08/02/2012 02:12 pm ET

Orphaned Wombats, Brookfield Zoo's Newest Additions, Represent Landmark For Species (PHOTOS)

The arrival of Brookfield Zoo's newest foster animals means a lot to the species.

On July 11, a male and female southern hairy-nosed wombat orphaned in their native Australia arrived at the zoo, the first of their kind to relocate to North America in decades, according to the Chicago Zoological Society.

Including that pair, only nine wombats are currently living in North American zoos, the CZS said in a release. Three wombats live at Brookfield Zoo full-time, including Kambora, a 12-year-old female, who has a 5-month-old joey in her pouch, due in the fall.

On August 1, the wombats completed their mandatory 30 day health quarantine and were temporarily put on display. Soon they'll be transferred to Toronto Zoo, where naturalists hope they'll breed, ABC Chicago reports.

“We are honored to lead this collaborative effort and provide wombats with expert care as they make the journey to their future homes,” said Glenn Granat, a CZS curator, said in a statement. “For more than 40 years Brookfield Zoo has cared for wombats. We look forward to sharing our resources and expertise with other zoos participating in the program.”

Take a peek at the wombats and other new additions to Chicago's zoos below:



Chicago-Area Zoo Additions