Edinburgh Zoo welcome new swamp walla-babies
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Zoo is jumping for joy, as three bouncing joeys have been welcomed into the swamp wallaby enclosure at Whitson Woods.
New mums – Darri, Allora and Arinya – welcomed their new borns in July and at just under four months old the wallaby youngsters will remain securely snuggled in their mums pouch for a while to come, although a small head or foot can often be spotted peeking out!
Lorna Hughes, hoof stock keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We’ve had great success when it comes to our swamp wallabies, and theses newest joeys are really exciting for us. Like all marsupials, their young have a really short gestation period, around 33 to 38 days for a swamp wallaby, then after this short time the joeys move into mum’s pouch where they will stay for around eight months or so.
“Our trio of joeys are all just under four months old now, so it will be a good while yet before they venture out of the pouch fully; although you can usually spot their heads and even their feet popping out from the top of the pouch. As they have had a pouch life so far, we won’t be able to sex them and name them until they emerge fully. It’s always exciting to see any new born grow and it will be great in a few months’ time when these joeys take their first few hops out and about!”
These marsupials have an amazingly short gestation period of around 33 days, after which mum gives birth to a tiny, hairless, pink joey. The joey then moves into the pouch where the youngster will develop fully over the next eight months, after this the joey will only return to the pouch if danger is sensed.
Members of the kangaroo clan, swamp wallabies are natives to Eastern Australia. Wallabies may be slightly smaller than their relatives, but they have the same characteristic long tail which is a similar length as their body. Ideal for balancing, along with large feet and strong hind legs, their tails enable them to hop great distances of up to ten feet.