From our earliest years, the San Diego Zoo has had red and gray kangaroos and a variety of wallaby species. In 1960, we received our first tree kangaroos as a gift from the Taronga Zoo in Australia.
Today, the San Diego Zoo features Matschie’s and Buergers’ tree kangaroos that show off their agility leaping from branch to branch and shimming up and down tree trunks, and dainty parma wallabies that are worth a second look in our new Australian Outback habitat. Read a story of a miracle parma wallaby joey. http://blogs.sandiegozoo.org/2012/04/11/visit-the-mob/
Both the Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park have macropods serving as animal ambassadors, too. At the Safari Park, Ruby the red kangaroo, Max the New South Wales wallaroo, and Jannali, a Bennett’s wallaby, may be seen in animal presentations and on behind-the-scenes tours, and they are trained to make visits to television stations; Ruby has even assisted with wedding proposals!
At the Zoo, red kangaroos Jirra and Tangari live in an exhibit in Urban Jungle and make appearances at special functions. Jirra can often be seen as part of the Zoo’s Backstage Pass program.
In 1965, workers on Kawau Island (near Auckland, New Zealand) were attempting to reduce a population of tammar wallabies Macropus eugenii that had been introduced to the island years earlier and were now overrunning the place. They were astonished to discover that some of the animals were not tammar wallabies at all but a miraculously surviving population of parma wallabies Macropus parma, a species thought extinct since the 1890s! The tammar wallaby reduction effort was halted while the parma wallabies were caught and sent to managed-care facilities in Australia and around the world in the hope that they would reproduce and could eventually be reintroduced to their native habitat.
The renewed interest in the parma wallaby produced another surprise: a few years later, a small population of them was discovered in the forests of New South Wales in Australia!
You can help us bring species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.