Skip to main content

A bundle of joey! Meet our precious wallaroo and wallaby babies!

Posted by Meghan Sawyer, Communications
Photos by Amanda Dukart, Animal Keeper

Hello joey! Poppy's wallaby baby is popping out to see the world! 

We are jumping for joey! Two adorable joeys, born last fall, are just starting to venture into the world and out of their mamas’ pouches. Wallaroo mom Tinga gave birth to a joey last November, and wallaby mom Poppy gave birth to her joey last September. The sex of each of the joeys is not confirmed yet.

Each joey—the name of a baby kangaroo, wallaroo or wallaby—starts as a tiny blind and hairless newborn, only about the size of a lima bean! Even without sight to navigate, these babies must crawl their way up into their mother’s pouch where they will be able to stay safe and warm in the pouch while growing and getting all the nutrients they need from mom

Wallaroo Tinga comes into her indoor area to enjoy a snack, while her joey peeks out. 

At around 5 or 6 months old, the joey starts peeking their head out of the pouch. Then at about 7 months old, the joey will hop out entirely—just for a few moments—to get a taste of the outside world before returning to the safety and security of the pouch. Finally, at about 8 months, the joey will leave the pouch for the last time and become fully independent. 

Keeper Amanda Dukart tells us that Tinga has been a great mom. This is her third joey so she is an experienced mother—allowing her baby to explore a bit of the outside world. The joey has come out of the pouch a few times for short bursts to get the zoomies out, but Amanda tells us it likes to spend the majority of its time in the pouch. 

Wallaby mama, Poppy, hopping about outside, while her joey gets a sniff of the grassy meadow.

As for Poppy, Amanda says she doing great as a first time mother! Poppy is one of the most chummy wallabies in the mob, and loves interacting with keepers—a trait her joey seems to be picking up too. Amanda says Poppy’s joey is curious and brave—using its nose to investigate all the good things on the ground when it's out of the pouch, including whatever mama Poppy is eating! 

Both Poppy’s and Tinga’s joeys were born as part of Woodland Park Zoo’s Species Survival Plan (SSP) efforts in conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Led by experts in husbandry, nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, conservation and genetics, AZA-accredited institutions manage each species as one population in North America to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the population and the health of individual animals. 

Joeys can look out onto the world from the safety of mama's pouch.


What’s the difference between a wallaby and a wallaroo? Both are related to kangaroos. The most obvious difference between the two marsupials is their size. Wallabies are the much smaller species, standing between 12 and 20 inches tall and weighing up to 15 pounds. Wallaroos, however, can stand up to 5 feet tall and weigh up to 120 pounds. Like kangaroos, both wallabies and wallaroos use their strong back legs and large feet to hop, jump and leap around. Woodland Park Zoo is temporarily closed right now, but when we are ready to reopen, you'll be able to find the wallabies, wallaroos and their joeys in the zoo’s Australasia area

Wallabies and wallaroos are both related to kangaroos. The most obvious difference between them is size with wallaroos being quite a bit larger. Here, wallaroo mama Tinga stands in front of wallaby mama Poppy

Support your zoo 

Open or closed, the zoo’s dedicated animal care and veterinary teams work around the clock to provide exemplary care to the zoo’s nearly 1,000 animals. Right now there is an urgent need for resources to continue providing this extraordinary care. As a non-profit organization, the zoo is relying on the community now more than ever to help these wonderful animals continue to thrive. Contributions both big and small will help creatures of all sizes. You can make a gift today at