A spring ‘baby boom’ at Hamerton Zoo Park has seen a number of new arrivals make their debut appearances, including a UK first.
The zoo's baby boom includes two types of brush-tailed possum joeys, two Bactrian camel calves, a rare-breed Poitou donkey foal, an alpaca cria (a baby alpaca), Parma wallaby joeys and Corsac fox cubs.
Believed to be the first of this form of possum born in a UK zoo for more than 100 years, the Queensland silver-grey brush-tailed possums have had two joeys emerge from their pouches.
Hamerton Zoo is home to three different varieties of brush-tailed possums in total. Whilst the more unusual silver-grey possums are currently not on show to the public, two other forms of possums are on show: the common brush-tailed possums with their two-month-old joeys, and a pair of Tasmanian golden possums, who the keepers hope will also mate and raise their own young.
Following many years of planning and partnerships with zoos in Queensland, Australia, Hamerton Zoo has brought together the largest collection of Australian species to be seen in Europe, with a number of species unique to the zoo outside of Australia, also known as 'Project Oz'.
These animals, born in captivity in Australia and imported to Hamerton Zoo, are designated as 'ambassador animals' for their species.
Elsewhere in the zoo, success in the bird department has also seen bird keeper, Christopher Swales hatch a critically endangered Ruppell's griffon vulture chick over Easter, as well as a marabou stork chick.
Head keeper at Hamerton Zoo, Katherine Adams, said: "Alongside our successful breeding programmes for high-profile animals such as cheetahs at Hamerton, we have breeding programmes to protect some less well-known species. We are incredibly proud of breeding the first silver-grey brush-tailed possum in a UK zoo for more than 100 years."
To find out more, log on to www.hamertonzoopark.com or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HamertonZoo.