Quin­ton’s a happy hop­per

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

QUIN­TON, the two-year-old tree kan­ga­roo, is fi­nally back where he be­longs – in his brand new en­clo­sure at the Wildlife Habi­tat, Port Dou­glas, and is ready to re­ceive visi­tors.

It’s been a bit of a time for poor young Quin­ton (the Lumholtz Tree Kan­ga­roo nor­mally lives to more than 20 years old).

A deadly dis­ease of­ten found in trop­i­cal soils wiped out all of his rel­a­tives in­clud­ing his par­ents and for a time Quin­ton too was bat­tling the odds.

His han­dler Lauren Collins (pic­tured), the wildlife man­ager Clare An­der­son and the vet­eri­nary team man­aged to save his life. Twice daily in­jec­tions and re­lo­ca­tion to new quar­ters even­tu­ally did the trick.

‘‘He’s a fighter,’’ said Clare. ‘‘He sure is,’’ said Lauren, as they watched the feisty kan­ga­roo get­ting to know his new en­clo­sure this week.

When the Gazette vis­ited, Quin­ton made a point of re­fus­ing to pose in an ac­cept­able spot. Ef­forts to lo­cate him in a more photo friendly spot were wasted as he clev­erly out­foxed his han­dlers time and again. ‘‘He thinks it’s a game,’’ Lauren said. But even­tu­ally he de­cided to play along and his own cu­rios­ity got the bet­ter of him as he stared at the cam­era.

Quin­ton was born at Wildlife Habi­tat in early 2012. ‘‘He still has a bit of grow­ing to do be­fore he reaches ma­tu­rity, but he is well on the way and has al­ready been demon­strat­ing some of his mas­cu­line be­hav­iours in his new en­clo­sure,’’ Clare said.

‘‘Male Lumholtz Tree Kan­ga­roo joeys can spend up to three years along­side their mother, so we’ve had to care for him since he was about 18 months old,’’ Clare said.

See­ing a Lumholtz Tree Kan­ga­roo in the wild can be dif­fi­cult. They’re quite rare and have a way of hang­ing around in dense fo­liage. You can look right at one and not see it. ‘‘Of­ten all you can spot is the tail,’’ said Clare.

‘‘We have guests from all over the world that come to see these mag­nif­i­cent an­i­mals, so we’re very pleased to have them back on dis­play again,’’ Clare said.

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