Crunchy the spotted-tailed quoll will celebrate his fourth birthday this month and the community is invited to stop by Alexandra Park Zoo to say hello.
Crunchy came to the zoo from Devils @ Cradle, a wildlife conservation facility at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, in 2019 and has called Bundaberg home ever since.
He has become quite a popular character and, according to zoo staff, is inquisitive, bold and cheeky.
Quolls are considered unique as they are the largest carnivorous mammal on Australia’s mainland and although they may look cute and furry, they have one of the strongest set of jaws.
According to WWF Australia quolls have the second highest bite force to body size ratio of any animal on the planet – second only to the Tasmanian devil.
In the wild, spotted-tailed quolls have a life expectancy of three to four years, but in captivity they are known to live between five and six years on average.
Parks and Gardens portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said zookeepers would give a free talk about spotted-tailed quolls and Crunchy’s life to mark the special occasion on Wednesday 13 July.
“Our wonderful zookeepers will provide a free talk at 10.30 am and the community will be able to see Crunchy being fed, hear about him and ask questions,” Cr Honor said.
“Crunchy loves eating eggs, it is one of his favourite foods, and he will be given one as a birthday treat.
“The zookeepers will also have a preserved specimen of a previous quoll from the zoo for the public to have a closer look at.”
Crunchy birthday bash a chance to learn more
Most parts of the country were once inhabited by at least one quoll species before they became endangered, with the creatures among the first native animals to be described by European scientists.
Cr Honor said the spotted-tailed quoll was native along Eastern Australia and could even be spotted locally, with other quoll species found in Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
He said the spotted-tailed quoll was the largest of the quoll species, reaching an average of 3.5 kg to 4 kg for males, and 1.8 kg for females.
“In the three years Crunchy has lived at Alexandra Park Zoo he has grown significantly, weighing 1.5 kg at 12 months of age to now weighing in at 3.05kg,” Cr Honor said.
“While the community is taking in Crunchy’s fourth birthday celebrations they can also pick up a free booklet on spotted-tail quolls, which provides information on his species and how we can help them.”
Crunchy will celebrate his fourth birthday at Alexandra Park Zoo on Wednesday 13 July.
Alexandra Park Zoo is committed to maintaining a diversity of species, with programs in place to assist in providing education about other endangered species such as the cotton-top tamarin monkeys.
Alexandra Park Zoo is open Wednesday to Sunday, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, located on Quay St, Bundaberg West.
Entry to the zoo is free.
For more information on how you can assist in the conservation of the quoll species and to report quoll sightings, head to the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland website.