October 05, 2011 01:00 PM

She went from pouch to playpen!

A tiny parma wallaby named Trinka has been bottle-fed and hand-reared by staff at the San Diego Zoo ever since she was found out of her mother’s pouch in July. She was “dirty, cold, bruised, but alert,” according to the zoo, and once she was discovered, she was cleaned up right away.

Since then, Trinka, whose name is an aboriginal word for “daytime,” gets sun in a vacant yard near the wallaby exhibit and plays in the nursery. She is the youngest marsupial that the zoo has raised successfully, and the smallest, having weighed 51 grams when she was found. She had no body hair and was supposed to have finished growing inside her mother’s pouch.

While Trinka is still small, she’s been improving and getting socialized, exhibiting her sweetness and determination. She’s a little like her breed: Parma wallabies were once thought to be extinct. Found in Australia and New Guinea, they are still an endangered species but are surviving and increasing in number in captive breeding programs.

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