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Taronga Zoo New Taronga Zoo TV Series

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoofan15, 15 Oct 2019.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    New Taronga Zoo TV Series

    Nat Geo Wild and More 4 Snap Up Australian Doc Series ‘Inside Taronga Zoo’

    The 10 part series is produced by McAvoy Media for Nine Network Australia, where it will air as “Taronga: Who’s Who In The Zoo.”

    “Inside Taronga Zoo” follows the 240 keepers and vets caring for 5,000 animals in the zoo’s Sydney harbour location and out in the field.

    From complex logistical tasks like moving large wild animals and conducting emergency surgery to releasing animals back into the wild, the series reveals life behind the scenes at the famous Australian zoo.

    The series has already been pre sold to the US and UK; with expectations it will also be sold internationally. Hopefully that’ll include NZ this time (who missed out on Series 2 of Taronga Zoo: Wildlife at the Zoo).
     
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  2. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds quite exciting! :) It’s been quite some time there has been an Australian zoo tv series. I’ll be certainly watching! :D
     
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  3. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    It has been announced Australian actress Naomi Watts will narrate the series.

    Movie star Naomi Watts to narrate new series Taronga: Who's Who in the Zoo
     
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  4. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo – Episode 1

    I thought I’d provide weekly summaries of the new Taronga series for anyone interested.

    The episode began with Kibali, the zoo’s silverback gorilla. He required a complete veterinary check-up as he had a mild illness (symptoms mentioned included stomach cramps and drinking more water than usual). He was hand-injected by one of the keepers and didn’t react at all to the needle due to years of training. After a team of keepers and workers helped move Kibali to the wildlife hospital, the vet conducted a full examination and couldn’t identify any obvious issues or problems other than an old scar on his eye. A specialist also checked for heart disease; a common problem among gorillas. The examination conducted by the specialist and the further blood tests all came back normal.

    At Taronga Western Plains Zoo, keepers attempted to reintroduce white rhinos, Mopani and her two-week-old female calf back into the all-female group. Mopani was initially very protective of her calf and earlier introductions proved unsuccessful. Eventually mother and calf were reintegrated back into the group.

    Taronga Zoo's wildlife hospital received two Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) after a violent storm. Unfortunately the older bird had to be euthanised. The younger albatross was sent to a rehabilitation pool and after ten days was released three kilometres offshore.

    There was also a brief mention that their Quokkas had bred successfully.
     
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  5. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I thought they had said it was the best zoo in the world?
     
  6. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Assuming it will also be broadcast in Victoria; i’ll definitely tune in for the following episodes.
     
  7. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who's Who at the Zoo - Episode 2

    Episode two was a bushfire special with a particular focus on one of Taronga's vets volunteering with wildlife rescue organisations at Bairnsdale, Victoria. They received several koala patients and unfortunately one of the koalas died during a check-up under anaesthetic. Whist on the topic of koalas, this episode also filmed the arrival of twelve wild-caught koalas from Kanangra, NSW, back at the zoo. Apparently these were the first koalas ever discovered above 1000 metre elevation. The koalas were in the direct line of fire and will be rehabilitated at the zoo.

    Conscious of food supply, Taronga’s zoo nutritionist (who is apparently the only zoo nutritionist in Australia) trialled hydroponic barley fodder as a substitute for dried grasses and hay. Using significantly less water than standard grasses and being easy to source, the zoo plans on using this during times of hardship, and when it’s difficult to source produce due to availability or pricing. The nutritionist initially tried the grass on several animals (the tiger cubs as a form of behavioural enrichment, and food for capybaras and elephants) with much success. Interestingly, she also trialled the hydroponic grass with the zoo’s red-necked pademelons. I didn’t know Taronga had this species but they seem to be only viewable for guests staying at the Taronga Wildlife Retreat.

    Murphy, the zoo’s oldest Californian Sea Lion had a limp when he walked and was experiencing pain in one of his flippers. After conducting several x-rays, the vet determined that Murphy had a small fracture in one of his neck vertebrae. Considering his age (he is 16) the vet ruled out surgery and provided him with pain medication and recommended a reduced activity schedule.

    Episode three will show the platypus pair moving to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. That will be very interesting to watch!
     
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  8. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who's Who at the Zoo - Episode 3

    Episode three was a really interesting program that featured some more unusual creatures.

