World tree kangaroo day celebrated

Tuesday May 21st marked the annual celebration of World Tree Kangaroo Day, dedicated to raising awareness about the endangered tree kangaroo, primarily found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and parts of Australia.

The special day underscores the importance of conserving these unique marsupials and their habitats, promoting global action to preserve biodiversity.

The key event was led by Board Chairman Lorna McPherson and attended by distinguished guests, including NCD Governor Powes Parkop. In her welcome remarks, McPherson emphasized the day's mission to raise awareness and support for tree kangaroo conservation, unite global NGOs, zoos, and organizations, and celebrate these fascinating animals.

Governor Parkop, in his keynote address, highlighted the international scope of the celebration, with over 60 zoos and organizations from countries including Australia, the USA, and the UK participating. He praised Port Moresby Nature Park's role in the Tree Kangaroo SAFE program and urged the public to engage in conservation efforts and follow the day's events using #WorldTreeKangarooDay on social media. Parkop likened the symbolic importance of the tree kangaroo in PNG to the koala in Australia and the panda in China.

Karo Karua, POM Nature Park Mammals Team Leader, discussed the Tree Kangaroo Rescue and Conservation Center's efforts to house and rehabilitate tree kangaroos, emphasizing the challenges of acclimating the animals to Port Moresby's climate. The facility aims to breed and eventually restock the wild population of endangered species such as the Goodfellow's and Matschie's tree kangaroos.

Ruth Waram, Newmont Manager of External Relations and Communications, highlighted Newmont's support for the Tree Kangaroo Rehabilitation Program, including a K400,000 funding contribution in 2021 that enabled the construction of the rescue and rehabilitation facility.

The celebrations in Port Moresby were part of a broader global awareness campaign, with conservation-focused activities occurring across PNG and internationally, all spearheaded by the Tree Kangaroo SAFE program. This collective effort underscores the importance of international collaboration in conserving endangered species and protecting natural habitats.

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