Taronga Western Plains Zoo has been delivered a tall order with two giraffe calves born into the breeding herd just one day apart early last week. The two new additions join 16- and 11week-old giraffe calves, Matata and Wayo, bringing the breeding herd size up to an incredible 13 individuals.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s three female lion cubs have officially been dubbed with the purrfect names to take their pride of place in Dubbo. Amali, Mara and Imani are the new cubs on the block pawing their way into the hearts of guests visiting the Lion Pride Lands.
Lion Supervisor Justine Powell said the four-month-old cub trio were a delight to watch blossom, with their confidence and personalities becoming stronger with every passing day.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is brimming with pride to announce the birth of a trio of lion cubs on 7 April in a major breeding success for the species. This is the first litter of cubs born at the Zoo since 2016, and the first born to new breeding pair, Marion and Lwazi.
“The female cubs are very healthy and meeting all their milestones,” said Senior Keeper Melanie Friedman. “Marion is a beautifully attentive mother. It has been a privilege to watch and be part of her journey through to motherhood and now nurturing these three precious bundles of fluff.”
SOUND ON! If this isn't the most adorable video then we don't know what is. Watch Hari the Greater One-horned Rhino calf blow bubbles in the mud wallow!
Hari has been developing well behind the scenes since his birth on 17 October and has grown in size as well as confidence. Mother Amala is still very protective of her calf and the pair have developed a strong bond.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s eight Ring-tailed Lemur babies are now approximately two months of age and becoming very active as they continue to grow and develop.
The babies have started trying solid foods and are becoming very playful. They can often be spotted jumping from one climbing structure to another or playing in the trees together on their island home.
“The babies are starting to eat branches and leaves as well as trying vegetable pieces more and more now. They are still suckling from their mums which is to be expected as most of their nutrition is coming from their mother’s milk,” said Primate keeper, Sasha Brook.
Keepers are delighted to announce the safe arrival of eight Ring-tailed Lemur babies to eight different mothers in the breeding group at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.
The new babies are made up of five males and three females and are yet to be named.
“This is the most successful breeding season for our Ring-tailed Lemur breeding group to date,” said Keeper Sasha Brook.
“We have five first-time mothers and three experienced mothers. They are all doing a great job caring for their babies. It’s not uncommon for keepers to see one mother grooming another mother’s baby throughout the day.”
These babies are also the first offspring for new male, Skynard who arrived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo last year. Skynard originated from a Zoo overseas therefore his genetics are incredibly important to the regional breeding program in Australasia.
“These babies are the second generation to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and it is truly wonderful to see some of the first offspring born here now become mothers themselves.”
“At the moment the infants are clinging to their mum’s bellies and suckling milk but in the coming month they will start to be more active and begin riding on their mother’s backs more and more,” said Sasha.
Ring-tailed Lemurs only have a very small window to fall pregnant. They generally come into season for 24-48 hours once a year, so if there isn’t a successful mating during this period it is a long wait until the following year.
The Ring-tailed Lemur breeding season is generally in March-May, so births are usually expected in early spring following a four-month gestation period.
“The babies are currently a little difficult to see as they are small and clinging to their mum’s tummy but are most active in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon on the island if the weather is warm.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to two groups of Ring-tailed Lemurs, a breeding group near the Savannah picnic ground and a bachelor group at the Savannah Lake. The breeding group now has 17 individuals including the most recent babies, whilst the bachelor group has four individuals.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo will reopen on Monday 18 October 2021. For more information about the Zoo or to purchase tickets visit www.taronga.org.au/dubbo.
Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the birth of three Meerkat pups on 16 August 2021 to parents Midra and Howell.
This is the second litter for Midra and Howell, having welcomed five pups in late November 2020. This new litter comprises of one male and two females. The pups are yet to be named and have recently emerged from their den.
“The pups generally stay in the den for the first couple of weeks of life until they open their eyes and get stronger,” said Meerkat Keeper, Karen James.
“The trio has only recently emerged from the den and we are really happy with how they are growing and developing.”
The five older siblings play a very important role in helping to babysit and care for the new pups. Whilst they rely on mum for milk for now, they will start trying solid food at around four weeks of age.
“At six weeks of age the Meerkat pups will have their first of three vaccinations and we will conduct a quick physical examination at the same time,” said Karen.
“We are looking forward to watching the pups grow both in size and confidence as they start to explore their habitat more and more.”
Whilst it is temporarily closed, the Zoo will be provide regular updates on the new arrivals through its social media channels.
“No doubt when the Zoo does reopen a visit to see the Meerkats will be high on the list of things to do, as they don’t stay little for long,” said Karen.
This recent birth brings the total number of Meerkats at The Waterhole precinct to 10. There is also a second group of Meerkats next to the Black Rhinos at the start of the zoo circuit.
Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor yesterday announced the public debut of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s latest addition – a baby Black Rhinoceros calf.
“The little female rhino was born on 17 February to first-time mother Bakhita,” Mr Sartor said.“It is the second generation born in the zoo’s breeding program.“It’s terrific that this baby Rhino has become available for public viewing in time for the school holidays.”
A public competition will be announced shortly to name the baby Rhino.
The zoo is widely recognised as a world-class open range zoo, which has an international reputation in Black Rhinoceros breeding, research and conservation. Since the 1990s, the Zoo’s breeding program has produced 11 Black Rhinoceros calves, supporting the survival of this critically endangered species. In total, the zoo is home to almost 1,000 animals.
Mr Sartor said Taronga Western Plains Zoo has been experiencing a recent baby boom – currently on display are four Cheetah Cubs, three Giraffe calves and a Przewalski's Horse foal.
“This baby boom is fantastic for conservation and tourism with 70% of visitors to Dubbo going specifically to visit the zoo,” Mr Sartor said. “Visitors to Dubbo will also be able to see four Cheetah cubs, including two King Cheetah, believed to be two of only 60 King Cheetah in the world.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keepers, such as Nick Hanlon have been monitoring Bakhita and her calf closely to ensure the pair is bonding.
“Bakhitais a fantastic first time mother, doing everything right from the moment she gave birth,” Mr. Hanlon said. “The calf is quite confident and inquisitive but still doesn’t venture too far from mum’s side. “She is quite active and loves a run around the paddock, but like most youngsters she gets tired pretty quickly. “At birth the calf weighed about 30kg and now would be around 40kg. “In time the calf will also play an important role in the international breeding program, either here or at another Zoo.”