Zoo Map – Interactive

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Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran Tiger is found only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is the smallest of the four remaining sub species of tiger. Due to habitat destruction and hunting, only 300 to 400 tigers are left in Sumatra. Unfortunately, this number does not reflect the true nature of their plight. With the tiger’s habitat fragmented, those 400 tigers are not all in the same area. Many of those tigers are unable to find a breeding partner. For those able to find a mate, food is often scarce. Wherever they are, tigers face the threat of hunters. The reality is that only 40% of those 400 may be able to find a mate and successfully reproduce. These beautiful creatures may disappear from the wilds of Sumatra in a matter of years.

The National Zoo is home to two female Sumatran tigers, Ndari and Rahni, and one male Aceh. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for Sumatran Tigers.

Tawny Lions

The lion is the second largest feline species, after the tiger. Lions are the only truly social cats. Prides are made up of related females and 1 to 2 males and numbers can range from 2 to 40 lions. Members of the pride come and go and are rarely all together at once.

Young males band together to form ‘bachelor’ prides. The male lion, easily recognised by his mane, is not always part of hunting parties. This is not because they do not want to or cannot hunt, their size and strength is better served protecting their home territory and young.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is home to 3 tawny coloured lions; Millie and her two sons Sabi & Marjan.

Meerkats

The Slender-tailed Meerkat is found in wide distribution in southern Africa. Although they are excellent diggers, Meerkats usually live in burrows dug by other animals. They live in large groups of up to 30 individuals called a mob, gang or clan. Meerkats live in a matriarchal society, which means that the dominant female is the leader of the mob.

While most mob members forage, some act as lookout sentries, especially for hawks and other aerial predators. Sentries stand on their hind legs at vantage points (e.g. mounds, rocks and bushes) so they can get a better view of approaching predators.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 5 Meerkats, including Oleg, Aleksandr and Sergei.

Colobus Monkey

The name ‘Colobus’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘mutilate one’ because unlike other monkeys, black-and-white Colobus do not have any thumbs. This may be an adaptation for quick movements through the trees.

Eating mainly leaves and vegetation, Colobus monkeys have specialised stomachs that are divided into two regions; the upper stomach digests the leaves with the help of bacteria, while the lower uses acid to complete the process. Stomach contents can make up to a quarter of an adult Colobus’s weight.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 6 Colobus Monkeys and is part of a regional breeding program.

White Lions

White Lions are rare in the wild however small numbers are found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa. White lions are not a separate subspecies and they are not albinos. They have a condition known as leucism (pronounced ‘lukism’), caused by a recessive gene. It is simply a reduction in the colour pigments of the skin. Strictly speaking we should not we call them white lions, but more correctly ‘blonde’ lions.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is home to 2 White Lions; Brother and sister, Jake & Mischka.

Sun Bears

The Sun Bear is the smallest of the world’s eight types of bears. It is found primarily in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The Sun Bear stands approximately 1.2 meters tall and weighs around 65kg. It takes its name from the yellow crest on its chest. As the least studied bear species, comparatively little is known about the Malayan sun bear. It is an opportunistic omnivore, using its long tongue to eat termites and ants, beetle and bee larvae, honey and a large variety of fruit.

Numbers of Sun Bears in the wild are decreasing. The main threats are; habitat destruction (around 75% of their natural habitat is already destroyed), bile farming and the pet and restaurant trade. The National Zoo & Aquarium supports Free the Bears. This organisation rescues and rehabilitates captive bears as well as working with local communities and governments.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 Sun Bears; a male named Arataki, and Otay, a female who was rescued from the restaurant trade.

African Painted Dog

Painted dogs, also known as wild dogs, are the most social of all dogs. A pack can range in size from 2 to 27 dogs. Within a pack, all the females will be related to each but not to the males. Only one female, the most dominant, will breed at any one time. However, all will help feed and protect the pups. After a hunt, the young are fed first. Unfortunately, 70 to 90% of the pups in a litter won’t survive. Pups are often targets of lions and hyenas.

Painted dogs communicate through high pitched sounds. They do not howl. If the dogs are separated from the pack they make a distinct bell sound called a ‘hoo’ to find each other. It sounds similar to tennis shoes squeaking on a gym floor. This ‘hoo’ is distinctly quieter than the calls of lions and hyenas. This is most likely not to attract attention of other predators.

Their scientific name, Lycaon pictus, actually means ‘painted wolf-like animal’ in Greek. They are also referred to as wild dogs, cape hunting dogs and the ornate wolf. No two dogs have the same patterned coat. The disruptive nature of their coats makes their pack look bigger than it really is. This confuses other predators. Painted dogs are among the most successful hunters in Africa. They catch their prey between 70 – 90% of the time. A lion only catches its prey around 10% of the time.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 5 male painted dogs.

DeBrazza Monkey

De Brazza’s are a member of the Guenon monkey family. Guenons are medium sized forest dwellers. They are slender with a long tail and distinctive short face. Guenons are some of the most striking looking monkeys. They often have peculiar features such as nose spots, brow bands, beards and moustaches.

Despite being widespread, De Brazza’s monkey is generally shy and inconspicuous, only rarely announcing its presence with deep, booming group calls. This species is mostly arboreal, but unlike other guenons, which usually stay in the tree canopy, it is often found moving through the forest understory or along the ground. The diet consists mainly of fruits and seeds, although leaves, mushrooms and small reptiles and insects may also be consumed. As foraging usually takes place in exposed areas, food is stored in cheek pouches, and only eaten when the monkeys return to a safe location.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to one De Brazza’s monkey; Pjay.

Black Capped Capuchin

Black Capped Capuchins, also known as Tufted Capuchin, or Brown Capuchin, may live either a solitary life, or in groups of 2–20. Juvenile males leave the group at sexual maturity and seek out new groups in which to mate. The core members of a group are, therefore, the females who typically spend their entire lives in the same group.

