Taronga Zoo

Meet Enrique & Carlos the Squirrel Monkeys

10606485_783463211716572_8102452732487517742_nBorn in May only a week apart at the Taronga Zoo, Squirrel Monkeys Carlos and Enrique are starting to develop their own personalities and are becoming more independent every day. 

10580235_783463201716573_8046956776605471170_nPhoto Credit: Lisa Ridley

According to keepers, Enrique has more confidence than Carlos.  This adventurous little Monkey spends more and more time away from his mother, Ayaca, and spends less time riding on the backs of other females in the troop.

Enrique can often be heard vocalizing to others when he is high up in the trees.  Carlos, on the other hand, still chooses to ride around on his mother Llosa's back or be carried by the other females.

Just recently, keepers have been seeing the two little Monkeys playing together.  Though they are starting to nibble on cucumbers, grapes, and leaves, both youngsters still nurse from their mothers, and will continue to do so for several more months.

Squirrel Monkeys are native to Central and South America, where they spend their days in the forest canopy in troops as large as 500 individuals. 

Tree's a Crowd: Baby Squirrel Monkeys Born at Taronga Zoo

A group of Squirrel Monkeys new to Australia’s Taronga Zoo has already produced two energetic youngsters.  The troop leaps and climbs in the treetops of the zoo’s Amazonia exhibit. 

IMG_6584Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo 

Eleven females recently joined Taronga’s male, Chico, in the exhibit.  Eight weeks ago, two of the females gave birth to single babies. Taronga Zoo is part of the joint Australasian breeding program for Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys.

Over the next few months, the baby Squirrel Monkeys will cling to their mothers like tiny, furry backpacks until they are ready to start exploring on their own.

Squirrel Monkeys engage in alloparenting, in which other females assist the new mothers by carrying and grooming the infants. They are native to South America, where their rain forest habitat is threatened by illegal logging.

See more photos of the baby Squirrel Monkeys below.

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First Koala Joey of the Season at Taronga Zoo

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Taronga Zoo welcomed its first koala joey for this year’s breeding season, with the little female beginning to explore the world outside her mother’s pouch to the delight of visitors.

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Bai_yali 9Photo Credit:  Taronga Zoo


The joey has been named Bai’yali (pronouncedbye-yah-lee’) after the D'harawal Aboriginal word for ‘stringybark,’ one of the eucalyptus species favoured by koalas. 

Koala keeper Laura Jones said mother Tilly had taken to her new role remarkably well.

“She’s proving to be a very relaxed and nurturing mum. She’s doing all the right things and her joey is thriving. Bai’yali is fully out of the pouch now and can often be seen holding onto mum and snuggling in her belly when they are resting,” said Laura. 

At seven months old, the joey is beginning to taste eucalyptus leaves and steadily gaining weight and the fluffy fur for which koalas are known. She will spend at least another three months with her mother before venturing out on her own. 

Part of Taronga Zoo’s koala breeding program, Bai’yali is the first of three joeys expected to emerge at the Zoo this breeding season. Tilly’s younger sister and tree-mate, River, is also carrying a male joey. 

“He still just fits inside mum’s pouch, but it won’t be long before he’s out and about too,” said Laura. 

Koalas are under threat from urban development and forestry breaking up their natural habitat.

See more photos of the joey below.

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Meet Button, The MacArthur Marino Lamb!


Visitors to Taronga's Backyard to Bush got a surprise last Friday when the zoo's MacArthur Merino Sheep, Berry, gave birth on exhibit! The healthy female lamb, who keepers’ have named Button, can now be seen alongside mum at Taronga’s farmyard.






Taronga Welcomes Lucky 13th Glider Joey

Glider Joey (14)

The world’s only successful breeding program for Yellow-bellied Gliders at Taronga Zoo has welcomed its 13th joey.

In the last few days, keepers in the Zoo’s nocturnal exhibit, Australian Nightlife, have been able to get a good look at the youngster which a vet check confirmed was a male.

Also known as the Fluffy Glider, the remarkable marsupials can still be found in bushland at the edge of Sydney, such as in the Bouddi National Park.








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Wallaby Joey Gets a Helping Hand at Taronga Zoo

A Swamp Wallaby who was rejected by her mother is being cared for by zoo keepers at Australia’s Taronga Zoo.

