Just in time for the school holidays, a baby bilby has emerged from its mother’s pouch at the Bilby Burrow at Ipswich Nature Centre.
The bouncing baby bilby is a boy and staff are thrilled at his arrival. Senior Zoologist Nicole Richards said the timing could not be better.
“He is so cute. He has come just in time for the Christmas holidays so all of our visitors can see him too,” Ms Richards said.
He is believed to be about 13 weeks old and was discovered by staff on 10 September described as the size of a jellybean in his mother’s pouch.
Once the jellybean sized joey was discovered, staff have monitored the joey’s growth, the mother’s weight and diet over the past two and a half months.
He is still suckling milk from his mother and will continue to do so until fully weaned about 15 weeks. He is occasionally venturing out and exploring his new surrounds.
Quartz is the male father and Tanami is the female mother (pictured above with her joey) and they have been paired up in the enclosure in the hope that a romance would blossom and they would breed.
The Ipswich Nature Centre has a world class bilby breeding enclosure. Ms Richards said the successful breeding bode well for the endangered species.
“Through Save the Bilby Fund, Queensland Government, and the National Recovery Plan for the species, plans are in place for bilbies to be released into Currawinya National Park and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy Mt Gibson,” she said.
“The Ipswich Nature Centre has bred bilbies successfully in the past, with female triplets born in 2017. Each of these girls was relocated from the Ipswich Nature Centre to other facilities and one was released at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy Mt Gibson.”
The community is being asked to help celebrate the bibly’s arrival by helping to find a name for him.
“We are encouraging the community to help celebrate this little boy’s arrival by suggesting a name for him on our Ipswich City Council Facebook page,” she said.
Ipswich Nature Centre at Queens Park is open seven days a week during the school holidays from 9.30am to 4pm. They are closed Christmas Day.