Brookfield Zoo's wombat joey finally makes first appearance

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The Brookfield Zoo newest addition has finally made her appearance for the world to see.

The new Southern hairy-nosed wombat joey just recently began coming out of her mom Kombora's pouch, even though she was born in August 2018.

Staff first noticed movement in Kombora's pouch last October, but because the wombat joey is born tiny, hairless and about the size of a bumblebee, the baby stays nestled in the pouch until it fully develops.

Now weighing about 10 pounds, the staff says the joey has become very inquisitive and is becoming more independent.

The not-yet-named joey is Kombora's seventh offspring according to the Chicago Zoological Society.

Zoo officials say the Southern hairy-nosed wombats are closely related to the koala and typically the size of a medium-size dog. The pouch opens to the rear, so that when they are digging, soil does not get into it.

Wombats also feature long claws, a stubby tail, a flattened head that looks too big for their body, and short, powerful legs.

Officials also the wombat population in Australia is being threatened by habitat loss, drought, and agricultural practices.

The joey and her mom Kombora can be seen at the zoo's Australia House.
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