for Wallaby Housing
are generally quite shy, so when planning a location for housing
within an enclosure, care should be taken to ensure that it is positioned
somewhere where the wallabies can get out of public sight if they
want to. Having your housing right next to the public viewing fence
for instance isn't a good idea, as the animal would have the stress
of having to pass crowds of noisy pointing people to gain access
to it's 'safe area', so it may stay out in the open whilst
feeling threatened and this sort of stress can actually kill a wallaby.
the size and shape of the enclosure and position the housing in
an area where the animal can feel safe and secure, have quick access
to safe shelter and yet still be viewed by the public. Wallabies
are very hardy animals and tend to sit out in the pouring rain and
in the snow, but any housing that they have should have the entrance
facing downwind - that is, when they are in it they shouldn't be
getting gusts of cold air blasting in. Some zoos provide heat lamps
inside housing, but our guys cope fine with a good bed of straw
materials used - This depends on how many animals you have, and
what sort of climate your zoo is in. At Glasgow Zoopark, we have
a group of 5 wallabies including a 7 month old joey (as at May 2000),
and they are housed in a brick walled concrete floored block, measuring
around 7ft x 5ft. The height of the actual area which they sleep
in is about 5ft. The concrete floor is good as it won't get damaged
from the urine of five animals, whereas a wooden floor may rot quickly
and retain odour with the same amount of animals.
had one old wallaby who lived an his own and for which one of our
keeper's father, Mr Rennie, actually made a customed designed hut
for him. It was constructed out of pine cladding which was weather
proofed and had a plywood floor covered with rubber matting. The
roof was slightly sloped and covered in roofing felt and the small
entrance, which was just big enough for him to crawl through (thus
giving him a sense of security) was at the side so he could crawl
in and move to the side and be out of the wind, and the whole front
was on a hinge and snib to allow easy access for cleaning. It was
about 4 and a half feet high, again for his security and it was
16 square feet - small enough for him to feel safe, yet large enough
for him to lie down flat out with his tail stretched out. Because
it was for one animal, these materials worked very well with regards
to cleaning and maintenance.
Management - The number of animals you have dictates how much
waste and mess there will be and therefore how often you need to
clean up both inside the housing and out in the enclosure. External
habitat management depends on what type of enclosure you have.
it a large area / small area, is a mixed or single specied exhibit
(not just wallabies) does it have a lot of plants?
the plants harmful to the animal?
they need to be removed?
the grass grow rapidly? etc.
of the enclosure is subject to what is in the enclosure which needs
to be managed.
wallabies have a large grassy area, and a bushy back secret hide
from the public area, both of which are low maintenance. Perhaps
a bit of pruning and grass cutting in the summer. Apart from that,
the wallabies are left to it - the only interference they get from
us is feeding watering and cleaning, which they don't mind at all.
of the captive wallaby -
best thing you can do for your wallabies is to do a bit of research
into the species, find out how it lives in the wild and emulate
it as best you can within your zoo / wildlife park. Be observant,
and provide them with:
predator proof enclosure (foxes can scale a 6ft fence with ease
is free of any plants which might harm them,
healthy balanced diet,
to fresh water at all times,
from the sun, wind and public, and a bit of peace and quiet.
do best when they are left to be wallabies - which most of the time
consists of eating grass and sleeping!
Ollie Peeks Out!