UPDATE: Chloe the Wombat Walkin’ It Off

Chloe's morning rounds (10)

In October, ZooBorns introduced you to ‘Chloe’, the orphaned Wombat joey, at the Taronga Zoo. Chloe’s mother was struck by a car, and Taronga keeper, Evelyn Watson, became surrogate mom to the six-month-old joey. Evelyn carried Chloe everywhere, in a makeshift pouch, stopping work for feeding every few hours.

Chloe's morning rounds (5)

Chloe's morning rounds (8)

Chloe's morning rounds (11)Photo Credits: Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo

Chloe is, now, nine-months-old and out of the pouch. She has become Keeper Evelyn’s loyal companion and assistant during her morning rounds at the zoo.

The morning walks are part of the joey’s continuing development, as she prepares to take her next big step towards returning to the wild.

“It’s a natural behavior and something Chloe would be doing with her real mother if she’d survived. Wombats stay with their mothers for up to two years, walking by their side until they’re old enough to fend for themselves,” said Evelyn.

Now strong enough to walk and explore on her own, Chloe has begun learning the natural Wombat behaviors she’ll need to survive in the wild. Keepers have built the joey a special home in an off-exhibit area to encourage her to dig burrows and forage for her own food.

“She’s really learning how to be a Wombat. Her paws are already toughening up and she’s quite happy digging about on her own,” said Evelyn.

When ready, Chloe will be transferred to a Wombat ‘halfway house’, where she’ll learn how to care for herself, before being released back into the wild.

More great photos of Chloe below the fold!

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Zoo’s Keepers 'Dig' Chloe the Orphan Wombat

Chloe the Wombat (5) Photo by Paul Fahy

An orphaned Wombat Joey is receiving round-the-clock care at Taronga Zoo after its mother was struck by a car outside Sydney.

Chloe the Wombat (1)

Chloe the Wombat (4)

Chloe the Wombat (2) Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credits: Paul Fahy / Taronga Zoo

Taronga Keeper, Evelyn Weston, has taken on the role of surrogate mother to the six-month-old joey, carrying a makeshift pouch and stopping work for bottle feeds every five hours.

The female joey was rescued by a wildlife carer, in June, after its mother was struck and killed on a road near Jenolan Caves.  Luckily, the joey, named ‘Chloe’ by the carer, was found still alive inside the pouch.

Chloe was brought to Taronga Wildlife Hospital last week for ongoing care, and she’s been busy melting hearts among the Zoo’s keepers, who have been only too happy to help Evelyn with her mothering duties.

“My biggest problem is getting her back,” joked Evelyn. “She’s very affectionate and also a bit naughty. She loves chewing on shoes and if you walk away from her she chases after you like a rocket.”

Chloe will remain in Evelyn’s care for at least another two months, before moving to a temporary new home at Taronga’s Australian Walkabout. Keepers hope Chloe will be strong enough to return to the wild in about 18 months.

There are more amazing pics below the fold!

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Wombat Breeding Could Help Save a Species

2 wombat

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.

3 wombat

1 wombat

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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Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis (The Baby Wombat) Has Entered The Building


At family-run Wild About Wildlife Rescue Center in Kilmore, Victoria, marsupials are regulars.  Earlier in May, when a member of the public brought in a tiny wombat whose mother had been hit by a car, the Milligan family knew just how to nurse the little marsupial back to health.

Thanks to warm blankets and frequent bottle-feedings, the baby, named Elvis, is doing very well under their care. Elvis arrived weighing a tiny 220 grams but has grown to weigh 600 grams.  A baby marsupial is entirely dependent on its mother.  Born tiny, naked and undeveloped, the baby crawls into its mother's pouch where it nurses and continues to grow.  Wombats stay inside their mother's pouch for five months, and become independent at about seven months.




Photo credits: Wild About Wildlife

Learn more after the fold.

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Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Joey out and about at Brookfield Zoo


Some guests to Brookfield Zoo may not know what a Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is since there are only 10 in four North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). But if they visit Brookfield Zoo’s Australia House, they will get to see several of these marsupials, including a female joey that was born February 18, 2012.

The not-yet-named joey is the fourth offspring of 12-year-old Kambora, who was born at San Diego Zoo, and the second for Wilbur, 20, who was wild-born in Australia. Although the joey was born more than eight months ago, it wasn’t until mid-September that zookeepers were able to get a good look at the youngster because, like all marsupials, Wombat joeys develop in a pouch.

Immediately after birth, the tiny joey which was about the size of a bumblebee—crawled into Kambora’s pouch, where she has been sleeping and nursing to get all the necessary nutrients she needs to fully develop. Now predominantly out of her mom’s pouch, the inquisitive joey has been exploring her new surroundings.


