Some tree kangaroos are extremely rare and live in places so remote that they are unusually tame, as they have never learned to fear humans. The Papuan people of New Guinea have numerous ancient myths about tree kangaroos, some of which play a role in my novels.
There are about 14 different species, but this is one of very few types of large mammals with species still being discovered. Most tree kangaroos are about the size of a housecat. They are a fascinating example of divergent evolution (when groups of similar creatures become isolated and gradually diverge in form and function). Long ago, groups of ground-dwelling kangaroos became isolated in areas of dense tropical forest, as opposed to the open grasslands more typical for kangaroos. Once isolated in rainforest areas, they developed the ability to climb trees.
So, in summary, Tree Kangaroos are worthy of the BAHF, the “Budgeree Animal Hall of Fame.”
Budgeree is an Australian colloquialism that dates back to the 18th century, and derives from an Aboriginal language – it is loosely translated as “Awesome.”