Meet the joey

Here’s the first snap of the newest arrival in our Bennetts wallaby enclosure.

bennetts_joeyAssistant Curator Richard Brown, who photographed the joey when he was working with the group, said he was delighted with the baby.   He said: “Although we knew there was a youngster in mum’s pouch none of the keepers had been able to get a good look as marsupial babies are helpless when born and continue to develop in the pouch for many months.  

“A newborn wallaby is a tiny, barely formed creature, unable to see or hear. It hauls itself up its mother’s belly, hanging on by its front legs and makes its way into the pouch.

“Once inside, it attaches to one of mum’s four teats and remains there for seven months, venturing out occasionally as it gets bigger.”   After leaving the pouch the young wallaby may continue to suckle, even if another joey has been born.    A Tasmanian subspecies of the red-necked wallaby of southern and eastern Australia, the colouring provides excellent camouflage in woodland undergrowth, and dense fur gives insulation necessary for survival in the cool Tasmanian climate.