OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland zoo is taking care of a wallaroo joey after his mother unexpectedly died.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that after the joey was born, his mother, named Maloo, removed him from her pouch.
On March 1, veterinarians found Maloo had an infection.
She died the next day.
Zoo officials say they are sad about Maloo’s death, but are committed to raising the unnamed joey until he’s ready to live with the zoo’s other wallaroos.
Zookeepers are caring for the joey by hand-feeding him with specialized baby formula from Australia seven times a day.
Zoo officials had to build a makeshift pocket to mimic his mother’s pouch.
Zookeepers don’t know the exact age of the joey because when he was born he was the size of a kidney bean, and lived in his mother’s pouch for many months.
He is believed to be about 5 months old. Babies usually live in their mother’s pouch for about eight months.
Wallaroos are marsupials similar to kangaroos, but smaller.