Named after a group of Franciscan friars, their black capped heads resemble the hoods they wore. Extremely intelligent, they are great problem solvers and are well known for using tools such as rocks and sticks to aid in food gathering.

The zoo’s Capuchin Island is home to family members Gonzo and Monyet, and their children, Gomez and Peanut. Soochi and Coco reside in the central part of the zoo.

Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and Southern Asia. It has many adaptations for a cold habitat; long and thick body hair, woolly belly fur, large paws and a well-developed chest, and enlarged nasal cavity that warms the cold air as it is breathed in. The long, thick tail is almost a metre in length and is used for balance and as added insulation when wrapped around the body and face at rest. The short forelimbs and long hind limbs enable this leopard to be particularly agile in its steep and rugged habitat.

The total estimated wild population of the snow leopard is between 3,500 and 7,000 with 500–600 in zoos. The main threats facing Snow Leopards are habitat loss and hunting for their fur. The National Zoo and Aquarium supports the Snow Leopard Trust; a grassroots organisation which aims to protect this endangered cat through community-based conservation projects based on an improved scientific understanding of snow leopard behaviour, needs, habitats and threats. Find out more about snow leopards at www.snowleopard.org.

The National Zoo is home to 1 Snow Leopard,  Sheva .

Hyena

One of the most misunderstood animals, the spotted hyena has a reputation as being sly and cowardly, but is in fact fascinating and intelligent with a remarkable social system. With a large frontal cortex, hyenas are excellent problem solvers, sometimes even out performing great apes in problem solving tests. Observations suggest they may plan hunts in advance. Their intelligence is likely due to their complex social system and flexible feeding habits.

Spotted hyenas live in large groups, sometimes up to 90. Within these groups females are dominant. Even the lowest ranking female is dominant to the highest ranking male. Dominance hierarchies are passed from mothers to daughters and are maintained through co-operative alliances between individuals.

Spotted hyenas live in a “fission-fusion” society. This means clan members do not remain together continuously, but instead frequently forage alone or in small groups. Clan members cooperate in communal defence of the territory, of food resources, and the clan den. All females in a spotted hyena clan bring their cubs to one large den site, and raise their babies until they are old enough to travel with their mothers.

Hyenas are often thought of as a scavenger; while they do scavenge they kill up to 95% of the food they eat. They are extremely efficient at processing food, with strong jaws able to crush most bones, and consume most of the parts of their kill. From eating the bones of their catch, the hyenas faeces is extremely high in calcium. Giraffe, among other animals, will eat hyena poo to add calcium to their diet.

Asian Small Clawed Otter

The Asian Small-clawed Otter is the smallest otter in the world. When fully grown, these otters measure approximately 0.9m from nose to tail tip and weigh up to 5kg, compared to a Giant Otter which can reach lengths of up to 1.7 meters. Asian Small-clawed Otters are also differentiated from other Otters by their partially-webbed limbs and nimble fingers.

Unlike most other Otters, they use their forepaws to locate and capture prey instead of their mouths. They are excellent hunters, gliding along the surface of the water, with their head beneath the surface as they scan for tasty crustaceans. Once spotted, they dive down and catch their prey with their front paws, returning to land to feed.

Throughout Asia, the Otter’s habitat is being taken over by agriculture such as rice fields. Even in rice fields, the Otters still forage for food and their persistence in finding it leads to farmers perceiving them as pests. Due to this ongoing habitat loss and pollution, the Asian small-clawed Otter is now listed as vulnerable to extinction.

The National Zoo & aquarium is home to 3 Otters – Boo and her 2 pups, brother and sister Bal and Bel.

Cotton top Tamarin Monkey

The stunning cotton-headed tamarin is one of South America’s most endangered primates. Habitat destruction has put these little creatures on the brink of extinction in the wild. With the remaining populations now closer to humans, they are also vulnerable to poachers of the pet trade.
Cotton-top Tamarins communicate with each other via bird-like whistles, soft chirping sounds, high-pitched trilling, and staccato calls. They have a repertoire of 38 distinct sounds and research has shown that each call is associated with a different message. They also make faces and use body language to express emotions like contentment, surprise or fear: they move their lips, eyelids, ears, and the hair around their faces. When alarmed or excited, Cotton-top Tamarins raise the hair on the crown of their head and stand up tall to make themselves look larger.
The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 Cotton Top Tamarins: Lupi & Shyla.

Koala & Parma Wallaby

Koala

Koalas are not bears! They are marsupials, which mean that their young are born immature and continue to develop in the safety of a pouch. Koalas are most active at night; however the majority of their activities, including feeding occur just after sunset. They will communicate with one another through loud grunts and squealing noises. During the day, koalas can sleep for up to 20 hours in the fork of a tree to conserve energy. Koalas have several ‘home trees’ that they choose to visit and sleep in regularly.

Aside from the ring-tail possum and the greater glider, koalas are the only other mammal that can survive solely on a diet of Eucalyptus leaves. Eucalyptus leaves are highly fibrous, contain very little protein (about 2%) and to most animals are extremely poisonous. With a specialised digestive system and a slow metabolism, Koalas are able to detoxify the leaves and maximise the energy absorbed from such a poor nutritional diet. Koalas only eat the freshest, juiciest tips of Eucalyptus leaves, and consume about 500g–1kg per day. Of the approximate 600 species of Eucalyptus tree in Australia, Koalas only eat around 40–50 of these species. Their noses are very sensitive and are able to detect the type of Eucalypt they prefer just by sniffing at the base of the tree.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 1 koala; Matilda.

