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They’re fast, it’s dark and now keepers have finally counted seven! After months of care in their mother’s pouch, what was initially counted as five Northern Quoll joeys is in fact seven. 

The breeding of this species is a first for Taronga’s Australian Fauna team and specifically those who work in the Australian Nightlife exhibit. Two of the carnivorous marsupials which now scurry quickly around their Australian bush habitat were missed by the keen eyes of keepers when they were all caught up for their initially vet checks a few months ago. 

It was great news when the final count reached seven. The successful breeding is due to a younger pair of Northern Quolls arriving at the Zoo earlier this year with keepers deciding to take a ‘hands off’ approach which has worked out perfectly. 

Once you adjust your eyes to the darkness of the Australian Nightlife exhibit it doesn’t take long to make your way around and see the very active joeys clambering all over the trees. The distinctive white spots on their coat create flashes of white as they zoom past in the replicated  dark moonlit night display. 

Northern Quolls are considered a short-lived species with a life span of only six years and a breeding window of only two to three years, so the seven young produced so far will be a great boost for this endangered species. 

In the wild, they are struggling in northern Australia with urban development, competition for prey and their diet of insects, small mammals and  frogs can also include poisonous Cane Toads which are fatal to them.

- Zoo Communications 

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