It’s a joey! Bronx Zoo announces birth of rare tree kangaroo

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. poke (something) out of (something) / poʊk aʊt ʌv / (phrasal v.) – to appear from behind or stick out of something

    The baby poked his head out of the blanket.

  2. pouch / paʊtʃ / (n.) – a pocket of skin found on the stomachs of some female animals and used to carry their babies

    The koala carries its baby in its pouch.

  3. joey / ˈdʒoʊ i / (n.) – a young or baby kangaroo

    I saw some kangaroos and joeys at the zoo.

  4. arboreal / ɑrˈbɔr i əl / (adj.) – describing something related to trees

    Monkeys are arboreal animals; they spend most of their lives in trees.

  5. emerge / ɪˈmɜrdʒ / (v.) – to appear from a hidden or unknown place

    The dolphin emerged from the water.


Read the text below.

A baby tree kangaroo that’s just poking its nose out of its mother’s pouch is the first of its species born at the Bronx Zoo since 2008, zoo officials announced Friday.

The birth of the Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey “is an exciting birth for the Bronx Zoo and a unique opportunity for people to observe one of nature’s most intriguing evolutionary adaptations,” zoo director Jim Breheny said in a news release.

The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is arboreal and lives in mountain rainforests.

The species is much smaller than Australia’s well-known red kangaroo. An adult male Matschie’s tree kangaroo weighs between 20 and 25 lbs (9–11 kg). The joey is about the size of a human thumbnail at birth, zoo officials said. The tiny joey crawls through the mother’s fur to enter her pouch and emerges after about seven months.

“At this stage of development, the joey will spend a lot of time in his mom’s pouch with just its head sticking out,” Breheny said. “As it matures it will begin to explore its environment and start spending short periods of time outside the pouch.”

Conservationists believe that fewer than 2,500 Matschie’s tree kangaroos remain in the wild. They are threatened by habitat destruction, hunting and other human activities.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Conservationists believe that fewer than 2,500 Matschie’s tree kangaroos remain in the wild. Should rare animals like these be kept in zoos or is it better to let them remain in their natural habitat? Why? Discuss.
  • The Matschie’s tree kangaroos are threatened by habitat destruction, hunting, and other human activities. Why do you think human activities continue to threaten endangered species like these tree kangaroos (ex. people are indifferent, they lack awareness)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think your country has enough initiatives to protect endangered species? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What endangered species would you like to be protected the most (ex. giant panda, blue whale)? Why? Discuss.