Three red-necked female wallaby joeys, ranging in age from 5 to 6 months, are being hand raised at a San Diego Zoo Safari Park nursery, and lucky visitors may get a chance to see the youngsters.
The Safari Park’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center nursery received the trio this week.
“These wallaby joeys are mostly nocturnal and spend much of their day in their pouches, where they are most comfortable,” said Kimberly Millspaugh, senior keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “They come out for their bottle-feedings and some occasional playtime. They are aware of each other and tend to be a little curious of one another. We see them poke their heads out at each other and touch noses from time to time.”
The wallaby joeys are being hand raised until they are old enough to join the Safari Park’s mob of wallabies, park officials said. For now, San Diego Zoo Safari Park vistors can stop by the Animal Care Center at Nairobi Station, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, for a glimpse of the threesome.
The wallaby joeys are currently drinking 3 to 5 ounces of a special marsupial formula, three to five times a day. They also are eating hay and marsupial feed pellets. They will continue to be bottle-fed for a few more months, with the amount of formula reduced and the amount of solid food increasing as they grow, park officials said.
They currently stand about a foot tall and weigh between 2 and 3 pounds each. When full grown, wallaby females can weigh between 26 and 35 pounds and reach a length of up to 3 feet from head to tail, according to park officials.
These wallabies will eventually join numerous other red-necked wallabies and gray kangaroos in an exhibit at the soon-to-open Walkabout Australia. Park guests will have the opportunity to explore habitats and species of Australia, including up-close animal interactions with creatures like the wallabies, kangaroos and wombats, park officials said.
“The experiences are similar to those offered by zoos in Australia, which are a key part of their work to engage local communities in species preservation,” according to a park statement.
Wallabies are members of the kangaroo family and are listed as an animal of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
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