Zoo Tales

pc-3This month it was our pleasure to relocate some of the world’s most endangered crocodiles from Melbourne Zoo to their native homeland, the Philippines.

Melbourne Zoo is one of the only zoos to breed this rare species. With so few left in the wild, (only around 250) the Melbourne-born crocodiles will be warmly welcomed by the Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Centre, which is the Philippine Government’s main breeding and release facility.

Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says that “to be able to breed such endangered animals and then return some to the home of their species is a rare and important event. It is a real credit to the skills and dedication of our Reptile Keepers that our breeding program is so successful.”

Read more about these amazing crocodiles and their move to the Philippines here.

237A0097We were also lucky enough this month to transport the very handsome Polo, a black and white ruffed lemur from Perth Zoo to his new home at the National Zoo in Canberra.

Polo has been carefully matched with Setra, a female Lemur at the National Zoo, and it is hoped the two will hit it off, helping to keep their species from extinction. The great hope is that Polo and Setra will start a new family together. Unfortunately, their species is critically endangered due to habitat destruction in their homeland, the African island of Madagascar, where they are also hunted for food and the pet trade.

Perth Zoo senior curator Kay Bradfield says that Polo was much loved by Perth Zoo’s keepers and visitors but he could now help his species be sustainable. “Sending them out sometimes is bittersweet but it is really exciting,” she said. “Polo is going somewhere where he gets to have the opportunity to breed and do what he should.”

Read more about this story here.

A New Arrival

We were very excited when we heard the great news about the birth of a baby gorilla at Melbourne Zoo!

A beautiful, healthy baby was born to mum Kimya, in the presence of the baby’s father Otana and the three older females in the group, Julia, G-Ann, and Yuska.

Photo courtesy of James Morgan Photographic Consultancy

The special arrival is the first gorilla birth at Melbourne Zoo since 2000, thanks to the international endangered species breeding program which matched up two young gorillas born on the opposite sides of the world. Mum Kimya came to Melbourne Zoo from Taronga Zoo in Sydney, while we were very proud to transport father Otana to Melbourne Zoo from Howlett’s Wild Animal Park in Kent, England in 2013.

(Read more about other Jetpets Zoo moves here.)

Primate Department Manager Harna Burton says ‘We had high expectations of Kimya because she was mother-raised at Taronga Zoo and had some great experience watching older females raise their babies.

‘She seems to have learned from observing those behaviours, as she has been a textbook Mum so far.

‘From the time Kimya picked the baby up right after giving birth, she hasn’t put the little one down. Such young gorilla babies need the body heat of their mothers to stay warm, so we have been monitoring this very carefully,’ Harna explains.

(Image right courtesy of James Morgan Photographic Consultancy)

The new arrival coincides with Zoo’s Victoria’s ‘They’re Calling On You’ campaign to protect gorillas on the brink of extinction.

Did you know that one of the biggest threats to gorillas is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones? You can help protect gorillas in their natural habitat simply by donating your old phone:

  • Money raised from donated phones will support Gorilla Doctors, an organisation working to protect Eastern Lowland (Grauer’s) and Mountain Gorillas.
  • Donated phones will be refurbished and resold or recycled for their parts. This gives the phones a second life and reduces the demands for coltan mining in threatened gorilla habitat.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit: http://www.zoo.org.au/get-involved/act-for-wildlife/theyre-calling-on-you

And for those excited to see the gorgeous new arrival, all Zoo visitors are now welcome to visit, initially at the restricted time of 11am to 3pm. Keepers will be monitoring the new mother and baby carefully to determine when the visiting hours can be extended from the 11am to 3pm period.

Click here to read more: http://www.zoo.org.au/news/baby-gorilla-debut

Wild Dogs to Melbourne Zoo

Iafrican-wild-dogs-animal-web620n November, we were lucky enough to transport 4 African Wild Dogs from Perth Zoo to Melbourne Zoo! The 4 dogs, Samawhati, Saba, Duara and Maana, travelled in style in their own custom, airline approved dog crates and have now settled into the new ‘Lion Gorge’ at Melbourne Zoo, where they sit alongside the kings of


the jungle, the lions!

We visited them recently, to see how they were settling in, and we felt like we’d just stepped onto the set of the Lion King! It’s a fantastic new exhibit and we encourage you to check it out if you’re in Melbourne. Click here to check out some more info on Lion Gorge.

Did you know that African Wild Dogs used to live throughout sub-Saharan Africa but now are mostly limited to southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa. Populations have diminished in the face of human activity and habitat loss as well as infectious disease. There may be no more than 5,500 African Wild Dogs remaining in the wild. They are classed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’).

The zoo has plans to breed from the largely female group, to assist in slowing the worrying loss of these animals in the wild. For more info, click here.

Happy (Zoo) Travellers from 2014

lion-yawn-WORZ-animal-profile-web620This year we helped move all creatures great and small, to and from Zoo’s Victoria!

From lions to lemurs, zebras to penguins – and everything in between!

Some of our ‘Happy (Zoo) Travellers’ this year included Nairibi and Nilo the lions who travelled from Denmark to their new home at Werribee Zoo, Kwasi the zebra who came to Melbourne Zoo from Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand and Feisty the seal, who arrived at Melbourne Zoo from Seaworld on the Gold Coast.zebra-worz-1-animal-profile-web620

(You may remember Feisty’s story from earlier this year, click here to read more about her journey.)

We love working with Zoo’s Victoria and look forward to taking you behind the scenes of some exciting zoo moves in 2015 – stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out some of our ‘Happy (Zoo) Travellers’ from 2014 in our short video below.

To learn more about Zoo’s Victoria, or to plan your visit to see some of these gorgeous animals, click here: www.zoo.org.au




Feisty the Seal

On Tuesday we assisted with the move of Feisty the Seal from Seaworld in Queensland through to Melbourne Zoo.

Feisty has had an interesting history, she was found stranded in Esperance, Western Australia in March 2007. At the time she was very small, only weighing 6kg.

And that name?

Well she was named Feisty after her assertive and slightly aggressive nature!

We wish Feisty all the best at her new home at the Melbourne Zoo and encourage all Melbournians to pop down and see her!

Jetpets are proud Silver Corporate Partners of Melbourne Zoo