Wallaby is First Birth in Living Desert’s New Australian Adventures Habitat

PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS —There is a new addition to Australian Adventures experience at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. After months of growing and moving around in its mother’s pouch, a tiny baby wallaby, also called a joey, has started to peek out.



“We are so excited to finally meet our new wallaby joey,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care. “We’ve seen it moving around in mom’s pouch for a few weeks and have been eager to see the joey’s face emerge. We estimate the joey was born mid-May and is now about four
months old with its eyes open and peach fuzz beginning to grow. We expect it will be another two months before the joey fully emerges from the pouch; however, guests will start to see the joey exploring its new surroundings in the coming weeks.”

Yellow-footed rock wallabies are marsupials native to Australia. Wallabies are born underdeveloped and then crawl into their mother’s pouch where they stay safe, nurse, and continue to develop for six to seven months before they leave the pouch. Joeys are born blind, hairless, and are about the size of a raisin, weighing only 500mg. They are currently listed as Near Threatened by the
International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Born to first time parents, seven-year-old mother, Prissy, and seven-year-old father, Marstey, the
joey will continue to peek out of the pouch over the next few weeks and will soon begin to explore
the world around, while continuing to return to the safety of mom. Wallaby mobs are led by a
dominant male with a few breeding females.

“This is a very exciting birth for all of us,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO. “As the first wallaby
birth at The Living Desert, this cute little joey is the perfect addition to our new Australian
Adventures experience. This birth was based on a breeding recommendation from the Association
of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Living Desert’s mob of wallabies
has future breeding recommendations, so we are hopeful there will more new arrivals in the

A well-baby exam will be scheduled in a few months, once the joey has fully emerged and left the
pouch, according to Breitigan. And, although the gender is not yet known, this adorable joey is sure to
win the hearts of guests.

Image Sources

  • Rock-wallaby: Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
  • Rock-wallaby: Living Desert Zoo and Gardens