The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo debuted a new exhibit today – Australian dingoes – a new species for the zoo and a perfect addition to the zoo’s Australian Walkabout on the Discovery Trail. These are the first dingoes in a New York City zoo in 40 years.
The dingoes, two males and two females, were born in Australia last year. Each male/female pair will be exhibited together, alternating their time with the other pair.
The zoo officially introduced the animals at a community event this morning where Brownies and Daisies from the Greater New York Girl Scout troops 2614 and 2450 in Brooklyn sang the famous Australian children’s song, the Kookaburra Song.
Also in attendance was WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli; WCS Director of City Zoos Jeff Sailer; and Prospect Park Zoo Director Denise McClean.
“The dingoes in the Australian Walkabout section of the Discovery Trail help demonstrate the species diversity native to Australia,” said Prospect Park Zoo Director Denise McClean. “They are the first canid species Prospect Park Zoo has ever exhibited and will allow us to educate our guests by drawing parallels to the conservation work WCS is conducting with other canids around the world.”
Dingoes are wild dogs found in the open plains and forests throughout Australia. They sport a short-haired coat that can range from a reddish rust color to lighter shades of brown, with white patches on the paws and tip of the tail. Although dingoes do not bark, they do yelp and howl like their cousin the wolf.
Dingoes are not generally known as pack animals and primarily hunt alone or in pairs. They are opportunistic carnivores that hunt mostly at night, feeding mainly on small animals like rabbits, wallabies, rodents, and lizards, but they will occasionally attack larger prey like kangaroos and domestic livestock.
Also new to the zoo’s Australian Walkabout are the three new emus – bringing total the number in the flock to five. Emus are flightless birds found throughout the Australian landscape. They are the second largest bird in the world behind only the ostrich.
Other Australian natives living along the Prospect Park Zoo’s walkabout are the Western gray kangaroo, rock wallabies, and Cape Barren geese.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo – $8.00 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. weekdays, and to 5:30 P.M. on weekends and holidays, April through October. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. November through March. The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-399-7339 or visit www.prospectparkzoo.com<http://www.prospectparkzoo.com/>.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on earth.