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$3.00 ISSUE # 52 | SUMMER 2012-13

The Zoo turns 90!

Kiwi chick season

lion summertime and the

is easy

Saving wild orangutans

90 years young

We’re wild for the animals

As we prepare to go to print, Auckland Zoo is just days away from celebrating its 90th anniversary on 17 December. It’s been a colourful nine decades, during which time the Zoo has evolved enormously. We’re extremely proud of the Zoo experience we offer to Aucklanders and the wider community, and the very active role we play in helping conserve wildlife here in New Zealand and around the world.

Big Partners ASB has supported Auckland Zoo for many years. In 1972 we helped fund the journey of four-year-old elephant, Kashin, from her birthplace in northeast Thailand to New Zealand. Since then, our ongoing partnership has supported the Zoo’s elephants - including making sure that their massive appetites have been satisfied - along with helping other conservation and sustainability efforts too. Although deeply saddened by the passing of Kashin in August 2009, our relationship with the Zoo has never been stronger. We continued our support in 2010, providing funds for the revitalised ASB Elephant Clearing. Linley Wood, ASB’s Executive General Manager, Culture and Community, says the ongoing partnership will continue to assist with many more exciting developments, including proposed extension plans for the ASB Elephant Clearing, “and perhaps even the arrival of an elephant friend or two for Burma [the current resident elephant at the Zoo] in the future.”


A Continuing Partnership Over the years our sponsorship has extended to the support of many Zoo activities, from ASB Christmas at the Zoo to ASB Zoo Music, a series of summer concerts held at the rotunda in 2004. We have also supported the Zoo School Holiday Programme, which includes actively fundraising for the Zoo’s conservation efforts. In 2008, as a result of this partnership, we were honoured to receive the Pelorus Trust Best Junior Sponsorship Award at the NZ Sponsorship Awards. In November 2012, we were also delighted to assist with the Zoo’s first ‘Dreamnight at the Zoo’, where the children and families of Starship Children’s Hospital were invited for a very special evening of games, food, giveaways and close up encounters with the animals. As a Five Star Sponsor of the Starship Foundation since its inception in 1991, ASB is pleased to have had the opportunity to help unite these two wonderful causes. After the terrific success of the inaugural event, we hope to be able to support this event annually.

ASB looks forward to continuing its involvement with the animals and activities at Auckland Zoo for many years to come - ensuring a wild time for future generations.

In this issue, you can check out some historic Zoo photos and read about some recent conservation efforts and achievements – including awards for our very own WildZone gift shop and Zoo vet, Dr Richard Jakob-Hoff. You’ll see we also have an action-packed calendar of great summer events for you and the family to get along to. We hope you like our new-look magazine, and wish you all the very best for a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

4 I The Feed


Short stories and long tails

5 I The Mane Event Jane Healy Editor

Our Summer Zoo experience

7 I New Arrivals Births and borrowings

Zoo Alive is printed on Impress Coated paper stock produced from ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved certified mixed source pulp, and manufactured under the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. It is printed tri-annually (Spring, Summer and Autumn/Winter). Contents cannot be reproduced in whole or part without permission of the publisher. Editor: Jane Healy Design: ROLFE Printing: PMP Maxum

Address all enquiries to the editor: Phone: 09 360 3804

8 I Auckland Zoo turns 90 Celebrate the Zoo - old and new

10 I Pullout Poster

Sea lion Scuttle and keeper Joel

12 I K is for Kids

T is for tiger and kids care for forests

14 I Conservation Starters Auckland Zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos & Aquaria, and the Australasian organisation – Zoo Aquarium Association

Small grants, big difference

15 I Worldview

Saving wild orangutans and Christmas Island cat control

Auckland Zoo would like to thank its generous sponsors

iSite Media

ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 3

Photos: Kathrin Simon



Classic Hits has joined the Auckland Zoo family as our preferred radio partner. To help mark the occasion, breakfast hosts Jason Reeves and Justin Brown paid a visit, complete in safari suits, to introduce themselves to the locals. A saunter through the Aussie Walkabout was followed up by a behind-the-scenes lemur experience, which Jason says was reminiscent of a typical Classic Hits breakfast experience: “We had them eating out of our hands.”


