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Fennec Fox

In this week’s episode, a pair of Fennec Foxes becomes parents for the first time, a White Rhinoceros arrives from Victoria to provide support for Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s pregnant rhino and viewers meet a very special penguin with very happy feet.

Fennec Fox kits are undoubtedly some of the cutest infants born at the Zoo. They’re tiny versions of their parents with large ears which are so powerful, they can pick up the sounds of insects crawling across the sand.

Taronga recently welcomed a new breeding pair of Fennec Fox from Europe, in the hopes to increase the genetic diversity of the species throughout Australasia. This episode shows the very moment the little foxes enter the world. But will they survive? Female Fennec Foxes are known for infanticide, eating their young. Keepers go to great lengths to make the female ‘Kibili’, feel as comfortable and secure throughout the pregnancy, the whole Zoo helps out to minimise noise around the area, but will it work?

Out at Dubbo, a White Rhino, ‘Mopani’ is expecting a calf.

Mopani’s the sole survivor of a devastating neurological disease, which wiped out the other four females over a year ago. Mopani was the last to be infected.  She was five months pregnant at the time, and amazingly was the only one to pull through.

Like all female White Rhinos, Mopani is very social, and needs the company of another female to assist her to raise the calf – enter Likewesi from Werribee Zoo.  Likewesi is nearing the end of her breeding age and has never had a calf, but she is the ultimate aunty and will hopefully help Mopani raise the next generation of this threatened species.

You’ll also meet Mr. Munroe, the Fiordland Penguin, the only one of his species to be cared for by a Zoo anywhere in the world.  Unable to be released to the wild to prevent any possibility of  transferring unknown diseases into the fragile wild population, Mr. Munroe found a home at Taronga after washing ashore in bad health some years ago.

Munroe is animated, inquisitive and always getting up to mischief. You can’t help but smile when you meet him and visitors to the Zoo are about to get up-close to one of the bigger personalities at Taronga.

Check out Mr. Munroe in this video, with one of his keepers, Steve.

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Update:

Since filming wrapped, Mopani welcomed a very healthy young male calf, named Macheo (pronounced Ma-che-o) meaning ‘sunrise’ in Swahili. We are really ecstatic about the new arrival; a few tears were definitely shed! His name is very fitting because Macheo was born at sunrise and we also hope that the birth signals the dawn of a new era for our White Rhino herd and rhinos in the wild.