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The kangaroo’s leg sticks out September 14, 2020

We only started keeping Parma wallabies, which, for a long time, were thought to be extinct, this year at our Zoo, but one of the females’ pouches already has a growing joey.

There are more than seventy different species of kangaroos in Australia and the surrounding islands, but in most zoos this species is usually represented by only one species, most often the red-necked wallaby, also known as Bennett's wallaby. In our Zoo, where we place great emphasis on showcasing wildlife diversity and have achieved particularly significant results with Australian species, it is a centuries-old tradition to showcase as many wallabies as possible. We also have Bennett's wallaby, but we present the critically endangered brush-tailed bettong and the much more heavily-set Western grey kangaroo, also commonly referred to as sooty kangaroo. This year, the range of species presented was supplemented by Parma wallabies .

We introduced the three newly arrived Parma wallabies in more detail two months ago. However, at that time we had not yet reported that a joey was growing in the pouch of one of the females. However, the newcomer was already there; it was just that nothing was visible from the outside. After a short gestation period, which is 34-35 days in the case of the Parma wallaby, wallabies give birth to very underdeveloped offspring - usually only one per calving - and the development of embryo-like trifles, most reminiscent of gelatinous beans, continues in the pouch in the following months. The mammary glands are also here, as the pouch itself is essentially nothing more than the fold of skin surrounding the mammary glands.

More experienced zoo professionals can tell relatively quickly if there is a joey in the pouch based on the embossed purse area, but the newcomer only becomes really spectacular when some parts of his body are already sticking out of it from time to time. Anyone who walks around the Parma wallabies lately (next to the Hill House, seen in the enclosure shared with the grey giant kangaroos) has a good chance of seeing the joey's leg, possibly his tail, and the caregivers even observed once or twice that the little one looked out of the pouch and also poked his head out. More and more of it will be seen in the coming weeks, and by the end of the month he may already be venturing out of the pouch.