Ipswich First spoke to senior zoologist Nicole Richards for the latest update on what’s been happening around the thriving Ipswich Nature Centre.
“If you haven’t visited the Ipswich Nature Centre recently, now is the time to go,” Ms Richards said.
They are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am – 4pm.
Meet Bubble and Squeak
All the talk around the farmyard is about the most handsome new residents, two male mandarin ducks. It is believed resident duck, Phebo, was concerned about sharing his pond, until he met Bubble and Squeak. Luckily they became mates at first quack (or snort as it turns out) and all three of them can be regularly seen floating on the pond then sunbaking on the grass nearby.
Strangely though, while they are quite vocal, these beautiful ducks don’t quack. One of their vocalisations sounds like a pig snorting. Mandarin ducks are one of the oldest species of duck and they are native to China and Japan.
Babies! Congratulations Susan
It was noticed by keepers in January that Susan the Swamp wallaby’s pouch was growing in size. Then it started moving around, like something was kicking from inside. That’s when keepers realised she was raising a little joey in there.
It is estimated that the joey was born in November last year. The sex of the joey is not yet known, but the keepers are very excited to find out once he/she is ready to venture out of mums pouch a little more.
Swamp wallabies will start to leave their mothers pouch at seven to eight months but will continue to suckle till 14 months.
Party, party, party
Resident dingos Min Min and Pindari recently celebrated their 14th birthday. Keepers made it extra special for them by putting their favourite treats, wrapped up in boxes for them to tear apart. They were also serenaded with a rousing rendition of happy birthday sung by staff and visitors.
Though they are getting older you wouldn’t know it, the way they run around each morning after being let out of their night den. The dingos have been at the Ipswich Nature Centre since they were eight weeks of age, so they are very special to the staff and the zoo regulars and their birthday is always a big celebration.
Just don’t call me spotty
Luna, the spotted-tailed quoll, recently arrived at the Ipswich Nature Centre all the way from Ballarat, Victoria. She was quite shy when she first arrived but it didn’t take her long to get used to her new surroundings.
Now she is often seen running around her enclosure, climbing or doing one of her favourite things – basking in the warm winter sun.
She is carnivorous so loves to chow down on her favourite meat and people who call her spotty. She was born in July 2017 so will be turning one next month.
Spotted-tailed quolls are considered to be a near threatened species, which unfortunately means you won’t get to see too many of them in the wild, that’s why it is important for Luna and the Ipswich Nature Centre to educate people on saving these magnificent animals so they stick around for future generations.