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Joey, a 5-month-old wallaby, disappeared from the Michigan Zoo and may not survive

ROYAL OAK, MI — Just two days after announcing its newest addition, the Detroit Zoo says it is heartbroken to find its 5-month-old wallaby joey is missing.

The zoo wrote on its Facebook page that the joey was last seen by animal care staff around 5 p.m. Saturday and was discovered missing from Australia’s Outback Adventure habitat early this morning.

Sprocket, the zoo’s 4-year-old red-necked wallaby, is Joey’s mother. It’s his first Joey. The zoo says that at his age, the joey might not survive on his own.

“The joey is just beginning the process of independence by spending time outside of the pouch, but continuing to nurse and spend time in the pouch,” the zoo said on its Facebook page. “It is unlikely that the young wallaby will be able to survive for long away from his mother. We are looking at all potential scenarios and remain hopeful that this joey will be found safe and sound.

Joey, 5 months, at the Detroit Zoo, has disappeared. (Photo by Patti Truesdell | Detroit Zoological Society)

The zoo says animal care staff immediately began searching for the joey and are also reviewing trail cameras and surveillance cameras throughout the zoo.

There are three other wallabies at Detroit Zoo’s Australian Outback Adventure, including Sprocket, Eloise and Bucky, a joey born to Eloise in 2020.

Red-necked wallabies have reddish-brown or gray coats with dark muzzles, legs, and feet. They use their long tails to help keep their balance while hopping, which is usually done in a zigzag pattern. A red-necked wallaby can jump more than 5 feet at a time.

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