Australia Zoo

A Puggle is Born at Australia Zoo

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Who's this little critter? It's a 30-day-old Echidna baby, known as a 'puggle'— one of only 24 ever bred in captivity! The proud parents are Tippy and Pickle of Australia Zoo. The tiny baby, whose sex has not been announced, is well cared for by its mom, Tippy. 

Echidnas are monotremes, the only living group of egg-laying mammals. Echidnas breed in July and August. Four weeks after conception, the mother lays a single, soft egg and places it in a pouch on her abdomen. After just ten days, a tiny, naked puggle hatches and continues to develop in mom's warm pouch, lapping up milk secreted from glands on her abdomen. The puggle will stay in Tippy's pouch for about 60 days until it is just too spiky to carry around. Then she will hide her baby in a burrow under a log and return to nurse it occasionally until it is weaned at about seven or eight months old. 

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3 puggle

4 pugglePhoto credits: Australia Zoo

Echidnas live only in Australia and New Guinea. They have no teeth, but are well adapted to eat termites, ants, beetle-larvae, and other soil invertebrates: their large strong claws are great for breaking open rotting logs, and their long snouts allow them to root around in soil. Short-beaked Echidnas are a very common species, but the other three species (the Sir David's Long-beaked, Eastern Long-beaked, and Western Long-beaked Echidnas) are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are threatened by hunting as well as by habitat loss from logging and agricultural expansion. The successful birth of another puggle in captivity brings us a step closer to conserving these unique creatures. 

Congratulations Kaitlyn! Two Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born at Australia Zoo

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Kaitlyn, a six year-old Sumatran Tiger, safely delivered two healthy cubs on August 22—the first tiger cubs to be born at Australia Zoo in it 43-year history! After going into labour at 11:00 am, she delivered the first cub at 5:07 pm and the second at 5:39 pm. Both Kaitlyn and her new arrivals are healthy and doing well, according to Australia Zoo Head Tiger Supervisor Giles Clark.

"We're so pleased with how well the birth went. Kaitlyn is a fantastic first time mum," Giles says. "The cubs will spend the next few weeks bonding with mum. This will also ensure the cubs gets the colostrum and a head start while they are so small." Visitors to Australia Zoo will have the opportunity to see the cubs in late October, but in the meantime, you can take a peek inside the den with a live tiger cam.

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Photo credits: Australia Zoo

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Australia Zoo's Rhino Calf is a Big Boy


The Australia Zoo welcomed a 150 pound (70 kg) Southern White Rhinoceros calf on May 4. The male baby is steadily gaining weight and now weighs more than 220 pounds (100 kg).



Photo Credit:  Australia Zoo

The calf was born to parents DJ and Caballe, and is the third Rhino to be born at Australia Zoo. He joins half siblings Mango, born in February, and Savannah, born in 2011. The entire Rhino family can be seen in the zoo’s African Exhibit.

Southern White Rhinos are the most numerous of all Rhino subspecies, with more than 17,000 individuals living in southern Africa. They breed readily in captivity and have been reintroduced into protected areas in southern Africa.

It's a Girl! Second Southern White Rhino Baby for Australia Zoo

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Australia Zoo announced the birth of their second Southern White Rhinoceros calf, a baby girl. The calf, born February 7, is the first offspring for parents Inyeti and DJ. This is Inyeti’s first calf, and only the second rhino to be born at Australia Zoo and Queensland. According to keeper Renee Schier, the baby is making great progress. “We’re very excited to announce that the calf is healthy, strong and weighs between 45 – 50 kgs (99-110 pounds)."

Southern White Rhinoceros are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to poaching threats and illegal use of Rhino horn. There are approximately 18 – 20,000 Rhino left in the wild and another 780 in captivity. Australia Zoo is part of a regional co-operative program working with other zoos in Australasia to maximize breeding potential and genetic diversity of the White Rhino.

Rhino mom noses

Rhino angle w mom

Rhino mom bum

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo

Despite arriving a little earlier than anticipated the baby is showing all of the normal signs for a healthy calf. Renee added, “We’re really happy with her progress. She is feeding and is quite active – she was walking within hours of the birth.”

Here is a video of the baby that was made to announce a naming contest. The public was invited to submit names last week and now everyone is waiting for Terri Irwin, and her children Bindi and Robert to announce the name. 


More pictures of mom and baby after the fold:

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Frodo the Koala Joey's Recovery

Bandaged Koala joey Frodo at Australia Zoo 1a

When Frodo the baby Koala arrived at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital three months ago, she had 15 shotgun pellets in her tiny body and no mother. The victim of a vicious, inexplicable attack, this heartbreaking but sensational story made international news. Well now ZooBorns brings you an under-reported, but hopeful update on this special little orphan joey.

Bandaged Koala joey Frodo at Australia Zoo 2

Koala X-Ray

While the odds were certainly stacked against her, Frodo has made outstanding progress, so much so that veterinarian Dr. Amber Gillett moved her to an outdoor enclosure.

Dr. Gillett detailed Frodo's progress: “I am so happy to see Frodo's health continuing to improve every week. She now weighs a healthy 2.6kg since being in care at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital which is a great indicator of how well she is doing. [Her recent check-up] was very pleasing. There were no signs of deterioration, her blood lead levels have, so far, been within normal limits and her fur has completely grown back over old wounds making her virtually unrecognisable to the Frodo who came into care three months ago.”

Frodo the Koala with keeper taking a peek

Frodo says helloPhoto credits: Australia Zoo

Unfortunately caring for Frodo has been extraordinarily expensive. Explained Dr. Gillett “A patient like Frodo costs thousands of dollars to treat and care for before returning to the wild,” Dr Amber said.“[She requires] fresh leaf, paste, and fluids; not to mention associated medical costs such as antibiotics, x-rays, surgery, and around the clock veterinary treatment, all of which adds up. Without donations from the general public, we couldn't continue our vital work here at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.”

Help Frodo's recovery by contributing to her care with a donation on the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital's special Frodo support page

More pictures below the fold

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