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Australian animals: yellow footed rock wallaby

The yellow footed rock wallaby

Their poo looks like chocolate but you defs shouldn’t eat it.

By Jessica Wilkinson

First rule of thumb – do not eat wallaby poo. It looks like chocolate but no matter how much you want to believe it is, it isn’t. It’s poo. Yellow footed rock wallaby poo. Want to know more? Adelaide Zoo’s native keeper, Kate Fielder has the answers. Read on. 

Forrest the yellow-footed rock-wallaby

Forrest is one year old and lives at Adelaide Zoo. Her favourite treats are carrots (as you can see!)

Is the Wallaby Actually Yellow-Footed?

Yes, it does have yellow feet! It also has yellow-orange arms, ears, stripes on the table and around the eyebrow area is also yellow-orange.

What Makes Them Different From Regular Wallabies?

Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are one of the most colourful members of the kangaroo family and the largest of the rock wallabies. Rock wallabies are master climbers. They have granular pads on the soles of their feet which make it easy for them to grip on to rock surfaces, so they can jump up rocks and not slip off.

How Many Different Types of Wallabies Are There?

There are about 30 species of wallabies spread right across Australia, and many of those also have several sub-species.

Where Can You See One in the Wild?

They can be quite tricky to spot in the wild, but if you are patient and are an early bird or late-night type of person, you might be lucky enough to see them in the Flinders and Gawler Ranges of South Australia. There is also a few small populations in the hills of far-western New South Wales and the hills of South-western Queensland.

What Do They Eat?

Almost anything it can in the harsh outback environment it calls home. Grasses, leaves and bark are all on the menu for the yellow-footed rock-wallaby. They will drink water if available but can survive for much of the year without water by obtaining it from their food.

Do They Have Enemies?

Unfortunately, they do have a few enemies. Introduced foxes and cats will prey upon yellow-footed rock-wallabies, as will the wedge-tailed eagle. Goats, rabbits and sheep will steal their food. At one time, humans hunted yellow-footed rock-wallabies for their pretty pelts.

Yellow-footed rock-wallaby, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Can You Touch Them in the Wild?

Good luck! This species is incredibly fast, nimble and can scale the highest of cliffs.  If you are touching one, in the wild, it is probably either sick or injured.

Are Their Droppings Pellets?

Yes! Their droppings look like small little round chocolate balls (do not eat them), called pellets.

How Big Are They?

They are the largest of all the rock wallaby species but are a slender animal, with females averaging around 6-7 kilograms and males 8-10 kilograms.

How Old Do They Get?

In the wild, the yellow-footed rock-wallaby can live to around 10 years old and more than 14 years old in captivity.

Yellow-footed rock-wallaby, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

How Many Babies Can a Mother Wallaby Have?

Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are super mums! At any one time, a female yellow-foot can have three to four joeys that she is caring for.

Are They Active at Night?

Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are not strictly nocturnal, it depends on the season. Coming from a hot arid region, in summer they tend to be more active before and after sunrise so they can find a cool shady cave during the hot days. In winter, they may come out during the day to find a nice sunny spot and grab a bite to eat.

How High Can They Jump?

Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are impressive jumpers and can jump approximately two and a half times their height in one leap!  They can even use the side of cliffs to propel themselves and scale almost vertical cliffs.

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