Kan­ga­roo still has some kick

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE - – good­news­net­work.org

Once thought to be ex­tinct, the tree kan­ga­roo was pho­tographed for the first time in his­tory ear­lier this year – and it also helps to serve as proof that the species is se­cretly thriv­ing.

Good­news­net­work.org re­ports that botanist and wildlife en­thu­si­ast Michael Smith had been wan­der­ing through­out In­done­sia, Kur­dis­tan and Pak­istan in the hopes of find­ing rare flow­ers – but what he dis­cov­ered was even more sig­nif­i­cant.

Af­ter co­in­ci­den­tally hear­ing about the Wondi­woi tree kan­ga­roo while ex­plor­ing the New Guinea moun­tain range, Smith or­gan­ised an ex­pe­di­tion up the moun­tain and through the dense for­est to see if he could spot one of th­ese elu­sive crea­tures.

Smith told Na­tional Geo­graphic af­ter he and his team climbed roughly 1 500m up the moun­tain­side, they “could smell scent marks left by the kan­ga­roos – a sort of foxy smell”.

Af­ter days of un­suc­cess­ful search­ing and with no sight of the kan­ga­roo, Smith and his team be­gan head­ing back – and that was when his guide spot­ted some­thing in the tree line above: the Wondi­woi, nes­tled in the branches, peek­ing its head out from the canopy. Smith, shocked and shak­ing with ex­cite­ment, grabbed his cam­era and man­aged to snap the first known photo of the Wondi­woi.

What is even more sig­nif­i­cant is that Smith and his team’s ac­count of mul­ti­ple scratch marks and dung in the area sug­gest that there is a thriv­ing pop­u­la­tion of Wondi­wois.

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