An education coordinator at Taronga Zoo in Australia has taken on the role of surrogate dad to an orphaned Swamp Wallaby joey, whose mother was struck by a car near Sydney. About 6 months old, the joey has been named ‘Alkira’, which means ‘sunshine’.
Matt Dea has been hand-raising the female joey for the past two weeks, carrying a makeshift pouch and waking up at 2 am for one of five daily bottle feedings.
“Caring for such a young joey is very involved and she hasn’t left my side. She comes home with me, she comes to the shops and she sleeps beside my desk at work each day,” said Dea.
Keepers at Taronga Zoo, in Australia, are celebrating the arrival of two new Koala joeys!
Photo Credits: Taronga Zoo
A female joey has finally emerged from the pouch of first-time mother, Ruby. Born on Christmas Day, the joey was one month late in emerging, but she is quickly making up for lost time, exploring the world outside her mother’s pouch and tasting her first eucalyptus leaves.
Koala Keeper, Laura Jones, said, “She got off to a slightly slow start, but she’s healthy now and starting to mouth leaves. Ruby is also becoming more comfortable and relaxed as a mother, and her joey can often be seen snuggling in her belly when they are resting.”
The female joey is yet-to-be-named, but Taronga Zoo will soon be launching a naming competition for the new Koala through its social media pages.
Ruby isn’t the only new Koala mother at the zoo. Another member of the zoo’s Koala breeding group, River, also welcomed her first joey.
The male joey has been named ‘Bardin’ after the Aboriginal word for ‘ironbark’, one of the eucalyptus species favored by koalas. At 10 months old, Bardin is steadily gaining weight and growing in confidence.
Taronga’s Koala breeding program has now produced three joeys this season. River’s older sister, Tilly, also welcomed a female joey named Bai’yali, earlier this year.
The reopening of Taronga’s Koala Encounter exhibit, at the zoo, has allowed visitors to become acquainted with the new joeys and their families. Here, they can learn more about one of Australia’s most iconic species and why its major threats are urban development and forestry in their natural habitat.
See more photos of the joeys and their mothers below.
Born in May only a week apart at the Taronga Zoo, Squirrel Monkeys Carlos and Enrique are starting to develop their own personalities and are becoming more independent every day.
Photo Credit: Lisa Ridley
According to keepers, Enrique has more confidence than Carlos. This adventurous little Monkey spends more and more time away from his mother, Ayaca, and spends less time riding on the backs of other females in the troop.
Enrique can often be heard vocalizing to others when he is high up in the trees. Carlos, on the other hand, still chooses to ride around on his mother Llosa's back or be carried by the other females.
Just recently, keepers have been seeing the two little Monkeys playing together. Though they are starting to nibble on cucumbers, grapes, and leaves, both youngsters still nurse from their mothers, and will continue to do so for several more months.
Squirrel Monkeys are native to Central and South America, where they spend their days in the forest canopy in troops as large as 500 individuals.
A group of Squirrel Monkeys new to Australia’s Taronga Zoo has already produced two energetic youngsters. The troop leaps and climbs in the treetops of the zoo’s Amazonia exhibit.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo
Eleven females recently joined Taronga’s male, Chico, in the exhibit. Eight weeks ago, two of the females gave birth to single babies. Taronga Zoo is part of the joint Australasian breeding program for Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys.
Over the next few months, the baby Squirrel Monkeys will cling to their mothers like tiny, furry backpacks until they are ready to start exploring on their own.
Squirrel Monkeys engage in alloparenting, in which other females assist the new mothers by carrying and grooming the infants. They are native to South America, where their rain forest habitat is threatened by illegal logging.
See more photos of the baby Squirrel Monkeys below.
Taronga Zoo welcomed its first koala joey for this year’s breeding season, with the little female beginning to explore the world outside her mother’s pouch to the delight of visitors.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo
The joey has been named Bai’yali (pronounced ‘bye-yah-lee’) after the D'harawal Aboriginal word for ‘stringybark,’ one of the eucalyptus species favoured by koalas.
Koala keeper Laura Jones said mother Tilly had taken to her new role remarkably well.
“She’s proving to be a very relaxed and nurturing mum. She’s doing all the right things and her joey is thriving. Bai’yali is fully out of the pouch now and can often be seen holding onto mum and snuggling in her belly when they are resting,” said Laura.
At seven months old, the joey is beginning to taste eucalyptus leaves and steadily gaining weight and the fluffy fur for which koalas are known. She will spend at least another three months with her mother before venturing out on her own.
Part of Taronga Zoo’s koala breeding program, Bai’yali is the first of three joeys expected to emerge at the Zoo this breeding season. Tilly’s younger sister and tree-mate, River, is also carrying a male joey.
“He still just fits inside mum’s pouch, but it won’t be long before he’s out and about too,” said Laura.
Koalas are under threat from urban development and forestry breaking up their natural habitat.
Visitors to Taronga's Backyard to Bush got a surprise last Friday when the zoo's MacArthur Merino Sheep, Berry, gave birth on exhibit! The healthy female lamb, who keepers’ have named Button, can now be seen alongside mum at Taronga’s farmyard.
A Swamp Wallaby who was rejected by her mother is being cared for by zoo keepers at Australia’s Taronga Zoo.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo The six-month-old female joey was found separated from her mother in the zoo’s Wallaby exhibit. Keepers’ attempts to reunite the joey, named Mirrawa, with her mother were unsuccessful, so they took on the job of caring for the joey.
Mirrawa is currently being fed milk developed specifically for Wallabies. She’s just beginning to chew on soft new growth leaves of a few native plants, such as bottlebrush.
Keepers will care for Mirrawa until she is about eight months old. At that time, she’ll be reintroduced to the exhibit, where she will live among the Wallaby group.
Swamp Wallabies are common in the forests and scrublands of easternmost Australia. They emerge at night to feed on a wide variety of plants.
Three’s a crowd – unless you’re a Koala joey at Australia's Taronga Zoo!
Keepers spotted joeys Sydney, Milli and Tucker snoozing and spooning happily together. The trio have been tree-mates in the Zoo’s Koala Encounter area for the past month, since moving away from their mothers.
Photo Credits: Ellen Wilson (1,2); Paul Fahy (3,4,5,6,7,8)
The two females, Sydney and Milli, are nearly 18 months old, while male Tucker is the youngest at 12 months old.
Koala keeper, Laura Jones said the trio are enjoying their time together and can often be spotted eating or sleeping close together – and occasionally on top of each other.
“Tucker is usually the poor guy on the bottom. I think he goes to sleep first and then the girls find a comfy spot on top of him,” said Laura. “He’s seems to quite like it at the moment though, as it may remind him of cuddling with his mum.”
Part of Taronga Zoo’s Koala breeding program, Sydney, Milli and Tucker all emerged from the pouch during last year’s breeding season. The Zoo has three more joeys getting ready to emerge this season.
Taronga Zoo in Australia is celebrating the arrival of its second Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat joey in three years, a breeding success story that could also help the Critically Endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat.
The female joey, which has been named Sydney, has just begun venturing outside mom Korra’s pouch at eight months old, to the delight of keepers and visitors.
Photo credit: Taronga Zoo
Keeper Brett Finlayson said the birth was particularly exciting as Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are notoriously difficult to breed.
“Compatibility and timing seem to be crucial ingredients for success, as the female is only receptive to the male for a 12-hour window. Korra and our male, Noojee, have proven to be a great pairing as this is their second joey in three years,” said Brett.