ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Meet the Saint Louis Zoo’s new little pride and joeys! Two baby faces have emerged from within pouches this summer – a Matschie’s [MAT-shees] tree kangaroo in Emerson Children’s Zoo, and a red kangaroo in Red Rocks. (View Gallery)
Seven months ago, Bexley the Matschie’s tree kangaroo was born the size of a lima bean. He immediately moved into his mother’s pouch to be nurtured and developed and has since grown to be the size of a small cat.
Visitors who are patient may see Bexley climbing all the way out of the pouch, reaching for his mom’s food and beginning to explore his world. At about 10 months old, he will officially move out of the pouch, but will continue to nurse until he is at least 16 months old.
This is the fourth offspring for mother Kasbeth and father Iri [EAR-ee] and the fourth tree ‘roo ever to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo. Kasbeth and Iri were paired under the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for tree kangaroos.
The endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo is a small marsupial found only in the thick, mountainous forests of Papua New Guinea, an island just south of the equator, north of Australia. A relative of terrestrial kangaroos, the reddish-brown and cream colored tree kangaroo also retains the legendary ability to jump. The tree kangaroo can leap as far as 30 feet from a tree to the ground.
A red kangaroo joey with an estimated birth date of January 14, 2012, was first spotted sticking his/her head out of mother Conundrum’s pouch in June, and is now coming and going from the pouch quite regularly. Zoo staff have not yet determined the joey’s gender. Like Bexley, the red kangaroo joey was born the size of a lima bean.
Red kangaroos are the largest marsupials. They live in mobs on the plains of Australia, where they dine on grasses and leaves. Reddish-brown males and smaller grey females can cover a distance of 25 feet in one leap, often traveling as fast as 30 mph.
Red kangaroos were once considered to be pests and were threatened by over-hunting, but with protection the wild populations have rebounded.
The Saint Louis Zoo is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday, September 3. Beginning September 4, the Zoo’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission to the Zoo is free. Admission to the Children’s Zoo is free the first hour the Zoo is open, and $4 per person the rest of the day. Children under two are free.