It's the last episode of Wild Life At the Zoo and an episode that reveals the emotional highs and lows of a life dedicated to caring for wildlife.
Taronga's Chimpanzee group are world renowned for behaving and acting just as a wild population does. This involves all the political machinations, scheming and battles amongst the males to be alpha male, and families who want to dominate the community with their power and influence.
The life of a Chimpanzee is never dull, but for the Taronga group, it’s about to get a lot more interesting with plans to produce offspring. Taronga has selected various females to breed to enhance the genetic diversity of the primates within the Australasian region.
After a comical scene where zoo keepers collect chimp urine and test it using a human pregnancy kit (Chimps are 98% genetically the same as us), female Kamili is confirmed to be pregnant.
Kamili is a lower ranking female, but exceptionally valuable genetically. Chimps both in zoos and in the wild, have been known to kill the offspring of lower ranking individuals to avoid them gaining support and status within the community, and Taronga's experienced primate keepers attempt various strategies to provide Kamili with all the support and protection she will need for a successful birth.
For a change of pace, Wild Life at the Zoo takes you deep into the Aussie bush to see firsthand, one of the many conservation projects Taronga is involved in to assist animals in the wild.
190 kilometres away from Taronga, near the famous Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains, a tiny colony of Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby lives.
80 years ago, the species was thriving in the area, but by the 1992 there were only seven left. The rest of the population were wiped out by non-native species, like foxes and cats introduced into the area.
Since then, Taronga and the Office of Environment and Heritage have worked together to build up the population and monitor their health and wellbeing.
The scenery is astonishing, terrain rugged and the majority of the work is done at night, hiking along vertical cliffs. It’s certainly not a job for the faint-hearted.