MIAMI (CBSMiami) — On Thursday, Zoo Miami became home to the oldest living Matchie’s tree kangaroo in recorded history — a feat for a species considered endangered.
But Patty, the Matchie’s tree kangaroo, is beating the odds.
She’s not yet 30, but is considered a senior citizen by kangaroo standards, and zoo keepers are celebrating her record-breaking life.
At 27 years, 2 months, and 12 days old, Patty is now a world record holder.
She has lived at Zoo Miami since 1989, and has given birth to four joey kangaroos along the way.
“It gives us great pride to be able to say we have provided the home for her that has enabled her to live this incredibly long, historic life,” said Zoo Miami Communications Director Ron Magill.
Back in her heyday, Patty was considered an artist.
“Patty was one of the premier tree kangaroo artists of the world,” Magill told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana. “Her paintings are in art collections around the world, galleries around the world.”
Her paws are more like hands, so she can grab a paintbrush, or even a snack.
She’s losing her vision and her joints are stiff, but overall Patty is healthy, and her keepers hope she stays that way for a while, because to them, she’s part of the family.
“If somebody says they don’t get a connection, they’re lying,” said keeper Matthew Marsicano. “They’re told not to say that. You do and she’s great and every animal has their individual personality. She’s amazing to me.”
“If there’s a place I could sign on the dotted line to reach her age relative to ages in humans and still be as happy and healthy as she is, let me sign,” Magill said with a big grin.
If you want to see patty in person, it really comes down to luck.
Because of her age, she’s only taken out to the public exhibits occasionally, and you never know what day that might be.