Young ones from Australia: a joey of pocket kangaroo was born in the Moscow Zoo

July 23
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A baby of brush-tailed bettong was born in the Moscow Zoo. This is one of the rarest species of kangaroo; it is listed in the International Red Book and is under threat of extinction. According to zoologists, the number of brush-tailed bettongs in the wild does not exceed six thousand individuals.

"These animals are also called woylie, or short-nosed rat kangaroo. And unofficially, the animals are called pocket kangaroos because of their miniature size. Various zoos and nurseries around the world are working to create a reserve population, and then relocate their ‘graduates’ to the wild. 10 years ago, the Moscow Zoo became a member of the international program for the conservation and breeding of these animals in captivity, we got several individuals at once. Soon zoologists managed to achieve their reproduction. This year, the family of pocket kangaroos has been replenished. The joey was born in the spring, but he spent the first three months in his mother's bag. A newborn with the size of a pea was very difficult to notice. Only now he has left his parents 'shelter and started to study the world around him on his own," Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo, said.

The kangaroo is growing fast and getting stronger, but for now it prefers to stay close to its mother. Gradually, it gets used to the adult food spectrum. In nature, woylies mainly eat plant food, they also like fungi mushrooms that grow underground. Since it is quite difficult to deliver this delicacy from Australia, the specialists of the Moscow Zoo offered them champignons and oyster mushrooms, and the kangaroos willingly accepted a replacement. Their menu also includes fresh grass, green leaves, locusts and a grain mixture.

This year, the Moscow Zoo is expecting the birth of two more pocket kangaroos joeys. Representatives of this species have an interesting feature of reproduction: they can give a birth three cubs in a row. When one comes out of the bag, the second takes its place, and the third has already been conceived by that time.

Miniature kangaroos live in the Night World pavilion. The Moscow Zoo has now eight individuals, including a newborn. In the future, the joey of pocket kangaroos can go to one of the leading Russian or foreign zoos. You can admire it by watching a short video on

The press service of the Moscow Zoo

Pocket kangaroos in the natural environment

In the wild, woylies can be found in eucalyptus groves and on the plains of Western Australia. They inhabit places that are densely overgrown with grass. The natural population of these kangaroos began to decrease in the 18th century, when European colonizers brought many new species of animals to Australia and thus disturbed the ecological balance on the continent. The predators, who arrived, began to hunt aboriginal animals; small kangaroos became prey for foxes and cats. In addition, the number of woylies is declining due to the destruction of their natural habitat.

They are not much like other representatives of the kangaroo family, but rather resemble large rats. The body length of the animals is about 40 centimeters, the weight ranges from one to one and a half kilograms. Pocket kangaroos are covered with thick brown hair. The hind legs are much longer than the front ones, the tail is long, the upper part of its tip is covered with stiff black hair (hence the name ‘brush-tailed’).

These are nocturnal animals - at dusk they leave their homes in search of food, by morning they return to their spherical nests made of grass, bark and branches. Like other kangaroos, they move on four legs, but if they need to speed up the pace, for example, at the sight of danger, they jump, pushing off with their hind legs. Woylies lead a solitary lifestyle and go in search of a couple only during the mating season. The area of residence of one individual covers from 20 to 40 hectares.

The animals find fungi mushrooms by smell. In addition, woylie is not averse to tasting the bulbs and roots of plants, insects, and the frozen resin of some shrubs. Interestingly, these kangaroos practically do not drink water; they get the necessary moisture from food. The life expectancy of woylie is five to seven years.

This summer, a young of ring-tailed lemur was born in the Moscow Zoo, which was named Vzhik. He spends most of his time on his mother's back, but he is already actively exploring the world around him. Ring-tailed lemurs are endemic species to the island of Madagascar, that is, they live only in this place. The animals are also called Lemur catta and at home they are called Maki catta. The species is listed in the International Red Book, it is threatened with extinction.


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