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Taronga Western Plains Zoo giraffe calf named 'Mvita'

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a female Giraffe calf born in the night quarters on the morning of Monday 4 April 2011 and the arrival of two groups of Ring-tailed Lemurs.

The female calf, who has been named Mvita by her keepers meaning ‘full of life’ in the African language of Shona, is the seventh calf for experienced mother, Mutangi.

“Both mother and calf are doing very well.  Mvita is reluctant to wander away from mum’s side at present but that is very normal at this early age,” said keeper Mark O’Riordan.

“Over the coming week we will see Mvita become more confident and start venturing away from mum to mingle with the offspring from last year’s breeding season.”  

“Mvita is full of attitude and does not always do what her keepers would like her to. She is easily identified by a black spot or birth mark on her neck which is quite unique and something the keepers have not seen before,” said Mark.

The Zoo has also welcomed two groups of Ring-tailed Lemurs from a Zoo in Hong Kong. Both groups are now settling in to their new home in Dubbo.

“The family group, which now resides on the Savannah Lake, includes a baby who is only a couple of months old, and we also now have a bachelor group, located near the White Handed Gibbon island in the Zoo,” said keeper Kelly Taylor. 

“The goal is to construct a breeding facility onsite which will see the Zoo join the regionally coordinated breeding program for this species.”

“This is an exciting time for the Zoo and it is hoped that our breeding group will produce more offspring in the future,” said Kelly.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW. The Zoo opens from 9am – 5pm with last entry to the Zoo circuit at 3pm.  For more information call 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

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