Two tiny Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby joeys have emerged from the pouch at Taronga Zoo, continuing its successful breeding program for the endangered species.
A female joey has started peeking out from mother Mica’s pouch in the Zoo’s Platypus Pools exhibit, delighting keepers and keen-eyed visitors.
“She’s still quite shy, but we’re starting to see her little face more and more. Mica likes to find a nice spot to rest in the sun and the joey will often pop its head out to look around,” said Keeper, Tony Britt-Lewis.
At five months of age, the joey will likely spend another month inside the pouch, before venturing outside to explore its surroundings.
The joey is one of two Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies to emerge in the past week. Another of the Zoo’s breeding group, Ruby, is also carrying a joey.
Tony said keepers are yet to determine the sex of the second joey, but both infants appear to be strong and healthy.
“Mica and Ruby are both very experienced and attentive mothers, so they are showing all the right nurturing behaviours,” he said.
Once abundant and widespread across the rocky country of south-eastern Australia, Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies are now listed as an endangered species in NSW. They were hunted extensively for their meat and fur in the early 1900s and today they continue to be threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators, such as foxes and feral cats.
Taronga is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage on a coordinated program to help the recovery of the species.
The Zoo’s breeding program is providing a genetically healthy population of wallabies that can be reintroduced into areas of NSW where partner agencies are managing threats and re-establishing habitat.
Visitors may catch glimpses of the two newest joeys in Taronga’s Platypus Pools exhibit.