Monday 25 September 2017

Baby wallaby swaps mum's pouch for rucksack

Zoo keeper Jo Shirley from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, with an orphaned baby wallaby that is being hand-reared by keepers. All photos: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Zoo keeper Jo Shirley from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, with an orphaned baby wallaby that is being hand-reared by keepers. All photos: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The orphaned baby wallaby is busy settling into her new home - which comes in the shape of a rucksack.
Wallaby Tilly is being looked after by keeper Jo Shirley who carries her around in a substitute pouch made from a rucksack wherever she goes - just as her real mum would do.

Martha Linden

A baby wallaby has made her home in a zookeeper's rucksack after being found outside her mother's pouch.

Seven-month-old Tilly is being carried around by Jo Shirley of Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, England, after being discovered outside her mother's pouch a month ago.

The wallaby needed to be bottle-fed special milk and vitamin supplements around the clock when first found.

"Feeding Tilly every three hours was exhausting but she needed feeding little and often to build her strength up," Ms Shirley said.

"Now she's bigger, she only needs feeding around four times a day and is doing really well.

"She is still spending most of the day snuggled up in her rucksack with a blanket, where she's warm and safe, but has started to become more adventurous, hopping about and venturing out a bit more."

Ms Shirley will look after the wallaby until she is ready to live on the zoo's children's farm, where she will join other hand-reared wallabies Ruby, Pip and Fidget.

Our picture by Steve Parsons shows Jo and Tilly at the zoo yesterday.

Irish Independent

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