ZOO-KEEPERS have taken to carrying an abandoned baby wallaby in a rucksack.

The fluffy youngster’s mother abandoned him - with keepers at Longleat Safari Park finding the cute creature, called Newt, alone in the snow. Now 30 weeks old, when he was born Newt weighed just 20 grammes.

To make him feel more at home, the Wiltshire keepers have taken to carrying the red necked wallaby around in a rucksack, mimicking his mum's pouch. The baby animal is bottle fed every four hours - day and night.

Swindon Advertiser:

Gemma Short, a keeper at Longleat Safari Park, said: “It appears that for some reason his mum let him out of her pouch during the cold weather but then refused to let him back in again.

“We kept him under closer observation but when it became clear she had abandoned in we had to step in and hand rear him.

Swindon Advertiser:

“Initially we had to feed him every two hours but now he feeds at four-hourly intervals and he’s starting to take solids.

“At first it felt a little strange to be carrying this rucksack around but after a while you do get used to it. He’s a real character and is beginning to venture out on his own again and explore the outside world.”

The keepers will have to act as surrogate parents for the next year until baby Newt is fully weaned.