The Zoo Quiz Which zoo in Australasia did Jelani the giraffe go to in 2011?


Where would you find the New Zealand scaup in Te Wao Nui?


Red pandas are arboreal. What does arboreal mean?


Which animal joined our family in October 1956?

Zoo Zoom Zoom

Sus scrofa scrofa is the scientific name for which animal?


What are porcupine quills made of?

From December until March our Summer Zoo experience draws together a fun and diverse programme of activities that will give everyone in the family a reason to visit.

Summer Zoo Lates offer you a fabulous opportunity to come and explore, have dinner and enjoy live music with your family and friends (see back page for more details).

“Summer is a really busy time of year for our staff to undertake conservation work in the wild. This year, we will be busy with work including releasing kiwi chicks on Motuora Island, frog surveying in Whareorino, and kokako monitoring in the Waitakere Ranges.

Headlining the activities is our Summer Zoo Snaps photography competition where we’re challenging visitors of all ages to capture the quintessential Summer Zoo photo to be in to win great prizes.

No trip to the Zoo this summer is going to be complete without a stop-off at our newly opened public area, the Watering Hole.

Early evening is a spectacular time to be at the Zoo so we’re staying open ‘til 7.30pm for six continuous Wednesdays through February and March.

How many different cat species live at the Zoo?


What colour do our volunteers wear?


Who was prime minister when the Zoo opened in 1922? Answers:

1. Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne, 2. The Wetlands, 3. They spend most of their lives in trees, 4. Janie the chimpanzee, 5. Kunekune pig, 6. Keratin, 7. Burma the elephant, 8. Four – lion, cheetah, serval, tiger, 9. Red, 10. William Ferguson Massey. 4 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

The redeveloped African-themed plaza features rock pools for the kids to splash around in. There is a delicious new menu from our ‘trading post’, including African-themed burgers and pitas and a scoop ice cream parlour. Plus, as you

Get along to the the Zoo’s new African-themed Watering Hole cafe and plaza this summer to enjoy great food and stunning views of our lion pride, flamingos and ASB Elephant Clearing.

eat or watch the kids play, you can enjoy stunning views of our lion pride, flamingo flock and ASB Elephant Clearing. Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken, says the finished product is far beyond what even he had envisaged for the transformation of this space. “We’re immensely proud of the way in which this public area has so quickly become a firm favourite with our visitors. The Watering Hole looks set to be an essential part of everyone’s Summer Zoo experience.”

Nikon partners WITH THE ZOO

Which zoo animal is named after the country now known as Myanmar?


Making summer special

Thanks to our friends at Mazda NZ, we’ve received two new vehicles to help us with our field conservation work around the country. The BT50 and Mazda3 sport fantastic images of endangered species that are sure to turn heads around town.

Jelani passing through Mt Eden enroute to his new home.



Justin Brown (right) and Jason Reeves introduce themselves to Elvis the emu.

In an exciting first for the Zoo, we have gained a photography partner in Nikon. The new partnership sees Nikon NZ supplying cameras for Zoo guides to capture visitors’ participating in Zoom behind-the-scenes experiences, and for use in on-site photography workshops.

Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken (left) and Mazda GM of vehicle sales and marketing Glenn Harris weren’t the only ones checking out the flash new vehicles.

“It’s great to have a vehicle sponsor on board to help us to get these important jobs done,” says our fundraising and sponsorship coordinator Mandy Mee.

Nikon New Zealand ambassador Josh Heslop, enjoyed testing out his camera skills during a behind-the-scenes experience with some Madagascan ring-tailed lemurs.

Auckland Zoo’s Fundraising and Sponsorship Coordinator Mandy Mee is thrilled to be working with a partner that supports the Zoo’s passion to connect people with wildlife.

