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Vale Timika

11 July 2014

On behalf of the many Melbourne Zoo staff who have worked with Goodfellow’s Tree-kangaroo Timika, Director Kevin Tanner is sad to announce the loss of a well-loved Zoo icon today.

Timi was born to mother Tapini and father Toea in 2000, and he has outlived the average male life expectancy of his species, which is nine years.

On Monday Keepers reported changes in his behaviour to the Veterinarians, who arranged blood and urine tests. Dr. Sarah Frith says that Timi was found to have renal failure, and that although he was still eating a bit, he had become unresponsive to Keepers and uninterested in treats.

As there was no prospect of a cure for the renal failure, Timi was euthanized this afternoon.

Senior Keeper Megan Richardson worked with Timi from his birth: ‘He was an amazing animal.  He played such an important role as a huge Ambassador for his endangered species.

‘He has been inspirational, and he has touched the lives of so many people.  In addition to the many celebrities who have loved meeting him, Timi has also met many media, Roar ‘n Snore campers, and Kids Go Wild groups.’

Timi was the first Goodfellow’s joey to be closely monitored for developmental milestones and to be target trained to cooperate with Keepers so they could easily weigh him and carry out other procedures when needed.

Megan is the International Studbook Keeper for this endangered species, and she credits the training program developed in working with Timi as helping to establish protocols to assist Keepers in other zoos.

Hear more from Timi's keeper Megan via her Zoo Keeper blog.

TImi has fathered five offspring:

  • Belisi, a female born in 2005, is now in Krefeld Zoo, Germany
  • Tani, a female born in 2006, is now at Zoorasia in Japan
  • Banam, a male born in 2007, remains at Melbourne Zoo
  • Oumak, a female born in 2009, is at the National Zoo, Canberra
  • Sepilinga, a female born in 2011, is at Duisburg Zoo in Germany