They’ve got some of the foulest breath of any animal in the Zoo. They’ve got a fearsome reputation, with folklore suggesting they can kill men with their breath alone, possess spiritual powers to cause untold sickness and can spit their venom and leap several metres in the air to attack ...and we’ve just hatched out four of them!
When you think large raptors visions of prehistoric beasts from the pages of ‘Jurassic Park’ may come to mind, however raptors also refers to a specialised group of birds, named for their powerful gripping feet. The largest of those found in Australia is the Wedge-tailed eagle, sporting an incredible wingspan of 2.2m tip to tip. If you’ve not seen one, you are missing out, but luckily to witness these birds in flight you won’t need to travel back 65 million years, you can visit us down at the Bird Show and meet our newest addition, a 12-month old male Wedge-tail.
There was a buzz in the air as our guests arrived, cameras clicking and smiles all round. With the spectacular view of Sydney Harbour in the background, this was clearly going to be an exciting event as the finalists for Tourism Australia’s The Best Jobs in the World competition joined keepers in the Bird Show amphitheatre. To greet them, there was myself and some other members of the Taronga team, including a Diamond Python, Short-beaked Echidna, White-tailed Cockatoo and my counterpart “Nangaw”, the Powerful Owl.
Taronga Zoo is home to six Australian File Snakes. You may have walked past them in Reptile World but may have not stopped to appreciate how amazing they are. They live in fresh water and their rough scales help them hold fast on to fish that become a meal. Even more fascinating is that they can devour a whole fish in 15 seconds! See the video of them during mealtime here.
Taronga Zoo celebrates NAIDOC week for three weeks every year, providing an opportunity for visitors to discover more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture and their connections to animals.
Every day, our gorillas are given a variety of leaves and branches for them to eat as part of their diet, but some days it seems like more fun for the young gorillas to either run around with them or try their hand at building nests. Recently, our five year old male, Fuzu, found himself out on exhibit with lots of Olive branches, so he tried his hand at making a day nest.
Qwikila our new Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo is proving herself to be quite a character. The adult female arrived from Belfast Zoo earlier this year as part of the international breeding program for this endangered species. Even though she hasn’t been at Taronga for long, keepers report that she has settled in well and been busy making the most of the Australian sun. Find out more about this important new female, here.
For those who are not familiar with Take 3, we are a not for profit group (real people - surfers, divers and beach lovers ) promoting a simple message -"Take 3” pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere. Our mantra is "Pick it up Bin it Take 3 for the Sea"
Food is a way to a gorilla’s heart and it doesn't matter what age you are.... Kipenzi, our youngest gorilla, is not only finding her independence and giving Kriba her mother a little more exercise around the exhibit these days, but she is really starting to find her way around the food we provide on a daily basis.