Parma Wallaby

The Parma Wallaby is the smallest member of the genus Macropus, standing at 45–53cm tall and weighing 4–5kg. Whilst it prefers wet sclerophyll forest with thick undergrowth, and grassy patches, it can be found occasionally in dry eucalypt forests and rainforests. It is mostly nocturnal, taking cover in the thick undergrowth during the day and emerging at night to feed on close-by grassy patches and herbs. Although solitary, Parma wallabies will often come together to feed when food is abundant. Individual territories are spread widely throughout their range with feeding areas overlapping. The Parma wallaby’s shy and nocturnal habits make it a difficult animal to spot in the wild.

Tree Kangaroo

Like other tree kangaroos, a Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo differs noticeably from the better-known ground kangaroo because it has developed specialised adaptations to its arboreal lifestyle. These include shorter hind limbs, strong, stocky arms, and a long tail for balance while leaping among the branches. The feet are also broader than those of ground kangaroos, and have padded soles to aid with gripping and sharp curved claws for climbing. This slender-bodied tree kangaroo has short, usually woolly fur that ranges from chestnut-brown to crimson, with a paler underside, grey-brown face and yellow neck, cheeks and feet. A characteristic pair of golden stripes runs down the centre of the back and each individual has a unique pattern of yellow rings and blotches on the tail. Males are slightly larger than females.

Like many forest dwellers, the Goodfellows tree kangaroo is fast losing its habitat. Rapid deforestation combined with hunting has left fragmented populations of decreasing numbers. There are currently no direct conservation measures in place for this endangered species. The National Zoo and Aquarium is part of a breeding program to help at least maintain a captive population.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 tree kangaroos; Oumak and Kubu.

Little Penguin

Little penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. The Emperor penguin is the largest and is around 4 time the size of the little penguin. Male and female little penguins bond for life. Pairs are often very social with a nesting period between August and January. On average, there are 2 eggs per clutch and each parent takes it in turns to sit on the egg for about eight days at a time. The chicks go to sea on their own at about 8 weeks of age and after two or three years of wandering the seas alone they return to their birth area to find a mate.

Little penguins can swim at about 6km/h and dive up to 40m deep. Their keeled sternum and wedged shaped tail, combined with their feet, act as a rudder when they dive. Their dense waterproof plumage is dark on the upper parts and white on the underbelly, giving them dual camouflage from above and below whilst in the water. They eat pilchards, sardines, crustaceans and squid, consuming about 10% of their body weight every three days.

Every year, at the end of the breeding season (usually late summer), all adult little penguins will shed their feathers and grow replacements. This 2-3-week process, commonly referred to as the ‘moult’, is essential as their feathers wear out over the year from rubbing against other penguins, regular preening and contact with the ground or water. During the moult, a penguin’s feathers will lose some of its insulating and waterproofing capabilities which forces them to stay on land until their plumage has returned to its optimum condition. As a result, the little penguins do not feed while they moult and therefore feed intensively beforehand, storing body fat in order to survive the loss of up to half of their body weight.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is home to 10 little penguins and is part of a regional breeding program for the species.

Dingo

The dingo is an iconic Australian native animal which is loved by some and maligned by others. Recently, there has been a marked shift in the public and scientific communities’ attitude toward the role and protection of dingoes in Australia. This is because their crucial function in the Australian ecosystem (as top order predators), and their regulation and suppression of pest species such as foxes and feral cats, has now been officially recognised.

Dingoes most likely came to Australia with Asian seafarers between 3 500 to 5 000 years ago. For many years it was thought to be descended from Asian wolves but recent genetic studies have found that they are in their own distinct group, not related to wolves or domestic dogs.

The Zoo is home to 4 dingoes; Jumbany and Alinta, and brother and sister Kora and Ponto.

Barking Owl

Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian devil is the largest surviving marsupial carnivore. Native to Tasmania, they are often misunderstood to be vicious predators, but in reality they are non-territorial, shy, nocturnal creatures. The devil is capable of consuming the entire carcass of a mammal, bird, fish, crustacean or reptile – bones, fur, scales and all. They can consume a quarter of their own body weight in one sitting and store body fat in their short carrot shaped tail. Measuring 1500lbs per square inch, their jaw power is one of the strongest in the animal kingdom.

Tasmanian devils will mostly stay in their burrows or in dense bush during the day, only coming out at night to hunt. The whiskers on their face and front legs allow a devil to feel its way in the dark. Their five-toed forefeet do not have especially large claws, but despite this they are competent climbers who can dig well and manipulate food with their forepaws.

Since the mid 1990’s a mysterious facial tumour has been spreading through the species in the wild, resulting in a 64% decline in spotlight sightings since the disease emerged. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STTDP), managed through partnerships with zoos and wildlife parks, is aimed at ensuring the continued existence of these animals. These captive breeding programs may provide the Devil’s only hope for survival.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is home to 1 Tasmanian devil, Lewis.

Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is found primarily in India and surrounding regions. They are the second largest tiger. The Bengal tiger population is estimated at fewer than 2,500. While they are endangered, the Bengal tiger population is the most stable of the 4 types of tigers.

Tigers are predominately solitary animals with both males and females maintaining their own territories. A male’s territory is up to three times larger than a female’s and will occasionally overlap several female territories. Male Bengal Tigers will fiercely defend their territory from rival males, often engaging in serious fights. Females are less territorial, occasionally sharing their territory with other females. To minimise the risk of conflict, Tigers leave signs that an area is occupied by scent marking with urine and faeces and leaving scratch marks on trees.

The National Zoo is home to a two male Bengal tigers; brothers Ravi and Baru.

Serval

Built for height rather than speed, the serval is a tall, slender cat with the longest legs relative to body size of any cat species. When hunting, the Serval uses its huge ears and height to detect sounds of prey. Once it has detected its prey, typically small rodents, it jumps up to three metres into the air to strike down with its forepaws. Servals are also experts at catching birds and insects in flight. Servals have even been known to venture into waterways to catch live fish.

