18 October 2022

Meet Wagga Zoo's new furry residents

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Wagga Zoo and Aviary welcomes new members to its ever expanding family.

Wagga Zoo and Aviary welcomes new members to its ever-expanding family. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Council.

The Wagga Zoo and Aviary has welcomed some new additions to its “ever-expanding family” – dingo puppies and a southern hairy-nosed wombat.

Southern hairy-nosed wombat Herbie is 18-months-old and has a quiet personality.

He is taking his time to get used to his new home.

Wagga zoo curator Wendy McNamara said Herbie is “still a bit shy and nervous”.

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“We’re hoping once he gets used to life here, we’ll be able to encourage him to come out and say hello to people,” Ms McNamara said,

“We are hopefully going to get Herbie a girlfriend. He’s really sweet.”

Herbie has replaced baby wombats Gus and Madeline who arrived at the zoo last month and were candidates for rehabilitation and release.

The zoo curator said they’ve now gone off to be part of a program where they will be safely returned to the wild.

“We’ll miss Gus and Madeline, but we’re happy they will be out living in their natural surrounds,” Ms McNamara said.

Wendy McNamara with Herbie

Wagga Wagga Zoo and Aviary curator Wendy McNamara with Herbie the wombat. Wagga Zoo says he is very sweet and shy. Herbie may get a new girlfriend. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Council

Three-month-old Shadow and Simba are the zoo’s new dingo pups.

They’ve already formed a pack with the last month’s arrivals, four-month-old dingo pups Diego and Zeke.

Ms McNamara said everybody loves the dingo puppies.

“They’ve been so good. There are always people out in the playground and they just ignore them, they’re so used to having people around,” Ms McNamara said.

“They’ll lie there and sleep. They’re just loving life.”

Zookeeper with dingo puppies

Wagga Wagga Zoo and Aviary curator Wendy McNamara with the dingo puppies. Simba and Shadow have formed a pack with Zeke and Diego. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Council

Wagga Zoo and Aviary said the dingo puppies’ health had been put in danger as people have been throwing items into the dingo enclosure, including a football and a carrot.

“We’ve also seen a few people trying to feed them human food through the fence,” Ms McNamara said.

“The dingoes are on a special diet, so eating things they’re not used to can upset their tummies.

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“It’s the same with footballs – they’re not dog toys. The dingoes can chew bits off and swallow them, causing complications.

“We’re just asking everyone to please be mindful, admire these beautiful creatures without giving them anything, and stay behind the fence.”

The Wagga Zoo and Aviary is open Thursday to Monday from 9 am to 4 pm.

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