Taronga Zoo is asking the public for help in naming one of its first-ever Bilby joeys!
The Zoo announced the birth of the two joeys in December, capping off an exciting year that saw The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially open its new Bilby exhibit named in honor of their son, Prince George.
The Bilby youngsters had their first hands-on health check last week, with keepers confirming the pair are both female.
Taronga launched a public naming competition, a few days ago, for one of the two joeys on its Facebook and Instagram pages, calling for suggestions that reflect the joey’s native habitat. Keepers have already named one of the girls ‘Tanami’ after the Tanami Desert, which is home to fragmented populations of the Greater Bilby.
“We’ll be looking for a very Australian name, but not ‘Bruce’ or ‘Sheila’,” Bilby Keeper, Paul Davies said jokingly.
“It would be wonderful to find a name that reflects this beautiful Bilby’s natural habitat, which has sadly declined due to the introduction of farm animals and predators such as feral foxes and cats.”
Mr. Davies said the births have also helped build on the incredible exposure generated by the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Taronga in April 2014.
“You could even say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought us good luck, as it’s after their visit that we've been able to breed Bilbies for the very first time,” he said.
The Bilby (also known as the rabbit-eared bandicoot) is a rabbit-like marsupial. It lives in deserts, dry forests, dry grasslands, and dry shrubby areas in Australia. The Bilby's pouch faces backwards. These big-eared, burrowing mammals are in danger of extinction.
More great pics, below the fold!