WALLABY BIRTHS A FIRST FOR BENNETT’S AND PARMA SPECIES

First baby wallaby peeking out at Night Safari

SINGAPORE, 31 JULY 2012 – Just a few weeks before their newly-built home at Night Safari opens, zoo keepers saw tiny little heads peeking out of the pouches of their newest residents – the Bennett’s and parma wallabies. Both species arrived in January and were brought in for the park’s upcoming walking trail, the Wallaby Trail, scheduled to open on 17 August this year.

The birth of Bennett’s and parma joeys – 2 for each species – is a first for Night Safari since their arrival. Prior to this, both Night Safari and Singapore Zoo never had these two wallaby species in their animal collection. Bennett’s and parma wallabies are members of the macropod family which include marsupials such as kangaroos and tree-kangaroos. The parma wallaby is one of the smallest wallabies, with a length between 45-55cm (excluding its tail) and a body weight of up to 6 kg.

Visitors can expect close encounters with these wallabies in a walk-through exhibit at the Wallaby Trail, Night Safari’s newest trail that will bring visitors through a fascinating discovery of wildlife in the Australasian region. Other animals include Australia’s native bird, the tawny frogmouth, and the white-lipped python from Papua New Guinea.

Keepers noticed movement from the pouch of this female parma wallaby in mid-June. By the end of June, they saw a joey sticking its head out of the pouch.
Like most marsupials, females give birth to tiny, underdeveloped young carried in a special pouch. Inside the pouch, the joey attaches to a nipple and nurses for several months before venturing out into the world.

The Bennett’s wallaby is about 80 cm tall and can be identified through its thick and tawny grey fur, black paws and the red nape and shoulders.

A Bennett’s wallaby and its joey.
Even though the joey has grown big enough to leave the pouch, it will occasionally hop in and out of the pouch for the next few months to nurse.