With over 500 animals in our care at Wellington Zoo no day is ever the same and our charges keep on challenging, surprising and delighting us.
A number of new additions to our collection has made for a very exciting year:
A new female emperor tamarin has joined our male in the new Mini Monkey exhibit. Joining them are three pygmy marmosets, with both species imported from UK Zoos.
A number of meerkats were imported, also from the UK, to form part of an active breeding programme. They have taken up residence in the mixed Porcupine Meerkat exhibit.
A young alpine dingo puppy joined the Zoo’s very successful animal contact programme.
We have imported a nyala bull from Singapore to form part of the regional breeding programme.
Locally bred kunekune pigs arrived at the Zoo this year, ready for the future New Zealand themed ‘Meet the Locals’ development.
A number of breeding successes have highlighted our year also:
Our Mojo Café-residing pygmy marmosets, bred and delivered a baby boy, Cuzco.
The newly-imported meerkats also bred successfully producing two pups.
Chimpanzee Samantha gave birth to her third baby at the Zoo, a daughter, Malika.
The baboons have bred well in the last year producing four new babies.
Our male lions Malik and Zulu, returned from Orana Wildlife Park where they had been on loan for two years to contribute to Orana’s breeding programme. This was the lions’ first breeding opportunity and Malik successfully sired 5 youngsters during his time at Christchurch. This is promising for our own breeding programme and Malik and Zulu are currently living alongside our three female lions in preparation for future introductions.
As well as arrivals, there have also been some departures within our collection:
Sir Ed the red panda left us to join a female in Bristol Zoo as part of the global breeding programme.
In September three brush tailed possums left us to go to Singapore Zoo where they have formed a new breeding group and have settled in very well.
We have also sent some Otago skinks to a breeding programme with a local breeder.
One of the stars of the Wild Theatre, our one-eyed kea, was sent to Otorohanga Kiwi house to be paired up with a male, with breeding potential.
This year we were sorry to see the passing of the last peccaries in New Zealand. These popular Zoo residents had a long life but their severe arthritis could no longer be successfully managed with medication.