SEATTLE -- Yuri the wallaroo is just over a year old, and was born at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. But his mother wasn't able to give him the nutrition he needed to survive; so the veterinary team and zoo staff intervened right at birth to give him what he needed to grow into a strong wallaroo!
That meant feeding him with a bottle several times a day; bottles that were specially made for a wallaroo to feed out of. And the formula? It had to be ordered from Australia. Zoo staff even had pouches specially made for Yuri. They crafted them in several versions to accommodate Yuri's growing size.
There are still some things a growing wallaroo can only learn from his fellow marsupials: namely, how to behave! For that, zoo staff slowly reintroduced Yuri to his "mob" to get him comfortable interacting with them. Oh, and we don't mean that Yuri is hanging out with old school mobsters- a "mob" is just a fancy way to say "group of wallaroos."
By now you may be wondering, "wait- what exactly IS a wallaroo?" Don't let the name fool you- a wallaroo is NOT a hybrid of a wallaby and a kangaroo. Rather, a wallaroo and wallaby are each different kinds of kangaroos. Believe it or not, there are around 63 kinds in total!
Yuri is now thriving, thanks to the extra care he received from the folks at Woodland Park Zoo. The plan is to move him to a zoo in Oakland come spring, so that he can become good "friends" with their female wallaroos and help continue the wallaroo line!
Watch the video to see more of Yuri; or visit him in person at Woodland Park Zoo! Click HERE to go to the website.