Marvelous Zoo Mothers!

On Mother’s Day we pay tribute to the fantastic animal Mother’s of Alma Park Zoo!  All Zoo’s play an important role in the conservation of animal species with breeding programmes.  Alma Park Zoo has a number of highly successful breeding programs for the following species of animals:

  • Marmoset Monkeys & Tamarin Monkeys
  • Baboons
  • Indian Black Buck Antelope
  • Australian Natives: Tasmanian Devils, Eastern Quolls, Koalas, Kangaroos & Wallabies

Vale Greetje

On Mothers Day 2013, we pay tribute to some of our marvelous Mothers of Alma Park Zoo who contribute to preserving the genetic diversity of their species!

Vale Greetje the Baboon

It is with great sadness that we pause to remember one of the most fantastic Mothers of Alma Park Zoo – Greetje the Baboon.  Sadly, Greetje passed away earlier this year.

Greetje came from Dierenpark Emmen in the Netherlanads.

In 2009, she became the first female baboon in Australasia to successfully raise a baby in 6 years.

She had a daughter in 2009 named Layla and a son in 2011 named Tehuti. Greetje delighted the public with displaying her strong maternal instincts, never letting go of Layla’s tail.   Both Tehuti and Layla still live at Alma Park Zoo & Greetje’s spirit lives on with them.  She is greatly missed.

Lilith and three rare all black Tasmanian Devil Imps.

Lilith the Tasmanian Devil

Lilith the Tasmanian Devil contributes to saving her species from extinction from the highly contagious Devil Facial Tumor Disease DFTD.

DFTD is a fatal condition in Tasmanian Devils. It is only one of three recorded cancers that spread like a contagious disease.

Tasmanian Devils contract DFTD through biting and lack of genetic diversity weakens the immune system of the Devils to naturally fight DFTD.

For this reason, breeding programs in Zoos for Tasmanian Devils is very important.

In 2012, Lilith gave birth to three very special babies.

The babies are great grand devils (children) of Devils with Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), but they do not have the disease themselves.

Owing to their pedigree, these three females are unrelated to all other Devils on the mainland, so they play a significant role in boosting the genetic diversity of the captive Devil population.

Conchetta the Cotton Top Tamarin

In 1990, it was estimated that there were only 300-1000 Cotton Top Tamarin monkeys left in the wild.   Zoo breeding programs for Cotton Top Tamarins are essential to preserve the species.  Conchetta of Alma Park Zoo is doing her part with raising healthy baby Cotton Top Tamarins with her partner Manny.

Manny caring for his baby twins from Conchetta. Photo Credit: Adam Smith – Courier Mail

In 2012, Conchetta and Manny had one female baby in January and twin females in December.  The little female dominated family at Alma are growing up fast and delighting guests with their antics!  Manny is hoping for a son in the future!

Carla the Common Marmoset

Carla the Common Marmoset with her twins. Photo Credit: Emma Morgan

Carla is the Super Mum of Alma Park Zoo, raising 10 offspring over a period of 3 years.   Like Tamarins, Marmosets are also an endangered species, so Zoo breeding programs are greatly contributing to the preservation of this species.

In the wild, the Common Marmoset live in groups of 8-10 individuals with the highest ranking male and female being the only breeding pair.  Several sets of offspring always remain with the group, with the older siblings contributing to cooperative rearing of younger siblings.

These behaviours can also be viewed with Carla’s group at Alma.  Carla has since had twins within the last week and the group are assisting her to care for the new arrivals.   When you are next at Alma, make sure you stop by and visit Carla and her group to see her little twins!

Indian Blackbuck

Graceful and athletic, large herds of Indian Blackbucks once roamed on the plains of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.  Until India’s independence in 1947, Blackbucks were the most hunted wild animal in princely states with specially trained Asiatic Cheetahs.

Excessive hunting caused the severe decline of Blackbuck herds, followed by farmers eradicating Blackbucks to protect crops.   Today, the Blackbuck population has dwindled to approximately 50,000 in India and a small population of 184 in Nepal.  Many of these populations are also under threat from inbreeding.

In India, Blackbucks are a protected species with heavy fines and jail terms for hunters.  Alma’s Blackbucks contribute to promoting the genetic diversity of these graceful animals that once roamed in large herds.

Indian Black Buck Antelope born December 2012
Photo Credit: Teale Shapcott

Joeys are coming!

In the next few months, Alma will be welcoming a new Swamp Wallaby joey.   Keepers were delighted to find that Megan, a female Swamp Wallaby is currently carrying a joey.

Megan is not the only expectant Mother at Alma, with three of the Northern Koala females also carrying small joeys.

If you are lucky, you may capture of glimpse of all these new bundles of joy during your next visit to Alma!

Baby Swamp Wallaby & Koala joeys are making appearances at Alma Park Zoo.
Photo Credit: Lorna Mitchell

 

 

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