Swamp Wallaby joey 3 June 2014 (3)CROP
Swamp Wallaby joey 3 June 2014 (16)CROP
Swamp Wallaby joey 3 June 2014 (40)cropPhoto Credit:  Taronga Zoo

The six-month-old female joey was found separated from her mother in the zoo’s Wallaby exhibit.  Keepers’ attempts to reunite the joey, named Mirrawa, with her mother were unsuccessful, so they took on the job of caring for the joey.

Mirrawa is currently being fed milk developed specifically for Wallabies.  She’s just beginning to chew on soft new growth leaves of a few native plants, such as bottlebrush.

Keepers will care for Mirrawa until she is about eight months old.  At that time, she’ll be reintroduced to the exhibit, where she will live among the Wallaby group.

Swamp Wallabies are common in the forests and scrublands of easternmost Australia.  They emerge at night to feed on a wide variety of plants.  

See more photos of Mirrawa below.

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Three's Not a Crowd for Koala Joeys

Three Joeys (1)_Credit Ellen Wilson, Taronga ZooThree’s a crowd – unless you’re a Koala joey at Australia's  Taronga Zoo!

Keepers spotted joeys Sydney, Milli and Tucker snoozing and spooning happily together. The trio have been tree-mates in the Zoo’s Koala Encounter area for the past month, since moving away from their mothers.Three Joeys 1_Credit Ellen Wilson, Taronga Zoo

Koala Joeys 7_Paul Fahy
Koala Joeys 9_Paul FahyPhoto Credits:  Ellen Wilson (1,2); Paul Fahy (3,4,5,6,7,8) 

The two females, Sydney and Milli, are nearly 18 months old, while male Tucker is the youngest at 12 months old.

Koala keeper, Laura Jones said the trio are enjoying their time together and can often be spotted eating or sleeping close together – and occasionally on top of each other.

“Tucker is usually the poor guy on the bottom. I think he goes to sleep first and then the girls find a comfy spot on top of him,” said Laura. “He’s seems to quite like it at the moment though, as it may remind him of cuddling with his mum.”

Part of Taronga Zoo’s Koala breeding program, Sydney, Milli and Tucker all emerged from the pouch during last year’s breeding season. The Zoo has three more joeys getting ready to emerge this season.

See more Koala photos below the fold.

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Wombat Breeding Could Help Save a Species

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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.

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4 wombatPhoto credit: Taronga Zoo

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.

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Long-Awaited Otter Pups Born at Taronga Zoo

DSC_0241After a 10-year wait, keepers at Australia’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo are thrilled with the birth of two male Oriental Small-clawed Otter pups on January 24.

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DSC_0250Photo Credit:  Taronga Zoo

This is the first offspring for the mother, Emiko, and the father, Pocket.  Both parents are displaying ideal nurturing behaviours. “Emiko and Pocket are being really attentive parents, we are really happy with their nurturing behaviors, as they are both first-time parents so it is a big learning curve for them,” said Senior Keeper Ian Anderson.

According to keepers, Pocket is very paws-on with parenting.  He helped Emiko build the nest before the pups' birth and now helps provide food and care for the growing pups. 

The zoo had been trying to successfully breed Oriental Small-clawed Otters for the past ten years. “We had tried a number of different pairings during this time but finally got the right match with Emiko and Pocket,” Anderson said. 

Read more and see more photos below.

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Tree Kangaroo is Taronga's First in 20 Years

1173709_691854294210798_759551476_nAustralia’s Taronga Zoo is celebrating the successful birth of its first Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo joey in more than 20 years! The female joey was born in September, but keepers have only just begun seeing her tiny head peeking out from first-time mother Kwikila’s pouch.

Photo Credit:  Sam Bennett

Like all marsupials, female Tree Kangaroos have a well-developed pouch in which they carry and nurse their young.  The joey, which has not yet been named, will remain in Kwikila’s pouch for several more months.  As she grows, the joey will start exploring the world, but mom’s pouch will remain a favorite retreat until she can no longer fit inside.

Tree Kangaroos are different than their ground-dwelling Kangaroo cousins in Australia.  They have shorter hind legs and stronger forelimbs to maneuver in the treetops.  The long tail provides balance when leaping from branch to branch. 

Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are native to upland rain forests on the island of New Guinea.  They feed on the tough, fibrous leaves of the silkwood tree.  These leaves are digested by their specialized stomachs, which are similar to those of ruminants like cows. 

Due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their meat, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

See more photos of the joey below.

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