“While nothing beats the awe and adrenalin buzz of coming face-to-face with a beautiful animal like a cheetah or an elephant, lasting images that capture that delight and connection are also very powerful,” she says. Nikon’s Brand Manager Meg Luff agrees: “Nikon is passionate about creating memorable images that can be shared for generations, and is delighted to be playing a role in capturing these moments for visitors,” she says. ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 5

WildZone wins Our very own WildZone gift shop has won the 2012 Top Shop Retail Excellence Award for Sustainability. Previously a finalist in the Auckland award’s ‘Giftware & Homeware’ category in 2010, 2011 and 2012, this was the first year WildZone entered the Sustainability award. “We’re extremely proud of this award. We consider the sustainable and environmental aspects in all areas of our operations, and encourage the community to take actions that will reduce the impact of our lifestyles on threatened species and the environment,” says WildZone team leader Billie Bailey.

award arrivals NEW


Our senior vet in research and conservation medicine, Dr Richard Jakob-Hoff has won the 2012 Barry L. Munday Award, presented by the Wildlife Disease Association of Australasia, for his significant contribution to wildlife health.


Five whio (blue duck) ducklings hatched at the Zoo in early October, and a second clutch of six eggs followed in November, producing six more healthy ducklings.

The award, presented by the Wildlife Disease Association of Australasia, specifically recognises work over the past five years.

Whio are endangered, and all 11 chicks that have been raised here will be released to the wild in Egmont National Park early next year once they’re fully fledged – which is great news for the species.

Richard, who has worked with wildlife for over 40 years and at the Zoo for 22 years, had the vision and drove the establishment of the first National Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM) in 2007 – the world’s first of its kind.


In recent years, Richard’s focus has been on understanding the role of disease as a threat to New Zealand native wildlife. He’s also been leading a major international workshop to develop and publish disease analysis tools for conservation management.

We had one pateke (brown teal) duckling hatch back in October. Mum and dad have done a great job rearing this duckling, which has now been relocated to Peacock Springs in Christchurch. In time, it will be released to the wild as part of the Department of Conservation’s recovery programme for pateke.

Closer to home, he has a key role in the Hauraki Gulf Ecohealth Network. This project involves linking a wide range of specialists to coordinate and share expertise in developing a greater understanding of wildlife disease dynamics in the Hauraki Gulf where some of our most endangered species live.

Two new joeys have been born and can be seen (if you look closely enough) at their home in the Aussie Walkabout.

13 is a lucky number for kiwi chick Tae It’s kiwi breeding season and so far our New Zealand bird keepers have successfully incubated, hatched, raised and released 13 North Island kiwi onto kiwi crèche island, Motuora, in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

The WildZone team (top left to bottom right): Li Wei, Ashleigh Morrow, Lou Stewart, team leader Billie Bailey, and Vessela Lewis.

Over the past 16 years the Zoo has released 262 kiwi chicks back into the wild for the BNZ Operation Nest Egg programme, and we’ll very likely be adding to this tally as summer progresses. Like us on facebook for updates.

6 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

Award winner Dr Richard Jakob-Hoff with the Zoo’s resident vet Dr Bethany Jackson (centre), University of Queensland student Tammy Chan and our very friendly male giraffe Zabulu.

Zebra We’re hoping that our new young female zebra Shamwari who arrived from Werribee Zoo (Melbourne) in November, will eventually breed with our male stallion Carlo. Carlo was recently returned to us from Warkworth’s Keystone Wildlife Reserve. In other zebra movements, our stallion Machano moved to Keystone in October to be part of a bachelor herd, and Unyazi will be moving to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo in early 2013 to breed there.

Photo: Greg Bowker/NZ Herald

This passion for the natural environment was clearly seen by the judges, who said: “I liked how I could clearly see the commitments made by Auckland Zoo [to sustainability] as a whole, and how [WildZone] had translated them at store level.”


Red-necked wallabies

“Richard’s greatest strengths are most certainly his communication and visionary skills. In all that he does, he plants the seeds of excellence, so that all around him may fulfil their potential, and he is able to generate the positivity needed to drive initiatives that benefit conservation,” says vet Bethany Jackson, who nominated Richard for the award.

WildZone offers a range of products made from recyclable and sustainable sources, many of which contribute to humanitarian and conservation projects around the world. All profits from the shop fund the Zoo and the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund, supporting the conservation of wildlife in the wild.

