A Spider Monkey baby, two Ring-tailed Lemur babies, a rare Southern Black Rhino calf and White Rhinos on the African Savannah – these are just some of the amazing new arrivals visitors can see at Taronga Western Plains Zoo during the Summer school holidays!
“We’re thrilled to have welcomed an abundance of baby animals born at the Zoo this year, especially in recent months,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director Steve Hinks said.
“It’s an even more exciting time for us as we add a very special new dynamic to the African Savannah - two White Rhinos. In the coming weeks, male Rhinos Humphrey and Winston will be joining the Giraffe and Antelope that already call the Savannah home.
“Visitors can climb aboard the Savannah Safari truck that runs from 10am daily for a unique guided tour amongst these animals, just like a real African safari. With such a wide variety of incredible species so close by, it’s an unforgettable experience,” Mr Hinks said.
Baby animals are a highlight these holidays, heralding more success for the Zoo’s breeding programs across a range of species.
“A female Spider Monkey baby, born 9 October, is visible from the Zoo’s free Savannah Visitor Plaza area. As the first Spider Monkey baby born here in 16 years, she is a welcome addition to the Spider Monkey troop, and can be seen clinging to mother Jai’s belly on their island home,” Mr Hinks said.
“Two new Ring-tailed Lemur babies can be spotted at the Lemur breeding facility, each riding on their mother’s backs. They are a few months old now and are starting to vocalise, mimicking sounds the adults make. The best time to see them is midday daily.”
Three Giraffe calves born in August and September are also a must-see, as they explore their exhibit alongside the Giraffe herd. Mr Hinks said another major drawcard for visitors to the Zoo these holidays is the male Black Rhino calf, born on Halloween (31 October).
“We’re looking forward to Black Rhino, Bakhita, and her yet-to-be-named male calf to make their public debut on exhibit in late January. Nearby, Bakhita’s other daughter, Kufara, is on exhibit with her own calf, Mesi. It will be wonderful to have three generations of Black Rhino on exhibit,” Mr Hinks said.
Black Rhinos are critically endangered in the wild, so every birth is significant. Visitors to the Zoo can learn more about this remarkable species and many others during daily free Keeper Talks.
“The Black Rhino Keeper Talk is one of nine free daily talks included in the cost of Zoo entry. They are a great chance to learn about the Zoo’s animals from our knowledgeable Zoo Keepers, and to see animals at feeding time,” Mr Hinks said.
One-year-old Asian Elephant calf, Sabai, has been showing his playful attitude as he splashes in the Elephant pool with his mother and aunty. Hippo calf Kendi can also be seen soaking up the sun on the banks of Hippo Lake with her mother and sister.
Visitors can choose to explore the Zoo by two wheels or four wheels, or even on foot these school holidays. There are plenty of walking paths to explore followed by a cool drink at Bakhita’s Cafe or the Midway Kiosk.
“Visiting the Zoo is a wonderful way to get out and about during the school holidays. It’s an incredible opportunity for visitors to see to the hundreds of animals we have at the Zoo and develop a close connection with some amazing wildlife,” Mr Hinks said.
Behind the scenes tours including the Early Morning Walk and the Savannah Safari will run regularly during the school holidays. Animal Encounters with Tigers, Meerkats and Giraffe are also available for visitors seeking up close and personal experiences (bookings essential).