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Wednesday February 10th, 2016 5:51AM

North Georgia Zoo welcomes rare albino baby wallaby

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
CLEVELAND - A rare baby albino wallaby recently poked its head out of its mother's pouch outside of Cleveland, Georgia.

The new baby is at North Georgia Zoo and Farm. Zoo co-director Hope Bennett said they'll leave her with her mother for seven to eight months, then take her to be bottle fed.

"(It's so) it does better as an animal ambassador and gets used to more exposure from people and that kind of thing. It stays a little bit more friendly which then it's easier to do medical treatment and deal with it if we ever need to move them. If anything happens, they get less stress," Bennett said.

The baby's head emerged over the last couple weeks, although zoo officials don't know when she was born. The tiny babies remain deep inside the pouch for up to five months.

"We suspected there was a baby in there, but because it was cold, we didn't want to check. It was really when we saw the pouch move around. It was just within the last two weeks when the baby started sticking its head out," Bennett said.

According to the zoo, albinism is rare. Animals with it in the wild don't survive because it makes them a target to predators.

North Georgia Zoo is home to the only albino wallabies in Georgia. Less than 50 are recorded in the United States, according to the zoo.

So far the baby has not been named.
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