Image: © Aussie Ark
August 18, 2023 8:48 pm
New South Wales, Australia
Rocket the rock-wallaby has taken the next step in his journey towards the wild at Aussie Ark in Australia’s Barrington Tops region. The wallaby has grown famous under the care of Operations Manager Dean Reid who hand-raised the wallaby after a tough start to life.
The next step in his journey is to move from the care of Dean to the Aussie Ark sanctuary where he will now be cared for by on-site wildlife ranger Adam Mowbray. He will now be weaned off of milk and human contact as he prepares to join the conservation program for his threatened species at the sanctuary.
Until this week Dean had taken Rocket everywhere with him including home at night. Now 10 months old the wallaby has outgrown Dean’s house.
“Rocket is too big for his playpen and way too big to be jumping around my house!” Mr Reid said. “He also needs to acclimatise to the cooler, higher altitude conditions of the Barrington Tops where he will live in the future. So we’re transitioning him up the mountain, closer to the Ark.”
To facilitate this transition Mr Reid has handed over care of the joey to Mr Mowbray who lives on site whilst working his contract.
“It’s exciting! This is my first experience hand-raising a little endangered marsupial,” Mr Mowbray said. “To be able to build this bond, this connection, is an absolute privilege.”
Mr Mowbray can lean on Dean’s years of experience raising marsupials. Rocket now requires just two milk feeds a day with Dean looking on as Adam completed his first feed.
“It’s a sad moment for me but also an amazing moment for Rocket,” Mr Reid said. “It’s his next step towards independence and he’s doing really well. I’m super proud of him and I’m super proud of myself.”
When Rocket is ready he will be moved in to one of the new state of the art enclosures at Aussie Ark and he may even meet his first girlfriend.
Range Adam Mowbray looks at Rocket the rock wallaby who he has recently taken over the care of. Image: © Aussie Ark
About the Author
Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.
Brush-tailed rock wallabies are increasingly threatened in the wild. Their overall population numbers an estimated 20,000 individuals but some populations may have as few as 20 individuals.
Image: © Aussie Ark
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