Alexandra Park Zoo welcomes seven new members

The slippery new inhabitants of Alexandra Park Zoo.

They go by the names of Nope Rope, Danger Noodle, Gypsy, Caution Ramen, Judgemental Shoelace, Hazard Spaghetti and Allen and they are the newest members of Alexandra Park Zoo.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Zoo Group Supervisor David Flack said Hissy Elliott the carpet python celebrated one of the facilities big accomplishments of 2018, laying seven eggs in her enclosure.

This month the last of her babies exited their shells.

“Hissy Elliott is our female carpet python who has been with us since 2015,” he said.

“She shares an enclosure with our male carpet python, Trigger, and laid her seven eggs on 7 November making her a first-time mother.”

David said carpet pythons generally bred in the spring but staff were not aware Hissy was expecting until her behaviour began to change.

“We first noticed something was about to happen when Hissy started to become quite active and then went off her food,” he said.

“We put her away in a separate enclosure and then a few days later she laid the seven eggs.

“This is the first time we have had a carpet python lay eggs so it’s a very exciting time for us.”

David said the seven snakelets would be hand-raised until they were ready for show at Alexandra Park Zoo or to travel to their new home.

“The plan is to hand raise a few for showing while the others will be sent away to various zoos around the state,” he said.

“As they are only young, we won’t know their sex until they are large enough to sex accurately.”

David said the babies weren’t the only accomplishment for the zoo in 2018.

“We had a very successful year with well over 116,700 visitors walking through the zoo gates- about an eight per cent increase on visitor numbers from 2017,” he said.

“Those visitors included over 570 school students who participated in educational tours, a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.”

David said the zoo was currently home to 45 individual native and exotic animals from 17 different species including dingoes, cotton-top tamarin monkeys, birds, lizards and more.

“To help these animals thrive in their habitats we had Carinbundi volunteers at the zoo for part of the year building enrichment devices for the animals,” he said.

“These include items such as wooden bird toys that were dyed, threaded together and then given to the birds to stimulate their senses and encourage their natural instincts.”

David said Alexandra Park Zoo had 39 volunteers and work experience participants throughout2018, from school based work experience to fortnightly visits from volunteers.

He said the zoo had also achieved Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) accreditation in November which focused on positive animal welfare.

“Here at Alexandra Park Zoo we are extremely passionate about our animals and always aim to give them the best life possible,” he said.

To see all the amazing animals, visit the free Alexandra Park Zoo on Quay St, Bundaberg seven days a week from 8.30am to 4.45pm.