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Happy Outcome For Wallaby Joey

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The good people at Zoo Budapest have been hand-rearing a male tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) that they have aptly named Frodo Baggins. Unfortunately he fell out from his mother’s pouch on March 13, 2011, when he was just five months old, and it was impossible to put him back into the pouch.

Normally a newborn kangaroo -- or joey, as they are called -- is born after a gestation period of just 39 days. The joey’s hind limbs are not yet developed enough at this stage, but its forelimbs are. This allows it to crawl into its mother’s pouch to nurse and continue to develop.

Today Frodo is nine months old and the hand-rearing process is almost completed. During the daytime, he lives in the outdoor enclosure together with the other members of the tammar mob, but durning the night he sleeps yet in an artificial pouch -- the textile bag you see here. He can now eat solid food, but he is still being fed milk four times per a day.

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Photo Credit: Zoo Budapest

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