Whipsnade zoo baby wallaby makes itself at home in rucksack


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The Independent Online

A baby wallaby has made her home in a zoo keeper's rucksack after being found outside her mother's pouch.

Seven-month-old Tilly is being carried around by Whipsnade Zoo keeper Jo Shirley wherever she goes after being discovered outside her mother's pouch a month ago.

The Bennett's wallaby needed bottle-feeding special milk and vitamin supplements around the clock when she was first found.

"Feeding Tilly every three hours was exhausting but she needed feeding little and often to build her strength up," Ms Shirley said.

"Now she's bigger, she only needs feeding around four times a day and is doing really well. She's progressed to eating solids including hawthorn, beech and dandelion.

"She is still spending most of the day snuggled up in her rucksack with a blanket, where she's warm and safe, but has started to become more adventurous, hopping about and venturing out a bit more."

Ms Shirley will look after the wallaby until she is ready to live on the zoo's children's farm where she will join other hand-reared wallabies Ruby, Pip and Fidget.

Whipsnade, in Bedfordshire, has around 300 wallabies with access to much of the park's 600 acres.