Golden Lion Tamarins
The Golden Lion Tamarins have settled in and are getting more confident in their new surroundings. With all but 2%-5% of their original habitat lost the Golden Lion Tamarin is classified as Endangered. In an attempt to curb their precipitous decline, several conservation programs have been undertaken. The intent is to strengthen the wild population and maintain a secure captive population in zoos worldwide.
Our second group of Meerkats are also enjoying their new home, having come to us from Perth Zoo late last year.
New Reptile Pit
The Tiger Snakes have been moved to the new reptile pit and their neighbours are a Rosenberg Monitor and a Lace Monitor. Cunningham’s Skinks and Bearded Dragons are just a couple of the lizards that have gone into where the Tiger Snakes were.
Construction has started on a second Meerkat enclosure with the aim to have a new young group in by Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, Gift Certificates are available from the zoo for Day Passes, Animal Encounters, Adoptions, etc.
Many thanks for the continued support of our sponsors Halls Gap Ice Cream Parlour, YHA Eco Hostel, Big Cat Print and Shelley Waldon.
The dingo pups are growing and are now spending their days in the dingo enclosure with lots of visitors taking the opportunity to go in to have their photo taken with them.
Sniper’s little piglets are also wowing the visitors.
Being the year of the horse and we are very pleased to introduce our new Przewalski’s Horse, Murray. Murray has been transferred from Taronga Western Plains Zoo as a companion animal for our resident male Max, who sadly has been alone since his mate Valeri passed earlier this year. Keepers have been amazed at how quickly the pair have bonded.
Thank you to Big 4 Parkgate Resort for their recent successful “Chat with the Cheetah” promotion.
Just arrived from Queensland are two of the cutest fluff balls you could ever hope to see. “Cat” and “Bobby” are eight week old dingo pups and are named in recognition of the support we have had for the dingoes from Cath and Rob – thanks guys. And now joined by a third little one so come and have your photo taken with these little cuties.
Also thanks to Dulkeith Computer Solutions for their continued support for the giraffe.
Ever considered purchasing a Zoo Membership? It’s great value for those who visit more than twice in a 12 month period.
There has been a bit of everything this month. The Black-capped Capuchins are happy to be back on display in their newly constructed enclosure next door to the White-fronted Capuchins. We have also acquired some koalas, including a young joey that now calls the recently completed second koala enclosure home. Sadly, we lost one of our dingoes, Jedda, who died from old age related problems.
The main construction this month has been to finish the capuchin enclosure and work continues on the quoll enclosure.
Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic red tape the giraffe enclosure and the arrival of the giraffe have once again been delayed. We were hoping to have them here in time for Easter but, barring any more hold ups, it will now be towards the end of April.
January has been a very busy month with the animals.
Most exciting was the arrival of Pygmy Marmoset infants. “Inti” gave birth to triplets (not a total surprise with how big her tummy was getting!!) on the 10th January but we were told by our vet and the species coordinator it is extremely rare for them to raise all three. Sadly we did lose one a few days later but the other two are healthy and going well. This species share the responsibility of raising their young with dad, “Churi”, helping by carrying the load then handing them over to mum for a feed. We are the only zoo in Victoria to have Pygmy Marmosets which are the smallest primate in the world.
Other new displays are Kestrels, Whistling Kite and Bustards as well as an Echidna. We also recently added Crested Dragons, Central Netted Dragons and a Death Adder to the reptile displays in the Fossil Cave.
The White-fronted Capuchin family are also now on display down near the Spider-monkeys.
A hectic month with the revamping of enclosures for the birds going on display, building an Echidna, Capuchin and Quoll enclosures and finishing off a second Koala enclosure. Preparation earthworks have began on the Giraffe enclosure and construction will be full speed ahead in readiness for their planned arrival in late March.
Thank you to Four Clowns Ice-Cream Parlour for their on-going support and make sure you try out one of their ice-creams after you visit the zoo.
Tagged Bustards, Capuchin, Central Netted Dragons, Crested Dragons, Death Adder, Echidna, Fossil, giraffe, Kestrels, Koala, primate, Pygmy Marmoset, Quoll, Whistling Kite
This month has seen the arrival of Roxy the Estuarine Crocodile, Sweetie the Donkey and a pair of Satin Bower Birds. This is a wonderful time of the year with joeys popping their heads out of pouches in at least six Wallaby species as well as the Bilbies, Eastern and Tiger Quolls with many other species starting breeding or nesting in preparation for spring.