Photo credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Last month, the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, held the first North American international symposium on Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats. During the three-day meeting, representatives for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and from Australia shared information on care, husbandry, conservation, and management of the species. Participants discussed local and regional Wombat conservation issues in Australia, as well as the importation process that has been established with the Australian government. This past summer marked a significant milestone for the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat program in the United States in that it was the first importation of this species in several decades.

More pics below the fold!

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Here Comes Trouble: Trifecta of Marsupials Takes Rescue Center's Main Stage


Meet Peggy, Anzac, and Cupcake. Not only are all three Marsupials, but they were all orphaned when motor vehicle accidents claimed the lives of their mothers. It's difficult to know their exact ages, but Australia's Wild About Wildlife Rescue Center estimates that Peggy the Wombat and Anzac the Eastern Grey Kangaroo were 3 - 4 months old when they came into care. Cupcake the Swamp Wallaby was about 5 months of age. They are all fed a low lactose milk formula.





Photo credit: Wild About Wildlife

As you can tell from these images, the trio gets along splendidly, and Cupcake the Wallaby is particularly active these days. "When you are looking for her, you don't bother looking on the floor, you look up to see what piece of furniture she is about to launch herself from," reports Wild About Wildlife founder Alistair Brown. The rescue center's intention is to release them to the wild when they are old enough.

Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Birth May Help Save the Critically Endangered Species


Taronga Zoo is celebrating breeding the Zoo’s first Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat in 30 years, unlocking secrets which could also help their critically endangered wild cousins. The female joey, named Turra (meaning shadow or shade from the Aboriginal Kaurna language group) recently emerged from mom Korra’s pouch and is a triumph for the Zoo’s efforts on behalf of the species; until recently they were thought to be completely extinct in New South Wales and have been notoriously difficult to breed in captivity.

After many unfruitful matings since efforts began in 2002, a few new factors were applied that led to success. “We decided this time to leave the male in with the females for the whole year,” said Keeper Samantha Elton. “We took a hands-off approach and also provided them with new soil to let them create their own burrows. Hoping our male, Noojee, would breed this year, we added a healthy dose of competition by placing another male in the den. Apparently wombats favor certain individuals, so compatibility certainly played a role.”



Little is known about the development of Wombat pouch young, however Korra is very relaxed in her environment, often sleeping on her back, giving Taronga Keepers the unique opportunity to monitor and measure the joey.

“This has provided invaluable information. We were very lucky to have been able to check on the joey from when it measured just 6 cm and was still hairless,” Samantha added.

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat numbers in the wild are in decline with loss of habitat, road deaths, drought, competition for food from introduced species, and, more recently, the debilitating infestation of Sarcoptic Mange. Information gained from zoo breeding programs is crucial in ensuring the survival of this species. 

Photo Credit: Peter Hardin

Read more about conservation efforts for the three species of wombats below the jump.

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Did Somebody Say 'More Baby Wombat?!'

Little wombat says hello

Back by popular demand, the Brookfield Zoo's Hairy-nosed Wombat joey returns to ZooBorns for a second round of adorable wombatitude. Hairy-nosed Wombats are the smallest and most social of all wombat species. Once found throughout a large range in Southern Australia, today the population has been fragmented into a patchwork by human development. The resulting reduced genetic variation makes the species more suspectible to disease. The Brookfield Zoo has exhibited this species for decades and, in fact, was home to the oldest documented Hairy-Nosed Wombats in the world, Carver, who lived to be 34, and his mother, Vicky, who lived to be 24. See the earlier shots here.

Baby wombat and mom at Brookfield Zoo 2


Baby wombat climbs on mom at the Brookfield ZooPhoto credits: Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo

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Look Who's out of the Pouch!

Baby Wombat Brookfield Zoo - check out that nose

Brookfield Zoo has a new resident out of the pouch and exploring more every day: a male Hairy-nosed Wombat baby (called a joey). Born in the summer of 2010 to mom Kambora, the little fellow developed in the pouch following a gestation period of approximately 21 days. Immediately after birth, the tiny joey crawled into Kambora's pouch, where he slept and nursed for approximately nine months getting all the tasty nutrients he needed for proper development. In 1974, Brookfield Zoo was home to the first Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat born outside of Australia. Since then, there have been 15 successful wombat births at Brookfield Zoo. Currently, Brookfield Zoo is one of only four zoos in North America to exhibit Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats.

Baby Wombat Brookfield Zoo - check out that nose 2

Baby Wombat and mom nose to nose

Baby Wombat and mom pose for family portrait

Photo and video credits: Brookfield Zoo

Meet Mirrhi, the Orphaned Wombat Baby

An orphaned baby Wombat is receiving round the clock care at Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital. The little female joey, now named ‘Mirrhi’, was rescued from along the Hume Highway where its mother had sadly been struck and killed by a car. Mirrhi now has a new mother, wildlife nurse Amy, who takes her home every night. Photos by Lorinda Taylor.




Photo credits: Lorinda Taylor / Taronga Zoo

More pics below the fold...

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