A SEVEN month-old wallaby joey named Opal has been seen in public out of her mother’s pouch for the first time since she was born at North Yorkshire’s Flamingo Land.

The baby was seen in the Kirby Misperton theme park exploring her enclosure and sticking close to her mum as she made her public debut.

Wallabies are born tiny and undeveloped, immediately crawling into their mothers’ pouches where they continue to develop for up to seven months.

Most joeys become fully independent at about 11 months old, however before that age the baby can jump back into the pouch when it senses danger.

Sharon Sandhu from Flamingo Land said the wallabies were on loan from an Australian zoo and are there as part of the zoo's breeding programme – which is evidently going very well.

She said: "They are the only group of yellow-footed rock wallabies in the UK and are endangered, so it is very exciting that we have managed to get them to breed here.

"They have settled in well and are a popular attraction at the zoo because people are able to walk through their enclosure and see them relatively close-up.

"It is always exciting when we have a baby animal, especially when we can be sure they are doing well, as baby Opal seems to be.

"We are pleased to be able to do our bit for supporting an endangered species.

The species is native to western New South Wales, South Australia, and isolated portions of Queensland.