Still from viral video (The Australian Reptile Park)
The Australian Reptile Park has been very busy this week with Park staff rushing to the aid of one of their yellow footed rock wallaby joeys that had been rejected by its mother. The 430g joey has been named Tilly and is just shy of 5 months old.
Head of Mammals, Dean Reid, came to the rescue by becoming Tilly’s surrogate mum. This involves bottles of specially formulated milk every 5 hours including a feed at 2am every night and ensuring she is kept toasty warm in her knitted pouch throughout the cold winter nights.
Tilly is a part of The Australian Reptile Park’s vital conservation breeding project to help save the threatened species. Yellow footed rock wallabies were once found throughout New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. However, they have now disappeared from New South Wales and Queensland with their numbers in the wild estimated at being as little as 5,000.
Their decline is attributed to intense hunting in the 1800s and early 1900s for their pelts and in recent times, the introduction of feral pests such at the fox and cat.