Ever seen a Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby caring for its newborn?
Roxy a two-year-old Yellow Footed Rocky Wallaby at Australian Reptile Park has a baby the size of a jellybean in her pouch, and she was caught on camera demonstrating peak-a-boo antics, whilst cleaning and caring for the youngling.
After a 30-day gestation period the critically endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby was born, climbing from the clicker into the mothers pouch, where it is now firmly clamped onto a teat to suckle. It will remain in the pouch for six months, when it will then start to poke its head out and appear more joey like.
Park keepers observed what is classical birthing and early stages of joey development. “This is exciting news in supporting a conservation program to save the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby and their close relative the critically endangered Brush Tailed Wallaby, said Tim Faulkner, General Manager at Australian Reptile Park.
“Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby populations crashed dramatically when they were hunted for their beautiful pelt and ravaged by feral animals like wild fox, goat and rabbit, reducing numbers to less than 1900 in the wild today.
“One stronghold for the species is the Flinders Rangers in South Australia, where much work is being undertaken to secure the species. Australian Reptile Park’s breeding program supports the conservation of the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby to ensure numbers don’t continue to reduce in the wild.”
The Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby is the most strikingly-coloured member of the macropod family, which includes Kangaroos, Wallabies, Tree-Kangaroos, Wallaroos and others.
Standing 90-100cm tall with males weighing an average 9kg and females 6kgs, the Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies are a herbivorous species, feeding on flowering plants, tender young grasses as well as trees and saltbush. They are found in small numbers in disjointed regions of South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.