Taronga Zoo has welcomed the 13th Yellow bellied glider born into their breeding program. The baby is another step forward for the only successful glider breeding program in the world.
Only recently have keepers been able to get a close up look at the baby when he had his first vet check. During this he was confirmed to be a male. The boisterous little bub lives in Taronga’s Australian nightlife exhibit.
This species can still be found in the wild at the edge of Sydney in bushland such as the Bouddi forest.
Australian mammals keeper, Wendy Gleen explained how they got the name the fluffy glider, ‘They have the softest fur of any animal. It’s so soft that you can see you hand touching it but can’t actually feel it against your hand.’
They can glide through the air for 140m and weigh just 700g but are about the size of a rabbit. They have bright orange or yellow fur on the belly which is highlighted against the grey-brown of their fur.
The gliders face a number of threats as Gleen said, ‘The biggest problem for the gliders is local bushland being broken up by development along the eastern seaboard where they’re found.’
She also recounted how people can help ‘People can help by planting trees and shrubs that are found locally in backyards to create wildlife corridors and by getting involved with local bush regeneration groups.’
Taronga Zoo is also helping by launching a yellow bellied glider program with students on the Central coast. Already 160 students from four schools are signed up to participate in the program. It expands on the threatened species programs they already have for little penguins, Regent honeyeaters and platypi.
The public will soon be able to assist in naming the joey on Taronga Zoo’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo