When keepers at the United Kingdom’s Linton Zoo first saw the oddly-colored joey peeking out of Red-necked Wallaby Kylie’s pouch on February 8, they affectionately named it ALF (Alien Life Form). But as the pale-colored joey grew, they realized its dramatic white coloring was truly stunning! These photos show the joey’s progression from pouch-dweller to snow-white juvenile. Though the joey is now half-grown, it still tries to squeeze into its mother's pouch for a little TLC.
Albino animals (including humans) lack pigment for coloring, which means the joey has pink eyes and white fur. Red-necked Wallabies are usually grey-brown in color, but on rare occasions, a white or albino is born, even after generations of normal-colored individuals. The Linton Zoo staff believes their Wallaby mob is descended from the group of Wallabies given as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II while she was on a state visit to Australia in 1962. This joey is the first albino Wallaby to be born at the Linton Zoo.
See more photos of the albino Wallaby joey below the fold.