Visitors to Taronga Zoo’s Great Southern Oceans these holidays will be some of the first to glimpse ‘Franklin’ the rescued Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal.
About 2000 kilometres from the closest colony on Macquarie Island, Franklin is the first of his species to call Taronga home in some time.
Franklin’s trainer, Brad McKenzie, said: “Franklin is a great little seal and fitting in really well, he’s definitely got some attitude and making the most of his second chance at life. At the moment he’s sorting out the pecking order with the boys, but it’s wonderful to be able to give him a home.”
“If you want to see Franklin I would check out the Habitat Pools behind the Seal Theatre where he may be hanging out with some of the other male seals.”
Visitors will also get to hang out with other seals thanks to Taronga’s sponsor Ausgrid which has provided an amazing computer-generated experience for kids to interact with the ‘virtual’ Nala the Australian Sea-lion, while learning about saving energy and the environment. Ausgrid will have the augmented reality experience set up near the water playground in Great Southern Oceans every day.
With the warmer weather some of Taronga’s youngest animals are already starting to peek out from their mothers’ embrace. The most recent is a Francois Leaf-monkey born on the 20th of August. The infant named ‘Tam Dao’ can be glimpsed along the Rainforest Trail with mum, Meili, and six month old Keo-co. Together the group are a delight watch as they spring through their forest habitat and bask in the spring sun.
Both Koala and Wallaby joeys are now visible in the Australian Walkabout trail too. The little youngsters are spending much more time out of their mothers’ pouches as they become more confident, exploring their surroundings.
Visitors will also be able to explore a once hidden corner of Taronga from a new boardwalk that reveals spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and Taronga’s Himalayan Mountain Goats, the Tahrs.
The boardwalk sweeps across the face of a small cliff, with stroller-friendly ramps that give everyone a birds eye peak into the life of the agile Tahrs on the steep exhibit, before arriving at the Zoo’s Snow leopard Mountain at a favourite resting place of Taronga’s majestic Snow Leopards.
Ensure your day is packed full of fun from start to finish by attending as many of the 20 free keeper talks and shows daily as you can, as well memorable animal encounters. These talks and shows are full of great information and stories told by the keepers who look after the animals every day. It’s sometimes the best opportunity to see your favourite animals as they may be getting fed at this time also.