Baby Rock Wallaby by artists Gillie and Marc

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NAME
Warru named by Tina Russo

TITLE
Wild Baby Rock Wallaby

GENDER
Female

AGE
8 months

FOUND
Australia

CONSERVATION STATUS
Endangered – Near Threatened

This 8-month-old joey is very dedicated to exploring every nook and cranny in her rocky home. It’s a bit of a labyrinth and takes some getting used to, but she knows she is much safer up here where most other creatures don’t dare to climb. Things used to be a lot easier for her kind, she was told. There weren’t any of the cunning foxes who like to have rock wallaby joey for dinner, or the goats which are now eating all the good food first. They have tried to adapt to these changes, but she knows there is only one way to fix the problem. If the humans help mend the changes they created.

Rock wallabies are small marsupials who live in fortress-like rocky homes in Australia. These nocturnal creatures spend their days in the shelter of their homes, either a cave, an overhang, or some kind of vegetation amongst the rocks, only venturing out at night to feed. They have a highly adapted physique to help them jump nimbly around their rocky homes. They have powerful legs and sharp claws which let them climb trees and even scale almost vertical rock faces. They are the most diverse of all macropods (kangaroos, wallabies etc), with 19 species identified.

Rock wallabies are marsupials, which means the young spend a lot of time in the warmth and safety of their mother’s pouch. They are born just a couple of centimetres big, and not quite developed. They crawl into their mothers’ pouch and attach themselves to one of her teats inside, where they continue to grow for 6-7 months. Once the joey is more developed it can start to venture out of mums pouch but will often jump back in whenever there is danger around. At 9 months old the joey is fully weaned and will leave its mothers pouch for the last time.

Rock wallabies vary in terms of their conservation status with some populations very at risk, even having disappeared from the south. They first became threatened with the arrival of Europeans after they began hunting them for their fur. But the bigger threat which came with the new settlers, were the animals they brought to these environments. Still today, the biggest threats to the rock wallabies are from these introduced species such as red foxes who hunt them, and other herbivores, particularly goats, sheep and rabbits who compete with them for food. With increasing habitat fragmentation and destruction, the wallabies are also at risk of lower genetic health because of their shrinking numbers. 

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

Through public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. With this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love, and with love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast and #wildaboutbabies to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these babies you can adopt them and help them via the WWF: > Click here: www.wwf.org.au 

If you are interested in buying Wild About Babies related art, you will also be directly helping real babies in the wild with 30% going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animals conservation: Click here to browse art https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/wild-about-babies

ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.

The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.

Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.

Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world. 

Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.

Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.

Please follow @gillieandmarcart