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Cuteness adds to conservation message at Hamilton Zoo

Cuteness adds to conservation message at Hamilton Zoo
8 September 2016


A bunch of new cuties has arrived at Hamilton Zoo just in time for Conservation Week.

Following a bison calf born in May, a rhino in June and a zebra in July, the zoo welcomed two meerkat pups in August, and two pygmy marmosets and a ring tailed lemur last weekend (3/4 September).

Conservation Week is an important event for Hamilton Zoo, celebrating native species, exotic animals and all aspects of our natural environment, says Hamilton Zoo Curator Catherine Nichols. This year's theme is "Get Into Nature", and Hamilton Zoo's support of the event includes the popular Face2Face encounters with ring-tailed lemurs.

The ring tailed lemur was born very early in the season, bringing the total number in the exhibit to 12.

“It’s really important that we help the endangered ring tailed lemurs wherever we can as their population is still decreasing,” Mrs Nichols says.

“We can’t promise that Mum Noelle will bring her little one to the encounter, as interactions with visitors are always on the animals’ terms, however if you’re patient you should be able to see them.”

The meerkat pups were a particular highlight as they are the first meerkats born at Hamilton Zoo since January 2014. Their birth brings the total number to seven.

“These little guys are already spending plenty of time out in their enclosure, and easily spotted as they’re much smaller than the rest. They’re becoming quite inquisitive already which keeps the rest of the mob on their toes!” Mrs Nichols says.

This is the first time pygmy marmosets have been born at Hamilton Zoo and the zoo team is excited to be helping increase the population of one of the smallest primates in the world. Picchu (Mum) and Salvador (Dad) both share the parenting duties with Dad carrying the twins the majority of the time and only handing them back for nursing.

“The tiny twosome weighed around 13 grams each at birth and with a keen eye, you may be able to spot them on Dad’s back, camouflaged into his fur,” Mrs Nichols says.

Conservation Week runs from September 10 to 18 with the zoo offering a 25 per cent discount for bus travellers to the zoo. For the full range of activities, which include extra native species focussed keeper talks and encounters, people can visit hamiltonzoo.co.nz
Click here to see the video.

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