RWPZoo Mourns Passing of Paul, the Oldest Male Matschie's Tree Kangaroo in the Country

RWPZoo Mourns Passing of Paul, the Oldest Male Matschie's Tree Kangaroo in the Country

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Paul was 23 years, 5 months and 5 days old when he passed away.

It is with great sadness that Roger Williams Park Zoo announces the death of Paul, the oldest Matschie’s tree kangaroo in the country.  Due to complications from heart issues that reduced his quality of life, the animal care staff at the Zoo made the decision to euthanize Paul on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.  Paul was 23 years, 5 months and 5 days old when he passed away.  The median life expectancy for this species in a zoo is about 13-14 years of age.

“It is a great testament to the love and care Paul received from his keepers, and veterinary staff that he lived such a long life,” says Roger Williams Park Zoo executive director Dr. Jeremy Goodman.  “Paul was a great ambassador for his species, bringing awareness to the fact that Matschie’s tree kangaroos are an endangered animal due to habitat loss from logging, oil and mineral mining and exploration. Unfortunately, there are only about 2500-3000 Matschie’s tree kangaroos in the wild population.” says Goodman.  The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is native to the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea and the nearby island of Umboi

Goodman says that it is incumbent on the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) accredited zoos here in the United States as well as zoos internationally that we work together to maintain this species.  Roger Williams Park Zoo is an active participant in the AZA’s Species Survival Program developed in 1981.  This program helps to ensure the survival of selected species, including the Matschie’s tree kangaroo, which are threatened or endangered in the wild. 

Paul was born in October 1994 at the Metro Zoo in Miami, FL.  He joined the Roger Williams Park Zoo family in 1997.  Paul was a favorite with guests of the Zoo, until he “retired” and enjoyed time with his keepers and in his habitat. 

Remembrances of Paul are welcome on the Zoo’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RWPZoo.