Plains Zebras migrate annually across Namibia and Botswana in search of better grazing pastures, forming Africa’s longest land migration of over 400kms. Zebra can reach speeds of 65kph. They can also deliver strong kicks and bite when threatened
Mid-sized and thick bodied, Zebras are recognisable by boldly striped black and white with a black or dark muzzle. All Zebras have individual markings with no two alike. Their necks are maned with short hair and their tail ends in a longhaired tuft
Southern Sudan and southern Ethiopia, east of the Nile River to southern Angola and northern Namibia and northern South Africa
Herbivore; Feeding selectively on particular grass species
Breeding occurs throughout the year although peak births occur during the wet season. The herd stallion has sole breeding access to the females
Zebras are a highly social species, living in complex social systems. Harems comprise a single stallion to several unrelated mares and their recent offspring. Bachelor groups also exist. Groups come together to form migrating herds of 10,000 or more for safety against predators.
The Domedary Camel has a single hump, which stores fat the Camel can break down when resources are scarce. Our camels certainly don’t have this problem, and when cisiting you’ll discovery they are VERY enthusiastic feeeders and may put their mouth around your hand if you’re offering food. For that reason we ask you to keep your hand flat when feeding camels.
Camels are herbivorous grazers that constantly eat foliage, dry grasses, and available desert vegetation (mostly thorny plants).
It takes 15 months, longer than a year for a femal Camel to be ready to give birth to a sinlge baby camel.
Camels were introduced to Australia much earlier than you may think – right back in 1840. Burke and Wills used Camels while exploring because of their ability to survive in dry, arid conditions for a long period of time.
Australia is lucky enough to have several species of brightly coloured Lorikeets. Named after their stunning technicoloured appearance, rainbow lorikeets are a beautiful sight in many Australian backyards, parks and gardens. In the early 1900s Rainbow lorikeet numbers were concerning, but after protections were put in place, their numbers have steadily built over the last 60 odd years. Larger birds, feral cats and the international parrot trade still pose a threat to these stunning birds, but their numbers are currently strong.
Hunter Valley Wildlife Park’s walk through Lorikeet Sanctuary is home to Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly Breasted Lorikeets, and Red-Collared Lorikeets. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park also boasts a selection of Lorikeets in their aviary.
HABITAT: Found in open forests and closed
DIET: Their diet consists of nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds and insects
BREEDING: Both sexes prepare the nest cavity and feed the young, but only the female incubates
the egg. The clutch size is between and s eggs, which are incubated for 25 days.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Although wide easterly
distribution, often locally common in southern Queensland.
HABITAT: Woodland, urban parks and gardens
DIET: Eucalyptus and Banksia flowers, not as adaptable to cultivated foods as the familiar Rainbow Lorikeet
BREEDING: May-February, nests are made in a tree hollow. 2-3 eggs laid and incubated for 29 days.
GENERAL INFORMATION: similar to the Raindow Lorikeet, replacing the former in the Northern Territory and Kimberely region.
Largest Australian Lorikeet, they are less tolerant of urbanisation than their cousins.
SIZE: 26 CM
HABITAT: Woodland, swamps, parks and gardens.
DIET: Range of native flower nectar and insect larvae
BREEDING: Aug-Dec, 1-3 eggs laid in a tree hollow and incubated for 23 days. Young fledge at 8-9 weeks.
This large and slender cheetah is distributed across more than 25 African countries, boasting a population of around 12,000. However, the Asiatic sub-species is in a critical situation, with only 50-60 individuals remaining in Iran.
Cheetahs utilise various vocalizations for communication. Purring expresses contentment and enjoyable social interactions, particularly between mothers and cubs. Chirping resembles the sounds of little birds and is used by mothers and cubs to call each other. Churring is observed during social gatherings. Growling, hissing, and spitting occur in response to annoyance or danger. Yowling intensifies in situations of heightened danger or fear.
