‘Incredible pride’ at zoo’s baby boom

There has been a baby boom at a zoo new Peterborough - as keepers have been overwhelmed with fluffy rare new arrivals this spring.

Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 7:00 am
The baby alpaca

There has been a baby boom at a zoo new Peterborough - as keepers have been overwhelmed with fluffy rare new arrivals this spring.

Hamerton Zoo has seen baby possums, camels and vultures welcomed to the park over the past few weeks.

The zoo is already well known for its big cat breeding programme, but this spring it is some of the smaller animals in their care that have produced offspring, with some very rare baby animals making an appearance.

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The new camel

The full list of tiny new arrivals at the centre, located near Sawtry, includes two forms of Brush-Tailed Possum joeys, two Bactrian camel calves, a rare-breed Poitou Donkey foal, an Alpaca cria (baby Alpaca), Parma Wallaby joeys and Corsac Fox cubs.

The new parent possums included Queensland Silver-Grey Brush-tailed Possums, who have had two joeys emerge from their pouches. They are believed to be the first Silver Grey Bush Tailed Possums to be born in the UK for more than 100 years.

Whilst the more unusual Silver-Grey Possums are currently off-show to the public, two other forms of Brush Tailed Possums are currently on show: Common Brush-Tailed Possums with their two-month-old joeys, and a pair of Tasmanian Golden Possums, who keepers hope will also mate and raise their own young.

The Corsac Fox

The possum population is falling in their native Australia, and following many years of planning with zoos in Queensland, Hamerton Zoo have brought together the largest collection of Australian species in Europe, with a number of species unique to the zoo outside of Australia, also known as ‘Project Oz’.

These animals, born in captivity Down Under and imported to Hamerton Zoo, are designated as ‘Ambassador Animals’ for their species

The bird department has also seen Bird Keeper, Christopher Swales hatch a critically endangered Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture chick over Easter, as well as a Marabou Stork chick.

Marabou Storks are often considered as one of the ugliest animals on the planet, but their numbers in the wild are thankfully increasing and they are no longer endangered

A possum: Picture - Helen Black

Katherine Adams, head keeper at Hamerton Zoo Park said: “Alongside our successful breeding programmes for high-profile animals such as cheetahs at Hamerton, we have breeding programmes to protect some less well-known species.

“We are incredibly proud of breeding the first Silver-Grey Brush-tailed possum in a UK Zoo for over 100 years.”

Hamerton Zoo is home to 100 animal species including white Bengal tigers, majestic Malayan tigers, meerkats and the largest specialised cheetah breeding unit in the UK.

For more information about the zoo, visit www.HamertonZooPark.com.

A possum: Picture - Helen Black
A possum: Picture - Helen Black
A possum: Picture - Helen Black
The Parma wallaby. robcaddphotography.co.uk | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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The Ruppell's Griffon Vulture Chick