The National Zoo is home to 6 Servals; Souda, Ashaki and their offspring Keta, Ekundu, Kibuluu and Kijani. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for Servals.

Ring Tailed lemur

The Ring-tailed lemur (lemur catta) is the most recognised lemur due to its long black and white striped tail. Like other lemurs, they are highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals and as with most lemurs, the females are dominant. It is the most terrestrial of lemur species, spending as much as 33% of its time on the ground. They enjoy sun bathing, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur, towards the sun. This is often described as a “sun-worshipping” posture or lotus position.

Scent-communication is important for ring-tailed lemurs, who use glandular secretions to both advertise status and mark territory. During the breeding season, males compete for access to females using scent as a weapon, engaging in a social display called ‘stink fighting’. Males impregnate their tails with secretions from glands on their wrists, chest and shoulder region, and then wave/waft the scented tail at rival males. The rival will respond in kind until one of them backs down.

The zoo is home to 9 ring-tailed lemurs; Lily and Indray, and their 7 offspring, and is part of a regional breeding program.

Black & White Ruff Lemur

The black-and-white ruffed lemur, named for the ruff-like fur surrounding its head, is a social animal that can live and forage in groups of up to 20. Within this group, there are equal numbers of males and females, and it is quite common for them to pair up and form strong bonds. Males and females are very similar to each other in size and strength, however it is the female who is usually more aggressive and takes on the role of protecting the group’s territory.

Females have a short pregnancy and usually give birth to 2–6 tiny babies, each weighing only 100 grams. These babies are covered in fur and are born with their eyes open. Unlike other lemurs, they cannot grasp, which means that the babies are unable to cling to their mother’s back. Instead, their mother will build a simple nest out of leaves, branches and fur for the babies to live in for 1–3 weeks. After that time has elapsed, she will carry them in her mouth and ‘park’ them in a tree while she searches nearby for food.

The zoo is home to 6 black-and-white ruffed lemurs; Masina and Polo plus their 6 offspring; Maro, Telo, Andro and Alina – plus 2 new, as yet unnamed babies.

The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for the species.

Cheetah

The Cheetah is well known as the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of around 100km/per hour. Cheetahs reach this speed in less around three seconds (faster than most ‘super cars’). While cheetahs have incredible speed, they lack endurance. They can only maintain these speeds for around 30 seconds. They then need 30 to 40 minutes to recover. During this recovery period, other predators often steal their catch. Because of this, cheetahs try to hunt when other predators are sleeping. more often in the middle of the day. Cheetah sizes vary and range between 45 and 60kg. Males are usually slightly larger, though it is almost impossible to tell male cheetahs from females, based on their size and weight.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 4 cheetahs: Zingula, Ailsa, Jura and Innis. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for Cheetahs.

Eland

The Common Eland is a Savannah antelope found in East and Southern Africa. Compared to most antelope species, the eland is a giant, standing as tall as a horse and weighing nearly a ton. Despite their immense size, they are still very agile and are capable of jumping fences over two metres high.

As with all antelope, eland are herd living herbivores; browsing on leaves, berries, bushes and flowers in one area until their water source runs out. Their browsing habits, like those of smaller antelope and giraffe, have helped to shape the form and nature of the plants on the savannah; with many plants evolving elaborate means of defence, ranging from thorns to symbiotic relationships with ants.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 common eland, named Arusha and Mbali.

Maned Wolf

For this unique animal, it is a wolf in name only. While it is part of the ‘dog’ family’ it is more closely related to the south American Bush dog than any type of wolf. Maned Wolves have a number of characteristics that further distinguish them from true wolves; they hunt alone and much of their diet is fruits and plants. The most accurate part of their name describes their distinctive black mane which runs from their head to their shoulders. When the Maned Wolf senses danger, their mane stands on end, giving the illusion that they are larger and more intimidating.

The combination of the Maned Wolf’s reddish colouring and long legs has given them the nickname of ‘Fox on Stilts’. Their long thin legs help them to see above tall grass. The graded colouring from red to black on their legs acts as camouflage. While they stand one meter tall at the shoulder, they only weigh around 23 kilos. Without the bulk of a ‘true wolf’, the maned wolf prefers to hunt small prey such as armadillos and rodents. Their upper teeth are also significantly smaller than other large predators. The maned wolf would rather run from danger than confront it. As humans further encroach into their habitat, they are sometimes seen as pests to farmers and become easy targets. While hunting is prohibited in some countries, it is not strictly enforced. More needs to be put in place to protect these gentle and unique animals.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to two Maned Wolves; brothers Alpha and Juanito.

Brown Bear

The European Brown Bear is the smallest in the brown bear family. Other brown bear family members are the Grizzly and Kodiak. Hundreds of years ago, Brown bears were found throughout Britain, Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America. Today, the strongholds for this species are found in northern regions, mostly within Russia, Canada and Alaska. In Europe, there are 14,000 brown bears in ten fragmented populations.

While brown bears are classified as carnivores because of physiological characteristics, they are in fact omnivores; the largest omnivorous mammal. In the wild, bears have a varied diet, ranging from grasses, herbs, roots, berries, nuts, as well as insects, mammals, and fish.

The National Zoo is home to 1 brown bear, Darkle.

Wapiti

Wapiti, or Elk, were once found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere; from Europe through northern Africa, Asia, and North America. Extensive hunting and habitat destruction have limited elk to a fraction of their former range. Wapiti are social animals living in herds of up to 400. While males form ‘harems’ during breeding season, the herd is ruled by a single female. Males vigorously defend their group with their impressive antlers and physical prowess. When breeding season is over, the herd then forms groups of males, who now all get along, and nursery groups of females and young.

