Boise & Garden City

Meet Zoo Boise’s new baby animals

Visitors to Zoo Boise have probably started noticing two newcomers: a baby wallaby and sengi.

Sengis are super-fast African mammals, about the size of a rat. Their young mature quicky, so even though the zoo’s youngest sengi is only a month old, the critter is expected to reach maturity when it hits the 2-month-old mark, according to Rena Ashton, director of education for Zoo Boise.

Wallabies, a marsupial species similar to kangaroos, are much slower growers, which is why the zoo waited longer to confirm to the public that they had a joey. The baby wallaby, confirmed to be a female, is probably about 9 months old. When born, they’re only about the size of a “kidney bean,” Ashton said. Then they take months to grow in their mother’s pouch before poking their head out and facing the world.

This joey started emerging from the pouch only a couple months ago, Ashton said. Now, she’s bold enough that she occasionally hops around on her own and, at times, eats solid food.

If visitors want to glimpse the new critters at Zoo Boise it’s best to come earlier in the day, when the air is still cool. The sengis bed down early (and bury themselves and their young when late afternoon comes around) and the wallabies are more lethargic and shy once it gets hot.

Erin Fenner: 208-377-6207, @erinfenner

Related stories from Idaho Statesman