Pillowcase is home sweet home for baby Wallaby

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A 32-week-old orphaned wallaby at Blackpool Zoo is being hand reared using pioneering techniques, which include him sleeping in a suspended pillowcase to mimic his mother’s pouch!

Blackpool Zoo's hand-reared wallaby with Adam Kenyon

Adam Kenyon with Tui at Blackpool Zoo

Adam, who is 29 and has previously hand-reared primates and elephants, said: “Unfortunately Tui was only very young when his mother passed away and as he was still reliant on her for milk we took the decision to hand rear him.

Tui, whose mother died when he was just a few weeks old, is being cared for by a team of mammal specialists at Blackpool Zoo and goes home every evening with Senior Keeper Adam Kenyon.

Named after a beer that is famous in his native Australia, little Tui is bottle fed lactose free milk five times throughout the day from 6.30am until around 11.00pm.

At night, he jumps head first into the suspended pillowcase where he remains snuggled up until the morning.

Adam, who is 29 and has previously hand-reared primates and elephants, said: “Unfortunately, Tui was only very young when his mother passed away and as he was still reliant on her for milk, we took the decision to hand rear him.

“We use all the latest techniques when hand-rearing animals and encouraging joeys to sleep in suspended pillowcases gives them the same secure feeling that they would get in their mother’s pouch.

“Tui is a real character and he follows me around the Wallaby Walkabout whilst I get on with my duties, which is really sweet.

“We are starting the process of weaning Tui now and he is enjoying nibbling on the rolled oats and soaked macropod pellets, which are specifically made for this species.

“Following him being weaned we will slowly re-introduce him back into sleeping in the enclosure. It has been fantastic to hand-rear Tui but the time must come for him to move onto the next stage of his life.”

Blackpool Zoo’s Wallaby Walkabout opened in 2010 and is home to red-necked wallabies and red and grey kangaroos. Visitor can walk right through the enclosure, allowing them to stand just inches away from residents.

Picture shows: Tui with keeper Adam Kenyon

More information about Blackpool Zoo:

Blackpool Zoo celebrated its busiest year to date in 2012, which was also its 40th anniversary.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

For further information please contact:
Paula Holden or Julie Hackett at ICG on 01772 679383 or email paula(at)icgonline(dot)co(dot)uk or julie(at)icgonline(dot)co(dot)uk

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Paula Holden
ICG PR
07772268378
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Julie Hackett
ICG PR
01772 679 383
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