Orphaned tree kangaroo leaves Adelaide Zoo for female mate in Singapore
A tree kangaroo who was fostered by a rock wallaby after being orphaned is set to leave Adelaide Zoo for a new home in Singapore.
The tree kangaroo, named Makaia, today received his final health checks from the veterinary team in preparation to be sent to Singapore next week.
In 2015, Makaia made headlines when he was successfully adopted through a world-first technique of “cross-species fostering” at Adelaide Zoo.
Makaia’s survival was at risk after the sudden death of his mother, Kia, at just seven weeks old, until zoo staff encouraged a yellow-footed rock wallaby to adopt him.
He stayed with his surrogate mother for more than three months and is now a healthy, maturing adult.
Adelaide Zoo senior veterinarian, Dr Ian Smith said Makaia thrived under the care of his adoptive mum.
“We’ve had great success over the years’ cross-fostering between wallaby species, but the specialised breeding technique had never been used on a tree kangaroo before, so it was a huge achievement for the zoo,” Dr Smith said.
“We couldn’t be happier with how he has grown and developed. It’s now time for him to start his next chapter and we’re confident he’s going to do really well.”
In Singapore, Makaia will be paired with a female Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and it is hoped their breeding could help save the endangered species from extinction.
Makaia’s departure coincides with the launch of a children’s book, Makaia’s Story, which tells the tale of his amazing journey growing up.
© ninemsn 2016