A baby wallaroo is being raised by zookeepers at Oakland Zoo after the infant’s mother passed away earlier this month from an infection. The joey, a male, at approximately 5 months old, is receiving round-the-clock nurturing and care until he is able to live independently with other wallaroos in the Zoo’s “Wild Australia” exhibit around 8 months of age, when a joey normally emerges from a mother’s pouch.
The joey, yet to be named by his keepers, is bottle fed seven times per day with a high-grade baby formula manufactured in Australia called ‘wombaroo’. Bundled inside a makeshift pouch in a temperature-controlled room, he is also given water twice per day for hydration as the inside of a mother’s pouch provides moisture and warmth.“While staff is very sad about the passing of Maloo, we are working with other AZA facilities to be best prepared for the intense care required to successfully hand-raise a wallaroo. We are keen to get to know the little joey and prepare him for life with the rest of the mob,” said Andrea Dougall, Assistant Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.Keepers are taking the joey outside for sun twice per day and zoo veterinarians are also closely monitoring the infant’s progress. In addition to weight monitoring, tail length, feet, and head size are measured during daily physical exams to ensure health and proper growth. This hands-on infant care will continue for the next three months, until he has grown enough to live independently.
The joey’s mother, named Maloo, was three years of age and a first-time mother. On March 1, while on exhibit, she had removed the joey from her pouch, an indication to zookeepers of a problem. Oakland Zoo veterinarians examined her, discovering that she was in need of antibiotics due to an infection. She was treated but sadly died the following day.
The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state's remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.