    The show began with the zoo’s marine animal team and the food preparation area for their seals, pelicans and penguins. It was Little Penguin breeding season and the keepers conducted nest box checks. The zoo’s colony stands around 43 individuals and several pairs have access to the 15 burrows in their enclosure. Despite a slow start and mixed breeding success, the keepers found several pairs incubating eggs and even two chicks. The keepers also had to remove some of the infertile eggs to give several of the newer pairings another opportunity to produce a second clutch. After eight weeks, the penguin chicks were introduced into the main enclosure and pool.

    Joining the zoo’s collection of invertebrates, Taronga received a wild-caught Sydney Funnel-web Spider who had mites and needed treatment. Using a paintbrush and water the keeper was able to carefully remove the majority of the mites.

    There was also a brief story featuring Dubbo’s young pair of Asian Elephant bulls, Luk Chai and Pathi Harn, who received fruity ice blocks in 40-degree-heat. Pathi Harn is the more dominant animal and is starting to develop a nice set of tusks.

    The main story of this episode was the ambitious Platypus move to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Two keepers and a veterinarian came over from San Diego to undergo a very thorough two-week ‘platypus bootcamp’ and familiarise themselves with the breeding pair, Birra and Eve. The insulated transport boxes for the platypus were layered with reflective foam to maintain a temperature under 20 degrees. The platypus were carefully loaded onto the plane and arrived in the US in good condition. San Diego’s platypus facility looks very nice and I like how the enclosure has opportunities for the platypus climb onto rocks out of the water. It is also quite well-lit for a platypus exhibit.
     
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  9. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo – Episode 4

    The show began with one of my favourite species - Ghost Bats! The two bats underwent a veterinary check-up prior to their departure to a wildlife park for breeding purposes.

    Tonight’s main story was the arrival of five Capybara from Wellington Zoo. It was interesting to see the amount of media coverage and cameras that were present when the capybaras first went on-display.

    Also highlighted this episode was the critically-endangered Bellinger River Turtle (Myuchelys georgesi) – a species I was fortunate enough to see in Taronga Zoo’s reptile house a few months ago. Decimated by a disease outbreak, Taronga Zoo captured the remaining individuals of the species in 2015 and currently house 16 breeding adults. After conducting an ultrasound all six adult females were gravid! A really fantastic result and I hope the eggs were fertile.

    At Dubbo, one of their pregnant Ring-tailed Lemurs, Noa was unexpectantly involved in an altercation with the troop. The lemur suffered a few injuries including a split lip and she lost a finger. During the emergency check-up her baby was fortunately found to be still alive and she gave birth later that night.
     
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  10. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo - Episode 5

    And we are halfway!

    Tonight’s episode began with Taronga’s main ungulate keeper who works with the zoo’s small collection of hoofstock (giraffe, pygmy hippopotamus, bongo and soon to include zebra in the new African Savannah precinct). It was interesting to see the preparation and training area for the giraffes and the work that goes into maintaining good hoof care. The rest of this particular story focused on the bongos at Taronga (their sole male Ekundu) and Dubbo’s group including their (at the time) pregnant female, Djembe. Keepers at Dubbo were very conscious of the need for more female bongos in the region and were hoping for a female calf. Nevertheless, a bongo birth is a bongo birth and Djembe successfully gave birth to a male – who was later named Jabali. It was a bit bittersweet watching his birth as Taronga Western Plains Zoo has just announced his death due a gastrointestinal infection.

    Over the past nine years, Taronga Zoo has bred six Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat joeys, all which have been female. Their most recent joey, Waru was sexed as a male and unfortunately lost his mother, Cora and had to be handraised by the keepers. He was experiencing some problems walking and was diagnosed with weak bone development. Luckily the problem could be managed.

    There was also a story on the zoo’s bird collection (finally) featuring their Andean Condor, Leslie. She apparently was reluctant to fly down during recent bird shows but she quickly completed the task after some additional training. There really wasn’t much to this particular story but it’s always great to see a condor.

    The final story was about the three Asian Elephants at Taronga Zoo having their daily baths.
     
