Parma wallaby born at San José Zoo

Photo Credit: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happy Hollow welcomes new joey



San José, CA– A small Parma wallaby joey is starting to peek their head out of its mother’s pouch at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. The new joey is the twenty-fifth Parma wallaby born at San Jose’s zoo since 1994.   

“This adorable little joey is finally starting to appear,” says Kevin Hertell, Happy Hollow Zoo Manager. “We are starting to see the joey’s head, feet, and tail poking out from the pouch, but it will be another month or so before we see the little one hopping around on their own.” The gestation period for Parma wallabies is only thirty-five days, and their joeys are smaller than a jellybean at birth. Though it is estimated the joey was born in February, joeys do not start appearing outside the pouch until months after birth. 

Natives of Australia, Parma wallabies were once thought to be extinct until a small population was discovered in 1967 on a small island near New Zealand. The Parma wallaby was listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife in 1970. 

“Happy Hollow is an important contributor to the survival of this rare species,” says Hertell. “Over the last twenty-four years, several joeys born here have made their way to zoos across the United States and even abroad.” Happy Hollow is currently home to two adult Parma wallabies, and the new addition brings Happy Hollow’s count to three.

As an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility, Happy Hollow participates in a co-operative breeding program called a Species Survival Plan. This program is coordinated through the AZA to protect and increase populations of endangered species. 

Parma wallabies are the smallest member of the genus Macropus, which includes all kangaroos and wallabies. Adults weigh 7 to 12 pounds and are around 18-20 inches tall, only one-tenth the height of the tallest macropod, the red kangaroo.