Wanyi has been hiding since September but she’s finally come out to say g’day.
The southern hairy-nosed wombat joey was born to parents Jedda and Noojee at Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year but has only just begun to leave her mother’s pouch.
Her name, Wanyi, translates to “girl” in the Wirangu language and she has grown from the size of a jellybean in the last nine months.
“It has been so intriguing to watch Jedda as a mum and compare her mothering techniques to our other breeding wombats here at Taronga, ” Australian Fauna keeper Bec Russell-Cook said.
“Unlike our other female wombats, she is quite a protective mother and was carrying Wanyi around in her pouch a lot longer than our previous wombat mothers, to the point where Wanyi didn’t quite fit in her pouch anymore and her legs were hanging out.”
All marsupials spend the first months of their life in their mothers’ pouches, which act as external wombs for joeys to grow and develop.
A typical wombat joey will emerge from the pouch at around seven months, but Wanyi was a late bloomer.
“Now that Wanyi is too big to fit in Jedda’s pouch, she’s having to venture out on her own – however mum and daughter are still are inseparable,” Ms Russell-Cook said.
“They are always waddling around together and even sleep curled up next to one another. If they ever separated and Jedda hears Wanyi vocalising, she will rush right back into the burrow to ensure she is okay – it is a very special relationship to observe.”