Wellington Zoo

ARACHNOPHOBIA WARNING! It's Spiderling Time, Folks. Sorry! Not Sorry!

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ZooBorns doesn't often post baby spiders, but when we do, the response is... well... polarized! For those of you new to the ZooBorns family, welcome! We may seem like fuzzy and sweet rules the roost here, but, in fact, we have a special place in our hearts for the, well, more... creepy crawly babies! (N.B. They are sometimes fuzzy!) We know there are arachnophobes in the group so this is fair warning: if you can't stand spiders, please avoid this video and what lies beneath the fold, you're not gonna like it. Alas, here come  @WellingtonZooTrust 's Bird Eating Tarantula Babies!


Continue reading "ARACHNOPHOBIA WARNING! It's Spiderling Time, Folks. Sorry! Not Sorry!" »

Super-sized Litter of Capybara Pups Born at Wellington Zoo


The Wellington Zoo welcomed an extra large litter of  Capybara pups on October 25. First-time mother Iapa delivered seven pups - the normal litter size is three to four pups, but the litter size can range from one to eight.  


The care team is keeping a watchful eye on mom and pups to ensure that each is nursing and developing properly.  Keepers noted that Iapa is a bit exhausted but she’s doing well. For now, the new family is living in a private den where Iapa can bond with her babies. 

Capybaras are the world’s largest Rodent species and are native to South America. They inhabit a variety of habitats including forests and grasslands and usually live near water. 

Though not listed as being under threat, Capybaras are hunted extensively for their meat.  They live groups of 10-20 individuals.  

See more photos of the babies below.

Continue reading "Super-sized Litter of Capybara Pups Born at Wellington Zoo" »

Nyala Newcomer at Wellington Zoo


A Nyala calf was born at Wellington Zoo, in New Zealand, at the end of October. The lovely newcomer joins older brother, Basie, who was born earlier in the year on Valentine’s Day.



4_NyalaCalf_WellingtonZooPhoto Credits: Wellington Zoo

Keepers are giving the calf and mother time to bond, so it will be a few weeks before the sex of the newborn is known.

The Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), also known as Inyala, is a spiral horned, mid-sized antelope native to southern Africa.

Adult males stand at 43 inches (110 cm) and females at 3 ft. (90 cm). Males can weigh up to 276 lbs. (125 kg) and females up to 150 lbs. (68 kg).

Their coat is a rusty brown color in females and juveniles, but adult males develop a darker brown or slate grey coloring. Females and young males have ten or more white vertical stripes on their sides.

Only the males have horns, and the horns typically grown to 33 inches (83 cm) in length. There are only one or two twists in the horns. They Nyala have hairy glands on their feet, which leave a scent wherever they walk.

The Nyala breed throughout the year, with mating peaks in spring and autumn. Gestation lasts about seven months, and typically, a single calf is born. Newborns weigh about 11 lbs. (5 kg). Mothers will hide their calves for the first several weeks and nurse regularly.  The calf will remain with the mother until the birth of the next offspring.

The Nyala is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but major threats to the population are hunting, habitat loss, agriculture and cattle grazing. Today, over 80% of the total population is protected in national parks and sanctuaries, mostly in South Africa.

There are currently eight Nyala in residence at Wellington Zoo, and they are part of a regional breeding programme, in New Zealand, for the beautiful animals.

Rescued Owl Ready to Fly


A rescued Owl is ready to be returned to the wild after receiving expert care at New Zealand’s Wellington Zoo.



10926824_10152810244493462_9044059940995389830_oPhoto Credit:  Wellington Zoo

The young Morepork Owl was brought to the zoo in early December and cared for in the zoo’s unique Nest Te Kōhanga, a veterinary hospital dedicated to caring for New Zealand’s native fauna.  The little Owl now has his adult feathers and is ready to be released into the big wide world.  For the first two weeks of his release, he’ll live in an outdoor aviary run by a local sanctuary.  A lamp hanging outside the aviary will attract moths, allowing the Owl to practice his hunting skills.  After two weeks, the door will be opened and the Owl can choose to fly away or return for food if needed.

