Video: Great expectation for Perth's rare 'roo

Video: Great expectation for Perth's rare 'roo

The birth of a rare kangaroo at Perth Zoo has excited keepers and conservationists, with the species on the brink of extinction.

The zoo has successfully bred a Goodfellow's tree kangaroo for the first time in 36 years. That's good news for a species that has just 15 males in the breeding programme, The Guardian reports.

Joey Mian popped his head out of his mum's pouch last week after spending six months growing from the size of a jelly bean.

Video: Great expectation for Perth's rare 'roo

Mian and his mum Kaluli (Samantha Lee / Facebook)

He may still be brand new but there are already match-making plans in the works to help grow the population further.

Mian will now be introduced to the zoo's other female, Doba.

Mian's own conception wasn't exactly romantic - dad Huli was transferred from a Queensland wildlife park to mate with first-time mum Kaluli.

The pair was introduced with a mesh gate separating them before they were properly placed together. Kaluli was aggressive toward her mate at the start.

"Eventually, she realised what she was supposed to do and she settled down," zookeeper Kerry Pickles said.

"It was his first time trying to breed, so he was a bit patchy at first, but he got the hang of it."

But after it was over, Kaluli became aggressive once again.

The vet team have been keeping a close eye on Mian since he was four days old, with a small camera monitoring his growth.

"We were able to see when toenails developed, when Mian's eyes opened, his first smattering of fur and when he started to poke his head out of his mother's pouch," Ms Pickles said.

Kulali's pouch will be Mian's home for a further two months. When he's old enough he will be moved to another zoo for breeding.

The Goodfellow's tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea and the species is classified as endangered, after the animals were hunted for food.

Tree kangaroos are omnivores and eat mostly leaves, flowers, fruit and insects, although they have also been known to eat eggs and small birds.

They're naturally most active in the morning and afternoon, but when living around people they are mostly nocturnal.