The Pygmy Marmosets have settled in well and we are running a naming competition for them. Entry forms are available at our reception counter or alternatively send your suggestion(s) to us with your name and contact details for the chance to win a family day pass. Entries close the end of August.
There are enclosures for Red-Bellied Black Snakes and Whistling Kites currently being built.
This month we would like to thank Michael & Rowena at the Comfort Inn, Halls Gap for their support by becoming a major sponsor of the zoo.
It has been nearly all reptile relocation this month.
“Shrek” the Green Iguana is now on display in his new enclosure in the zoo entrance building. He came to us from Brisbane’s Alma Park Zoo, Queensland in January last year. Shortly after arriving, Shrek made a few public appearances including the Horsham Art Gallery, Hamilton Library and Ararat Library. Since then he has been off display, we thought until we were able to construct a Reptile House, but we have been able to source a suitable display unit that, with some shuffling in the entrance building, enables us to put him on view now.
Sharing his enclosure are Star and Hermann’s Tortoises.
Other additions for public viewing are two Boa Constrictors who now have a home in the Fossil Cave.
The Pygmy Marmoset enclosure is nearly completed ready for their expected arrival on Monday 11th July.
We would like to thank Dianne & team at Pykes Pets & Cycles for their continued support of the zoo and Ian & Heather Seaman from Dulkeith Computer Solutions for their sponsorship of the Giraffe/Zebra Complex.
We are currently finishing off our Veterinary hospital which is located off display. This will enable us to perform all of our operations on site rather than taking animals away as we have had to in the past. Incorporated in this building is a recovery room and attached is a staff lunchroom. All this is not particularly exciting for our visitors but is a key part of our development into a major Zoo.
During May we have made some changes in the entrance building. We have scaled back the artwork to mainly showcase the talent of locals, Ingrid Rudolph (Halls Gap), Grantley Thomas (Moyston), Nicole Konig and Peter Voice (Stawell), James McMurtrie (Pomonal) and a little further afield, Lorraine Collishaw (Ballarat), Chris Hall (Delacombe) and Chris Cope (Bendigo).
With the change in the entrance building we have been able to make room for the hatchling Lace Monitors to be on display.
Later this month we are receiving a pair of Pygmy Marmoset which are the world’s smallest primate species. The female was bred at Perth Zoo and the male at Adelaide so here’s hoping that they fall in love and we can welcome the pitter patter of little feet in the future. This transfer has been in the pipeline for well over twelve months and was delayed because the male, who does the majority of infant care in this species, remained with his parents to learn the skills by helping to rear his younger siblings.
We are also receiving two Eastern Barred Bandicoots soon which will go on display in the Nocturnal House after a quarantine period. This species, that was formerly widespread throughout western Victoria, was thought to be extinct until a small population was found near Hamilton. A captive breeding program at Melbourne Zoo is providing security to the population by producing animals for reintroduction into the wild. Self-supporting populations protected by fox proof fences have been established at Hamilton Community Parklands and Woodlands Historic Park. Re-introduction into the wild without protective fencing has also been undertaken near Skipton, Beaufort, Colac and Branxholme with varying degrees of success. Longer term we are planning to introduce a free ranging population in a large fox proof enclosure on the zoo grounds.
The planning for our Giraffe/Zebra is coming along well. We are in great need of help to finance this exciting project so anyone who feels they would like to help please give us a call as did Raymond Blizzard & Associates – thanks Neil.
A new group of Spinifex Hopping-mice and three more Squirrel Gliders have been moved into the Nocturnal House along with all the Possums. Renovations to what was the Possum enclosure enabled us to bring onto display three Blue-winged Kookaburras and a pair of Barking Owls.
The school year is underway with bookings currently being made for both evening encounters at one of the school campgrounds and/or visits here at the zoo. We would like to thank both Norval and Roses Gap for their continued support in this area.
A close encounter with one of our favourites, the meerkats, is still proving to be a great treat along with entering the dingo den or holding an alligator, chameleon or snake.
A popular choice for the young, and the young at heart, is to have your next birthday party at the zoo. Special rates are available so give us a call to book the bbq and enjoy a great family day out.