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
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.