Summer is a busy time of year for the Zoo, with a lot of animals moving house, and new additions to the Zoo family.

ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 7

Auckland Zoo turns 90 Auckland Zoo celebrates its 90th anniversary on 17 December

Since opening on 17 December in 1922, Auckland Zoo has welcomed over 28 million visitors! It’s been an eventful nine decades and over this time the Zoo has evolved enormously. While how we operate today may be worlds away from the early days, many of our predecessors including some visionary former directors, have all contributed to the Zoo’s journey and its progress. A winner of national and international awards for our conservation efforts, wildlife research, and innovative exhibits, today the Zoo enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s most progressive zoos.

Photo: New Zealand Herald Archives

8 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

Right: Today chimpanzee Janie (58) is the Zoo’s muchloved oldest animal resident, and its only chimpanzee. Our great ape focus is orangutans. Our orangutan group plays a strong advocacy role on site, and through the Zoo’s Conservation Fund, we provide ongoing financial and practical support to help save orangutans in the wild (see story on page 16).

Photo: New Zealand Herald Archives

A view of Auckland Zoo in 1922

A view of the Zoo in 1956. Elephant Jamuna carries visitors in the foreground. Behind, buildings include a small aquarium and the old Giraffe House.

Left: Four chimpanzees - Janie, Bobbie, Josie and Minnie -trained to dress up and have tea parties - arrived from London’s Regents Park Zoo in 1956. Fortunately, by the early 1960s changing attitudes saw Auckland Zoo discontinue these tea parties.

“Our open, immersive exhibits provide naturalistic landscapes for the wildlife in our care. Our visitors can get a real sense of the wild places of the world, and learn about the world’s disappearing wildlife. And the Zoo is now focussed strongly on helping save threatened species from extinction,” says the Zoo’s director Jonathan Wilcken.

Kashin, who arrived at the Zoo in 1972, passed away on 24 August 2009. Kashin had an extraordinary love for people and touched the lives of everyone she met. On 30 August over 18,500 people came to a special free memorial day to pay their respects and celebrate the life of this much-loved elephant. It remains the single largest crowd in the Zoo’s history.

“We’re extremely proud of the Zoo experience we offer Aucklanders and the wider community, and the active role we play in helping to conserve wildlife, here in New Zealand and around the world,” says Mr Wilcken. In celebration of our 90th, we bring you a selection of images that document some of our history. Zoo Alive thanks the New Zealand Herald for supplying some of these photos from their archives.

All New Zealand Herald images are available to order as prints from

Photo: Fiona Gillan

Left: Zookeeper Mr R.E. Parkes with a kiwi in front of the Zoo’s first Kiwi House, which opened in May 1971. Right: The Zoo’s award-winning NZ precinct, Te Wao Nui, which opened in 2011,encompasses a fifth of the Zoo, and offers visitors the opportunity to see this country’s unique wildlife up close.

Artist Cedric Storey completed the Zoo’s iconic dragon in 1959 and created “Fairyland” on Willow Island, some of which remains today, including this bridge – themed on Peter Pan, Wendy and the Lost Boys. Willow Island is now a function area, popular for kids’ parties and weddings. Willow Island photo: New Zealand Herald Archives

Scuttle the Californian sea lion dives down to greet zookeeper Joel at The Coast in Te Wao Nui.


Photo: Kathrin Simon







Kauri trees are the ancient giants of our forests. Tane Mahuta, the tallest kauri in New Zealand, is 2000 years old! Kauri are home and food to many living things – birds, bats, weta, gecko and other plants. Kauri bark peels off and kauri trees drop their first branches so they don’t get smothered by too many plants.




What colour are the tiger’s stripes? Tigers have stripes on their fur so they can hide in the jungle and catch other animals for food. Some people cut down jungles. Where could a tiger live if there weren’t any jungles?




Check out and use the kauri dieback cleaning station next time you are at Auckland Zoo or in a forest where kauri grow. Find out more about kauri dieback disease at


Why are so many kauri dying?




