Four-hourly-feeds are the norm for keeper Alex Pinnell who has taken charge of an orphaned Wallaby joey at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The tiny Wallaby named Pip was abandoned by her mother and so is being hand-reared by Alex, who is using her rucksack as a makeshift pouch for the little marsupial.
Alex, 29, who works on the farm section and with the sealions, keeps Pip with her during the day at all times, just as her real mum might do and also has to make sure she is fed – every four hours. The seven-month-old joey will be looked after by Alex for the next few months. After that, she will live on the zoo’s Children’s Farm, where visitors will be able to see her hopping around with the other free roamers.
For the next few months though, mum’s the word for Alex who is getting used to her new charge:
“She is adorable but exhausting! Luckily she is starting to sleep through at night now and is very good at taking her bottle!”
Alex can also looking forward to her first Mother’s Day at the zoo as surrogate mum to little Pip.