Saitama Children’s Zoo Park to Launch Fundraiser for New Quokka Exhibit; Facility Aims to Raise ¥10 Million

Courtesy of Saitama Children’s Zoo Park
A quokka is seen at Saitama Children’s Zoo Park in Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture.

HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Saitama — A children’s zoo in Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture, will start collecting donations to build a new indoor facility for quokkas, which are from the same family as kangaroos.

Saitama Children’s Zoo Park is the only place in Japan that keeps the animals, which are native to southwestern Australia. Quokka’s are about 40 to 50 centimeters tall and are affectionately known as the world’s happiest animal because of their facial expressions, which make them appear as if they are smiling.

The zoo, which currently has nine quokkas, has been limiting their outside display for 2 to 3 hours a day to avoid stressing the animals. An indoor exhibit room would let the nocturnal creatures live comfortably while keeping the exhibit open at all times of day, so the zoo decided to seek donations to fund the project. The zoo is aiming to raise ¥10 million through donations.

The existing facility will be renovated to accommodate the new display and is set for completion by the end of the fiscal year. Donations can be made online and will be accepted from Monday until the end of September. For more information, visit the zoo’s website “Saitama children’s Zoo Park” .