Remember the 3 S’s: Scrub your feet Spray your feet Stay on the track F


My trunk’s bigger than yours! Animals living in the kauri tree:


A. ruru (morepork), B. Northland tree gecko, C. kukupa (NZ wood pigeon), D. short-tailed bat, E. tui, F. tree weta, G. kiwi, H. kauri snail.

12 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

Who would eat the seeds from kauri cones?

Keep kauri standing by using the cleaning stations where kauri grow.

What did the kauri tree say to the elephant?


Which ones can you name? (check the bottom of the page).

Protect what’s precious

Match the animal to the fur


How many animals can you see living HERE?

Kauri (sounds like kow-ree) are being killed by things so small you can’t see them without a microscope. Kauri dieback disease is a bit like a fungus. It spreads in soil and water and we spread this killer on our dirty shoes!




ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 13

conservation STARTERS Small grants, big difference

Karearea (NZ bush falcon)

One of the ways the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund operates is through its Small Grants Programme. This provides funding of up to $5000 for conservation projects in New Zealand and in countries outside the First World.

The karearea, one of New Zealand’s fastest and most spectacular birds, is also our most endangered bird of prey.

New Zealand’s little penguin, our karearea, and a very rare Vietnamese mammal – a soala, are among animals set to benefit from grants given recently.

Moturoa Island Wildlife Refuge

A pilot project supported by Auckland Zoo has the ultimate aim of establishing viable populations of this bird in the Coromandel and Waitakere Ranges.

Photo: Dilan Rajasingham

Massey University researcher Alex Schanzer will release and study birds fitted with transmitters. Monitoring these birds will allow assessment of dispersal behaviour, habitat use, and subsequent prey abundance, that will help to formulate population density models. Ultimately, the knowledge gained will aid in the conservation management decisions for this keystone species.

Vietnamese soala The soala is one of the world’s rarest, most elusive and critically endangered large land mammals. Discovered in 1992, it is still a biological mystery, with standard survey techniques failing to detect it. Howick Intermediate pupils Faizah Haroon (left) and Sul Im relished the opportunity to assist the Zoo’s NZ bird keeper Thomas Knight with a penguin feed on a recent Zoo visit with their classmates.

Little penguin numbers on Moturoa Island in the Bay of Islands have fallen by over 50% in recent years – in part because of the loss of suitable nesting burrows due to slips caused by very high tides. To help Moturoa Island Wildlife Refuge address this problem, Auckland Zoo has funded the construction of 20 artificial nesting boxes, made by Howick Intermediate pupils, under the supervision of teacher Dave Coaton. As well as getting to learn about the ecology of this very charismatic little coastal inhabitant, the pupils have developed their carpentry skills. As for the penguins, they now have warm, safe nesting boxes that we hope will contribute to breeding successes for years to come.

14 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

Auckland Zoo is supporting an innovative research project by University of Texas PhD candidate, Andrew Tilker. The project will be looking at the DNA contents of terrestrial leeches from central Vietnam to determine the animals they have fed on, indicating presence and basic distribution of the soala. The DNA content of leeches will help identify the presence and distribution of saola.

Information gained will assist with conservation planning, including prioritising areas requiring protection measures from activities like poaching. Given World Conservation Union experts estimate the soala population to be at most just a few hundred individuals, this could be critical to preventing its extinction.

Applications to Auckland Zoo’s Small Grants Programme are accepted throughout the year, with two rounds of grants made in March and October. The deadline for March is Monday 14 January 2013. Visit

ABOVE: The frigate is one of many seabird species being predated on by cats. LEFT: Craig Pritchard supervises trainee surgeon Ataieta Ioane as he performs a neutering procedure with the help of WCU wildlife assistant Kautabuki Kamatie.

cats on Christmas In September some of the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM) team headed to Kirimati (Christmas) Island to share our vet skills with local conservationists.

