More than one-third of the animals at Perth Zoo are ambassadors for their endangered and critically endangered cousins in the wild. On Endangered Species Day we celebrate the first birthday of one of those very important residents, Lulani, our White-cheeked Gibbon.
This golden girl helps us get the word out about the plight of gibbons that live in the misted forests of Laos and Vietnam and who are threatened by habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.
Here at the Zoo Lulani shares her rainforest exhibit with mum, Jermei, and older brother Canh. She is still dependent on mum but has already started exploring and playfully singing along in the gibbon chorus.
At Perth Zoo, we have some of the best zoological matchmakers who coordinate important breeding programs for some of the world’s rarest animals like Lulani. Thanks to their expertise, she is just one of several babies born here at the Zoo in the last twelve months.
More recently we have welcomed endangered Red Panda cubs, a Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo and a Javan Gibbon.
Behind the scenes, critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoise hatchlings, barely bigger than a fifty-cent piece are cracking out of their eggs. This year it looks like we may celebrate a record number of baby ‘Swampies’ - more than 50 have hatched so far!
Along with the teeny-tiny swampies, we also breed and release bushy-tailed Numbats, mini-carnivorous marsupials called Dibblers and two frog species that originate from the Margaret River region.
In the last financial year there were 215 Zoo-born or reared animals released into wild habitats. The wild releases are always a fist bump moment for us. It’s what we strive for and we always get excited watching them take their first tentative footsteps into the big wide world!
Between breeding programs, animal ambassadors, supporting conservation projects in countries near and far and educating hundreds of thousands of people every year, saving wildlife isn’t just our slogan. It is what we are dedicated to.
Zoos like ours exist to ensure animals do not become extinct.
On Lulani’s birthday, this Endangered Species Day, our birthday wish for her is that one day we can appreciate animals not because they are rare or endangered, but rather because they are thriving in all their amazing glory!
Did you know we support the work of orginisations like Fauna and Flora International to protect White-cheeked Gibbons in Vietnam? They protect valuable habitat and employ local community rangers. If you would like to help us celebrate Lulani’s birthday, consider a donation to help us save wildlife!