In true blue Aussie fashion, The Australian Reptile Park’s resident yellow-footed rock-wallaby joey took her first ever hops just in time for Australia Day.
Dorito had a rough start at life earlier this year as she was rejected by mum, meaning mammal keeper Erica Johnstone had to step up and take up the task of being a new mum.
Although small, Dorito has already stolen the hearts of thousands all over the world with an introduction video of her being viewed over 50,000 times.
Now growing into a perfectly healthy joey, she is expected to live a long and happy life at the wildlife sanctuary.
Once Dorito is old enough, she will move into the enclosure full time and begin her life as part of the crucial conservation breeding program for the endangered species.
Johnstone said it was exciting to see the joey happily hopping around.
“When we first saw her, we honestly didn’t know if she was going to be okay, so it makes me extremely emotional to see her the happiest joey ever,” she said.
“And what better day to do it on than Australia Day, it doesn’t get more Australian than that.”
Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are classified as vulnerable in NSW, with their beautiful markings leading to large numbers being killed in the 1800s and early 1900s for their pelts.
Currently the main threats are fox and feral cat predation, loss of habitat, and competition for food and water sources from feral animals, particularly goats, which are able to survive in the same habitat.
Media release, Jan 26
Australian Reptile Park