These charming little wallabies are only as tall as your knee. They are mostly nocturnal, but sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to encounter one feeding during the day.
Pademelons are short, stocky marsupials, looking like small kangaroos or wallabies. They have soft dark brown to grey brown fur on their backs, and reddish brown or lighter brown fur on their stomachs, which is why they are known as ‘Rufous-bellied Pademelons’.
Pademelons’ short tails and compact bodies help them move through the dense vegetation of the forests where they prefer to live during daylight hours. At dusk they will venture into more open areas to feed, then return to their homes at sunrise. Pademelons are shy, solitary and nocturnal, and although they may come together in small groups to feed, they will scatter if they sense danger.
As herbivores, pademelons feed on a wide variety of plants, green shoots, herbs and grass, and they will also consume some nectar-bearing flowers.
Pademelons used to be found throughout south eastern Australia and once lived in the Otways, which is why you will see them living safely in the grounds of Wildlife Wonders. You’re most likely to spot them in the long grass as you walk back from the Research Base. Unfortunately, introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats, and land clearing led to them becoming extinct here. Fortunately they can still be found in the wild in Tasmania, so they are also referred to as ‘Tasmanian Pademelons’.