Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s companion dog Iris, who helped raise two hand-reared Cheetah cubs, has officially finished her role at the Zoo and been adopted by two zoo keepers, Andrew and Bobby-Jo.
Iris was chosen to join the Zoo team as a companion dog when she was just a puppy, and has fulfilled that role over 12 months. During this time she has been cared for by keepers and vet nurses, and enjoyed regular daily walks behind the scenes. She’s stolen the hearts of Zoo staff, greeting everyone daily with enthusiasm and extreme tail wagging.
Iris has joined Andrew and Bobby-Jo’s three other dogs and settled in well to her new home. She will be missed by the Zoo team but we know we’ll receive regular updates from Andrew and Bobby-Jo.
Iris played an integral role in the raising and development of single Cheetah cubs, Siri and Jelani. The two cubs were born in two different litters last year and were unfortunately rejected by their mothers.
Siri and Jelani have gradually been introduced together and now reside in the same paddock in a behind-the-scenes area at the Zoo.
The two cubs are still honing their hunting skills by playing together, ankle tapping each other, wrestling and reacting to movement, which is age appropriate behaviour for Cheetah.
Whilst they are too young at present to join the Zoo’s breeding program once they are old enough they will play their part in helping to conserve their species.