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Tree Kangaroos and Wattled Cranes Move into New Exhibits


Zoo Guests Can Now View Long-Time Residents

Tree Kangaroos and Wattled Cranes Move into New Exhibits

Matschie's tree kangaroo. Photo by Tierna Unruh-Enos/ABQ BioPark

Tree kangaroos and wattled cranes recently moved into new habitats at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. Guests can now view the tree 'roos in Australia and the cranes in Africa.

The pair of Matschie's tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matshiei) arrived at the Zoo in 2005, but cold and hot temperatures kept them indoors and out-of-view much of the time. Now these New Guinea natives live inside the Koala Creek building in Australia. Like their koala neighbor, they prefer a calm and quiet atmosphere--especially because they spend half their time sleeping. Catch the 'roos awake, and watch them "hop" up trees as they hold onto trunks with their arms.

Wattled Crane. Photo by Natalie
Sommer/ABQ BioPark.

"Meri, the female, and Omeo, the male, have had two joeys," said Shelly Dicks, Mammal Supervisor. "Since tree kangaroos are endangered, this breeding success is important. The joeys both live at other zoos now."

Across the Zoo, a new exhibit in Africa features wattled cranes (Bugeranus carunculatus). At more than five-and-a-half feet tall, these majestic birds are the largest and rarest aquatic crane in Africa. While both birds have been housed behind-the-scenes for a few years, they haven't been in the same exhibit yet.

"This new exhibit actually has two sections, which allows us to introduce the birds slowly for possible future breeding," said Peter Shannon, Curator of Birds. "We hope the pair might nest, lay eggs and raise chicks in the future."

In the wild, wattled cranes and tree kangaroos are both threatened by habitat loss and illegal hunting. To learn more about these species, visit
them in their new Australia and Africa homes. The exhibits are included with
regular Zoo admission.

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