Singapore Zoo's new orphan tree kangaroo in 'excellent shape', public viewing from August

Makaia after undergoing his health check on July 12, 2016.
Makaia after undergoing his health check on July 12, 2016.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
Makaia after undergoing his health check on July 12, 2016.
Makaia after undergoing his health check on July 12, 2016.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
Makaia stands on an x-ray table, while a vet nurse and senior vet holds it in place as it is being sedated.
Makaia stands on an x-ray table, while a vet nurse and senior vet holds it in place as it is being sedated.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
Veterinerians perform a physical check on Makaia.
Veterinerians perform a physical check on Makaia.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
The paws of the GoodFellow's tree kangaroo are well padded to provide a soft landing and sharp claws for a strong grip over the bark of trees.
The paws of the GoodFellow's tree kangaroo are well padded to provide a soft landing and sharp claws for a strong grip over the bark of trees.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
A x-ray photo of Makaia's abdomen area, shown on the computer screen where veterinarians check for medical problems.
A x-ray photo of Makaia's abdomen area, shown on the computer screen where veterinarians check for medical problems.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Zoo's newest tenant, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo Makaia, was declared to be in excellent shape after undergoing his health check on Tuesday (July 12).

While quarantine test results will only be ready in three weeks, Makaia weighed in at a healthy 8.4kg and sported a lush, vibrant coat that indicates great body condition, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said in a statement.

Makaia, who arrived from the Adelaide Zoo on July 4, will be ready to meet the public in early August. He will be paired with Nupela, a female from Sydney's Taronga Zoo, which arrived in Singapore in June.

Guests can see the duo in their air-conditioned exhibit at the Singapore Zoo's new Australasian Zone.

Goodfellow's tree kangaroos inhabit the rainforests of New Guinea and are a distant relative of the kangaroo and wallaby. The species lives in trees and rarely descends to the ground.

Makaia made global headlines in November 2014 when - in a world-first for conservation - it was adopted by a wallaby after the tree kangaroo's mother, Kia, died when Makaia was seven weeks old.


Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director, Veterinarian, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, positions Makaia on the treatment table for his health check on July 12, 2016. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Adelaide Zoo keepers and veterinarians saved Makaia's life using a surrogate yellow-footed rock-wallaby mother - a technique never before attempted with a tree kangaroo.

The Goodfellow's tree kangaroo is threatened in the wild by unsustainable hunting and deforestation. In the last 50 years, its population has declined by about 50 per cent.