Cheetahs are carnivorous and enjoy small antelope, gazelle and fresh game. Cheetahs only eat fresh kills and prefer smaller fast moving game.
Females Cheetahs can give birth to as many as 9 cubs at once, but usually 3-5 after a gestation period of 90 to 98 days.
The birth weight of a Cheetah cub is between 150g to 300g.
Cub mortality is as high as 90% during the first weeks after birth.
Cheetah siblings stay together in a group after their mother leaves them at 18 months.
The females will leave the group and live and hunt alone, while the males form a coalition and hunt together.
Ring Tiled Lemurs ‘sun worship’ which means they face their tummies to the sun and stretch their arms out wide to warm themselves up.
Ring-tailed Lemurs live in groups of 5-25 animals with the females making up a well-ordered hierarchy that dominates over males. Female lemurs remain in the group whilst males join other groups, thus we have a group of males on the islands at Mogo.
Ring-Tailed Lemurs diet consists mainly of fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, sap and the occasional invertebrate. Due to the fact that the vegetation in forests inhabited by these lemurs is sparse and non-continuous, they are often found traveling on the ground.
Ring-tailed Lemurs live in groups of 5-25 animals with the females making up a well-ordered hierarchy that dominates over males.
Unfortunately Ring-Tailed Lemur populations are rapidly declining in the wild, with around 50% of their natural habitat having been destroyed in the past 35 years. This steep decline in numbers has left them classified as an “Endangered” species on the IUCN red list.
The forests that Ring-Tailed Lemurs prefer are quickly being converted to farmland, overgrazed by livestock, or harvested for charcoal production. Ring-tailed lemurs are also hunted for food in certain areas of their range and are frequently kept as pets.
Fortunately, they are found in several protected areas in southern Madagascar, but the level of protection varies widely in these areas offering only some populations refuge from hunting and habitat loss.
Our wildlife parks at Hunter and Mogo both home lions. These magnificent creatures are usually tawny or a sand colour, but can also be white due to a receive gene ‘leucism’.
Lions can run at about 55km/h but their prey average around 80km/h. To get around this they must get as close as possible to their dinner without being seen and then explode from hiding, relying on surprise and brute force. Female lions are the original ‘stalkers’.
Lions are strictly carnivorous, relying on a diet of Buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, roan, sable, springbok, gemsbok, kob, impala, Warthog, waterbuck, haribeest and other animals.
Female lions are the stable presence in the pride. They are responsible for cub rearing and most of the hunting, as well as contributing significantly to the defense of the pride.
Females are the active hunters possessing a balance of speed, power, stealth and endurance that the much larger males struggle to match. Males are primarily responsible for patrolling, marking and defending the pride range as well as mating, but it is the female members that keep the pride together and functioning, often surviving several pride takeovers by various coalitions of males.
These highly intelligent and energetic mammals are also very sociable. Meerkats have a complex social structure where each meerkat has a role to play within the mob. Meerkats have a leader and adults are found in pairs. Despite their tiny stature, meerkats can live around 8-12 years in the harsh wild, and even longer in the relative safety of captivity.
Omnivore; primarily insectivores but also reptiles, small mammals, birds, eggs, plants, fungi, root and bulbs. Preferring insects, meerkats will also eat roots and leaves and even prey on birds and reptiles.
Diurnal living in home ranges. Group members will forage individually but visual and vocal contact is maintained at all times. One or more members will keep watch for predators and is known as a sentry. Meerkats take cover and sleep in burrows, which are sometimes excavated on their own but frequently use burrows of other animals
Long slender body and tail, long front claws, coat is grey-tan-brown with parallel stripes and black patches around eyes
Widespread in the Western parts Southern Africa
Year round breeding occurs with up to 2 liters per year. Usually only the alpha pair breed successfully. Meerkats are co-operative breeders and non-breeding adults will assist in the care of pups while they remain in the burrow for up to 3 weeks. Once mature, males will voluntarily disperse from the group to form news groups with unrelated females
Meerkats are highly social; living in large family groups of up to 30. Each member of the group plays an important role in foraging, keeping watch and caring for offspring
Meerkat encounters can be booked at both Mogo Wildlife Park and Hunter Valley Wildlife Park, where you can experience a Meerkat’s world first hand.
