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.
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