Kirimati Island (ti pronounced s) is part of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced kirabas) – a Commonwealth nation located about 4,000km southwest of Hawaii. It is part of the division of the Pacific islands known as Micronesia, and is made up of the Gilbert, Phoenix and Line Island groups. The largest coral atoll in the world, Kirimati has special conservation significance as a refuge that supports some amazing seabirds such as frigate birds, red-tailed tropic birds and boobies. One of the threats to the seabirds is predation from cats, of which there are

many. Numbers are particularly high in the villages, and there is spill-over from villages to wildlife areas where the breeding seabirds nest. The cats can take chicks and eggs as well as attack and kill the adult birds.

There is an opportunity for the Auckland Zoo community to lend further support to this conservation project, and hopes are that the next trip will involve a wider Zoo team, including vets, educators, pest control and bird keeping staff.

The Zoo team were working with the local Wildlife Conservation Unit (WCU) – part of the environment division of the Kiribati government. We conducted spey and neuter clinics in the villages in an effort to start to reduce the numbers of cats in the villages.

This Kirimati project was in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Programme (SPREP) which is based in Samoa and coordinates conservation and environmental projects throughout the Pacific. Core funding was through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, managed by Conservation International.

WCU staff members were trained to conduct their own male cat neuter clinics, which they now run monthly. Over 100 cats were de-sexed on this two-week trip – a great start to what should be a long-term project.

The Auckland Zoo team also greatly appreciated the support of Air Pacific, Captain Cook Hotel and Ikari House on Kirimati Island.

Other threats to the birds on the island include human poachers and predation from rats. The WCU team run education programmes throughout the schools emphasising the importance of protecting these birds, and have introduced rat and cat trapping programmes.

Craig Pritchard is a veterinarian and manager of the Zoo’s NZCCM. ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 15

great effort for



By Carly Day Auckland Zoo

Weeding an island

Photo: Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

Acting Primate team leader Carly Day shares her recent experience at the Jantho Orangutan Reintroduction Project in north Sumatra’s Aceh Province. The Jantho Project is the newest initiative run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) – a programme that the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has supported both financially and practically since 2002. In 2009, the Aceh government stated that they wanted all illegal pet orangutans confiscated from Aceh to be released back into the wild in Aceh. With a successful release station already established in Jambi (south Sumatra), SOCP director Ian Singleton and his team set out to find somewhere in Aceh to set up another reintroduction project. They found orangutan paradise at Jantho, just two hours drive from Banda Aceh. It is rich with fig trees (part of the orangutan’s staple diet) and large enough to support a self-sustaining population of orangutans, and has no pre-existing orangutan population. The Zoo liaised with SOCP to see how we could best support their new project, and identified that funds were needed

16 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

to help build more holding facilities and to progress this project. The purpose of my visit was to see how else we could help, and check out the amazing work already being done. The time I spent at Jantho with the incredibly dedicated team of trackers and technicians was inspiring. Currently, rainforests and peat swamp forests in Indonesia are being destroyed at the rate of 54 rugby fields an hour, mostly by the palm oil industry, even though deforested land is available to grow oil palms to produce palm oil. If this rate of destruction continues, it is predicted orangutans could be extinct in the wild by 2022.

Areas like Jantho are becoming the last hope not only for the Sumatran orangutan, but also for hundreds of other amazing species they share the forest with including Asian elephants and rhino, Sumatran tigers and siamang gibbons.

Visit to learn more about the great work of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and how you can help.

Thirteen orangutans have now been successfully released into Jantho, and the aim is to release up to 30 more in the coming year.

Did you know?

Meeting some of these animals and being able to watch them in the wild was a life-changing experience. Orangutan Seumayam, who had to have one arm amputated and required extensive rehabilitation, is the current king of Jantho. He’s one of the lucky ones SOCP got to in time, and he now lives in this jungle paradise with fellow rescued orangutans.

“Currently, rainforests and peat swamp forests in Indonesia are being destroyed at the rate of 54 rugby fields an hour...”

The crisis these great apes are facing is what fuels me when I’m at the supermarket deciding what to buy. The choice is clear to me. I choose to give my money to responsible companies, and buy products that do not contain palm oil.

