2022 saw a lot of change here at the centre, again with animals departing, arriving and new habitats along with our interim zoo inspection. As we head in to 2023, we take a look back at what a year it has been... and in fact, we had a very busy year!
We welcomed six brand new species to the zoo in the 2022. This included aardwolf, binturong, capybara, vontsira, squirrel monkeys and another that is currently off-show. Some came to us as they needed to move from situations they were in and others have come as part of collaborative conservation projects that we will continue to work on in the future.
As well as new species, we also brought in more individuals of species we have already to form new breeding pairs. Most notably a female ocelot and a male pygmy slow loris. We are hopeful that we will have successful births of these species in 2023.
We also took on a new male black tailed marmoset to be paired with 'Poppy' who was born here in 2019. Later in 2022 we then took on another pair of the same species.
We were fortunate enough in 2022 to have several births. We continue to lead in the breeding of rusty spotted cats. In the last 12 months individuals have been sent to collections internationally.
Notably, the first prehensile tailed porcupine born at the zoo in 2021 had her own offspring this year. We had to step in and help supplement feed the little male and we have learnt a lot from this experience, and will be publishing our case study soon. He is now back living with his parents and auntie and is a strong and healthy individual.
We also bred our first ever ground cuscus. We brought in a young male in 2021 to be paired with our resident female and we were able to confirm in early November that we had a joey. The offspring is now leaving the pouch for extended periods, but never too far from mum who is very protective.
As with all happy stories at the zoo, there are inevitably some sadder ones too. This year we lost one of our breeding female prehensile tailed porcupine due to labour complications, and had to say goodbye to Rodger, one of our male wallabies who was a character with all the keepers.
Who could forget Pepe the skunk either - He was secretly one of our keepers favourites as he was always up for a fuss!
The biggest new habitat project we took on this year was our new maned wolf exhibit and house. Our 4 boys moved back in May and settled in straight away. It's a great space for them and we are continuing to develop the area for them.
Our binturong that arrived in May, also took up residence in a brand new open-topped enclosure. Currently they have access to their house and outside climbing frame. We are getting them used to 'bendy' branches before they are allowed up in to the trees - Watch this space come Spring!
At the beginning of the year, several of our callitrichids got brand new accommodation, which has enabled us to provide optimal care and husbandry for them.
We also erected a brand new building (in replacement of another) which has enabled us to house more species and come 2023, extend our nocturnal animal housing.
At the end of August we said goodbye to our rainbow lorikeets and re-purposed the aviary in to a new walk through for some of our lemurs, which is a big hit with our guests!
Coming in to the new year, the first project to be completed is likely to be our new rusty spotted cat facility, followed closely by an extension to our ocelot complex so we have a lovely space for (we hope) kittens!
Not only have we added to the animal collection, but we've also been working on extra facilities. We have a brand new classroom that is being utilised by schools and outside groups and is allowing us to hold some great events, which we will continue to build on in 2023.
We have added more seating in the Rainforest Tearooms and around the zoo for guests and over the next year will be adding many undercover areas for animal viewing.
In September, we had our three year interim zoo inspection. Zoo inspections are always a stressful time for all involved, however we were complimented very highly by the inspecting team on our work, and the facilities that are available. It was noted that animal welfare and veterinary care was of a consistently high standard.
Prehensile Tailed Porcupine
Three Banded Armadillo
Rusty Spotted Cats
Ring Tailed Vontsira
Male Pygmy Slow Loris
Black Tailed Marmoset
New pair of Black Tailed Marmosets
New Nocturnal Building
Open topped kinkajou enclosure
So far, 4 new very special species confirmed for 2023, along with a few new individuals so keep your eyes peeled!