Rare albino wallaby born at Kansas zoo

(Photo Courtesy: The Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, Kansas)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Sunset Zoo in Manhattan announced the birth of two baby wallabies Thursday. One of the baby wallabies stuck its head out of its mother’s pouch, and zookeepers discovered the joey was an albino.

The baby was named “Bruny” after an island off Tasmania in Australia where a colony of some 200 albino wallabies lives. 

Wallabies are a species of miniature kangaroo native to Australia. Sunset Zoo has three adult wallabies and two joeys who live in the Australian Walkabout exhibit. If they are born in the wild, they usually will not survive because predators easily spot them. Bruny Island in Australia doesn’t have any natural predators, allowing the albino colony to flourish. 

Melissa Kirkland, Sunset Zoo marketing director, described the birth as “rare” and said the zoo was excited to see the two babies together. The zoo has never had two baby wallabies at the same time.

Albinos frequently have health problems, according to Sunset Zoo head keeper Savannah Brethauer, such as poor vision, sun sensitivity, cancers, and other diseases. Sunset Zoo’s albino joey is all white with pink eyes and appears to be healthy so far, Brethauer said.

Bruny began emerging from its mother Jeri’s pouch in late September, allowing zoo visitors to get a better look. Keepers haven’t determined whether the joey is male or female. 

(Photo Courtesy: The Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, Kansas)

Brethauer said staff believes that Bruny was born in December of 2020 and started peeking out of the pouch in July. The other joey, which has a normal grey-brownish color, was named Arlo, emerged before Bruny. 

“It’s really nice getting to see their personalities now that they are fully out of the pouch,” said Amelia Jerome, their keeper. “We have never had two joeys at the same time so it will be fun to see them play and interact with each other.”

Bruny is still nursing occasionally from its mother and also eats leaves, lettuce, kangaroo chow, and some apple and sweet potato. 

Visitors to Sunset Zoo can see Bruny and its mother, the other joey Arlo, and his mother Dolly, and their father Irwin, at the Australian Walkabout area of the zoo. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the KSN News App and stay up-to-date wherever you are. You can even watch KSN News live for free!
Click here to get the app
Get it in the App store
Get it in the Google Play store

KSN Storm Track 3 Weather

Trending Stories