Hop stars: Rare 'miniature kangaroos' set to make their debut at zoo

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

Read: Cops: Kangaroo Seen Hopping Around Small Iowa Town

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.

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Animals at the Chester Zoo
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Animals at the Chester Zoo
CHESTER, ENGLAND - 11 JANUARY 2017: Kirk dik-diks get their name from Sir John Kirk, a 19th century Scottish naturalist in Chester, England, 11 January 2017. An orphaned Kirks dik-dik antelope has become Chester Zoos newest arrival. The 19 centimetre tall baby lost his mother soon after his birth on Sunday 8 January and zookeepers have become his carers. Named Thanos, the precious calf is doing well with five bottle feeds a day until he is old enough to eat on his own. PHOTOGRAPH BY ZooBorns / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftmedia.com (Photo credit should read ZooBorns / Barcoft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A keeper holds the first Spiny turtle to be bred in the UK in the turtle breeding room at Chester Zoo in Chester, northern England June 13, 2013. The turtle, who's species is faced with extinction in the wild, was bred from two animals confiscated from an illegal haul by wildlife authorities in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
Sanyu (L), a five-day old Rothschild's Giraffe calf is nuzzled by another member of the herd in their enclosure at Chester Zoo, in Chester, Britain June 12, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Meerkats search for food inside a carved Halloween pumpkin in their enclosure as part of the Enchantment event at Chester Zoo in Chester, Britain October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A Sumatran tiger cub snarls as it is lifted by veterinary staff during a health check in its enclosure at Chester Zoo in northern England July 31, 2013. The eight week old cub, along with its sibling and two Cheetah cubs, were weighed, sexed and vaccinated on Wednesday for the first time since their birth. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY ANIMALS)
Giraffes look out from the Giraffe House at Chester Zoo in Chester, north-west England, on January 19, 2017 for the first time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A five-day-old female Black rhinoceros calf stands with its mother in an enclosure at Chester Zoo in northern England March 12, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS)
A keeper holds an Amethyst Starling during the annual bird health check at Chester Zoo in Chester northern England, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
CHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 2017: Population estimates were last made a decade ago and place wild numbers at just 20,000 in Chester, England, June 2017. The first Andean bear to be born in mainland Great Britain has finally emerged from its cosy den at Cheater Zoo. The rare cub - whose gender is yet to be revealed - was welcomed by parents Lima, 5, and Bernardo, 7, in January. After spending months snuggled away in its den, the cub has begun to explore its new home at Chester Zoo. PHOTOGRAPH BY ZooBorns / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftmedia.com (Photo credit should read ZooBorns / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
*** VIDEO AVAILABLE *** CHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 27, 2016: Chester Zoo is celebrating after a rare breed of giraffe was born on Boxing Day. The Rothschild's calf, who would have fallen more than 6ft during its birth, is the product of Chester Zoos endangered species breeding programme. The Rothschilds giraffe is one of the worlds most at risk animals due to poaching and habitat loss, with experts estimating numbers of less that 1,600 left in the wild. PHOTOGRAPH BY ZooBorns / Barcoft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read ZooBorns / Barcoft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A two week old Black-tailed Marmoset infant sits on the back of its mother in their enclosure at Chester zoo, northern England November 25, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS)
A week old Mount Apo Lorikeet waits to fed by a keeper at Chester zoo, northern England August 3, 2010. The chick is one of a pair of the rare birds being hand reared on a mix of nectar and water. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
Two week old Red Lechwe calf, Astrid, walks with her keeper at Chester Zoo in Chester, northern England December 21, 2010. The calf is being hand reared by keepers at the zoo after being abandoned by it's mother, and will be spending Christmas at a keepers house. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
A zoo keeper measures the head of a Caribbean flamingo at Chester Zoo in northern England March 29, 2010. The zoo's 87 flamingos are being measured, weighed and microchipped for the first time in a decade as part of a health check. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT)
CHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 2017: The cub was born in January but has just ventured out to explore its new home for the first time in Chester, England, June 2017. The first Andean bear to be born in mainland Great Britain has finally emerged from its cosy den at Cheater Zoo. The rare cub - whose gender is yet to be revealed - was welcomed by parents Lima, 5, and Bernardo, 7, in January. After spending months snuggled away in its den, the cub has begun to explore its new home at Chester Zoo. PHOTOGRAPH BY ZooBorns / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftmedia.com (Photo credit should read ZooBorns / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
This chameleon', along with two others, were the first of their kind to ever hatch at the Chester Zoo.

(Photo via Chester Zoo)
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“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.”

Read: That Cling You Do! Baby Kangaroo Refuses to Let Go of Rescuer in Adorable Video

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.

Watch: Kangaroo Is Rescued by Kayakers After Hopping Into a Canal and Getting Stuck

 

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