Today some of our Eastern Barred Bandicoot’s (EBBs) at Werribee Open Range Zoo had their regular health checks by keepers Michael and Laura.
These EBBs are part of Zoos Victoria’s captive breeding program to help save these critically endangered bandicoots from extinction.
Michael and Laura say that to be a good EBB keeper you have to:
1. be very quick catching them in the net after you have woken them from their sleep
2. have eyes like a hawk to be able to check the female’s pouches for young
3. be able to dance like a ballerina to ensure that you wont stand on their beds (otherwise known as ‘dreys’).
Check 1: body weight
Every 4 weeks the keepers check each individual’s body weight to ensure they are maintaining a good condition for breeding.
Check 2: nail condition
Keepers check the length and condition of the EBBs nails to ensure that they are not too long and that they have been using them to dig up the insects they eat.
Check 3: eye condition
Check 4: Pouch young check
Every week the keepers check the female’s pouches for evidence that she is pregnant. An EBB has a gestation period of only 12-13 days, weens the 1-5 young at 60 days and can breed up to 5 times a year.
Today none of the 4 females checked had young in their pouches so hopefully next week the checks will result in some babies being spotted.
If you are wondering what you can do to make a difference to the Eastern Barred Bandicoots and help them fight extinction simply take up Zoos Victoria’s Common Cents Challenge.
Interesting stuff Phoebe. Is there any particular management procedure that is put into place when they discover a female has pouch young?
Hi Michelle they are healthy
for the common cents challenge i donated 500 cents for the bandicoots