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  11. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    With such a small foundation base with the Bongos they were really never going to go any where in the long term also a lot of the young bred here appear to have been males, I believe even the female that was imported from Singapore got sick and so far has never bred to date. There are a few zoos within the country that are interested in importing Bongo when allowed, We can hope that Taronga would jump on board and be part of a large import group that can be bred for the long term in the region!
     
  12. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I forgot to upload my summary of an episode that aired back in March. The series finally returns on Wednesday night and episode seven will feature the chimps!

    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo -
    Episode 6

    This episode featured the zoo’s attempts to breed Australian Sea Lions. They paired 10-year-old female Nala (who was born at Taronga) with their large bull, Charlie. The keepers were working on conditioning Nala to become comfortable with the ultrasound machine. The mating was successful and she was pregnant. She later went on to give birth Torre in 2019.

    The zoo’s oldest resident – Esmeralda, a female Aldabra Giant Tortoise turned 103 years old. She arrived at Taronga Zoo in 1947 after the war. The zoo also has an approximately 70-year-old male named Lance. Giant tortoises are really the oak trees of any zoo!

    The most interesting story for me was seeing their off-display venomous snake room. Species seen included Monocled Cobra, Broad-headed Snake, Inland Taipan and Red-bellied Black Snake. The zoo itself houses around a dozen venomous snakes with the majority being natives. However, this story told the story of one of the zoo’s Olive Pythons – who is named Olive like every other Olive Python in Australia. :pThe python suffered from chronic back problems which after a vet examination, was placed on a treatment trial.
     
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  13. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who At the Zoo – Episode 7

    The main story tonight was about three chimpanzees who were anaesthetised in one morning! Naomi, Ceres and Cebele all received examinations by the vets in the wildlife hospital. It was interesting to watch that after Naomi was darted; she handed the dart back to vet. The focus of the veterinary examination was on Naomi – a female who has been having problems with carrying her pregnancies to full-term. Naomi has had two stillborn infants during her time at Taronga. One of the babies died a few weeks before the due date and both were growth-restricted (smaller than usual) babies. From an ultrasound, the human obstetrician uncovered nothing unusual with Naomi’s reproductive system. Her sister, Ceres was also examined as a comparison but no differences were found with the ultrasound. So there wasn’t really much that came from this story but they did mention that they would continue to try and breed from Naomi. (EDIT: Taronga Zoo just posted that Naomi is on contraception).

    There was a segment about the zoo’s Red Panda as well. Male, Pabu was separated from female, Amala, to avoid an unwanted litter. He was moved into a neighbouring enclosure.

    Also, there was a nice story about one of their bird keepers. It was good to see the off-display aviaries and one of the zoo’s Sooty Owls – a species I am yet to see. Continuing the theme of owls, an injured Boobook Owl was brought into the wildlife hospital. The owl was eventually released.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2020
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  14. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo – Episode 8

    They finally did the story on the future African Savannah area. Apparently a precinct with five/six commonly-housed species is one of Taronga’s biggest projects in the zoo’s history. :rolleyes: No African aviary, no reptiles, no small mammals beside meerkats and potentially Fennec foxes etc. – a shame really but it’s not surprising I suppose. Considering how space-constrained the zoo is, I think it would great if Taronga did like a ‘Little Africa’ complex featuring some of the smaller African species; instead of just exhibiting a few crowd-pullers, but oh well.

    There was no mention of Fennec foxes but I assume (and hope) they are at least still being included. The lions - as mentioned elsewhere in some of the other threads - and ostrich are coming from Dubbo. They mentioned that the African Savannah project has been in the pipeline for six years and at the time of recording, had taken 18 months of construction. The giraffes were the first species to move into the new area. The main focus of this story was crate-training the zoo’s three Giraffe in preparation for the move across to the other side of the zoo. Unfortunately, Nyota (1992) the zoo’s oldest giraffe had to be euthanised right before the move due to age-related issues. I commend the zoo for showing the entire process of the euthanasia (from the dart to the final fall). It took Nyota quite awhile to feel the effects of the dart. It was clearly a very emotional and difficult time for everyone involved, but again I am glad they filmed something that is rarely recorded and shown to the public.

    There was also a nice feature on lizards. A keeper talked about a few of the smaller species – Shingleback, Eastern Spiny-tailed Skink, Red-barred Dragon (an active little species, anyone who has seem them would know) and Gila Monster. The final lizard shown was their male Komodo Dragon, Naga, who had an injured shoulder. The zoo used a laser treatment.

