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Category — Wallabies

The Wallaby Babies are Growing Up!

Dawn with Don & Tom - 1st outing

The boys’ quarantine period is over, so we’ll get to start taking them out of the nursery after Dawn & Ronda, nursery keepers, train us on proper pouch techniques. Bending over while carrying them, for instance, is a no-no because that would be a mom’s signal to get out!

Today Don & Tom both cuddled on me in separate pouches. They fought over the one pouch on my lap last week, hissing and scratching each other, so I grabbed two this time and everybody was happy. They’re getting bigger and more independent.

The nursery is pretty full right now with three baby miniature pigs, three baby bat-eared foxes and Lucy the bearcat, so the nursery keepers can’t spend as much time with the wallabies as they did before the new babies arrived. The time that the socializing team spends with them is more important than ever.

Don shows his dance moves

Tom gives me a manicure.

May 3, 2012   1 Comment

Week 3 in the Nursery

If you want to get a good look at the wallaby babies, head to the nursery first thing in the morning. Traffic in the Children’s Zoo is usually pretty light during the 9am – 10am hour, so you’re likely to get an unobstructed view of Don and Tom through the nursery window. You’ll probably also see a person in the exhibit holding, feeding, petting or playing with the boys. When I’m that person, I hear so many visitors say “I want her job!”

The time that the volunteers, staff and keepers spend in the nursery with Don and Tom is indeed enviable, fun, energizing, rewarding and important! In the video below, Thane Maynard explains why it takes a village to raise these Zoo wallabies!

April 20, 2012   No Comments

Week 2 in the Nursery with Don & Tom

When I arrived in the nursery this morning to “walla-babysit,” Don & Tom were having a snack (carrots, apples, kale.)  I put on a smock and sat down on the floor to wait patiently for them to finish and notice the inviting pouch on my lap!  It took about two minutes for them to hop over to me.  Tom jumped into the pouch head first and rolled out of it and down my legs.  He must have enjoyed that, because he did it a few more times before he got settled.  Don, just like last week, wanted to snuggle and give me kisses.  If I stopped petting him, he would nudge my hand with his nose until I gave him more attention.

Don (left) & Tom (right)

Don & Tom are 8-month-old, male wallabies.  They have the same father but different mothers, so they are half brothers.  If you look closely, you can see that Tom’s face is lighter than Don’s.  That’s how we tell them apart.  Don is Dark.

The highlight of my “shift” today was when nursery keeper Rhonda Preston, who spends lots of time with the boys, joined us to give them a bottle.  I could try to describe that heartwarming scene, but I’ll let this photo tell the story!

Rhonda feeding Don.


April 12, 2012   No Comments