Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wallaby adoption

A wallaby joey rejected by his mother has found a new home - in the pouch of another new-born's mother.

The two two-month olds are sharing the same pouch after one's mother lost interest in rearing him at their home in Paultons Park in Hampshire. Geoff Masson, livestock manager at the funpark near Ower, said mother wallabies normally resented any other joeys trying to use their pouch.

"At the moment all seems to be going well," he added. "However there may be a few problems due to lack of space as the joeys get bigger. It is very unusual for a female wallaby to adopt another joey. They normally give birth to a single young and resent any others going anywhere near their pouch. However, for some unknown reason this mother decided that it was ok for the pair to share her accommodation."

Wallabies are born after a gestation period of a month and the single newborn normally climbs into the mother's pouch and attaches itself to a teat.

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