Posted on 21st December 2020 by Media Relations
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Taronga Western Plains Zoo had its first extended closure period in the zoo’s history due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst staff at the Zoo continued to feed and care for the animals, it was a tough time with no guests coming through the gates.
Despite the closure there were plenty of positives at the Zoo in 2020. The new Waterhole precinct opened featuring a new café, integrated animal exhibits and a water play area which has proven very popular in these warmer months. The new African Wild Dog exhibit was also completed and now offers a number of different vantage points for guests to view this critically endangered species.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s conservation programs for native species have had a huge year, with lots of breeding success. The Plains-wanderer program recorded its first breeding success with two successful hatches in March and September. The Regent Honeyeater program commenced this year and achieved a 100% success rate with all six Dubbo pairs breeding some two or three times. The team are currently at 30 chicks born into the program this year with one more month remaining in the breeding season.
Greater Bilbies have been a key focus for the team at the Zoo with an estimated 50 joeys born into the conservation breeding program since it commenced in October 2019. The release of 10 Greater Bilbies into Sturt National Park for the first time in a century was a historic moment for the Zoo and a great achievement for the wider team involved in the project.
There was also lots of breeding success across the site with two Giraffe calves, three Otter pups, a Hippo calf, two Spider Monkey babies and a Zebra foal welcomed this year.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo now turns its attention to 2021 with construction commencing on two major projects – the construction of a new brand new Wildlife Hospital and a world class refuge for Platypus.