The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to 3 wallabies. In fact, when the zoo opened back in 1965, wallabies were one of the original exhibits. But, don’t confuse these animals with kangaroos. As Zookeeper Rachel Purcell explains,
The biggest difference, actually, is just their size. They are smaller than kangaroos. The reference I give people is – think of horses and ponies. They look the same but ponies are smaller.
Aside from their smaller size and lighter fur color, wallabies do share many similarities with kangaroos. Both are marsupials – meaning the females have a pouch for their young to grow in after they are born. It’s a cozy little nest for the young to drink milk and stay safe while mom hops along.
Each day, the wallabies eat marsupial biscuits, fresh fruit, and veggies. They have names like Queso, Mama Taco, and Quesadilla and actually navigate the same ways kangaroos do – by bouncing. They can bounce as fast as 30 mph and as high as 4 to 6 feet. Believe it or not, these wallabies, native to southeastern Australia and New Zealand, are hearty. They remain outside year-round at the zoo.
Bounce over and check out Mama Taco and the rest of the wallaby trio in the Central Zoo this season.