[The proud mama wallaby and her baby, Reddit]
A “grandparent” has been receiving visits from her adopted daughter and grandkid. There’s just a small twist – the daughter and grandkid are wallabies.
This morning, an Australian Reddit user named Retaboop posted a photo of a mother wallaby with her young baby’s head poking out of her pouch. The caption reads “Two years I raised an orphaned wallaby. Now she brings her own joey home to visit me.”
For those unfamiliar with the marsupial world, a wallaby is in the same family as the kangaroo, but is generally a little bit smaller. Apparently it is not that unusual for a baby wallaby, or “joey,” as they’re called, to become orphaned, and there are special instructions on different Australian wildlife websites that explain how to raise an orphaned joey.
Of course, the internet had a lot of questions for Retaboop about her wallaby friends, and she was more than happy to answer.
Among the inquiries:
How exactly are you finding them?
“I’m a licensed wildlife rehabber, people call me when they find an animal in distress.”
What’s it like to raise a wallaby?
“It takes a lot of time and dedication, like raising any baby. They get bottles of milk when young, and once they’re old enough I provide them with the sorts of food they need to find in the wild. A lot of their survival skills are instinctual. I also do what we call a soft release - so they’re released into an area they are familiar with and they have a safe place (in this case, our house) to come back to if they need food or help.”
Who is this wallaby?
“I’ve raised a lot of wallabies in the past 6 years and they’re all distinctively different to me. This particular girl is called Mirabooka, and she’s easy to recognize because she always looks slightly surprised. Also, she knocks on the front door when she wants to come inside. Wild wallabies don’t do that.”
[Here, you can see the newborn joey in his mom’s pouch, Reddit]
How long does the joey chill in the pouch usually?
“They are in the pouch full time until about 6 months old. They’ll then spend another 3 - 4 months in and out, then they follow Mum around for another 2 - 4 after that.”
Yes, this is probably far more information than you needed about wallabies, but there’s no denying they’re adorable, and that being an adoptive wallaby grandparent clearly comes with some perks — like visits with the grandkids.