for quite some time, as little is known about these Indonesian kangaroos,” Carter said.

“But with the new information we’re collecting and the scientific observations our teams are making about how they live and raise their young, we can better inform future conservation efforts in the wild and bring much-needed attention to this highly endangered species.”

There are only 56 specimens of this species in captivity in all of Europe, according to Chester Zoo.

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