SAN DIEGO — Three 11-month old red-necked wallaby joeys have settled into their grassy habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Walkabout Australia, the zoo announced Tuesday.
The joeys — named Laura, Thelma and Tatum — had been commuting between the Walkabout Australia and the zoo’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center while staff introduced them to their new habitat. The three wallabies are female and were hand-raised by zoo staff.
“Laura, the largest of the three, tends to be the most independent and adventuresome,” said Safari Park keeper Bree Barney. “Tatum, the smallest, is typically the most affectionate, and likes to stay close to keepers or in her pouch while Thelma is an excellent companion to both girls, but seems to share a special bond with Tatum.”
Zoo staff continue to bottle-feed the joeys but staff expect them to be weaned by the end of October. The joeys are only about 20 inches tall and between nine and 13 pounds each but adult wallabies can grow up to three feet and weigh between 26 and 35 pounds according to the zoo.
Wallabies are related to kangaroos and are categorized under “least concern” of extinction. The zoo’s Walkabout Australia allows guests to interact with species native to Australia such as wallabies, kangaroos and certain birds.