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Taronga Western Plains Zoo Taronga Western Plains Zoo News 2018

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoofan15, 31 Jan 2018.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Black Rhino Calf Named:

    Another run on the board for Rhino Conservation at Taronga

    A rare Southern Black Rhinoceros calf born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on October 31 last year now has a name! In acknowledgement of his Halloween birth, Keepers have chosen the name Pampoen for the male calf, which means “pumpkin” in an African language.

    Announcing the name in Dubbo today was Optus Ambassador and Big Bash League Melbourne Stars batsman, Kevin Pietersen. The rhino advocate and former English cricket captain was visiting Dubbo to witness firsthand the work being done in Australia to conserve rhinos, and to continue to spread his important message for rhino conservation.

    “I’m thrilled to meet this special Black Rhino calf and learn about the critical rhino breeding and conservation work happening on the ground, here at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” Pietersen said.

    “Rhinos are magnificent animals and what is happening to them in the wild is unacceptable, with a rhino being killed in Africa every eight hours. It’s absolutely tragic and it’s my mission to increase awareness of their plight and to stop their slaughter. I want my children and children around the world to be able to grow up learning about these incredible animals, not as historical artefacts, but as living, breathing examples of the wonder of our world.”

    Pietersen’s Dubbo visit occurs in the lead up to his farewell “Rhino Match” in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 27 January 2018.

    The Melbourne Stars v Hobart Hurricanes match will support The Australian Rhino Project (TARP), another organisation committed to helping secure a future for rhinos.

    “This match is an amazing opportunity to not only raise awareness for rhinos but also raise essential funds to help stop their slaughter,” Pietersen said. “I really encourage people to attend the event, and if they can’t get there to tune in from home, as we continue our important conservation efforts.”

    Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director Steve Hinks said it was a pleasure to welcome Pietersen to the Zoo. “We are so proud to share Taronga’s rhino conservation work, undertaken both here in Dubbo and in the wild, with a fellow rhino advocate. We admire Kevin’s efforts to raise awareness and funds for the conservation of rhino species,” Mr Hinks said.

    Pampoen has been behind the scenes since his birth, bonding with his mother Bakhita, and will be on display for the public to see from next week.

    “At three months of age, he weighs approximately 120 kilograms and is already showing a big, playful personality,” Keeper Nerida Taylor said. “He is the second Black Rhino calf born at the Zoo in 2017, and the 14th calf born to our Black Rhino conservation breeding program.”

    Pampoen’s mother, Bakhita, was the first Black Rhino female to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with her arrival in 2002 being widely celebrated. Bakhita’s own daughter, Kufara, currently has a female calf of her own, Mesi, born in April last year, representing the third generation of the Zoo’s breeding program.

    Southern Black Rhinos are critically endangered with only an estimated 4000 remaining in the wild, predominantly due to poaching for their horn. Poaching has increased dramatically in recent years, driven by the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries.

    Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the only zoo in Australia to have successfully bred three species of rhino – the Black Rhino and White Rhino from Africa, and the Greater One-horned Rhino from Asia. Taronga is a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation, and actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India in areas including habitat protection, anti-poaching and reduction of human-rhino conflict.
     
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  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Gung Arrives at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

    Gung settles in at Dubbo

    Asian Elephant bull, Gung, has well and truly settled in at his new home at Taronga Western Plains Zoo since arriving from Taronga Zoo Sydney in late January 2018.

    Gung travelled very well in a crate on the back of a truck, and unloaded calmly into the Elephant barn. Since then, the 4.2-tonne Elephant bull has been doing very well as he adjusts to a new environment, and enjoys life with old acquaintances.

    He was greeted with excitement by some familiar faces in the Dubbo Elephant herd, including females Thong Dee and Porntip, and young males Luk Chai (Gung’s son) and Pathi Harn. After arriving, Gung met his son, 15-month-old calf Sabai for the first time! Sabai acknowledged Gung’s arrival with obvious enthusiasm as he ran around and vocalised in the Elephant barn.

    It took just a couple of days for Gung to adjust to the Elephant routine at Dubbo, which is the same as the routine at Taronga Zoo Sydney - so Gung hasn’t missed a beat. He has already enjoyed pedicures and hose-downs alongside the rest of the herd. Gung soon learnt to venture out onto one of the display paddocks where he enjoyed a feed and a mud wallow. He has been busy with enrichment items including his favourite toy from Taronga Zoo Sydney; two car tyres joined by a length of fire hose, that he likes to carry with him everywhere on his back! He now returns back to the Elephant barn at night, which he shares with the other Elephants.

    Keepers are very pleased with Gung’s progress. He is a good-natured bull and a valuable breeding male for the Asian Elephant herd, with a bright future here in Dubbo. Visitors can spot Gung on exhibit daily; the Elephant Keeper Talk at 11.45am is a highlight.
     
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  4. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I believe the imported group should of gone to TWPZ from the start Taronga was never going to be big enough for a growing herd I guess it was only a matter of time before this had to happen!
     
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  5. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    It is a natural development upon successful breedings.

    Perhaps Taronga will be bachelor herd grouping now?
     
  6. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    They could of had the successful breedings in Dubbo from the start and with a lot more room!
     
  7. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    But that's not what Guy Cooper wanted!

    :p

    Hix
     
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  8. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Correct
     
  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I agree Taronga Western Plains Zoo would have been more suitable for the elephant herd from the start, especially considering they've had to halve the herd (Porntip and Thong Dee vs Pak Boon and Tang Mo), following successful breeding. Also factor in, that Taronga Zoo had an older female elephant already that had to be relcoated to Taronga Western Plains Zoo to accomodate the new herd.

