She likes dandelions, cucumber and bananas and sleeps in an old drawstring bag, but orphaned baby wallaby Skye is doing well after the loss of her mother.
Skye, named after the Scottish island because one of her long time keepers is moving there, is a joey aged about four months, who lost her mum after the mother became injured last month. But despite being an orphan and still in the pouch Skye is making brilliant progress at New Forest Wildlife Park.
She goes home with keeper Donna Liversedge every night and sleeps in a drawstring bag hung on the end of Donna?s bed. The makeshift pouch is lined with Skye?s mother?s fur and blankets to keep her warm and secure and she is being fed on lactose-free cow?s milk during the night. During the day she comes to work with Donna and is being taught how to get in and out of the bag on her own. Skye is being fed on milk every four hours and also eats some solid foods.
Joeys normally spend 6-9 months in their mothers? pouch before emerging to mix with other wallabies and starting to fend for themselves.
?She?s adorable,? said Donna, who is getting used to the night feeds. ?She sticks her head out from the pouch and watches the world go by. Sometimes she gets out and hops around my bedroom. She seems very happy bouncing around and unfazed by her loss. She?s an absolute celebrity with my housemates ? they love her. When the weather is warmer and she is older she will be able to socialise with the other wallabies, but for the time being she?s happy in her pouch.?
As well as wallabies, New Forest Wildlife Park is home to several species of otter, including Eurasian, Asian short-clawed, North American River and the impressive giant otter, and to many other animals, including deer, owls, foxes, wolves, lynx, polecats, pine marten, wild boar, ferrets and harvest mice. From Easter to October there?s also a tropical butterfly house, where children can watch live pupae hatching out.
New Forest Wildlife Park is involved in international breeding programmes for endangered species and also works with the RSPCA to rescue injured or abandoned animals.? The park is owned by Carol and Roger Heap, who are dedicated to wildlife conservation. The Heap family also run the Chestnut Centre Conservation and Wildlife Park in Derbyshire and Battersea Park Children?s Zoo in London.
To find out more visit about bringing a school trip to New Forest Wildlife see their?main entryhttp://www.educationalvisitsuk.com/attractions/attraction/new_forest_wildlife_park