New babies have Edinburgh Zoo jumping for joy, as the three bouncing bundles have been welcomed into the Swamp Wallaby enclosure. Whitson Woods, home to the Zoo’s group of Swamp Wallabies, is hopping with Wallaby joeys as a trio of new moms – Darri, Allora and Arinya – welcomed their newborns in July. At just under four months old, the Wallaby youngsters will remain securely snuggled in their moms pouch for a while to come, although a small head or foot can often be spotted peeking out!
These marsupials have a very short gestation period of around 33 days, after which mom gives birth to a tiny, hairless, pink joey. The joey then moves into the pouch where it will develop fully over the next eight months. After that time, the joey will only return to the pouch if it senses danger.
Members of the Kangaroo clan, Swamp Wallabies are natives to Eastern Australia. Wallabies may be slightly smaller than their relatives, but they have the same characteristic long tail which is similar in length to their body. Ideal for balancing, along with large feet and strong hind legs, their tails enable them to hop great distances -- up to ten feet.
Lorna Hughes, hoof stock keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “We’ve had great success when it comes to our Swamp Wallabies, and theses newest joeys are really exciting for us. We won’t be able to sex them and name them until they emerge fully.
Hughes added, "It will be great in a few months’ time when these joeys take their first few hops out and about!”