Orphaned Wallaby sleeps in pillowcase

Tui with keeper Adam Kenyon Photo: Blackpool Zoo

A 32-week-old orphaned wallaby is being hand reared using pioneering techniques, which include him sleeping in a suspended pillowcase to mimic his mother’s pouch.

Tui, whose mother died when he was just a few weeks old, is being cared for by a team of mammal specialists at Blackpool Zoo. Every evening he goes home with Senior Keeper Adam Kenyon.

Named after a beer that is famous in his native Australia, little Tui is bottle fed lactose free milk five times throughout the day from 6.30am until around 11.00pm. At night he jumps head first into the suspended pillowcase where he remains snuggled up until the morning. Adam, 29, who has 29 previously hand-reared primates and elephants said:

Unfortunately Tui was only very young when his mother passed away

and as he was still reliant on her for milk we took the decision to hand

rear him.

“We use all the latest techniques when hand-rearing animals and encouraging

joeys to sleep in suspended pillowcases gives them the same secure feeling

that they would get in their mother’s pouch.

“Tui is a real character and he follows me around the Wallaby Walkabout

whilst I get on with my duties, which is really sweet.

“We are starting the process of weaning Tui now and he is enjoying

nibbling on the rolled oats and soaked macropod pellets, which are

specifically made for this species.

“Following him being weaned we will slowly re-introduce him back into

sleeping in the enclosure. It has been fantastic to hand-rear Tui but the

time must come for him to move onto the next stage of his life.”

– Adam Kenyon, Senior Keeper Blackpool Zoo