Lakeland zoo welcomes special babies

The baby potoroo at the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis.
The baby potoroo at the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis.
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Staff at Milnthorpe’s Lakeland Wildlife Oasis are happily celebrating two vulnerable youngsters safely taking their first steps in the big wide world.

A long nosed potoroo baby has been seen out and about, exploring his surroundings for the first time.

First described in Australia in 1790, potoroos are small marsupials related to kangaroos and wallabies, whose tiny babies also spend the first few months hidden in their mother’s pouch.

In exciting news for the Oasis, the new intrepid explorer marks the first time their popular potoroo family have successfully bred.

In a tale of miracle and dedication, the second new arrival is an orphaned lesser tenrec hedgehog, whose litter mates sadly didn’t survive.

A small hedgehog like species, tenrecs are native to Madagascar, and listed as threatened, so Oasis staff pulled together to safeguard and feed the vulnerable orphan through its risky first weeks.

With little guidance available on handrearing tenrecs, constant vigilance, including night feeds every two to three hours, was undertaken by the team.

Every ounce of the way was recorded and documented to assist other zoos helping to preserve the species.

From a rocky start the youngster is now thriving and happily out investigating its enclosure.

While the Oasis staff catch up on their sleep, manager Jack Williams said: “Both arrivals are really special, especially with the effort the team put into handrearing the little tenric, it’s a great result.”