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Woodland Park Zoo's Australasia Marsupial Breeding Program a Success
Visitors and animals benefit from eco-friendly exhibit
Kiley, a wallaby at Woodland Park Zoo, shows off her infant joey. — Photo courtesy of Woodland Park ZooKids are naturally curious, taking in everything in a world that is new. Animal babies are no different, and that behavior is on display at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where an infant wallaby, known as a joey, recently began to poke its head and arms out of its mother’s pouch. The wallaby, an Australian marsupial related to the kangaroo, was born at the end of 2011, and at five months of age finally started to peer from the safety of his mom, Kiley’s, natural incubator. The mother and joey, along with the father, Maka, are part of the zoo’s Australasia exhibit, along with wallaroos and emus, large ostrich-like birds. Smaller members of the kangaroo family, wallabies at birth are largely undeveloped: blind, hairless, and roughly the size of a bean at less than a gram in weight. Development in the safety of the pouch is therefore all important, and lasts for several months. The reward for zoo visitors, though, is worth the wait. In another two to three months, the joey should begin hopping around outside of the pouch, but it will continue going in and out of the pouch for feeding. Woodland Park zookeepers in March confirmed another birth in the exhibit, this time in the pouch of a mother wallaroo, whose joey should appear in June or July. Wallaroos are another Australian marsupial, larger than a wallaby and smaller than a kangaroo.
About John Ferri
A native of Tacoma, Washington - Seattle’s smaller sibling to the south - journalist John Ferri has lived everywhere in and around the Pacific Northwest. He started college in Bellingham, lived in the San Juan Islands, and finished college in Pullman, Washington, before living and working for a time in Spokane. He then moved to Florida, where he lived and worked in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale before returning to the Puget Sound area.
When not working full time as a writer and editor, including stints for The Tama Tribune and New Times, John spent years in the hospitality industry as a fine-dining restaurant server and manager. He counts himself lucky to have worked under some of the most awarded (and even celebrity) chefs and sommeliers in the entire Pacific Northwest. Although he never obtained his certificate through testing, John has studied wines extensively. And as a former home brewer, he's a student of craft beer and is immersed in the region’s industry-leading microbrewery movement.
Having grown up amid the natural wonders of the Seattle area, John is an accomplished hiker. Another result of a Northwest rearing is his penchant for strong, dark-roast coffee, which he slavishly grinds and brews at home or enjoys at any Internet café that has great espresso. You'll only find him there, however, when he’s not in search of the next best deli, wine bar, hiking trail, book shop or brewery . . . or revisiting an old favorite.
Read more about John Ferri here.