ROYAL OAK, Mich. - A baby wallaby born at the Detroit Zoo last year is finally starting to show its face.
Sometimes referred to as a joey, this newborn marsupial is the latest addition to the Detroit Zoo's menagerie of animals - and the first wallaby to be born at the institution in 11 years.
Despite being born last October, this is the first glimpse that researchers are getting of their newest member.
Born to mother Eloise at the Australian Outback Adventure enclosure, the newborn will join two other wallabies and 13 red Kangaroos.
"This is Eloise’s first joey. She’s very protective," said Elizabeth Arbaugh, curator of mammals for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). "Joeys don’t start getting fur until about six months. Now that there is a fine layer of fur, the joey is starting to venture out."
When the joey was born, it immediately crawled into their mom's pouch.
Despite being born last October, this is the first glimpse that researchers are getting of their newest member. (Courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society)
For newborns in the marsupial world, there are still some key developments they must undergo before venturing away from their mom. That includes growing hair.
This week marks the first time anyone has seen the little thing, which means its gender is yet to be determined. That won't happen until he or she is older and mostly out of the pouch.
There are three red-necked wallabies that live at the zoo, two females and a male. Eloise, Sprocket, and Mac have reddish-brown or gray coats with dark muzzles, paws, and feet. Similar to kangaroos, they use their large tales to keep their balance while hopping - usually in a zig-zag manner, according to the zoo's website.
Eloise is one of three wallabies that live at the zoo (Courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society)
The wallaby feeds on leaves, grass, bark, twigs, and fruit for a diet. They typically live about five years.