9 May 2010
As Australia Zoo prepares to celebrate our mothers, keepers at the Zoo are getting the nursery ready for the arrival of our first wombat joey in almost five years! Fifteen-year-old Common Wombat Minibus has given birth to her second joey, which will continue to develop in her pouch for the next five months.
While it is still early days in the development of the joey - we won't see limbs and head out of pouch until around July - Australia Zoo is preparing for the arrival, with the special joey expected to be out and about by October.
Australia Zoo's head of native mammals, Tammy Forge, is excited to share the news of the birth, and is looking forward to seeing another joey at Australia Zoo.
"This is the second joey for Minibus, and the fourth Common Wombat to be born at Australia Zoo," said Tammy.
"We have been keeping an eye on Minibus since she gave birth in January, and we're really looking forward to seeing more and more of this little joey as time goes on."
"With the pouch life for wombats being nine to ten months, we're expecting to see our little joey out and about by September or October."
After a wombat gives birth, the joey is attached to the teat permanently in the pouch for around four months before growing fine fur and teeth. Limbs and the head can be seen protruding from the pouch at around six months, with the joey out of the pouch for short periods of time at seven months.
The joey will be permanently out of the pouch and at heel at around nine to ten months, and will make a welcome addition to Australia Zoo's growing wombat family.
After arriving at Australia Zoo in 2001, Minibus gave birth to her daughter, Burrow, in 2003, with her second and current joey being born in January this year.
The joey's father, Tonka, was also born at Australia Zoo in 2005, and is a half-brother to the beautiful Burrow!
"While this sounds like a sordid love affair, with Tonka being 10 year younger than Minibus and also half-brother to Minibus' first born, this is perfectly acceptable in the wombat world!" said Tammy.
Minibus is continuing to live in her on-display enclosure at Australia Zoo, and visitors will be kept up to date with the progress of the joey.
"We're certainly excited, and will let everyone know when we've got a little joey wombat running around," said Tammy.
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