Hop Stars: Rare 'Miniature Kangaroos' Set to Make Their Debut at Zoo

The duo are two of 33 dusky pademelons cared for by European Zoos.

Two rare dusky pademelons are getting ready to hop into the limelight at a U.K. zoo.

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The miniature wallabies, Kai and Aru — also known as "miniature kangaroos" — recently arrived at the Chester Zoo in England from the Plzen Zoo in the Czech Republic.

The unusual breed is native to Indonesia and is a type of marsupial found in the forests of nearby New Guinea.

Dusky pademelons have been listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with their population to have declined by an estimated 30 percent in the last 15-20 years.

“Little is known about these little Indonesian kangaroos. Indeed, many people may not have even heard of a dusky pademelon before,” Tim Rowlands, curator of the Chester Zoo said in a statement. “However, Chester Zoo is committed to the conservation of threatened species and is always looking to break new ground by working with unusual, unheralded, often unknown animals and so we’re particularly pleased with the arrivals of Kai and Aru.

"We hope they put the fascinating species on the map and bring some needed attention to them.”

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Mammal keepers at the Chester Zoo are hoping to introduce Kai and Aru to a female as part of a Europe-wide breeding program for threatened animals.

Kai and Aru are two of 33 dusky pademelons that are currently being cared for at European Zoos.

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