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Roger Williams Park Zoo Announces Birth of Endangered Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo

(Updated February 6)

Mom Tree Kangaroo eating a stalk of celery with baby tree kangaroo in pouch poking head out.

PROVIDENCE, RI (January 1, 2023) Roger Williams Park Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of Paia, an endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo born to mom Keweng and dad Morobe. Paia was the size of a lima bean when she was born on June 27 and crawled blindly into mother Keweng’s pouch where she continued to grow and nurse.

Paia, which means fire, was named after her mom’s feisty personality. The joey will continue to spend the next few months in her mom’s pouch, but visitors may catch a glimpse of her popping her head out. As Paia matures, she will grow more independent and begin to explore her on her own.

Keweng has been a great mom, diligently cleaning her pouch and joey every day. The Zoo’s animal care staff and veterinary team continue to monitor mom and baby, performing daily wellness checks to ensure healthy development.

The birth is significant for Roger Williams Park Zoo and this endangered species. The Zoo actively participates in the Tree Kangaroo Species Survival Plan, which focuses on breeding to ensure the survival of this species, and has long supported wildlife and habitat conservation programs to help this species survive including a close partnership with the Tree Kangaroo SAFE Program and the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.

We encourage friends to follow the Zoo on Facebook and Instagram for updates on Paia’s progress.

Meet the Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo

Unlike their kangaroo relatives, tree kangaroos spend nearly all their lives in trees. Well-adapted for life in the forest canopy these small arboreal marsupials are built for climbing. With powerful limbs, long-gripping claws, and a long tail for balance they can easily maneuver from branch to branch.

Today, it is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 adult Matschie’s tree kangaroos left in their native habitats in New Guinea.

Roger Williams Park Zoo is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. As leaders in conservation and animal care – we create engaging experiences that empower guests to join us in conserving wildlife and wild places. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.

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