Baby boom at Territory Wildlife Park

Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture

The TerritoryWildlife Park is in the midst of an unprecedented baby boom with zookeepersswamped by 11 baby animals.

The animals include fourbaby wallabies, a baby possum, two baby barking owls, two baby red flyingfoxes, a black-footed tree rat and one baby curlew.

Territory WildlifePark Director, Shael Martin, said the orphans had been rescued by members ofthe public or the Parks rangers.

This is the mostbabies Ive ever seen at one time here at the Territory Wildlife Park, said MsMartin.

Weve beeninundated with orphans over the past few weeks and unfortunately the mainreason for the wallaby joeys coming into care is because their mothers havebeen hit by cars and killed.

Ms Martin said theTop Ends low rainfall could be behind the baby boom with the mothers forced totravel to higher populated areas in their search for food and water.

With the dryweather the babies mothers are struggling in the wild and so wallabiesespecially seek out the greener grass on road verges and so they are crossingroads and unfortunately getting hit by cars, she said.

The majority of theanimals are being hand reared by the TWPs zookeepers until theyre strongenough to survive alone. Theyll then be released into the enclosures withinthe Park where they will live safe and long lives.

For 23 year old Zookeeper,Nicolas Pond, that means around the clock attention and many sleepless nightsas he looks after a four week old baby wallaby.

Its pretty taxingIve been looking after her 24/7 and taking her home with me, he said.

I have to feed herevery two hours so its like raising a little baby myself but its reallyrewarding when you see them grow up healthy and theyre able to live their ownlife.

If members of thepublic come across orphan baby animals they should call the TWP on 8988 7200 orWildcare NT on 0408 885 341.

/Public Release. View in full here.