Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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White Rhino calf Kamari and mother Mopani Photo by Rick Stevens
The autumn school holidays are just around the corner and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is buzzing with baby animals of all shapes and sizes, including four Giraffe calves and three Rhino calves!
 
“Autumn is the perfect time to see all our youngsters,” Zoo Director Matthew Fuller said. “We’ve had some major breeding successes recently, with lots of new arrivals including Rhino calves, African Wild Dog pups, and Giraffe calves.”
Last year, in a Taronga Western Plains Zoo first, a calf was born to each of the three species of Rhino at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. A male Black Rhino calf named Dafari was born in April, female White Rhino calf named Kamari was born in December, and Australia’s first Greater One-horned Rhino calf, male Rajah, was born in October. The Zoo is extremely excited to have all three calves on exhibit for visitors to see these holidays.
 
“This is an exciting time for the Zoo and for our visitors,” Zoo Director Matthew Fuller said. “Never before have we had three Rhino calves on display from three different species at the same time, it’s a great opportunity for parents to bring their kids along to learn about Rhinos, their plight in the wild and what we are doing to conserve these remarkable animals.”
 
In March, Taronga Western Plains Zoo was thrilled to announce the births of two Giraffe calves, taking the total born at the Zoo this year to four.
“The quartet of calves is doing really well,” Supervisor Keeper Pascale Benoit said. “They have formed a crèche, as they would do in the wild, and stick together throughout the day, often galloping around the exhibit in the early hours of the morning.”
A great time to see the Giraffe calves and the rest of the herd is during the daily Giraffe in Focus encounter; just $7 per person on top of Zoo admission this encounter gives visitors the opportunity to get up close to these majestic creatures.
 
Growing up quickly are nine African Wild Dog pups that are ready to make their public debut this Easter. Born in November, the litter has been spending time with their pack behind the scenes, with Keepers excited about their development. “Due to their nature and social structure, African Wild Dogs can be very challenging to breed. This litter is the first for the Zoo since 2009 and we are looking forward to seeing them on exhibit,” said Supervisor, Jen Conaghan.
These and many more amazing animals and activities await visitors this autumn school holidays!
 
The Zoo is open every day of the holidays, from 8.30am–5pm, and is a great place to relax and unwind with family.
 
Tips for visitors are to plan ahead, and take time to check out the free daily Keeper Presentations and Animal Feeds - these are the best times to see the animals and learn about them, as well as the Zoo’s care and conservation efforts. In addition to the free daily Keeper Presentations, there are behind the scenes tours and animal encounters including Early Morning Walks, Tiger Encounter, Meerkat Encounter, Giraffes in Focus and Wild Africa Encounter.
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