Feature image: Geoff Brooks Body images: Monarto Safari Park
Spring is in the air at Monarto Safari Park with exciting new arrivals for both the American Bison and Ring-tailed lemurs!
Two American Bison calves were born this month bringing the herd numbers to 13.
Erika, who turns three years old tomorrow, received an early birthday present welcoming her female, yet-to-be-named calf on November 16. She joined four-year-old bison, Rose, who welcomed little Molly on November 12.
Keeper, Jeff Lewis, said both bison have been excellent mums and the herd has been very interested in their new additions.
“They have all been very sweet with them,” he said. “Both mums have been great from the start, as soon as Molly was born Rose was licking and cleaning her, shooing the others away.”
“The calves have been very playful and they are quite confident already.”
American Bison was the first species to arrive at Monarto Safari Park in 1983. The group range in age from under a year to approximately 30 years.
Across the park, the Ring-tailed Lemurs have welcomed three new pups to their conspiracy. The pups, or baby lemurs, cutely cling to their mother’s belly during their first three to four weeks of life and will then ride on her back until they are around four months old.
Mothers Debbie and Lilo gave birth one day apart, with Lilo welcoming twins. The little bundles of joy were born two months ago and add to the family clan who arrived together from Australia Zoo in August 2020.
Keeper, Amy Nelson, said the group also includes Debbie’s mother, Blossom, who has enjoyed her newfound Grandma status helping out with the little ones.
“It’s been very heart-warming because the pups have really brought the group together,” said Amy.
“They’ve all been looking after the pups and taking it in turns sharing the motherly duties.”
Over the past few weeks, the pups have begun to adventure more and they love to play in the trees of the new exhibit space. The walk-through lemur habitat, currently off-limits for the public, is part of Monarto Safari Park’s Wild Africa development and is expected to open before the end of 2022.
The development will include a range of wild safari experiences including open-sided vehicle tours through herds of roaming animals and a luxury hotel developed by a private investor, Gerry Ryan.
Ring-tailed Lemurs inhabit the southwest corner of Madagascar in a variety of habitats ranging from deciduous forest to scrubby and rocky areas.
Ring-tailed Lemurs are classified as endangered with habitat loss and poaching the biggest threat to the wild population. Their habitat is already restricted in southern Madagascar and continues to diminish due to annual burning practices that help create new pasture land for livestock, over-grazing by livestock, and the felling of trees for charcoal production.
From Wednesday 1 December 2021, visitors aged 16 and older who choose to come to Adelaide Zoo or Monarto Safari Park will be required to show evidence that they have been fully vaccinated.
Visitors are still limited at both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park, so if you want to see the cutest baby bundles of joy, make sure you pre-book to ensure you don’t miss out.