Detroit Zoo says 5-month-old wallaby joey has gone missing

Zoo says joey was last seen by animal care staff around 5 p.m. Saturday

Wallaby and joey at Detroit Zoo. (Patti Truesdell) (Detroit Zoo/Patti Truesdell)

The Detroit Zoo says a 5-month-old wallaby baby, which the zoo formally announced just last week, has gone missing.

In a post to Facebook, the Detroit Zoo said:

We are heartbroken to update you that the 5-month-old wallaby joey whose story we shared on Friday is missing. The joey was last seen by animal care staff around 5 p.m. Saturday and was discovered missing from the Australian Outback Adventure habitat early this morning.

Immediately, animal care staff began searching for the little one. Zoo staff is carefully examining the habitat and areas around it while also reviewing trail cameras and surveillance cameras all over the Zoo.

At his or her age, the joey is just beginning the process of independence by spending time outside the pouch, but still nursing and spending time in the pouch. It is unlikely that the young wallaby can survive an extended amount of time away from the mother. We are reviewing every potential scenario and remain hopeful this joey will be found unharmed.

The Detroit Zoo posted about the “joey” on Friday, announcing the birth of the new wallaby baby. Another “joey” was born at the zoo back in 2020, the first since 2010.

After birth, joeys immediately crawl into their mothers’ pouches where they continue to develop—usually for a few months.

Wallaby and joey at Detroit Zoo. (Patti Truesdell) (Detroit Zoo/Patti Truesdell)
Wallaby and joey at Detroit Zoo. (Patti Truesdell) (Detroit Zoo/Patti Truesdell)
Wallaby and joey at Detroit Zoo. (Patti Truesdell) (Detroit Zoo/Patti Truesdell)

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.