Posted on 19th February 2019 by Media Relations
In November last year, a female Bearded Dragon was brought into the Wildlife Hospital having suffered a significant head trauma, likely caused by a vehicle. Her injuries were so extensive she sadly couldn't be saved. On x-ray examination it was discovered she was gravid with multiple eggs, which were surgically removed and placed in an incubator at the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital.
The eggs had to be kept at a set temperature and humidity, then after an incubation of 74 days the eggs started to hatch. Nineteen healthy baby dragons hatched out of 21 eggs!
“We arrived at work one day to see a couple of the eggs had hatched and we were all really excited. Even more so as more and more of the eggs started to hatch,” said Wildlife Hospital Supervisor, Jane Burgess.
“We were really happy with the fact 19 eggs hatched, it was a great result to what was a very sad situation with the mother passing.”
The baby Bearded Dragons were cared for by the vet nurses at the Wildlife Hospital for a couple of weeks. They were fed insects and cut up vegetables to make sure they were putting on weight and eating well before being released.
“They were all doing really well during the first couple of weeks, growing in size and eating well so we were happy for them to be released back into the wild.”
“The baby Bearded Dragons were released on site here at the Zoo in a behind-the-scenes area that had good coverage of leaf and bark litter, as well as a tree canopy to protect them from potential predators,” said Jane.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital provides a specialised veterinary and rehabilitation service for free-ranging wildlife. It is a fully equipped, modern veterinary facility operated by dedicated wildlife veterinarians and veterinary nurses with expertise in the assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and release of Australian wildlife. Last year the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital saw almost 600 wildlife cases.
If you find a native animal in distress or injured please contact the Wildlife Hospital on 6881 1461 or your local wildlife rescue organisation such as WIRES.