Orphaned baby wallaby hand-reared by keepers in rucksack
Friday 4 May 2012
An orphaned baby wallaby is busy settling into her new home - which comes in the shape of a rucksack.
Tiny Tilly is being hand-reared by keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo after she was found out of her mum’s pouch a month ago. She 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.
The seven-month-old Bennett’s wallaby, who would have been a little larger than a baked bean at birth, needed bottle feeding special milk and vitamin supplements around the clock when she was first found.
Jo said: “Feeding Tilly every three hours was exhausting but she needed feeding little and often to build her strength up. Now she’s bigger she only needs feeding around four times a day and is doing really well. She’s progressed to eating solids including hawthorn, beech and dandelion.
“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.”
Tilly will be looked after by Jo for the next few months before going to live on the zoo’s Children’s Farm where she will join other hand-reared wallabies Ruby, Pip and Fidget.
Whipsnade also has around 300 wallabies, including Tilly’s mum, which have access to access to much of the park’s 600 acres, and can be spotted all over the zoo.