18 Dec 2015 11:06:48
Meet Dot and Matilda
Christmas arrived early at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo today, with the official public debut of two 7-month old kangaroo joeys, Dot and Matilda. Safely wrapped up in Christmas-themed pouches, today's debut hopped off to an adorable start as Dot and Matilda enjoyed a bottle feed and cuddles with their surrogate mum and Senior Keeper Caroline Monro.
Keen to explore their new surroundings in the Darling Harbour attraction's Kangaroo Walkabout exhibit, the adorable duo stretched their legs and showed their inquisitive personalities and independence. Sticking close by each other's sides for their first public outing, keepers watched on in amusement as the fluffy best friends squabbled over who got the first nibble of the joey-friendly piece of grass.
Senior Keeper Caroline Monro said the arrival of Dot and Matilda is an exciting time for WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, remarking: "We're thrilled to welcome Dot and Matilda to the family and we love watching them grow and develop their own personalities. Dot is definitely the cheekier one, whereas Matilda is more reserved and loves a good chest scratch."
"The joeys are still too young to fend for themselves, so I currently provide 24/7 care for both Dot and Matilda, which includes four bottle feeds a day and keeping them close by my side at work, in the car and at home. From 4am bottle feeds to frequent cuddles, I make sure the joeys have everything they need," said Ms Monro.
Native to Kangaroo Island, Dot and Matilda are Kangaroo Island Kangaroos which is a sub-species of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. However, unlike their mainland counterparts, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos sport thicker and darker hair colour and are well-known for their friendly natures. Like many other native Australian animals, kangaroos face a number of life threats including rapid loss of habitat due to urban development, car strikes and dog attacks.
Dot and Matilda are the first pair of Kangaroo Island Kangaroos to call WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo home and will serve as kangaroo ambassadors for the unique sub-species by helping raise educate within the public about the important place all kangaroos play in the environment and how to help protect their future for generations to come.
Following today's debut, Dot and Matilda will continue to be hand-raised by Caroline and the team at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and when big enough, will join the attraction's other kangaroos in the Kangaroo Walkabout exhibit.
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