    However, it's hard to believe the herd would of generated the same media impact as they did at Taronga Zoo ,especially around the births of the first three calves in 2009-2010. Taronga Zoo no doubt wanted the prestige that came with being the first zoo in Australia to breed an Asian elephant calf. Melbounre Zoo heavily promote the birth of their calves but anything that has gone on since at Taronga Western Plains Zoo (even the birth of Sabai) has largely passed under the radar.

    Elephant babies at Taronga + Media exposure = visitor numbers/money!
     
  10. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I agree with much of what you have stated Zoofan15 but when Taronga can spend mega bucks for hotels really is money any issue for them?
     
  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Unless their hotels are competitively priced (and I doubt they will be since nothing else there is), I find it hard to believe many people will want to stay there. The vast majority of zoo visitors have little interest in conservation etc. and are just looking for a family day out. And those actually interested in zoos will probably find the hotel experience tacky etc. If it was me, I'd look for decent (but competitively priced) accomodation in Sydney and visit the zoo for the day. If I was wanting to do an animal experience/behind the scenes, it probably wouldn't be at Taronga either as they're all extremely over priced comapared to places like Billabong Wildlife Park, where you can do behind the scenes encounters with Snow Leopards etc. for a fraction of the price.
     
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  12. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    The Jamala Wildlife Lodge at National Zoo seems to do well, and that could be called anything but competitively priced!
     
  13. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    The Zoofari Lodge at Western Plains Zoo is expensive but does very well, too. They're generally booked out on Friday and Saturday nights well in advance. And what you get is far more than you can get from decent, competitively priced accommodation elsewhere.

    :p

    Hix
     
  14. MattyP

    MattyP Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I were considering going there for our 10th wedding anniversary later this month because we did a behind the scenes tour there on our honeymoon, but didn’t want to remortgage the house for a one night stay! We decided a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast in Bright in Victoria was far more affordable.
     
  15. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    I have it on my list for my first trip to Australia . . . it’s a must, for me.
     
  16. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Wild Herds Precinct

    Coming soon to the Zoo - Wild Herds

    Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s biggest investment in an animal exhibit to date, Lion Pride Lands, officially opened at Easter, and continues to prove popular with locals and travellers alike. But there’s more in store for visitors to enjoy this year, with yet another exciting precinct and the Zoo’s newest development ‘Wild Herds’, opening in June.

    Visitors to the Zoo will have seen the Wild Herds construction site evolving, located in the second half of the Zoo circuit. Wild Herds has been designed to showcase the Takhi (Przewalski’s Horse) – the last wild horse species, native to the steppes of central Asia, for which the Zoo has a well-entrenched breeding program. Most recently, female Przewalski’s Horse foal, ‘Dash’, was born on New Year’s Day this year and can be spotted on exhibit with the rest of the herd in the current Przewalski’s Horse exhibit.

    A key milestone in the Zoo’s history with this species was the release of seven Przewalski’s Horses back into the wild in the mid-1990s, and the progeny of those animals still roam Mongolia today. The Przewalski’s Horse is an incredible species that was once extinct in the wild, but thanks to the efforts of worldwide Zoo-based breeding programs (including Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s breeding program) its status has changed to critically endangered and now endangered. New arrivals including Dash further strengthen the Zoo’s breeding success for this important species.

    Once open, visitors will be able to wander through the Wild Herds precinct, which consists of a replica Mongolian village setting with viewing across to the herd of Przewalski’s Horses. An impressive deer walkthrough will offer the opportunity to enjoy close encounters with a friendly herd of up to 25 Fallow Deer (pictured).

    The new Wild Herds precinct is expected to be open in the second half of June.
     
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  17. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Just announced, Porntip had her new calf in the early hours of the 14th June. Baby is doing well and is still offshow at present.

    Oh and they've also confirmed the calf's gender. It's a girl! :D

    (Asian Elephants before the Zoochat Police catch me)
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2018
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  18. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful news and a girl too
     
  19. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    And the father is Putra Mas so a new bloodline
     
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  20. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Przewalski’s Horse Foal

    Breeding success continues with second Takhi foal this year

    Zoo Keepers are delighted by the birth of a male Takhi (Przewalski’s Horse) foal born on Friday 25 May 2018.

    This is the fourth foal for experienced mother Genghis, who is taking motherhood in her stride.

    “The foal has been named Khan, as a tribute to his mother, said Keeper, Jack Foley.

    “So far we couldn’t be happier with how both mother and foal are doing. Khan is staying close to his mother and is still finding his place in the herd. He can often be spotted sleeping in the sun during the day.”

    “Khan is the second new arrival to the herd this year, with a filly named Dash born on 1 January. As Khan grows he will interact more with Dash and no doubt we’ll see them galloping around the paddock together.”

    “Genghis is a very relaxed, easy going mother and has been a pillar of the breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with two of her four foals having already bred, carrying on this important genetic line to another generation.”

    “At the moment Khan has quite a woolly looking coat however, as winter passes and the weather starts to warm up he will start to shed this layer,” said Jack.

    Khan has arrived just prior to the official opening of the Zoo’s Wild Herds precinct on 3 July 2018. Wild Herds is a newly redeveloped area that will showcase the Takhi as well as the Zoo’s successful breeding program for this species and its role in helping to bring them back from the brink of extinction. The precinct consists of a replica Mongolian village setting with views across to the Takhi herd, as well as a deer walkthrough.

    “This new precinct will be a great opportunity for visitors to learn about the Takhi and their unique history as well as enjoy close encounters with our friendly Fallow Deer.”

    “It has been an exciting year so far for the Zoo, with lots of big changes and new arrivals. We are all looking forward to the opening of the Wild Herds precinct just in time for the school holidays,” said Jack.
     
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