It’s a strange feeling looking at the cute lion cubs as they run about and explore their new home, all the while knowing a protective (if not overprotective) mother is never far away.

“Mum’s always keeping an eye on them,” zookeeper Chad Staples said.

“They’re very curious about people, so you find them doing a lot of people-watching and interacting with visitors to the zoo.

“People are just loving that!”

Born in January, Baako and Evelyn’s clubs are among the key attractions at Mogo Wildlife Park on the NSW South Coast, which is also home to gorillas, rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras, meerkats, tigers and more animals native to Australia and from far-away lands.

Like young children, two young lion cubs are finding their feet and busy exploring the world around them under the watchful eye of mum and dad.

Move over Taylor Swift, Australia is going gaga over a new celebrity that has captured hearts after a traumatic birth led to him being adopted by his furry aunt.

Step aside Taylor Swift, Australia has a new celebrity who is stealing everyone’s hearts.

Swift famously put Sydney Zoo in the spotlight during her recent stay, but now it’s Mogo Zoo’s newest attraction, baby gorilla Kaius, grabbing all the headlines.

Thousands of eager fans have come through the gates in recent months just to get a glimpse, some visitors even shedding a few tears at the sight of the 17 month old primate.

The cute gorilla has made his mark at Mogo Zoo on the NSW south coast, since moving in with the other gorillas in August last year.

Plains Zebras migrate annually across Namibia and Botswana in search of better grazing pastures, forming Africa’s longest land migration of over 400kms. Zebra can reach speeds of 65kph. They can also deliver strong kicks and bite when threatened

Description

Mid-sized and thick bodied, Zebras are recognisable by boldly striped black and white with a black or dark muzzle. All Zebras have individual markings with no two alike. Their necks are maned with short hair and their tail ends in a longhaired tuft

Distribution

Southern Sudan and southern Ethiopia, east of the Nile River to southern Angola and northern Namibia and northern South Africa

Diet

Herbivore; Feeding selectively on particular grass species

Reproduction

Breeding occurs throughout the year although peak births occur during the wet season. The herd stallion has sole breeding access to the females

Social structure

Zebras are a highly social species, living in complex social systems. Harems comprise a single stallion to several unrelated mares and their recent offspring. Bachelor groups also exist. Groups come together to form migrating herds of 10,000 or more for safety against predators.

Cotton Top Tamarins are recognisable by their mottled gray-brown shoulders, back and rump. The hair on the back of their thighs and the base of their tail is red-brown and they have a fan of long, white hair on their heads. Their nails are claw like.

Distribution

Cotton Top Tamarins have fragmented populations in Northwest Colombia

Diet

They are an omnivore; eating large amounts of insects, fruit and plant matter, tree sap, gum, nectar, small reptiles and nuts

Reproduction

Cotton Top Tamarins practice monogamous breeding systems where mating only occurs between the dominant male and female. Breeding is seasonal occurring from January to June. Fathers assist with births and carry the young when not being nursed by the mother. Sub-adults will assist in carrying and caring for young

Social structure

They are a social animal, living in small family groups of up to 15, usually consisting of a dominant breeding pair. Unique cooperative structure allowing sub-adults to gain breeding experience by assisting the dominant pair raise young, before breeding themselves

Threats

Habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture and pasture. Illegal pet trade

This large and slender cheetah is distributed across more than 25 African countries, boasting a population of around 12,000. However, the Asiatic sub-species is in a critical situation, with only 50-60 individuals remaining in Iran.

Cheetahs utilise various vocalizations for communication. Purring expresses contentment and enjoyable social interactions, particularly between mothers and cubs. Chirping resembles the sounds of little birds and is used by mothers and cubs to call each other. Churring is observed during social gatherings. Growling, hissing, and spitting occur in response to annoyance or danger. Yowling intensifies in situations of heightened danger or fear.

Diet

Cheetahs are carnivorous and enjoy small antelope, gazelle and fresh game. Cheetahs only eat fresh kills and prefer smaller fast moving game.

Social

Females Cheetahs can give birth to as many as 9 cubs at once, but usually 3-5 after a gestation period of 90 to 98 days.
The birth weight of a Cheetah cub is between 150g to 300g.
Cub mortality is as high as 90% during the first weeks after birth.
Cheetah siblings stay together in a group after their mother leaves them at 18 months.
The females will leave the group and live and hunt alone, while the males form a coalition and hunt together.

Largest of the Gibbon species, Siamang Gibbons have a glossy, black shaggy coat, dark hairless face, long fingers and arms which are longer than legs. A Siamang Gibbon’s arms can span a huge 1.5 metres. Siamangs possess an impressive throat sac, which they use for territorial calling. Territorial calls can last 10-15 min and can be heard over a distance of 1.5-2kms.
Siamang Gibbons are territorial and actively defend their home ranges, with territories overlapping with other primate species. It is the only example in the world where 3 non-human apes coexist.

Diet

Omnivorous, consisting of fruits and leaves, Siamang also eat a small amount of insects, bird eggs and small vertebrates.

Social

Siamangs live in small monogamous family groups of up to 8, usually consisting of a dominant breeding pair and their immature offspring. Grooming is one of the most important social activities that cement social bonds.

Endangerment

Habitat loss due to logging, clearing for palm oil plantations and agriculture, poaching and hunting for the illegal pet trade. Also susceptible to zoonotic disease.

Ring Tiled Lemurs ‘sun worship’ which means they face their tummies to the sun and stretch their arms out wide to warm themselves up.

