Taronga Zoo in Australia is celebrating the arrival of its second Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat joey in three years, a breeding success story that could also help the Critically Endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat.
The female joey, which has been named Sydney, has just begun venturing outside mom Korra’s pouch at eight months old, to the delight of keepers and visitors.
Keeper Brett Finlayson said the birth was particularly exciting as Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are notoriously difficult to breed.
“Compatibility and timing seem to be crucial ingredients for success, as the female is only receptive to the male for a 12-hour window. Korra and our male, Noojee, have proven to be a great pairing as this is their second joey in three years,” said Brett.
See photos and learn more after the fold.
Discovering the successful “formula” to breed Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats is also seen as an important step towards saving their Critically Endangered cousin, the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, of which there only around 200 left in the wild.
“There’s no zoo-based breeding program for Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats at this time. However if we can perfect and apply what we learn from our breeding program here to Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats in the future, the ramifications for this critically endangered species could be immense,” said Brett.