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Wombat Joey Waddles Out of the Pouch at Taronga Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 19, 2020 4:50 pm

The wombat joey at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia has welcomed a southern hairy nosed wombat joey which has begun to waddle out of the pouch.

Mother Jedda gave birth to the joey in September last year but it is only recently that keepers have seen the joey venturing out of the pouch. The father is known as Noojee.

As a marsupial wombat joeys develop in a pouch after being born the size of a jellybean. The pouch act as an external womb where the joey can develop.

The wombat joey at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

Keepers have selected the name, Wanyi for the joey which is taken from the indigenous Wirangu language and translates to ‘girl.’

Womat Keeper Bec Russell-Cook said, “It has been so intriguing to watch Jedda as a mum and compare her mothering techniques to our other breeding wombats here at Taronga. Unlike our other female wombats, she is quite a protective mother and was carrying Wanyi around in her pouch a lot longer than our previous wombat mothers, to the point where Wanyi didn’t quite fit in her pouch anymore and her legs were hanging out.”

Typically a wombat joey will leave the pouch after 7 months but Wanyi remained in the pouch till 9 months old.

The wombat joey at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

“Now that Wanyi is too big to fit in Jedda’s pouch, she’s having to venture out on her own however mum and daughter are still are inseparable. They are always waddling around together and even sleep curled up next to one another. If they ever separated and Jedda hears Wanyi vocalising, she will rush right back into the burrow to ensure she is okay – it is a very special relationship to observe,” added Russell-Cook.

At Taronga Zoo the wombat family can be viewed in the backyard to bush precinct.

A video of the wombat joey at Taronga Zoo.

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

In the wild they make their home across southern Australia. They are listed as near threatened by the IUCN with their numbers decreasing in the wild.

Learn more about Taronga Zoo on their website – Taronga Zoo

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