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Don Quixote to Breed at Wellington Zoo

25 October 2005

Don Quixote to Breed at Wellington Zoo

Photo Opportunity:
A new male Agouti has just arrived at Wellington Zoo enabling the Zoo’s Agoutis to breed as part of an international breeding programme, announced Wellington Zoo Life Sciences Manager, Simon Eyre today.

Background
Nine month old male Agouti, Don Quixote, is part of the Australasian Species Management Programme (ASMP). The programme works towards increasing animal species numbers through captive breeding partnerships maintained by zoos throughout Australasia.

Natives of Brazil, Agoutis are not currently an endangered species, but this looks set to change because of increasing habitat destruction.

“With rainforests being chopped down at the rate they are, Agoutis will become endangered in the future,” says Simon.

Agoutis and rainforests are dependent on each other for survival; Agoutis spread the seeds for trees to grow in the rainforest.

“Agoutis are a good ambassador species for rainforests in Brazil because they show the relationship between animals and habitat,” says Simon.

Usually living in pairs, Agoutis breed year round and generally produce two babies at a time. Young Agoutis are born fully furred and can run within an hour of being born.

“We’re looking forward to having some baby Agoutis at Wellington Zoo and hopefully making a difference to overall species numbers”, says Simon.

ENDS

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