Joeys hop to it and settle in new home

PARK FRIENDS: Charles Impey, left and Marilyn McGregor, release the wallaby joeys into their new home in Tamworth. Photos: Geoff O’Neill 160514GOE08 INSET – WELCOME: This little bloke is one of three new wallaby joeys which arrived at their new home in the Tamworth Marsupial Park yesterday. 160514GOE08

PARK FRIENDS: Charles Impey, left and Marilyn McGregor, release the wallaby joeys into their new home in Tamworth. Photos: Geoff O’Neill 160514GOE08 INSET – WELCOME: This little bloke is one of three new wallaby joeys which arrived at their new home in the Tamworth Marsupial Park yesterday. 160514GOE08

THE wallabies have come to town and it’s a real first for Tamworth.

Tamworth Marsupial Park yesterday took delivery of the first-ever wallabies to call the Tamworth animal complex home, but the new stars of the paddock won’t be on show to the public for a couple of weeks while they adjust to their new surroundings.

Two red-necked and one swamp wallaby, all three of them boys, and all of them only little boys, maybe not even 12 months old, joined the menagerie after the trip from Port Macquarie, where they’ve been bred and hand-raised.

They’re the first to inhabit the park enclosure – although a few wild wallabies have come and gone across the fences over the years – and the friends of the park have adopted them with open arms.

President and secretary John McDarmont and secretary and former career wildlife carer Marilyn McGregor are on the bottle brigade as the surrogate parents, because the youngest of the three is still being bottle-fed and will need that mothering for another month or so, according to Ms McGregor.

The three join four kangaroos, and three joeys, two of them with their heads sticking out of mum’s pouch, six emus, about five echidnas, maybe four goannas, lots of native birds, including six sulphur- crested cockatoos, countless lorikeets, budgerigars and galahs in the dedicated aviary and animal enclosure, although a few wild ones come and go as they please.

The park will introduce them to the public in a few weeks when they’re used to the humans in their new environment. 

That’s when the public will get the chance to pat, feed and cuddle them.

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