Morepork Owls are New Zealand’s only surviving native Owls, and live only in New Zealand and Tasmania.  They are also known by their Maōri name (Ruru) and Australian name (Boobook), both of which reflect the Owls' two-part calls.  These small owls live in forests and frequent urban parks.  They feed on large invertebrates such as caterpillars, beetles, and moths.  

2 New Meerkat Pups For Wellington Zoo


New Zealand's Wellington Zoo welcomed a pair of Meerkat pups in January. The couplet is vivacious and healthy according to zoo officials. The birth of new Meerkats is a great opportunity for zoo visitors to observe how each Meerkat has special duties that benefit the group. The babysitters stay close to the burrow with youngsters under their care. The sentries will scan the horizon and sky for predators and the hunters will dig for food, some of which will be given to the young. The young will accompany the group on foraging trips from about 2 months.


Photo credits: Wellington Zoo

Four Little Meerkat Pups Develop Confidence!


Four little meerkat pups were born on October 31, at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. Their mother is named Feta... but the father is unknown. Feta could have paried off with any one of the 5 males in the mob.

One of the babies first ventured out into the sunshine on exhibit with the others at only three weeks old. The rest of it's siblings stayed behind in the den. Meerkats are highly social and live groups called mobs, which made up of as many as three family groups (up to 30 individuals total). Each family group is made up of parents and their offspring.



Mum and pup

Meer peek 3 wk
Photo Credit: Wellington Zoo

Now over 6 weeks old, they all have been out in the yard. Not only that - they have gotten confident enough to attempt snagging their food right from the grown ups, as seen in the video below!


Surprise! It's a Tiny Pygmy Marmoset

Marm ledge

A tiny baby clings to it's father's fur at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.... a bit of a surprise to the Keepers there Friday morning. They had suspected that now-mom Piccu was pregnant, but at some point during the night on October 6, the Zoo's 6th Pygmy marmoset came into the world.

The baby's sex won't be determined for 30-60 days when it has it's first well-baby check up. During that time, in fact up until about three months, the father will continue to carry the baby, excpet when it goes back to it's mother to nurse. Once gender is determined, the Keepers will come up with a name. 

Pygmy marmosets are the smallest monkey in the world, with an adult weighing about 3-5 ounces (85-140 gms) and from head to tail reaching the length of about 13 inches (330 mm). They are not listed as Endangered but they are in danger of becoming such due primarily to habitat destruction.  The fact that they are extrememly adaptable to their environment helps quite a bit. They live in the Amazon rainforest of Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru and can be found high up in trees near riverbeds.

Marmoset 1tp

Marmoset carrying
Photo Credit: Wellington Zoo

Labrador Shows Lonely Dingo Pup the Ropes

At New Zealand's Wellington Zoo, a young Labrador mix is teaching a Dingo puppy the art of being a canine. Percy, a yellow lab who was abandoned and picked up by the SPCA, is playing companion to young Wolfrik, Wellington's sole Dingo pup. According to zoo officials, Percy is a bit older and wiser, and hasn't been shy about putting young Wolfrik in his place. The zoo hopes that they will be able to find a mate for Wolfrik, at which point Percy will be adopted by one of the zoo's staff. The Dingo is a primitive canine species found only on the Australian continent. It is often mistakenly thought that Dingoes do not bark.

Wolfrik lunges for a nibble on Percy's ear

Wolfrik goes for higher ground

It's exhausting being this rambunctious.

Maybe the Dingo Ate Your Kibble...

Dingoes are not domestic dogs but boy does this little pup look like one! New Zealand's Wellington Zoo welcomed a new Dingo puppy from Australia this past Friday, July 23rd. There is a common misconception that Dingoes were simply domestic dogs that went wild but they are actually a distinct evolutionary line. The most popular theory suggests that Australian Dingo developed from semi-tame wolf-like ancestors that accompanied humans to the continent around 4,000 years ago.

Dingo puppy hamilton zoo 1

Dingo puppy hamilton zoo 2