Horns or Antlers? Which is the striking headwear of the male Wapiti? While both horns and antlers are used by males to battle for dominance, there is a distinct difference. Males in the deer family grow antlers. They are branched and grow as an extension of the animal’s skull. When they are growing antlers they are covered with a velvet that has its own blood supply and nerves. Once grown, they harden and the velvet falls off. When breeding seasons is over, the male drops the antlers and starts to grow a new even more impressive set for the next year. Horns are also found on bovids – cows, sheep and goats. They have a bony core and are covered by keratin; the same thing that makes up hair and fingernails. Horns are never shed, if they are broken, they will not re-grow.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 7 Wapiti.

Fallow Deer & Alpaca

Fallow Deer

Originally found only in Turkey and surrounds, fallow deer have made their way around the world and now live in 49 different countries. The Phoenicians, Romans, and Normans introduced the species throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. In later years, the deer made their way across the oceans to North America and beyond. Fallow deer were imported from England to Tasmania in 1836 and then onto other areas of Australia. Generally, the deer were brought to new areas as an ornamental species and for hunting. While fallow deer are abundant in many countries, in its Turkish native range it is under serious threat.

Fallow deer have a good sense of smell, hearing and very good vision. They communicate through body language, smells, and sounds. Fallow deer have six types of vocalizations: barking, an explosive alarm call; bleating, produced by females during birth or with their young; mewing, made during submission postures; peeping, produced by fawns in distress or contacting their mothers; wailing, an intense distress sound; and groaning, produced by rutting males. Fallow deer also alert others of danger by standing in an upright stance, head held vertically and their body rigid.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 8 fallow deer.

Alpaca

Alpacas are members of the Camelid family, meaning they are related to camels and llamas. Alpacas are smaller than llamas and are distinguished by smaller ears and a ‘blunt’ face. They are generally domesticated for their fleece and are found in southern parts of Peru and western Bolivia. Female alpaca give birth to just one baby a year, called a cria. The cria weigh just 9kg and will walk soon after birth. Alpacas spit at each other to signal displeasure. Their spit is not actual ‘spit’, it is the last thing they ate.

Communal dung piles help alpacas control their internal parasite. Generally, males are tidier with fewer dung piles than females who tend to stand in a line and all go at once. One female will approach the dung pile and begin to urinate and/or defecate, and the rest of the herd will often follow. Because of their preference for using a dung pile, some alpacas have been successfully house-trained.

Alpacas were domesticated around 6000 years ago by the ancient Incans. They were seen as a gift from Pachamama, a goddess of the earth and fertility. Alpacas assumed a religious significance with their form, appearing in many religious objects. With the Spanish conquest of South America, up to 90% of alpaca herds were wiped out in an effort to control the local populations. In the mid 19th century, Alpacas gained popularity in Europe and have since become a viable industry in many countries across the globe. There are no known wild alpacas, and its closest living relative is the vicuña.

White Rhinoceros

White rhinos are perfectly designed to eat grass. With short legs, their long head reaches almost to the ground. When eating, White Rhinos swing their head from side to side. Their square mouth is the perfect shape to maximise the amount of grass they can grab in one swing. Rhinos can consume 60-80kg of food a day and up to 80 litres of water.

There are five types of rhinos surviving on earth today. White Rhinos and Black Rhinos live in Africa and 3 species are found in Asia; One Horned, Javan and Sumatran. Besides being the largest, White Rhinos are also the most social. Groups of 14 or more are often seen together. Generally, these groups consist of a dominant male, females and their young. A calf will stay with their mother until another baby is born.

Despite the fact that rhino skin can be up to 5cm thick, it is actually quite sensitive. Just like us, their skin is prone to sunburn, insect bites and irritation. Unlike us, they protect themselves by wallowing in the mud. A coating of mud acts as sun block, insect repellent and moisturiser. Under their skin is a dense layer of collagen. This provides padding, protecting Rhinos from knocks and scraps. This winning combination of thick skin and padding helps prevent serious injuries and complications.

My horn is not medicine

The use of rhino horn has a long history. The ancient Greeks believed rhino horn could purify water; the Persians thought it could detect poison; ancient Chinese nobles marked the emperor’s birthday with cups carved of rhino horn; and it became a decorative fad in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Even today, rhino horn is used in traditional medicines to treat everything from fever to cancer. There is no scientific evidence to prove that it is effective in any way, however, rhinos are killed every day for their horns.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 3 male Rhinos; Ubuntu, Kifaru and Eco and is part of a regional breeding program.

Barbary Sheep

Barbary Sheep do not look like anything seen in paddocks around Australia. In reality, they are somewhere between a sheep and a goat. Usually it is easy to tell the difference between a goat and a sheep; male goats have beards and straight horns, sheep have curled horns and no beards. However, Barbary sheep have both beards and curled horns, making them a challenge. On a biological level, they are more closely linked to sheep than to goats. The Berber people of North Africa refer to them as Aoudads, which avoids any attempt to class them as a sheep or goat.

This agile sheep lives in small groups usually consisting of one male, a few females and their offspring. If food is scarce, such as in the dry season, several of these groups may congregate, forming a herd of up to 20.

Adult males must earn their position as head of a group. First they show off their magnificent mane of hair on their neck and front legs. The male must then prove his strength through battle; this begins with the steely glares from each male as they slowly move towards each other. Suddenly, in a burst of speed the males hurtle themselves at each other, lowering their heads before colliding. The result is an earth shaking cracking sound. This continues until one backs down. Remarkably, it has been observed that a male will not attack if his opponent is unprepared or off-balance.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 3 male Barbary Sheep.

