VIDEO: Jealous joey stealing hearts

By Shannon Verhagen | April 18, 2016

Wildlife carers are lucky enough to be given a ‘sneak-peek’ into the lives of Australia’s injured and orphaned fauna – often with ridiculously cute results.

A JEALOUS WOMBAT joey is melting hearts after a video emerged of him trying his very best to get the attention of his ‘mother’, who was feeding a wallaby joey at the time.

Jack – short for Jackaroo – is a six-month-old wombat who came into ACT Wildlife volunteer Lindy Butcher’s care about two months ago, after his mother was hit by a car.

But it is his big personality that has caused him to become somewhat of a movie-star, with Lindy capturing some of his funniest and most adorable moments on camera.

“He’s wicked,” says Lindy. “He’s barely furred and he’s just cutting his teeth so he’s pretty much a tiny baby, but he’s already starting to do things like play, bite, try to get my attention. They’re like naughty, fat, lovable toddlers – they’re incredibly endearing creatures.”

It is hard not to smile watching as the young wombat reaches out frantically to grab Lindy’s hand while she bottle-feeds Girt the swamp wallaby, almost falling out of his cot in desperation (scroll to the bottom of the page for the full video).

Lindy – who has looked after hundreds of animals in her 20 years of being a wildlife carer – is up around the clock to bottle-feed Jack, as well as swamp wallaby joeys Girt and Illawarra and Jarrah the Wallaroo. But Jack clearly wasn’t happy with Girt being fed first last week.

“He’d be in his mum’s pouch and he’d be with his mum for two years living right by her side in constant contact with her,” explains Lindy. “So because I’m his mum he just wants to be next to me all the time. “He doesn’t want to share me with three other babies – but he’s cute about it.”

Due to his tender age, Jack still has another year of being bottle-fed ahead of him, and will be weaned off at about 15 months, before spending a few months being dehumanized for his release back into the wild – a concept ACT Wildlife feels strongly about.

While his cute and cuddly characteristics won’t last forever – being replaced by crankiness and distrust for humans as he becomes wild – Lindy says the journey is incredibly rewarding. “You get this wonderful, privileged sneak-peek into the lives of little animals which you’d never normally see,” she says. “We’ve all had puppies and kittens and seen what they’re like as babies but these little animals – marsupials in particular – are tucked away in mum’s pouch and they’re hidden until they’re ready to come out and be independent. “So it’s really a sneak-peek – it’s fantastic.”