June 21, 2011

Taronga Zoo Adventure

If you take the kids these on an adventure to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo these July school holidays, you’ll not only see a whole safari of amazing animals, but you’ll have the pleasure of seeing some seriously cute new arrivals.

Recently a female giraffe calf was born and two groups of ring-tailed lemurs from Hong Kong also arrived, with a little two-month-old baby in tow. The zoo has also achieved a national breeding milestone by hatching the first Galapagos tortoise ever in the region earlier this year.

According to the keepers the new giraffe calf is called Mvita, which means ‘full of life’ in the African Shona language, and apparently she’s already living up to her name.

“Mvita is full of attitude and doesn’t always do what her keepers would like her to,” keeper Mark O’Riordan said. “She is easily identified by a black spot or birthmark on her neck which is quite unique and something the keepers have not seen before.”

Meanwhile, the new Galapagos tortoise has been carefully looked after since it was born in March. The little fella is only 8cm long and is not yet on public display, but in the meantime you can meet his parents, the oldest Galapagos in Australia. His mum, called T3, is 90 years old.

Freebie: The Echo has a free one-day pass for a family of four (two adults and two kids) to the zoo to giveaway. It is valued at $100 and is valid until the end of October. To go in the draw to win, phone The Echo on 6622 2888 between 10 and 10.15am on Monday, June 27, and tell us the archaic English name for a giraffe.