Rare albino wallaby among new attractions at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The albino wallaby is thought to be the first of its kind at the park. Credit: PA

A rare albino baby wallaby born during lockdown will be among the new attractions at Yorkshire wildlife park when it reopens on Monday.

Staff at the park in Doncaster are making final preparations before lockdown easing allows them to open their doors again, with a range of new animal residents and Covid safety precautions.

The new arrival was born to one of the senior wallabies during the parks enforced closures and is thought to be the first albino wallaby at the attraction.

Baby joeys spend most of their time hidden in their mother's pouch, so visitors will be lucky if they get a glimpse and staff say they still do not know the sex of the newcomer or exactly when he or she was born.

Credit: PA

YWP chief executive John Minion said social distancing should not be a problem as the park is 175 acres and has more than 5km of paths.

But Mr Minion said the reopened park will have wide-ranging safety precautions, including advance booking only, restrictions on visitor numbers, controlled time slots for visits and clear social distancing marking.

He said there will also be new messaging and increased cleaning protocols.

"We are delighted to have been given the green light to reopen the park," he said.

"So much has changed, from our new entrance to our new arrivals in Atlantic Forest.

"We have been planning the expansion for several years now, so to be taking the first step of opening the new entrance and the first new reserve Atlantic Forest is amazing."

Credit: PA

The new reserve, Atlantic Forest, includes a pair of recently arrived lowland tapirs, maned wolves and a pack of bush dogs.

These three species are all found in the threatened habitat of the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica) in South America.

"We are delighted how the new animals are settling in," said animal manager Rick Newton.

"It is fascinating to have three very different species as part of the new reserve, and I am sure that visitors will be excited to see them.

"The bush dogs are particularly active and inquisitive, I am sure they will become big favourites here."

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is supporting conservation organisation Wildcare's project in Misiones, Argentina, to protect and restore wildlife corridors that are vital for species' survival.