A BABY wallaby who has been brought up in a rucksack after he was abandoned and not let back into his own mother's pouch is delighting Longleat keepers with his progress.

The baby, who has been nicknamed Newt and is thought to be around 30 weeks old, was rescued from certain death after being found abandoned during the snowy weather.

Longleat keeper Gemma Short 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 him we had to step in and hand rear him.

“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."

Newt will have to remain in the care of his surrogate mums for up to 18 months until he is fully weaned and ready to return to the wallaby colony.