First wallaby born at Detroit Zoo since 2010 ready for its debut

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

Detroit — A baby wallaby is ready for its public debut at the Detroit Zoo. 

Born in October, the unnamed joey is the first birth of a red-necked wallaby at the zoo since 2010. It's also the first offspring for Eloise, but she's already adjusting to motherhood, officials say. 

“This is Eloise’s first joey. She’s very protective,” said Elizabeth Arbaugh, curator of mammals for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).

Eloise, a red-necked wallaby, and her joey walk about their enclosure at the Detroit Zoo. The baby wallaby is now visible at the zoo following its birth this past October.

After they are born, wallabies immediately crawl into their mother's pouches where they continue to develop for a few more months. 

The sex of the baby cannot be determined until the baby is older and completely out of its mother's pouch.

This week marks the first time Eloise's baby fully emerged from her pouch.

“Joeys don’t start getting fur until about six months. Now that there is a fine layer of fur, the joey is starting to venture out,” Arbaugh said.

The baby is currently housed in the two-acre Australian Outback Adventure exhibit with its mother, two other wallabies and 13 red kangaroos.

Visitors of the Detroit Zoo can get up-close and personal with all of the marsupials inside the Australian Outback Adventure as they walk along the winding path while the kangaroos and wallabies are free to roam around them.