    Another story was about their Asian Small-clawed Otters. This segment reminded me that the zoo does have a great underwater viewing area for the species; next to the pygmy hippo/ruddy shelduck viewing window. Ketut, their adult male was due for his general check-up. Instead of the usual net capture, the keeper hand-injected the otter.

    There was also a short story about a check-up of a Short-beaked Echidna.

    The best news of the night was finding out that Dubbo has a pregnant Black Rhino!! Looking forward to that calf when (hopefully she) arrives!
     
  15. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Is there a way to watch these (outside Australia)?
     
  16. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  17. wally war eagle

    wally war eagle Well-Known Member

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    the zoo downunder is shown in usa on nat geo
     
  18. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who at the Zoo – Episode 9

    The zoo’s fifth Fiordland Penguin – a female with an injured flipper, arrived from quarantine at Melbourne Zoo. At the time of recording and before the additional female arrived, the zoo housed four (1.3) Fiordland Penguins – male Mr. Munroe and females Moey, Gari and Dusky. This particular individual was the one that arrived last year at the zoo. During her vet examination, there were some concerns with the penguin overheating and she was quickly released into her temporary pool. The female was eventually introduced to the rest of the penguins one by one. After a lively discussion between the keepers, the penguin was later named Piopiotahi. Such a delightful species and I hope one day Melbourne or Taronga can successfully breed them in captivity.

    One of the two’s zoo Fishing Cats – their female Maew, was experiencing some hair loss on her back. Despite running through a thorough examination, it still remains a mystery what caused the hair loss. Fishing cats tick a lot of boxes for Australasian zoos yet with only five fishing cats across two facilities currently their future certainly seems limited.

    They did another story on the critically-endangered Bellinger River Turtle. According to the show, the virus killed off approximately 4000 turtles within a matter of weeks – such an incredible loss but congratulations to the zoo with the work they are doing with this species. This time round the story focussed on the zoo releasing ten juvenile turtles into the Bellinger River. This was the zoo’s second trial release. While they were releasing the turtles, they also saw turtles from the previous release.

    The final mention tonight involved Rin Tin Tin, Taronga’s Saltwater Crocodile. The crocodile required a vet examination due to poor teeth growth. The vet gave Rin Tin Tin some vitamins with a pole syringe.

    Next week’s season final will focus on the Sun Bears and a potential pregnancy! In the preview the vet was conducting an ultrasound for Mary, their female and surely they would want to finish the season on a high. Maybe hope isn’t all lost for the Sun Bears in the region… we will have to wait and see.
     
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  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for another comprehensive update @WhistlingKite24. Taronga are building up a decent colony of Fiordland crested penguins. It’s great that there’s a future for those that are otherwise unable to survive in the wild and if breeding could be achieved, it’d be easy to establish a genetically healthy breeding colony with new blood regularly entering the captive population.

    I’m surprised the Wild Cat Conservation Centre haven’t imported Fishing cat yet. Like the Temminck’s golden cat, breeding would be more successful if the cats weren’t on public display - which would likely make them successful in breeding; and conversely, Hamilton Zoo unlikely to succeed in breeding anytime soon.

    I await news of a Malayan sun bear pregnancy with much anticipation. The birth of a cub would be the first in the region since Mary was born in 2010. :)
     
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  20. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taronga: Who’s Who At the Zoo – Episode 10 [Season Final]

    Wow, well that was anticlimactic – false alarm there was no Sun Bear pregnancy. :( Taronga made this entire song and dance about it yet when the ultrasound was conducted no foetus was found. I think that ship has sailed with breeding their sun bears, considering the male’s age (Mr Hobbs).

    There was also a ‘fluff story’ about a Koala joey. Taronga Zoo has 24 koalas which is nothing compared to my local zoos – Australia Zoo has around 70, Currumbin has about 60 and Lone Pine has approximately 100 koalas!

    The final segment was about a general hospital story involving several animals; a female Meerkat who had a lame leg and a wild Lace Monitor that had a barbecue skewer through its body.

    Well for those who followed my weekly updates (which I don’t think were many:p) I hope you got something out of them. I wonder if this series will return for a season two. I enjoyed watching the series and seeing the inner workings of the zoo.
     
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