Spring Baby Boom at Taronga

Spring Baby Boom at Taronga

Spring’s arrival at Taronga has started early with new

babies popping out across the Zoo.

Taronga’s primate keepers have been busy with the

arrival of another endangered bright orange, Francois Leaf Monkey, the second

to be born this year.

The male infant, named ‘Tam Dao’ after a National

Park located in Vietnam north of Hanoi,

was born to mother, ‘Meili’ and father ‘Hanoi’ and found cradled in its

mother’s arms in the early morning of Saturday 20 August by Zoo keepers who had

been monitoring the pregnancy.

Meili arrived from Beijing last year to help create

the natural harem social structure of this monkey species. She is a very

experienced mother, having had offspring previously, but not at Taronga, and

also helped share the mothering of ‘Kei-co’ a young male born to the other

female in Taronga’s group, ‘Saigon’, earlier this year.The birth is extremely encouraging as few as 1000

François Leaf Monkeys exist in the wild and Taronga is the only Zoo in Australasia

to care for this highly endangered Asian monkey. The new arrival, the

energetic, ‘Kei-co’ and the adults are best seen in their tropical Asian

rainforest exhibit around 11:30am and 2:30pm.Spring

is busy for the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital too and keepers are flat out being

surrogate mothers to orphaned native wildlife in need of extra attention. Taronga’s

keepers’ outstanding skills have enabled them to save the lives of many tiny

animals through intensive hand-raising.Keeper, Megan, is raising a young seven-month old female Red Kangaroo joey which arrived at the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital too young

to survive without its mother. Megan has stepped in to fill the void, bottle feeding

the joey special marsupial milk formula every four hours. She carries the joey in

a little backpack, which people often stare at in amazement as it wriggles as Megan

goes about her daily work. The female joey will remain in Megan’s dedicated

care for at least another four months, meaning many more sleepless nights and

as Megan describes ‘bags the size of shipping containers under my eyes’.A mob of little possums are also being raised by

carers including ‘Swiss’ and ‘Miss’, two female Ring-tail Possums which were

bought to the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital after being discovered in their dead

mother’s pouch. Weighing less than 60 grams, the possums are cared for 24 hours

a day by keeper, Bobby-Jo and little ‘Swiss’ sports the world’s tiniest splint

after sustaining a fracture to her wrist during the car impact which killed her

mother. Taronga’s koalas have also welcomed new life this

Spring. The Zoo’s Australian Fauna keepers were delighted to find a total of

seven little joeys this breeding season. Some of the young, which are born the

size of a grain of rice, are still tucked away in their mother’s pouches, but ‘Maggie’,

‘Wanda’ and ‘Freya’ are proudly showing off their infants which are snuggled up

close to them.

The Zoo has also bred a Glossy Black-cockatoo chick,

the first for seven years at Taronga. The youngster was hatched by first time

mother, Gloucester. Zoo visitors will be able to glimpse Gloucester and her

chick exploring the Zoo’s dense Bush Bird Aviary opposite the Koala Walkabout.