Taronga Zoo

Meet Button, The MacArthur Marino Lamb!

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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.

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Taronga Welcomes Lucky 13th Glider Joey

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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

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

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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

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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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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.

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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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Koala Joey's First Day Out at Taronga Zoo

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This little Koala joey emerged from her mother Maggie's pouch for the first time at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on October 11. Spotted clinging to her mum, this female joey is about six months old and is the fifth joey for Maggie, who is good mother and quite protective of her young.

The Koala joey is yet to be named and keepers are currently thinking of an appropriate Australian name for the newest addition to the group. Over the coming months the joey will continue to stay with her mother until approximately 12 months old when she will become independent.

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Meet Frankie, Taronga Zoo's Playful Kid

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These little goats just keep coming! Born Friday 9th August, Frankie is the new female kid at Taronga Zoo in Australia. Frankie needed some extra care from keepers after her mom, BJ, was not able to feed her. With the help of bottle-feedings, Frankie is healthy and kicking.  Just like her dad, Gucci, she has a very playful personality and has won the hearts of staff and visitors. Taronga Zoo's goats are part of an interactive exhibit called Backyard to Bush, which includes a farm area.

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Photo credits: Taronga Zoo


Addax Calf Adds a Boost to Declining Species

A delicate and rare Addax calf was born in early February at Australia’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo.  Named Yasna, which translates to ‘white rose’ in an African language, this little female calf is the third born at the zoo in the last 12 months.  Yasna is an important addition to the captive Addax population because fewer than 500 of these antelope remain in Africa’s Sahara Desert region.

Yasna has spent her first few weeks of life in hiding, which is exactly what this species would do in the wild.  She is now becoming bolder and mingling with the zoo's herd.

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Photo Credit:  Taronga Zoo

Addax are distinguished by their 30-inch-long (80 cm) spiral horns, which are present on both males and females.  To escape the extreme heat of the desert, Addax find bits of shade and dig into the sand where they rest until sundown.  These nocturnal antelope feed on grasses and the leaves of certain shrubs. 

Because Addax are slow-moving, they are easy targets for hunters who prize Addax meat and hides, which are made into leather goods.  With the state of the wild Addax population so precarious, zoo breeding programs are vital to preserving the genetic diversity of this rare species.