Eight months after his mother was killed by a falling tree branch, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo 'Makaia' has been unveiled to the world at Adelaide Zoo.
A special breeding technique known as "cross-fostering" involved the transfer of the five-week-old joey to the pouch of a surrogate mother of a different marsupial species, in this case a Yellow-foot Rock-wallaby.
After an anxious couple of days, keepers were overjoyed that the wallaby had accepted the joey and in January they got their first look at Makaia sticking his head out of the pouch. Cuuuuuute!
"It was certainly a sight to see a tree kangaroo joey, with its reddish-tan fur, bright blue eyes and long claws riding around in a wallaby," said Gayl Males, Adelaide Zoo Team Leader of Natives.
After three-and-a-half months with his wallaby mum, Gayl took over caring duties of Makaia. She says he will continue to be cared for full-time until he no longer requires overnight feeds and will be weaned at around 15-18 months old.