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Rare twins make an appearance

A Tammar wallaby with two adorable joeys in her pouch has been turning heads at Cleland Wildlife Park.

Rare twins make an appearance
The Tammar wallaby trio

The relatively rare sight is a first for the park and its marsupials, according to curator Byron Manning.

“It is rare to see a kangaroo or wallaby with twins, and in the wild the survival rate for twins would be very low,” he said.

“As joeys develop there is not much room in the pouch, which is why usually only one is suckled at a time.

“It has caught our attention because it isn’t something that has been seen or photographed much.

“We feel very lucky to have seen this at Cleland and happy that the joeys appear to be doing so well, although they have been quite elusive and we’ve only seen them on a few occasions.

“They live in a free-range area of the park that has a lot of low, dense foliage and so when we do spot them it’s very exciting.”

The joeys are believed to be about five months old and were first spotted in late August 2018. Tammar wallabies have been known to adopt another female’s young, so Cleland staff can’t be sure the joeys are twins, although they appear to be the same size.

Tammar joeys usually suckle in the pouch for eight to nine months. It’s likely the twins will have to move out soon because they will run out of room, but they are still likely to feed from the mother for several more months.

The Tammar is one of the smallest wallabies and stands about 45cm tall and weighs up to 9kg.