Two male Cheetahs are now calling Taronga Western Plains Zoo home following their transfer from Halls Gap.
Hizi and Jana were born at Monarto Zoo in October 2012, and arrived at the Zoo in early March.
After completing their quarantine at the Zoo's Wildlife Hospital, the pair moved to the Cheetah exhibit night yards where they quickly settled in, and are now on display.
According to Zoo Keepers, Hizi and Jana have quite different personalities. Hizi is outgoing and confident and the more relaxed of the two. Jana is more alert to his surroundings and watchful; however is becoming more confident as he gets to know his new exhibit and Zoo Keepers, taking cues from his brother.
Hizi and Jana will remain together in Taronga Western Plains Zoo's Cheetah breeding program. In the wild, Cheetah males from the same litter often form coalitions of two or three cats which establish small territories and attempt to mate with females passing through. Females are solitary or accompanied by dependent young.
Hizi and Jana will have some more time to settle in over the coming weeks before moving behind the scenes to the Cheetah breeding yards where they will be able to walk down what Zoo Keepers have nicknamed "lover's lane" – a corridor that runs between a number of night yards housing female Cheetahs – to choose a compatible partner. This will be followed by introductions and hopefully more breeding success for this vulnerable species. The Zoo has a very successful Cheetah breeding program and most recently welcomed cubs in October 2013.
Watch this space!