Children’s Zoo Now Includes Up-Close, Down-Under Experience
Well, the wallabies are back in town! The Zoo recently opened a new exhibit in the Children’s Zoo called Wallaby Walkabout. The habitat enables guests of all ages to walk through a portion of the exhibit to observe and experience these lively, yet smaller, relatives of the kangaroo in a safe, up-close environment. Wallabies were a Zoo favorite and part of the Zoo’s collection prior to 2011.
Meet our Mob
This exhibit features four wallabies representing two different species of the popular Australian marsupial—the Bennet’s wallaby and the Tammar wallaby. The Bennet’s wallaby, also called the red-necked wallaby for the patch of red fur on the back of its neck and shoulders, is the largest species in the habitat. They can range in height from 3- to 4-feet tall and weigh from 30 to 40 pounds. In Australia, Bennet’s are commonly found in forested or open shrub areas along the eastern coast, including the island of Tasmania. In Wallaby Walkabout, you’ll meet 2 ½-year-old Chet, 7-year-old Kody and 1 ½-year-old Pedy.
The Tammar wallaby is the smallest species in the habitat, ranging in height from 1- to 2-feet tall and typically weighing from 10 to 20 pounds. In Australia, Tammar’s are commonly found in coastal scrub and forested areas along the southwestern coast. In Wallaby Walkabout you’ll meet 2 ½-year-old Abraham.
Wallaby Walkabout is located in front of the Children’s Zoo barn and encompasses the entire grassy knoll area. It features three large lounge areas for the wallabies with shade structures for optimal rest and cooling opportunities. Appropriately placed boulders, grasses and planters give the wallabies a comfortable and fun home environment.
Wallaby Fun Facts!
- Like kangaroos, wallabies give birth to offspring that are not fully developed and that finish development in the mother’s pouch.
- When marsupials, like wallabies, are born, they are usually not much bigger than a dime or a quarter!
- Wallabies use their large two feet to travel great distances for food or to avoid predators.
- Wallabies are herbivores, mostly eating grasses, leaves and bark.
- The main native predators of wallabies are dingoes, hawks and eagles.
- A male wallaby can be referred to as a buck, jack or boomer.
- A female wallaby can be referred to as a doe, jill or flyer.
- The Virginia opossum is also a marsupial, but native to North America. The Zoo has a Virginia opossum in the nocturnal barn of the Oklahoma Trails’ habitat!
Now that you know a bit about our wallabies, come out and visit these amazing creatures. The habitat is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weather permitting, and is free to experience with regular Zoo admission. See you soon, Mate!
--Nate Strong, assistant curator Children’s Zoo