BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Three new wallabies, or "joeys," were born at the end of last year but are just now making their public debut at Brookfield Zoo.
You can see them at the zoo's "Wild Encounters" exhibit with their moms and the other wallabies.
The Bennett wallaby moms, Becky, Marion and Talia, gave birth to the joeys, which were initially about the size of a bumblebee, weighing less than 0.03 ounces, the zoo said.
Babies are born blind and hairless and migrate from the birth canal to the mother's pouch without being noticed. There, they remain for approximately 280 days.
Becky's joey, born approximately on Oct. 31, 2020, spends the majority of its time outside of mom's pouch. The youngest of the three joey's was born to Talia around Dec. 1, 2020, and has recently begun to emerge from its mom's pouch and explore.
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The third joey, a female named Whitney, was born Nov. 12, 2020, and is being handreared, because her mom, Marion, required medical treatment. Out of an abundance of caution, veterinary staff determined it was in the best interest of both animals to remove the joey from Marion's pouch.
Once Whitney is weaned from a bottle and more independent, she will be reunited with her mom and the rest of the wallabies, including the two joeys. Until then, to keep Whitney socialized and active, animal care staff regularly take her outdoors to get plenty of exercise and sunshine. When not outside, she hangs out in a hand-sewn pouch that her caretakers carry while performing their tasks throughout the day. She seems to enjoy poking her head out and watching all the activity going on around her, the zoo said.
Wallabies, which inhabit coastal areas, woodlands and grasslands in Australia, are marsupials -- mammals best known for their abdominal pouches. There are more than 270 different marsupial species found around the world. Wallabies have a stable population. However, they are sometimes killed as an agricultural pest and hunted for their meat.
Fully grown, wallabies can reach up to 3 feet in height and weigh between 24 to 59 pounds, depending on the gender.
They are hardy, all-weather animals.