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Another new baby at Wellington Zoo

31 December 2004

Another new baby at Wellington Zoo

Two new lion cubs weren't the only Christmas arrivals at Wellington Zoo.

A baby girl was born on Christmas Eve to Grit, one of the Zoo's Hamadryas Baboons, bringing the number of baboons at the Zoo to 21.

Keeper Paul Horton says the baby, who hasn't been named yet, is doing well and is one of two new arrivals to the baboon group at the Zoo, with a baby boy having been born on 6 December.

Baboons carry their babies on their stomachs or backs until they're weaned so the babies can be seen with their mothers in the Baboon enclosure.

The baboon babies aren't the Zoo's only new additions - two new lion cubs called Malik (eight months) and Zulu (nine months) went on public display just before Christmas.

The half brothers were born in Auckland Zoo and join the Zoo's other male lion and three lionesses.

The cubs have met Sam, Djane, Djembe and Zhara through the bars of adjoining cages, but it will be a gradual process of introduction before they can join the lionesses in one enclosure.

"They need time to get used to each other," says Paul. "So the cubs will be kept separate from the others for now. However, they will spend a large part of every day out in the enclosure for public viewing."

All the babies can be seen tomorrow when the Zoo opens between 9.30am - 5pm on New Year's Day for 'Happy Zoo Year!'.

All children visiting the Zoo tomorrow will receive a fun activity sheet to complete and will go in the draw to win an annual pass to the Zoo.

Rochelle's Rainbow Roadshow will perform her award-winning kids' songs on the Zoo stage at 12.15pm and 1.15pm, and there will be keeper talks throughout the day and a Touch Table in the centre of the Zoo with lots of interesting things for kids to touch between 12 -3pm.

ENDS

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