Cash and Mac made their way to the zoo from down under in 2021.
Description Bennett’s Wallaby has mostly tawny gray fur, with a white chest and belly, and a dark brown muzzle, paws and feet. They are also known as the red-necked wallaby, because of the red-tinted fur on the back of the neck and shoulders.
Diet Wallabies graze on grasses and herbs. During dry spells, roots become their primary water source. Due to their ruminant-like digestive system, food is fermented by a dense bacterial population in the esophagus, stomach and small intestine.
Reproduction Breeding patterns for this species differ depending upon range. Populations in Tasmania tend to reproduce between January and July, with joeys born in greatest frequency during February and March. Mainland wallabies breed year-round, with most joeys born during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, December, January and February. After a gestation of just 29 days, Bennett’s wallabies are born looking embryonic and weighing less than 1 gram (.04 ounces). The newborn joeys are hairless and underdeveloped but have strong enough forelimbs to climb into their mothers’ pouch. The single newborn then latches onto its mother’s teat, where it continues to develop.
- Scientific Name: Macropus rufogriseus
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
- Life Span: 12 to 15 years
- Stand: 36 inches tall
- Weight: 30 to 40 pounds; males are often larger than females
- Distribution: Southeastern Australia, including Tasmania. The occurrence of ruminant-like bacterial digestion in the kangaroos and wallabies enables these marsupials to colonize areas which would be nutritionally unfavorable to most other large mammals.
Did You Know?
- These animals have an acute sense of smell and hearing. Their large ears are capable of moving 180 degrees independently, allowing them to remain alert for potential predators, such as dingoes.
- Though they may be best known for hopping, wallabies, kangaroos and wallaroos can also crawl and swim!
- Compared to the front legs, a wallaby’s hind legs are long and powerful, an adaptation for moving quickly across essentially flat terrain.
- Bennett’s wallabies are mainly active at dawn and/or at dusk (crepuscular), which may be an adaptation to reduce predation or as a way of avoiding thermal stress while capitalizing on available light