Baby Asian Elephant Makes His Public Debut

Asian elephant calf

Hello there! A male Asian elephant calf makes his public debut at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Last week, zoo visitors got to meet Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s newest arrival: a baby Asian elephant! This was the first Asian elephant born at the zoo in Dubbo, NSW, Australia.

The male calf was born on November 2nd to mother Thong Dee. He was standing on his own within 30 minutes of being born and nursing within hours.

“This is tremendous news for the Australasian conservation breeding program for Asian Elephants. I’m delighted to report that mother and calf are doing well and veterinarians are happy with the calf’s progress at this early stage,” said NSW Environment Minister, Mark Speakman.

Asian elephants

The new baby elephant and mom Thong Dee are doing well. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The zoo will soon be announcing a competition to help choose a name for the calf.

Learn more at the Taronga Conservation Society Australia website.

Peekaboo! Koala Joey Emerges from Pouch

Taronga Western Plains Zoo, located just outside of Sydney, Australia, welcomed a fresh face to their crew. A koala joey emerged from its mother’s pouch to take a look around. See photos here:

Koala joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Koala mama and joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Koala joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

PHOTOS: Baby Zebra at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Baby zebra running

Zippety-do-dah! This bouncing baby zebra skips around her enclosure at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo, outside Sydney, Australia, welcomed a female baby plains zebra to their herd at the end of July. The energetic little foal is named Zina, which is Swahili for “free spirit”.

“Both mother and foal are doing really well which is to be expected from an experienced mother like Kijani,” said keeper Carolene Magner. “Zina is staying close by her mother’s side at present but does enjoy a gallop around the paddock in the morning.”

Baby Zebra and mother

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Baby zebra and mother

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

In the wild, plains zebras (or common zebras) inhabit the grasslands of eastern and southern Africa.

To learn more about Zina, see the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website. To learn more about zebras, see our article, Plains Zebra.

Baby Rhinoceros Arrives at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

White rhino baby

Kamari, a white rhinoceros, was born on December 19 to mother Kopani. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia recently welcomed a baby white rhinoceros to their family. The female calf was born in the early hours on December 19 to experienced mother Mopani.

Zoo keepers named the baby rhino Kamari, which is Swahili for “moonlight.”

Baby white rhino

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Baby white rhino and mother

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India, including providing funds and support for habitat protection and reforestation, anti-poaching and rhino protection units and reduction of human-rhino conflict. They’re also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

To learn more, see Taronga.org.au.

Australia’s First Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf Born

greater one-horned rhino baby and mama

Proud mama Amala watches over her new baby boy. Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For the first time ever, an Australian zoo welcomed a baby greater one-horned rhinoceros to the world on October 25. Taronga Western Plains Zoo keepers are closely monitoring their new arrival, a male calf born to first-time mother Amala.

“Amala is being very protective of him,” said Unit Supervisor Jennifer Conaghan. “She is keeping her distance from us and keeping the calf close, which is what we expected to see. We have seen the calf suckling and although it is still only days old, we are extremely happy with the situation so far, and absolutely thrilled to have this new addition on the ground.”

Baby greater one-horned rhino

Greater one-horned rhinoceros calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

According to Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director Matthew Fuller, “We’re the only zoo in Australia to have three species of rhino, and three successful rhino breeding programs, so critical for these species that are all threatened in the wild.”

Learn more about the little rhino calf at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

You can find out more rhino facts at our greater one-horned rhino page.

Ring-tailed Lemur Baby at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Ring-tailed lemur and baby

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a ring-tailed lemur. Photo by Sasha Brook, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

A baby ring-tailed lemur was born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, in Dubbo, Australia, on August 25. The little baby, named Imerina, spent her first few weeks clinging tightly to her mother but is now starting to explore independently.

“It’s wonderful to have a successful breeding season and a healthy baby on the ground,”  Keeper Sasha Brook said. “Imerina is a strong baby and first time mother Rikitra is doing all the right things, nursing and grooming her baby well, which is great to see.”

Ring-tailed lemur baby at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Imerina peers out from the safety of her mother’s chest. Photo by Sasha Brook, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

To learn more about ring-tailed lemurs, see our lemur article.

“Oh Hello There!” Koala Joey Emerges from Pouch at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Koala joey

Meet Storm, a seven month old joey. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Visitors to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia delight in the new koala joey on view. Named Storm, the seven-month-old joey is the first koala joey of the season to emerge from his pouch.

This is the second joey for mother Wild Girl. Wild Girl came to the zoo’s wildlife hospital after she suffered a hip wound after being struck by a car and was unable to be returned to the wild.

Koala joey and mother

Storm with his mother Wild Girl. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“Thunder is approximately seven-months-old, born in January 2015. Wild Girl is quiet protective of Thunder. He can be seen on the front of her chest for now but in the coming months will start to move on to her back,” said keeper Karen James.

For more information about the koala joeys at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, visit www.zoofari.com.au.

Learn more about koalas at our koala facts article.

Hand Raising a Cheetah Cub

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The zoo keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have had their hands full raising a little cheetah cub named Siri.

Siri was born on May 21 this year to experienced mother Halla. But usually, cheetahs are born in litters of three to five cubs. When a single cub is born, mother cheetahs generally reject the cub since survival rates for a single cub are low in the wild.

Zoo keeper Linda Matthews said: “We were on alert when we knew there was only one cub, and after 24hrs based on what we were seeing, we intervened to give Siri the best chance of survival.”

Bottle feeding a cheetah cub.

A keeper bottle feeds Siri. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For the first six weeks, keepers provided 24/7 care for the cub.

Cheetah cub and puppy

Siri and Iris the puppy interact. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

At eight weeks, they introduced a 7-week-old retriever cross mastiff puppy named Iris as a companion. This will help Siri develop her animal instincts and social interaction.

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Learn more about cheetahs in our cheetah facts article.

Black Rhino Calf Makes His Debut

Black rhino calf

Black rhino calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on May 6 2015. Photograph by Rick Stevens.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo welcomed a male black rhino calf on April 20. He is the second baby born to mother Bakhita and the third calf born in 10 years to the zoo’s breeding program for this critically endangered species.

“With just over 4000 black rhinos remaining and all five rhino species under enormous pressure in the wild, every birth is critical,” said General Manager Matthew Fuller. “This little rhino is precious, as are all rhinos, and we’re hopeful that his birth will further highlight the need to protect these remarkable creatures.”

The calf weighs about 30-40 kg and is full of energy, often bounding around his yard first thing in the morning.

Black rhino calf and mother

Baby rhino with his mother Bakhita. Photograph by Rick Stevens.

In the wild, black rhinoceroses live in Africa. Poaching is a major threat to the species due to demand for their horns which is used in Asian medicine.

Learn more at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

A Trio of Lion Cubs

Lion cubs

Cuteness x 3! A trio of lion cubs were born at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo on February 28. Photo by Roger Brogan / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia welcomed a trio of lion cubs on February 28.

“This is the first time we have bred lion cubs here in Dubbo, so you can imagine how excited we are with these three new additions,” said Zoo Keeper Roger Brogan.

The keepers have been monitoring the new mother, Maya, and her babies via a video camera link in their den.

“First time mother Maya is doing a wonderful job with her trio,” Roger said. “She is being
very attentive and nurturing. We’re taking a hands-off approach to allow her to fully utilize her natural mothering instincts.”

Lion cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The lion cubs will stay behind the scenes for the next 6-8 weeks before going on exhibit for visitors to see.

To learn more about the cubs, visit the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

See our lion facts page to learn more about lions.