Binturongs, with their prehensile tails, dark fur, and mysterious demeanor, appear almost mythical, evoking a sense of enchantment and intrigue. Binturongs are usually gentle animals, provided they don’t feel threatened or harassed. If you get close enough to our Binturong ‘Boogle’, you may notice he smells a lot like buttered popcorn. His scent glands create this unusual smell and are something Binturongs are best known for.
Binturongs are solitary animals, usually only seeking out another Binturong for mating.
Binturongs are omnivorous and eat small mammals, birds, insects, as well as fruits.
If you’d like to learn more about these intriguing animals, Personal Binturong Encounters are available at Mogo Wildlife Park and Hunter Valley Wildlife Park.
Common Wombats are a short, robust marsupial native to south-east Australia and Tasmania. They can grow to an average length of 90-120cm, and can weigh anywhere from 20-39kgs. They have course brown fur, small slightly pointed ears and a round black nose. The toes on their front feet all face forwards to aid in digging, and the claws on the back toes are long to aid in digging and grooming. Due to their natural digging behaviours, wombats have developed a backward-facing pouch, to avoid dirt flying into it. Common Wombats have a hard, cartilaginous plate in their lower back and rump, which they use for protection against predators. The Common Wombat has a lifespan of 15-20 years in captivity, and 10-15 years in the wild.
Common Wombats are a herbivorous species, feeding on grass, roots and leaves.
Common Wombats are a solitary animal, coming together only for breeding, which can occur almost any time of year. Usually one joey is born, approximately 30 days after mating occurs. As with all marsupials, Common Wombats are a marsupial, and joeys will develop in the female’s pouch. Common Wombat joeys usually remain in the pouch for the first 8-10 months of development, and then spend the next 10-12 months developing out of the pouch, but remaining with their mother. Joeys will feed on milk from the pouch until the age of 12-15 months, at which time it will feed completely on solid foods.
One of the most iconic animals known to Australia, Koalas are often mistakenly called the “Koala Bear”. Koalas are not a bear, but are in fact a marsupial. Koalas have thick fur that ranges from very light to very dark grey on the head and body, with white patching on the bottom, chest and ears. They have 5 digits on each hand- 3 work like fingers, and 2 work like thumbs. Koalas also have no claw on their thumb toe, and two toes joined together with separate claws. Koalas have small eyes and a large black nose, and sleep for 18-20 hours a day, primarily waking in the night-time to eat, fight and mate. Males can weigh up to 14kgs, and females up to 10kgs. Koalas have a lifespan of 12-15 years in captivity, and 8-10 years in the wild.
Koalas feed exclusively on Eucalyptus leaves. They have specially designed gut flora that assists in safe digestion without being affected by the leaves’ toxins. Koalas rarely drink water, attaining their hydration through the Eucalyptus leaves. In times of drought or bushfire Koalas have been known to drink large amounts of water, even venturing into areas populated by humans for water sources.
Koalas are fairly solitary animals, but come together for breeding season. A group of koalas living in the same area can be considered a population, with older, stronger males being dominant or alpha-males. Fighting is common, especially between males protecting territory. Males will breed with several females in a breeding season. Females give birth to one jellybean-sized joey, occasionally two- however the occurrence of both surviving is extremely rare. Joeys will develop in the mother’s pouch for 7 months, venturing out when fully developed and riding on their mother’s chest or back. The joey will feed on the mother’s faeces (known as ‘pap’) for 6 weeks to develop the gut flora necessary for digestion. At 12-15 months of age, koala joeys will leave their mother in search of their own territory.
While you can’t cuddle a Koala in NSW, at Featherdale Sydney you can get close to a Koala and possibly event pat one in our Koala Encounter.