• The orangutan, the largest treedwelling animal on Earth, is only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and is genetically 97.4% the same as us • Orangutans are keystone species in their forest homes – playing a vital ecological role as seed dispersers of hundreds of trees and plants

Ape friendly app Auckland Zoo’s Palm Oil-Free Shopping Guide, which lists hundreds of palm oil-free supermarket products, will soon be available as a smartphone app – making it easy for you to shop palm oil-free when you’re on the go. For more about palm oil and buying palm oilfree, visit

Horticulture team member Gary Smith is one of many Zoo staff helping to reduce the presence of Rhamnus alaternus (evergreen buckthorn) on Rangitoto Island.

Our Horticulture team has been leading Auckland Zoo’s fieldwork efforts on Rangitoto Island over the past year, helping to rid part of the island from a particularly pesky plant – Rhamnus alaternus. Commonly known as ‘evergreen buckthorn’, this harmless looking shrub is an invasive species that if left to keep spreading, could potentially compete with the regeneration of Rangitoto’s iconic pohutakawa. Zoo staff have so far spent over 270 hours working alongside Department of Conservation (DOC) colleagues, with efforts currently focused on targeting the plant’s presence beside one of the main walking tracks. “Rangitoto is a big island (2311ha) so helping DOC control this pest plant is a huge job, and is going to

be an ongoing project for us, but an extremely worthwhile one. “If we can help ensure New Zealand native plants can flourish here, that in turn will support the island’s invertebrate, bird and reptile species. And that can only be a good thing,” says Auckland Zoo field conservation programmes coordinator, Peter Fraser. If you find young evergreen buckthorn plants on your property, you can easily pull these out. However, more mature plants cannot be pulled out by hand, so need to be cut off at ground level and immediately pasted with a herbicide gel to prevent regrowth. To identify this plant, visit rhamnusalaternus.htm

ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 17

World’s best job


Auckland Zoo’s new ‘Keeper for a Day’ experience gives you the chance to work alongside an experienced keeper and see a side of the Zoo that’s not on offer to any other visitors.

Throughout the year, Auckland Zoo offers photography workshops for all ages and levels.

A ‘Keeper for a Day’ experience is now on offer at Auckland Zoo

primate keeper Courtney Eparvier, who is helping coordinate Keeper for a Day. “Keeper for a Day is an experience of a lifetime – come and do it! And be prepared for plenty of action – to see things you’ve never seen, hear things you’ve never heard, and smell things you’ve never smelled,” says Courtney.

As well as Beginnner, Intermediate, and Individual workshops for adults, the Zoo runs Young Photographers’ workshops for children aged 10-14 years. Whether you are wanting to gain confidence in using and getting the most out of your camera’s settings, improve your current skills, or have a goal to

Keeper for a Day costs $550 per person and runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (9am-3:45pm). Maximum group size is two people (16 years or older).

Magic Memories is on site at Auckland Zoo to help tell the story of your experience with us. You can now have your photo taken with your family or friends on arrival and while you are off exploring, photographers will develop and print your photos. Beautifully presented in an illustrated folder, these are a great keepsake, or the perfect gift for family or friends. The photo files are also available to you online.

Email us (zoofriends@aucklandcouncil. to be in to win. You simply need to write ‘Attenborough DVD competition’ in the subject line and include your name, membership number and phone number. Entries close 7 January.

To book, phone the Experience Products team on 09 360 4700 or email

achieve professional quality shots, our workshops can help. With spectacular wildlife and beautiful natural surroundings, the Zoo offers a stunning location to practice the skills you learn from our professional photographers, who will ensure you have lots of fun in the process.

To find out about upcoming workshops and costs, call 09 360 4700 or email 18 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13



Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment, we have five copies to give away to our Friends.

You’ll go behind-the-scenes and get up close with some extraordinary animals, help prepare food, put together animal enrichment items, and most importantly, muck in and get dirty!

PHOTO opportunity

news and offers for our members

Some of Sir David Attenborough’s most spectacular nature programmes feature in Attenborough’s Anthology – out in time for Christmas. This collection of 10 episodes, personally selected by Sir David with specially shot introductions, includes stunning series like The Private Life of Plants, Life in Cold Blood and Attenborough in Paradise.

Our zookeepers think they have the best job in the world, and now they’re giving you a unique opportunity to see what all the fuss is about.

