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Bouncing Around With Lily
Featuring Lily
Red Necked Wallaby
April 3, 2013
Edmonton Valley Zoo
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Unfortunately, Lily was kicked out her pouch by her mother.  After a couple attempts by zookeepers at the Edmonton Valley Zoo to put her back in the pouch, a decision was made that it was in her best interest to be handraised.  At just four months old she was hairless, weighed just under 300 grams and needed bottle feeding every three hours.  Three months later she is fully furred and only needs to be fed five times a day.  She happily sprints around her adoptive keepers’ homes and has started testing her jumping abilities on stairs and beds.  Though she is still on a milk formula, she loves to eat leafy greens like kale, spinach or romaine and enjoys ice cubes on hot days.

Red Necked Wallabys are one of the largest species of wallaby, and often are mistaken for a kangaroo.  After a young wallaby is born, it will spend approximately 280 days in the pouch, and will nurse until it is 12-17 months old.  Wallabies don’t just have strong legs, they also have the unique ability to store energy in their tendons. As a result, most of the energy required for each hop is provided “free” by the spring action of the tendons rather than muscular effort. Increased speed actually requires very little effort, unlike in other mammals.  These marsupials cool themselves by licking their hands and forearms during nervous excitement or hot weather. They prefer cooler weather and will become more active at dawn or dusk.

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