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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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Discovering the successful “formula” to breed Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats is also seen as an important step towards saving their Critically Endangered cousin, the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, of which there only around 200 left in the wild.

“There’s no zoo-based breeding program for Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats at this time. However if we can perfect and apply what we learn from our breeding program here to Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats in the future, the ramifications for this critically endangered species could be immense,” said Brett.