Ring-tailed Lemurs live in groups of 5-25 animals with the females making up a well-ordered hierarchy that dominates over males. Female lemurs remain in the group whilst males join other groups, thus we have a group of males on the islands at Mogo.

Diet

Ring-Tailed Lemurs diet consists mainly of fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, sap and the occasional invertebrate. Due to the fact that the vegetation in forests inhabited by these lemurs is sparse and non-continuous, they are often found traveling on the ground.

Social

Ring-tailed Lemurs live in groups of 5-25 animals with the females making up a well-ordered hierarchy that dominates over males.

Endangerd

Unfortunately Ring-Tailed Lemur populations are rapidly declining in the wild, with around 50% of their natural habitat having been destroyed in the past 35 years. This steep decline in numbers has left them classified as an “Endangered” species on the IUCN red list.
The forests that Ring-Tailed Lemurs prefer are quickly being converted to farmland, overgrazed by livestock, or harvested for charcoal production. Ring-tailed lemurs are also hunted for food in certain areas of their range and are frequently kept as pets.
Fortunately, they are found in several protected areas in southern Madagascar, but the level of protection varies widely in these areas offering only some populations refuge from hunting and habitat loss.

The Spotted Hyena has a spotted coat and is the largest of the four hyena species. The hyena has a large head, large ears, long front legs and shorter back legs with a back that slopes down from the shoulder to the tail. It can be difficult to distinguish the females from the males. Females are also larger than the males.

Diet

Hyenas are carnivores and eat a wide range of animals, including wildebeest, zebra, gazes dinesire rebirds. Spotted Hyenas will steal prey from cheetah or even lions if they are in a pack. They are also very good scavengers and their digestive system allows them to eat all parts of the animal—meat, skin and bone.

Social

A Hyena’s gestation period is on average 110 days, with the average litter having 2 cubs. Cub are born with soft brownish black hair and weigh about 1kg. Spotted hyena cubs are born with their eyes open and will nurse for 12-16 months, though they can process solid fools as early as 3 months old and will be participating in hunts within their first year.

Silvery Gibbons inhabit the isolated pockets of primary rainforests on the western side of Java, live in monogamous family groups consisting of the parents and up to 4 immature offspring. Silvery Gibbons are strictly arboreal and rarely descend to the forest floor.
Adaptations in their wrists and shoulders support them when brachiating through the forest canopy.
The female’s loud call and song early in the morning acts to defend their territory.

Natural behavior

Silvery Gibbons live in monogamous family groups consisting of the parents and up to 4 immature offspring. They are strictly arboreal and rarely descend to the forest floor. Adaptions to their wrists and shoulders support them when brachiating through the forest canopy. The female’s loud call and song early in the morning acts to defend their territory.

Description

Body hair is grey all over with a dark hairless face with light grey eyebrows. Arms and fingers are long with reduced thumbs.

Distribution

Fragmented populations in the western half of Java

Diet

Mainly frugivorous, they also eat leaves, flowers, nuts and insects.

Reproduction

A single offspring is born after a gestation period of 210 days. Birth interval is 2-3 years. Sexual maturity is reached between 5-7years. Average lifespan in the wild is 35 years. Gibbons in captivity can live up to 50 years.

Social structure

Social, living in family units of up to 6 individuals. Groups consist of a dominant male and female breeding pair and their immature offspring.

Threats

The biggest threat to the survival of Silvery Gibbons is habitat loss and human encroachment. Less than 4% of their original habitat exists and is still on the decline. The illegal pet trade and poaching is another ongoing threat.

Silvery Gibbons are a seriously endangered species , Mogo Zoo is proud to be one of a handful of institutions who, under the watchful eye of a globally run Breeding Program has managed to produce offspring. We support the ‘Silvery Gibbon Project’ based at Perth Zoo in an effort to rescue and rehabilitate Silvery Gibbons on the island of Java.

White Rhinos are the most social and largest of the 5 Rhino sub-species. Rhinos live an average of 50 years in captivity. They graze in groups of up to 7. Although calves are weaned from their mother at around 12 months old, they usually stay with their mothers up until about 3 years old.

You may be surprised that Rhinos communicate with each other using their ears, nostrils, posture and complex breathing for communication and expression. These sounds can cary from calf squeaking, to snarling, or wailing by adults.

Natural behavior

White Rhino feed and rest alternately during the day and night, often resting in the hottest part of the day. Males live in small territorial ranges. Female home ranges are larger and may overlap several male territories. Home ranges are scent posted with dung heaps, also known as middens and usually located at territory boundaries. The size of the midden represents the rhino’s status

Description

White Rhino are one of the heaviest land animals in the world. Colouration is yellowish brown to slate grey. They produce 2 horns on their snout, made from keratin which can grow up to 1.8 meters in length. White rhino have a distinct flat broad mouth for grazing. All rhinos have poor eyesight but good hearing and a good sense of smell

Distribution

Southern Africa, with smaller trans located populations found in Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe

Diet

Herbivore; grazing mostly on grass

Reproduction

Breeding occurs throughout the year, after courtship and mating which lasts during 1 to 3 weeks. Males use scent to determine when females are approaching estrus. The territorial bull will join the female for up to 20 days until she is ready to mate

Social structure

Mother and calf stay together for long periods, often until the next calf is born, around 3 years. Sexually mature males tend to lead solitary lives

Threats

Habitat loss and poaching, horns for use in traditional Chinese medicine