Taronga Zoo Sydney is thrilled to announce the recent birth of Greater Bilby twins, the second successful birth of bilby joeys in the last 12 months – a significant contribution to Taronga's conservation breeding program.
The two joeys, which are both males are estimated to have been born in early May in an off-display bilby breeding facility at Taronga’s Backyard to Bush precinct. The names ‘Mallee’ and ‘Cliff’ were chosen by Keepers to pay tribute to the Mallee Cliff National Park, an area in which the Greater Bilby was reintroduced in recent years.
“The Greater Bilby was once widespread throughout arid and semi-arid Australia, including NSW. However, due to habitat loss and introduction of predators such as feral cats and foxes, the Greater Bilby has been locally extinct in NSW for more than a century,” says Backyard to Bush Keeper Paul Hare.
“These little joeys are the offspring of Sandy, the female joey that was born only last year as part of our breeding program,” says Mr Hare.
“Bilby’s become sexually mature at just six months old and can have up to 20 joeys in their lifetime, so although these two births may seem insignificant to some, in fact, these two joeys are heavily contributing to the future of their species. Whether they be destined for release in Sturt National Park, contributing their valuable genetics to our breeding program or acting as ambassadors for their wild counterparts through education, these two bilbies we go on to do great things,” says Mr Hare.
Both Malee and Cliff are developing very well and growing at a rapid rate. Backyard to Bush Keepers are weighing the joeys weekly to ensure they are gaining weight at the appropriate rate, however as the twins may be destined for release in the not too distant future, the keeper’s husbandry approach is very hands-off. This is to ensure the duo are destined for success.
Currently, Malee and Cliff are spending their days getting used to their new home and surroundings at Taronga’s Backyard to Bush breeding facility, which is off display to the public. However, you can stay up to date with the iconic duo via tarongatv.com
Despite both Taronga’s two Zoos being currently closed the critical conservation work never stops, you too can support Bilbies and their wild cousins by donating to www.taronga.org.au/greaterbilby.
For more information on our bilby breeding program please visit www.taronga.org.au/animals/bilby