MIAMI – The longest living tree kangaroo in recorded history died Wednesday at Zoo Miami.
Zoo Miami spokeswoman Irene Valladares said the 27-year-old tree kangaroo's health had begun to take its toll on her and she recently began to lose her appetite and lost a significant amount of weight.
According to Valladares, the tree kangaroo named Patty had developed severe gastro-intestinal issues and her mobility had become increasingly difficult.
"Though the veterinary team was able to prolong her good quality of life with a variety of special treatments and medications, her health recently continued to decline to a point where none of those treatments were working any longer and the difficult decision was made to euthanize her today," Valldares said.
Patty was born Aug. 3, 1988, at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.
She arrived at Zoo Miami a year later, and remained at the zoo for the rest of her life.
During her time at Zoo Miami, Patty gave birth to four offspring, which have all been moved to other institutions.
"Patty also received significant notoriety as an artist over the last several years when she created a number of paintings that have been featured in a variety of art shows and are part of international private collections," Valladares said. "Because of a tree kangaroo’s dexterity, Patty was able to actually hold a paint brush in her paw which allowed her to paint in a manner very similar to humans."
Valladares said tree kangaroos typically live at high elevations in the Huon Peninsula of Papua, New Guinea and eat a variety of leaves, ferns, moss and bark.
They are known to be solitary animals, and their only strong bond is generally between a mother and her offspring.