Thanks to the dedication of Perth Zoo’s wildlife experts, two hand-raised Numbats were given a second chance at life and are now celebrating their first birthday!

Born through Perth Zoo Science's collaborative breed-for-release program, Numbats Sam and Mack, had a tricky start to life and were unfortunately mismothered in their early days.

When it was clear that nature wasn’t taking its course, our dedicated animal carers stepped in to hand-raise the small joeys.


Armed with a special marsupial milk and plenty of determination, the keepers and vet teams poured hours of TLC into the small numbats, with round the clock feeds and regular weigh-ins.

Now, just over one year later, Sam and Mack are thriving! They’ve ‘graduated’ from the special Numbat nursery and are now living independently just like other Numbats their age would.

Perth Zoo Science Numbat Keeper Renee Bauhofer said the pair’s birthday was a major conservation milestone and a representation of how zoos have the potential to change the course of history.

“We are so happy to see Sam and Mackenzie reach their first birthday – these celebrations are really a testament to the hard work our animal care teams.

“Every individual numbat is really important to the future of the species, and has been a privilege for us to raise these little ones.

“It took a lot of time, effort and dedication so it’s incredibly rewarding to see them doing so well as young adults.
They have a safe home here and will be Numbat ambassadors so visitors to the Zoo get to see them and understand how important it is that we protect them.

“This is part of the work that we do behind the scenes – you don’t always see it but it’s always happening.”

Perth Zoo is the ONLY zoological institution in the world that breeds Numbats for release, and with increasing threats to their survival in the wild, Numbats are an endangered species – so every individual counts!

This makes the Perth Zoo Science's breeding program in collaboration with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Biodiversity Conservation Science team, and Parks and Wildlife Service, more important than ever.

This milestone is so much more than adorable baby animals! With less than 2000 of these iconic marsupials estimated remaining in the wild, every tiny individual born makes a huge impact on conservation efforts.

Since the first release of Perth Zoo-bred numbats into the wild in 1993, more than 300 Numbats bred at the Zoo have been released into safe habitat.

With each passing year, Perth Zoo's Numbat conservation program grows stronger, and the first birthday of Mackenzie and Sam serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring continued efforts to protect and preserve endangered species for generations to come.

You can help us continue this important work by donating to Perth Zoo!