Taronga Zoo Sydney is happy announce the birth of a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat joey, a great success to Taronga’s Wombat breeding program. The female joey, which has been named Wanyi, was born in September last year and has only just started emerging from her mother’s pouch.
Wanyi, which translates to ‘girl’ in the indigenous Wirangu language,was born to mother Jedda and father, Noojee and has grown in confidence over the past couple of months, especially the last few weeks says Australian Fauna Keeper Bec Russell-Cook.
“It has been so intriguing to watch Jedda as a mum and compare her mothering techniques to our other breeding wombats here at Taronga. Unlike our other female wombats, she is quite a protective mother and was carrying Wanyi around in her pouch a lot longer than our previous wombat mothers, to the point where Wanyi didn’t quite fit in her pouch anymore and her legs were hanging out,” says Russell-Cook.
As marsupials, both Southern Hairy-nosed and Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats are born the size of jelly bean and spend the first months of their life in their mother’s pouch which acts as an external womb for the joey to grow and develop. The joey will begin to emerge and start venturing from the pouch at around seven months of age, however in this case, Wanyi was quite a ‘late bloomer’ and keepers only caught quick glimpses of her up until she was about nine months of age.
“Now that Wanyi is too big to fit in Jedda’s pouch, she’s having to venture out on her own however mum and daughter are still are inseparable. They are always waddling around together and even sleep curled up next to one another. If they ever separated and Jedda hears Wanyi vocalising, she will rush right back into the burrow to ensure she is okay – it is a very special relationship to observe,” says Russell-Cook.
Wombat joey Wanyi and mother Jedda can be found out Taronga’s Backyard to Bush precinct which pays tribute to a range of popular farming animals and native Australian animals.
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are classified as near threatened by the IUCN Red List which identifies them as a species whose numbers continue to decline in the wild. The recent birth of Wanyi is a valuable step in unlocking a greater understanding of the reproduction of this cryptic species.
The wombat joey can been seen with other adorable baby animals at Taronga Zoo, including some orphaned possums, three playful Sumatran Tiger cubs who have become more confident and playful in the months since their debut, and gorilla mother Frala and her rare (and cute!) female Western Lowland Gorilla baby.
More animals and outdoor fun:
- Animals galore! Seven Wildlife Parks to explore
- Off-Leash Dog Parks on the North Shore (our faves!)
- The closest farm animals to the North Shore
- Bush walks, picnics & native animals at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St Ives
- Exploring nature with children: Fun outdoor play ideas