Santa Fe teaching zoo hosts world tree kangaroo day celebration

Workers at the zoo say these kinds of days are vitally important to conservation efforts for endangered animals
Workers at the zoo say these kinds of days are vitally important to conservation efforts for endangered animals
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Some people may here ‘World Tree Kangaroo day’ and think it’s just another silly holiday, but for workers at the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, they say it’s vitally important to conservation efforts.

“Most tree kangaroos are actually endangered or critically endangered.” said the zoo’s conservation education curator, Jade Salamone.

And workers at the zoo are doing what they can to help conservation efforts.

Today they celebrated world tree kangaroo day, which Salamone says is highly important to helping save those animals.

“For zoos we do have a lot of world day--world turtle day,” said Salamone, “world tree kangaroo day--but really there’s specific animals that really need a lot of awareness around them if we want to make sure they are on this planet for generations to come.

“We need to share information about them and give people actions that they can do to protect these animals in the wild,” continued Salaone. “By having a designated day we can have as many places around the world to really celebrate and have a collective voice at one time.”

The zoo has three tree kangaroos--one of which is a joey named Modie.

The animal looks more like a bear than a typical kangaroo--but it is a marsupial just like a kangaroo.

Similar features include carrying their young in a pouch and having large feet.

“Generally once they get their food,” said zookeeper, Johnny Conard, “they’re right back up high and away from you. This species can be a little bit shy which is one of the reasons they’re so hard to find in the wild.”

“Tree kangaroos are extraordinarily special and if you get to meet one you’re going to fall in love with one,” said Salamone. “They use their tail more as a balance, they have long these claws to move through the trees and their stature’s pretty stumpy.”

The joey at the zoo will be moved to another facility in the next few months to help expand the tree kangaroo population.

“A lot of people don’t even know tree kangaroos are an animal,” said Conard. “So if she’s able to go to another zoo and make those numbers larger, eventually we can get them into more zoos and eventually people might be more prone to want to donate to conservation causes.”

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.