Zebra

The stripes of a Zebra make it one of the most distinctive animals on the planet. The reason for this striking pattern still eludes scientists. One theory is that the stripes break up the shape of the animals, making them almost unrecognisable to predators. Another theory is that the stripes of a herd exploding in all directions make it difficult for a predator to focus on one animal. Recent research found that the stripes also help repel biting flies. Oddly enough, while making zebras indistinguishable to other animals, zebra stripes actually help zebras recognise one another. Stripe patterns are like zebra fingerprints: Every zebra has a slightly different arrangement.

The National Zoo is home to 4 Zebras – Tambo, Kiki, Zara and a new foal Kayin.

Giraffe (family)

Holding the record of the tallest land mammal, the giraffe is an iconic African animal. The giraffes’ many specialised adaptations has created its own unique niche on the Savannah. The giraffes’ long neck enables it to eat the top leaves of the African acacia tree, no other animal can do this. Their 45 to 53cm long prehensile tongue wraps in between the long thorns of the Acacia tree. To prevent sunburn, their tongue is dark blue. Thick saliva protects their mouth from the bite of stinging ants which inhabit many trees.

Giraffes are also known as the ‘lookout of the plains’. Their height allows them to see up to 2kms. If a giraffe sees a predator in the distance they move in the other direction; other animals watch the giraffes’ movement and follow suit to avoid predators.

The National Zoo is home to 4 giraffe. Humbekhali (Hummer) the resident bachelor male; Shaba (dad), Mzungu (mum) and Kebibi (daughter).

Cheetah

The Cheetah is well known as the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of around 100km/per hour. Cheetahs reach this speed in less around three seconds (faster than most ‘super cars’). While cheetahs have incredible speed, they lack endurance. They can only maintain these speeds for around 30 seconds. They then need 30 to 40 minutes to recover. During this recovery period, other predators often steal their catch. Because of this, cheetahs try to hunt when other predators are sleeping. more often in the middle of the day. Cheetah sizes vary and range between 45 and 60kg. Males are usually slightly larger, though it is almost impossible to tell male cheetahs from females, based on their size and weight.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 4 cheetahs: Zingula, Ailsa, Jura and Innis. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for Cheetahs

Giraffe (Hummer)

Holding the record of the tallest land mammal, the giraffe is an iconic African animal. The giraffes’ many specialised adaptations has created its own unique niche on the Savannah. The giraffes’ long neck enables it to eat the top leaves of the African acacia tree, no other animal can do this. Their 45 to 53cm long prehensile tongue wraps in between the long thorns of the Acacia tree. To prevent sunburn, their tongue is dark blue. Thick saliva protects their mouth from the bite of stinging ants which inhabit many trees.

Giraffes are also known as the ‘lookout of the plains’. Their height allows them to see up to 2kms. If a giraffe sees a predator in the distance they move in the other direction; other animals watch the giraffes’ movement and follow suit to avoid predators.

The National Zoo is home to 4 giraffe. Humbekhali (Hummer) the resident bachelor male; Shaba (dad), Mzungu (mum) and Kebibi (daughter).

Siamang

Siamangs are the largest members of the Gibbon family. With Apes as their closest cousins, Siamangs are referred to as ‘lesser apes’. What they lack in body size compared to a great ape, they make up for with their personality. Siamangs are intelligent, each having their own distinct character and personality. Living in small family groups, Siamangs fiercely defend their territory and family members. Pairs generally mate for life.

Unique to Siamangs is a loose pouch of skin called a ‘throat sack’. When this ‘sac’ is inflated, their vocalizations are amplified carrying the sound for up to 3kms. At sunrise, the forest is filled with a chorus of calls. In the wild, this can be heard for up to an hour. These hoots and barks affirm their territory and warn other groups not to come too close. Paired males and females will also sing duets to each other.

Spending most of their time in the canopy of trees, Siamangs are clever and agile climbers. As apes, their arms are longer than their legs. These long powerful arms allow Siamangs to swing, or brachiate, through the tree tops with ease, sometimes covering up to 10 meters between branches.

Unfortunately, Siamangs are losing their homes all too quickly. Only 4% of their habitat is protected. This, combined with the practice of taking young Siamangs for pets or to use as ‘attractions’ for tourists, has placed them on the Endangered List.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 3 Siamangs; Tunku and Cian & their baby girl Miliya. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for Siamangs.

Black Buck

One of the blackbuck’s most striking features is the pair of long spiralling horns possessed by the males. In order to hold up these magnificent horns, males are significantly bigger and stronger. Their rich dark brown coat is also distinctively different to the female, which has a ligheter colouring. Females do not grow horns. The twist of the male’s horns is a result of a growth pulse. This means the horn material alternates between growing fast and thin, and then slow and thick.

Blackbucks are a sociable animal living in herds ranging from 5 to 50. The herd will graze for most of the day, even withstanding hot temperatures. Blackbucks are preyed upon by wolves and leopards. Nature, however, has given them means for a fair chance of escape. Their main defence is speed. When a potential predator is sighted, Blackbuck leap high into the air, perform a number of smaller leaps and then gallop away at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour.

Blackbuck was once the most abundant hoofed mammal in India and Pakistan, but their populations have been greatly reduced through excessive hunting and loss of habitat. In 1975 the population in Nepal had been reduced to just nine. Conservation efforts have increased that number to 200. With continued local and international efforts, this number should continue to rise and these striking animals saved from extinction.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 7 Blackbuck.

Pygmy Marmoset

The pygmy marmoset is a small New World monkey native to rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in South America. It is notable for being the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates in the world at just over 100 grams.

Both male and female pygmy marmosets are orange-brown. Each hair has stripes of brown and black, called agouti coloring. This coloration gives them good camouflage. A mane of hair covers the pygmy marmoset’s ears. Most primates have flat nails on the ends of their fingers, along with opposable thumbs that allow them to grasp objects. Pygmy marmoset fingernails are like claws to help them climb up and down tree trunks and they do not have opposable thumbs. The tail is not prehensile, but it helps the little monkey keep its balance as it gallops through the treetops.

