Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium has celebrated two new arrivals today, a baby zebra foal born last week and four eligible bachelors in the form of African painted dogs.
Senior wildlife keeper Katie Ness said the painted dogs have travelled from Perth Zoo to make Canberra their new forever home, and Dad, Hasani, along with his three sons, Saka, Akita and Araka, will live as a ‘bachelor group’ and not a breeding group.
Ms Ness says the endangered dogs are a complex animal to keep, especially as a bachelor group in captivity, something experienced by zoos around the country.
“They can be very sweet animals so they’ll take care of each other, they’ll take care of their young; they can also be quite brutal with each other and they get into some pretty serious fights as well.
“They’ve settled in really, really well, they really enjoy their big large enclosure… so they’re doing very, very well.”
Hasani and his two-year-old sons are the second group of the mammals to call Canberra home, with a former group of six older painted dogs having lived at the zoo previously.
Ms Ness said the as-yet-unnamed zebra foal, born to new mum, Johari, and dad, Tambo, is settling in well, enjoying ‘zoomies’ in his enclosure and getting to know his herd.
“Tambo’s very good with him, Johari has been a very good mum so far, and the zebra foal, he is actually quite confident.
“We’ll get to naming him shortly.”
Ms Ness said school holidays have seen hordes of people turning out to enjoy the zoo and the animals and hopes the new additions will see even more people through the gates.
Just don’t be alarmed if you see the baby zebra having a quick lie down – “he’s perfectly okay, he’s just having a nap, and like any baby they do need a lot of sleep!”.
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