Wellington Zoo is home to over 500 animals and more than 100 different species. These are just some of the animals that call Wellington Zoo their home.
Origin: New Zealand
Animal fact: Tuatara don’t eat very often and do everything slowly. They live for up to 60 years.
Golden Lion Tamarin
Origin: Brazil’s Atlantic coastal forest
Animal fact: An endangered specie, there were fewer than 200 left during the 1970s. Thanks to zoos and other conservation organizations, there are now approximately 3,200 living in the wild.
Origin: Southern Africa
Animal fact: Meerkats are carnivorous and mostly eat insects. Every meerkat has a special duty that benefits the group. The babysitter stays close to the burrow, with youngsters under their care. The sentry scans the sky for predators, and the hunters dig for food. The teacher shows juveniles how to hunt.
Origin: Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago
Animal fact: These medium-sized rodents look a bit like large Guinea Pigs, and their powerful teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. Agouti are one of the few animals in the world that can open Brazil nuts without tools, thanks to their strength and sharp teeth – making them critically important to the survival of Brazil nut trees and the people who depend on them. These hard-working rodents open the fruit, take some of the nuts and bury the rest, which germinate to become new trees.
Origin: Island of Tasmania
Animal fact: In Tasmanian Devil society females are in charge. They go for dominant mates, and spurn the advances of males who are too timid.
Origin: Kenya and Uganda
Animal fact: Giraffes spend up to 20 hours a day feeding, but you’re unlikely to catch them sleeping it off – Giraffes sleep the least of any mammal, and only need between 10 minutes and two hours of sleep each day.
Goliath Stick Insect
Animal fact: Goliath Stick Insects are herbivorous and are very talented at camouflaging themselves. They like to hide in the tops of Eucalyptus and acacia trees. The females are much larger than the males, with large, heavy abdomens. This means that although both sexes have wings, only the lighter, slimmer males can fly.
Animal fact: Their diet includes chopped up vegetables and pellets and they also swallow stones to aid in digestion! Males and females communicate using different sounds - Females make a booming sound, while males make a loud grunt. Next to Ostrich, they are the second largest bird in the world.
Origin: South America
Animal fact: The Capybara is the world’s largest rodent and they share similar features with rats, mice and Guinea pigs such as their ever-growing front teeth. One of their notable features is their partially webbed feet, making the Capybara excellent swimmers! Capybaras are herbivores, eating mostly grass, water plants and vegetables, as well as fruit and tree bark. They are also a herd species, which means they are a very social animal.
Origin: Arabian Peninsula in Yemen and Saudi Arabia
Animal fact: Coloration can be affected by several factors, including social status. In experimental conditions, young veiled chameleons reared in isolation are darker and duller in color than those raised with other individuals. Females change color across their reproductive cycles. Chameleons also tend to change to a much darker color when stressed.
Origin: Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen
Animal fact: Their bright pink bottom serve as cushions, so they can sit on thin branches high up in trees for really long stretches of time to stay safe from predators. Baboons don’t appreciate eye contact and toothy smiles - both of these things are considered threats in their societies. They respond by raising their eyebrows, showing the whites of their eyelids or baring their teeth to intimidate their enemies.
Origin: Southern, North and East Africa
Animal fact: Cheetahs are best known for their incredible speeds and are able to reach speeds of up to 100 kph in 3 seconds. Their bodies are well adapted for this: they have non-retractable claws, a long heavy tail to help with turning, and they’re much leaner than other big cats.
Origin: Savannahs of Africa
Animal fact: The Ostrich is the largest living bird, weighing up to 140 kg and standing as tall as 2.5m. It is also the fastest two–legged animal in the world, and can reach speeds of up to 70kph.
Origin: New Zealand
Animal fact: Skinks are critically endangered with around 2000 of each species thought to remain in the wild. They make their homes in sheltered crevices in large outcrops of schist rock.
Origin: Mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China
Animal fact: These solitary animals form pairs during breeding season, which is short-lived – females are only in season for one day a year, making Red Panda cubs very rare and precious.
Madagascan Giant Day Gecko
Origin: Northern and northwest Madagascar
Animal fact: These beautifully bright green geckos can attach themselves to nearly any surface. Their feet are not sticky, but instead are covered in microscopic ridges. They prefer to crawl and bask on horizontal and diagonal perches, so you can sometimes see them attached to the other side of the glass.
Cotton Top Tamarin
Animal fact: They’re omnivores with a diet based on insects, spiders, flowers, fruit, sap, nectar and occasionally eggs and lizards.
Origin: Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand
Animal fact: All Wallabies are marsupials belonging to the macropod family, which means ‘large-footed.’ They are largely nocturnal, so they’re sometimes a bit harder to spot during the day.
Animal fact: Dingoes are highly agile, great climbers and spend an average of 65 per cent of their day active. Just like other wild dogs, Dingoes communicate with each other by barking, howling or snuffing.
Animal fact: They have heavy scales and short stumpy tails to trick predators into thinking they have two heads..
Address: 200 Daniell St, Newtown, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
Open: Daily 9:30am - 5:00pm
Learn more: https://wellingtonzoo.com/
Photos property of Lívph
Animal Facts from Wellington Zoo.com