The newest arrivals to be welcomed at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are a Swamp Wallaby joey and a Red-neck Wallaby joey. The female Swamp Wallaby joey has been named Pepper by her keepers and has only just recently started to emerge from her mother’s pouch, now that she is about six months old.
For the first few months of a joey’s life they stay in the pouch whilst they grow and develop, growing a full covering of fur. The Red-neck Wallaby is currently in this phase at about three months old, with a little more growing to do before he will be seen popping out of his mother’s pouch.
Pepper will stay by mum’s side for the next 12 – 18 months. So far keepers are very happy with how mother, Valley, is caring for her joey. Valley is displaying great maternal behaviours and is quite protective, which is expected from a mother with a young joey.
Pepper is starting to spend small amounts of time out of the pouch exploring her new surrounds under Valley’s watchful eye. A great time to see the Swamp Wallaby joey is from midday into the afternoon on warmer winter days. Pepper is often poking her head out of her mother’s pouch but if you’re lucky Pepper may be out of the pouch exploring.