A mother pygmy marmoset’s gestation period is about 4.5 months, and she can give birth every 5 to 7 months. She almost always has two babies. Each newborn is about the size of a human thumb! Pygmy marmosets communicate with each other by chattering and trilling in high-pitched voices. They can make sounds so high in pitch that humans can’t hear them.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 Pygmy Marmosets named Sofia & Adora

Squirrel Monkey

Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys live in Central and South America in the canopy layer of the rainforest. They live together in multi-male/multi-female groups with up to 500 members. Their distinctive black-and-white face gives them the name “death’s head monkey” in several Germanic languages.

Squirrel Monkeys are one of the few primate species, outside of humans, who exhibit a wide range of play behaviour. Play is most common between mother and offspring and between two immature individuals. However, adults also play with other. This is a behaviour that is rarely seen in nature.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 3 Squirrel Monkeys; Gypsy, Thelma and TiKan.

Red Panda

Despite sharing the name, red pandas are not related to the black and white giant panda. They are classed in their own subfamily within the racoon family. However, like giant pandas, they are classed as a carnivore, but are mainly vegetarian. They eat berries, blossoms, leaves, fruits, acorns, bird eggs and large quantities of bamboo. The red pandas stomach and digestive system is similar to other carnivores, having a simple stomach and a short intestine (meaning it is designed to digest meat not plant matter). This means it cannot properly digest the bamboo and therefore gets very little nutrition from it. To overcome this problem the red panda has a very low metabolism rate and spends most of the day eating.

As with many threatened species these days, one of their biggest threats is competition with humans. The natural habitat that has supported these, and many other animals for thousands of years, is rapidly being destroyed. Various conservation organisations such as the Red Panda Network are working to preserve and protect their remaining habitat and give hope for their ongoing survival.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 5 red pandas; Eilish & Tenzin and their offspring Ari, plus Eilish’s nephews Nima and Dawa. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for red pandas.

Red Panda

Despite sharing the name, red pandas are not related to the black and white giant panda. They are classed in their own subfamily within the racoon family. However, like giant pandas, they are classed as a carnivore, but are mainly vegetarian. They eat berries, blossoms, leaves, fruits, acorns, bird eggs and large quantities of bamboo. The red pandas stomach and digestive system is similar to other carnivores, having a simple stomach and a short intestine (meaning it is designed to digest meat not plant matter). This means it cannot properly digest the bamboo and therefore gets very little nutrition from it. To overcome this problem the red panda has a very low metabolism rate and spends most of the day eating.

As with many threatened species these days, one of their biggest threats is competition with humans. The natural habitat that has supported these, and many other animals for thousands of years, is rapidly being destroyed. Various conservation organisations such as the Red Panda Network are working to preserve and protect their remaining habitat and give hope for their ongoing survival.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 5 red pandas; Eilish & Tenzin and their offspring Ari, plus Eilish’s nephews Nima and Dawa. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for red pandas.

Wombat

Wombats are nocturnal, preferring to make their burrows in forest covered, mountainous areas or in the open areas of scrub and heath land.  Their burrows can be up to 20 metres long and a Wombat may visit up to 14 different burrows in a month.  Occasionally they will share their burrow but if a predator follows them, they will not hesitate to crush them against the walls or roof of their burrow with their rump.

Most Wombats will emerge from their burrows in the late afternoon to forage for food in the evening and throughout the night.  Wombats are herbivorous, which means they only eat plant materials.  Their favourite foods include native grasses, sedges and rushes as well as roots of shrubs and trees.

Wombats mature at two years of age and can have babies at any time of the year.  Thirty days after mating they give birth to a jellybean-sized, hairless baby, which drags itself into the Wombat’s pouch with its front legs.  Like the Koala, a Wombat’s pouch faces backwards which keeps the babies clear of dirt when digging.  The baby will remain with mum for 21 months before becoming independent.

Despite its name, the common wombat is no longer common, and it has been officially a protected animal in New South Wales since 1970

The National Zoo is home to 1 wombat – Winnie – who recently turned 31 years old in December 2017. She is considered to be the world’s oldest wombat.

Native Walk Thru

 

Emu

The Emu is the largest bird native to Australia and belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as Ratites which includes the Kiwi, Ostrich, Cassowary and Rhea. They live in most habitats across Australia, although they are most common in areas of sclerophyll forest and savannah woodland and least common in populated areas, dense forests and deserts. With their long and powerful legs, emus are able to travel long distances at a fast trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50km/h for some distance at a time. Emus are the only birds with calf muscles. Their feet have three toes and fewer bones and muscles than those of flying birds. Their strong legs enable them to jump 2.1 metres in the air. With good eyesight and amazing agility, emus can escape almost any trouble!

Swamp Wallaby 

The Northern Swamp Wallaby is a solitary, nocturnal animal. Whilst it prefers wet or dry sclerophyll forests, it can be found in rainforests, woodland, open eucalyptus forests and heathland. The northern swamp wallaby relies on thick grass and dense bush to shelter and hide under during the day, coming out at dusk to browse and graze on grass and small shrubs. Although they are mostly solitary, they have been found to gather at common food sources during the night. Males can grow up to about 76 cm in height and weigh around 17kg. Females weigh 13kg and can grow to about 69cm.

Ostrich

Native Walk Thru

Emu

The Emu is the largest bird native to Australia and belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as Ratites which includes the Kiwi, Ostrich, Cassowary and Rhea. They live in most habitats across Australia, although they are most common in areas of sclerophyll forest and savannah woodland and least common in populated areas, dense forests and deserts. With their long and powerful legs, emus are able to travel long distances at a fast trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50km/h for some distance at a time. Emus are the only birds with calf muscles. Their feet have three toes and fewer bones and muscles than those of flying birds. Their strong legs enable them to jump 2.1 metres in the air. With good eyesight and amazing agility, emus can escape almost any trouble!

