29 Dec 2016

Rare miniature wallabies, Kai and Aru, will soon hop out into the limelight – the first time the unusual Indonesian animals have ever been seen at the zoo.The rare mammals, a species of marsupial, have arrived from Plzen Zoo in the Czech Republic.

Our mammal keepers hope to eventually introduce the duo to a female as part of a European-wide breeding programme for threatened animals.

Dusky pademelons are also known as dusky wallabies and, in the wild, are found in forests on the island of New Guinea.They are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with their population estimated to have declined by 30% in the last 15-20 years. The demise of the species is largely due to hunting for its meat.Our experts now want to help raise awareness of the plight of the species in the wild.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said:

Little is known about these little Indonesian kangaroos. Indeed, many people may not have even heard of a dusky pademelon before. However, we are committed to the conservation of threatened species and is always looking to break new ground by working with unusual, unheralded, often unknown animals and so we’re particularly pleased with the arrivals of Kai and Aru. We hope they put the fascinating species on the map and bring some needed attention to them.

Our dusky pademelons are two of only 33 cared for by zoos in Europe.