Animal Diaries Archive
Look under the bushes
24 November 2006
As we arrive, our daily duties include a head count of all macropods that live in Roo Heaven. As a new keeper, this sometimes proves a challenge. Not just because when you're new, 30 Eastern Grey Kangaroos look similar or because their always moving around, but because of the shy nature of our two Red-legged Pademelons, Tarma and Xena, and their luxurious natural habitat of six acres to live in.
These little critters are dark brown and only grow up to half a metre tall, and are extremely good little hiders. I have spent many hours searching for them, and just when you're convinced they're gone and you're about to send a search party, out pops Tarma or Xena from the smallest lomandra in the enclosure. Pademelons are usually solitary, but will sometimes come together at favourite feeding grounds or sunny basking sites. They live on the east coast of Australia and inhabit dense eucalypt and rainforests, rarely venturing out to open paddocks. One of three species of pademelons, the Red-legged Pademelon feeds mostly on rainforest fruits and small shrubs.
So next time you're at Australia Zoo, don’t forget to look under the bushes!