Swamp Wallaby 

The Northern Swamp Wallaby is a solitary, nocturnal animal. Whilst it prefers wet or dry sclerophyll forests, it can be found in rainforests, woodland, open eucalyptus forests and heathland. The northern swamp wallaby relies on thick grass and dense bush to shelter and hide under during the day, coming out at dusk to browse and graze on grass and small shrubs. Although they are mostly solitary, they have been found to gather at common food sources during the night. Males can grow up to about 76 cm in height and weigh around 17kg. Females weigh 13kg and can grow to about 69cm.

Black Capped Capuchin

Black Capped Capuchins, also known as Tufted Capuchin, or Brown Capuchin, may live either a solitary life, or in groups of 2–20. Juvenile males leave the group at sexual maturity and seek out new groups in which to mate. The core members of a group are, therefore, the females who typically spend their entire lives in the same group.

Named after a group of Franciscan friars, their black capped heads resemble the hoods they wore. Extremely intelligent, they are great problem solvers and are well known for using tools such as rocks and sticks to aid in food gathering.

The zoo’s Capuchin Island is home to family members Gonzo and Monyet, and their children, Gomez and Peanut. Soochi and Coco reside in the central part of the zoo.

Aquarium Exhibit

The Aquarium is home to many creatures from the oceans and rivers in Australia and around the world and the Aquarium gallery space has also been themed to capture some key environments like Rocky Shores, Southern Oceans and Rivers of the World with a view to create an experience for visitors to the Aquarium. You will find river and ocean creatures plus snakes, alligators and frogs

Main Entry/Exit - Cafe & Gift Shop

Relax in the Cafe and watch the antics of the Monkeys on Monkey Island. Salads and sandwiches are made fresh daily - also available is a variety of hot food choices, coffee and sweet treats.

The Gift Shop at The National Zoo & Aquarium is stocked full of a great variety of quality souvenirs to remind you of your visit, from pocket money toys to clothing and wildlife themed giftware - all at competitive prices.

 

 

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Reception & uShaka Lodge

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals. Jamala comprises 18 luxurious suites in three individually designed five star accommodation hubs; Giraffe Treehouses, Jungle Bungalows and uShaka Lodge.

 

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Giraffe Treehouses

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals. 

The six Giraffe Treehouse suites allow guests to mingle with the friendly animals which reside in a private garden setting. Enjoy panoramic views of the Molonglo River from the secluded balconies and meet the resident giraffe!

 

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Jungle Bungalow

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals.

Immersed within the habitats of some of the world’s most amazing animals, the five Jungle Bungalows are the ultimate in unique luxury accommodation. Relax in your room alongside lions, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears or tigers as you get to know these beautiful creatures in the most personal and intimate way.

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Jungle Bungalow

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals.

Immersed within the habitats of some of the world’s most amazing animals, the five Jungle Bungalows are the ultimate in unique luxury accommodation. Relax in your room alongside lions, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears or tigers as you get to know these beautiful creatures in the most personal and intimate way.

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Jungle Bungalow

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals.

Immersed within the habitats of some of the world’s most amazing animals, the five Jungle Bungalows are the ultimate in unique luxury accommodation. Relax in your room alongside lions, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears or tigers as you get to know these beautiful creatures in the most personal and intimate way.

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Jungle Bungalow

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals.

Immersed within the habitats of some of the world’s most amazing animals, the five Jungle Bungalows are the ultimate in unique luxury accommodation. Relax in your room alongside lions, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears or tigers as you get to know these beautiful creatures in the most personal and intimate way.

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge - Jungle Bungalow

Jamala Wildlife Lodge Is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo & Aquarium and Canberra’s first luxury lodge experience. As well as relaxing in the unique African style atmosphere, guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of close encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals.

Immersed within the habitats of some of the world’s most amazing animals, the five Jungle Bungalows are the ultimate in unique luxury accommodation. Relax in your room alongside lions, cheetahs, brown bears, sun bears or tigers as you get to know these beautiful creatures in the most personal and intimate way.

The 22 hour stay includes overnight accommodation, all food and dinner beverages and exclusive tours.

Keyhole Entry and Upper Car Park

This extra entry and car park are opened during peak times. Signage in the main car park will advise if this area is accessible.

Viewing Park

The central hub of the zoo's open range section provides a relaxing landscaped area to enjoy a picnic. The undercover Cabanas and BBQs are free to use on a shared basis and enable easy access to a number of animal exhibits surrounding the area.

Red Panda

Despite sharing the name, red pandas are not related to the black and white giant panda. They are classed in their own subfamily within the racoon family. However, like giant pandas, they are classed as a carnivore, but are mainly vegetarian. They eat berries, blossoms, leaves, fruits, acorns, bird eggs and large quantities of bamboo. The red pandas stomach and digestive system is similar to other carnivores, having a simple stomach and a short intestine (meaning it is designed to digest meat not plant matter). This means it cannot properly digest the bamboo and therefore gets very little nutrition from it. To overcome this problem the red panda has a very low metabolism rate and spends most of the day eating.

As with many threatened species these days, one of their biggest threats is competition with humans. The natural habitat that has supported these, and many other animals for thousands of years, is rapidly being destroyed. Various conservation organisations such as the Red Panda Network are working to preserve and protect their remaining habitat and give hope for their ongoing survival.

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 5 red pandas; Eilish & Tenzin and their offspring Ari, plus Eilish’s nephews Nima and Dawa. The zoo is part of a regional breeding program for red pandas.