Thatcher, D. 2021. The use of a borescope for Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) husbandry. RATEL (Journal of the Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers) 48(2), 10-11.
In 2017 Bristol Zoological Gardens received two Goodfellow tree kangaroos. As this was a new marsupial species for the collection, keepers attended the European Symposium on tree kangaroos to better improve our husbandry, knowledge and skills. From the talks at the symposium we learned that a borescope would help us carryout less invasive pouch examinations. We therefore adapted our current pouch training protocols to include the new equipment. Pouch training is used to determine if there is a joey in the pouch which then informs any husbandry changes needed, such as a diet increase during lactation, whether it is safe to mix the female with the male to continue breeding, and to monitor the joey’s development. The borescope we bought is comprised of a small camera on the end of a long lead. This then connects to a mobile device through WiFi by use of an app where live footage can be viewed and recorded. Around the lens is a (very useful!) light. The borescope has been useful on numerous occasions, not only to monitor the goings on of marsupial’s marsupium. We have used it to look into an aye-aye nest and to locate animals that have gained access into nooks and crevices in their enclosures.