Parks & Recreation

Christmas delivery for Botanic Gardens Zoo and Aviary

Published: 20 Dec 2019 2:37pm

Santa Claus made a brief stop in the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens Zoo and Aviary last week to drop off a package of adorable new additions, a trio of cria – more commonly known as baby alpacas.

The newcomers are 9 months old, weigh roughly 50 kilograms each and join the popular Wagga attraction from an alpaca stud in Murrumbateman.

“They’ll be with us for the next 10 to 15 years,” Team Leader Parks operations (Botanic Gardens) Jonathan Nicoll said.

“When they’re fully mature, they should weigh around 90 to 100 kilograms.”

Christened Cecil, Albert and Leo by Zoo Curator Kira McBeath, the young alpacas are already halter broken and staff inside the gardens are committed to continuing their education.

“The goal is to be able to take them out, one at a time, for short walks through the zoo to allow visitors to interact with them, give them a pat and meet the guys face-to-face,” Mr Nicoll said.

“We plan to do that with a lot of our hand-reared animals… we hope to create a more, hands-on experience for our visitors.”

The zoo’s new stars are settling into a newly renovated enclosure, featuring a brand-new fence, new irrigation system and fresh turf.

“Alpacas love to eat, and they love water too, so we’ve set up sprinklers in the enclosure,” Ms McBeath said.

“The new irrigation system will mean we can keep the enclosure green all year round.”