“As keepers, we feel incredibly privileged and inspired to be working with some of the world’s most endangered wildlife, and are passionate about ensuring their conservation. Even after 11 years in the job, I still pinch myself some days! Keeper for a Day is about sharing that. We want others to have that ‘wow’ connection, so that they’ll also be inspired to care,” says senior

friendsof the zoo

Congratulations Lukas (8) and Anton (6) Van Aken from Sandringham – winners of our Spring Eco Spring Prize Pack competition. We asked our Friends to share what they were doing for the environment. The boys and their parents’ awesome efforts recycling, growing their own veges, planting native trees in a local reserve and walking to school won us over! They stopped by to visit our kea in Te Wao Nui when picking up their $200 prize pack. Our second winners were Flora Taler and family from Three Kings – also doing similarly amazing things to show Mother Nature the love.

Exclusive invite Friends of the Zoo members are invited to a special early opening of Auckland Zoo on Wednesday 16 January at 8.30am. Early morning is a stunning time to be at the Zoo when the animals are just waking up, and keepers begin to feed

The Zoo is delighted to be able to offer this great photo package to Friends of the Zoo members for just $20 – a 33% discount off the standard $30 retail price. To receive this discount, just present your membership pass to Magic Memories when you collect your photos just inside the front entry plaza.

Pt Chev’s Bridget Ross with baby Indy, Olivia (left), Ella and Maddy make a magic memory.

Not a Friend, but interested in joining? Call us on 09 360 3805.

them, clean out their enclosures and prepare for the arrival of visitors. Weta and Darwin’s cafes will also be open if you fancy a coffee and something to eat. If you’d like to come along, simply turn up and show your membership pass to

gain entry. Your friends and family are welcome also, but will need to pay for their entry and be accompanied by a pass-holding member. Further details at

ZooAlive Summer 2012-13 19

diary Summer Zoo Snaps

22 Dec – 28 Jan / 9.30am - 5.30pm Bring your camera or smartphone to Auckland Zoo this summer and get snapping! Submit your favourite photo from your visit via instagram or facebook and be in to win awesome prizes.

Made in NZ

26 Jan – 10 Feb / 9.30am - 5.30pm Auckland Zoo is putting the spotlight on New Zealand’s unique living treasures. Explore our award-winning NZ precinct, Te Wao Nui, and get along to special animal encounters.

Auckland Anniversary Weekend

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out with family and friends. Our cafes will be open, most animals will still be up, and there’ll be live music at the band rotunda.

WotWots & Kidzone 24 Roadshow 17 Feb / 10.30am - 2.30pm

Kidzone24 Roadshow is coming to the Zoo. Hang out with Kidzone host Morgan, and say hi to SpottyWot and DottyWot from The WotWots! There’ll be lots of fun activities, games, family photos and face painting.

Seaweek - Celebrating the Sea 2 – 10 March / 9.30am 5.30pm

Come and enjoy our long weekend of festivities and fun activities for all the family.

Marine-related activities and animal encounters will be on daily in celebration of Seaweek 2013 ‘Healthy Seas – Healthy People’.

Summer Zoo Lates

Childrens Day

We’re staying open until 7.30pm most Wednesdays in February and March. Early evenings are a magic time to be at the Zoo, so after school or work, come and chill

For littlies and grown-ups, Auckland Zoo is the perfect place to be and play on this international day celebrating our children.

26 – 28 Jan / 9.30am - 5.30pm

13, 20, 27 Feb & 6, 13, 20 March / to 7.30pm. Discounted entry from 4.15pm

20 ZooAlive Summer 2012-13

3 March / 10.00am - 2.00pm

Normal Zoo admission prices apply. Friends of the Zoo free to all events listed. Last entry for all daytime events at Auckland Zoo is 4.15pm.

Zoo Alive - Summer 2012/2013  

Auckland Zoo's official magazine, Zoo Alive. Summer 2012/2013 edition.

Zoo Alive - Summer 2012/2013  

Auckland Zoo's official magazine, Zoo Alive. Summer 2012/2013 edition.