Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:31 UK

Rucksack pouch for baby wallaby


A rucksack by day, playpen by night - life for an orphaned wallaby

An orphaned wallaby which was abandoned by its mother is being hand-reared at a farm in Ayr.

Keeper Mollie Paterson found seven-month-old Willow two weeks ago, bouncing around her enclosure searching for her mother.

Willow has become the star of the show at Heads of Ayr Farm Park, where she travels around in a rucksack stuffed with a pillow and a hot water bottle.

At night she sleeps in a baby's travel cot beside Mollie and her husband.

Mollie said: "I have a little travel cot she goes into and she jumps around my house as well but at the moment she's on proper milk and she's starting to eat a bit of carrot and apples as well.

"It's quite demanding sometimes. At the moment I'm feeding it every three or four hours and you need to carry her around."

Scottish first

The farm said this was the first time a baby wallaby - or joey - had been rejected in all their years of keeping the marsupials.

It could be caused by mothers who keep more than one baby at a time in their pouch.

Willow will stay with Mollie for her first year and then be released back to the main wallaby herd.

Mollie said she believed Willow to be the first hand-reared wallaby in Scotland.

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