Easter Bilby Arrives at Featherdale
13th March, 2015
Two beautiful Greater Bilbies will prove to be the star attraction at Featherdale Wildlife Park this Easter School Holidays. Whilst the supermarket shelves are lined with chocolate bunnies, Featherdale is asking all Australians to think of these nocturnal long-eared creatures as alternative to the traditional Easter Bunny.
The Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) once roamed 70% of the Australian continent. This non-aggressive shy marsupial is easy prey for foxes and feral cats, and since their introduction, Greater Bilby have disappeared from more than 80% of their former range. The species is now presumed extinct in NSW and is listed as endangered in Queensland, and vulnerable Nationally. It is believed there are as few as 600 individual animals left in the wild in Queensland.
Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside, Western Sydney, has a Nocturnal exhibit designed especially for these spectacular little marsupials. “Featherdale Wildlife Park is getting right behind saving these amazing and lovable creatures. It is extremely important to raise awareness of the plight facing our endangered species and Bilbies need all the support that we can give them”, General Manager Tim Sinclair-Smith said. Visitors to Featherdale are being encouraged to purchase a Save the Bilby Pin for $2.00 each.
Featherdale is partnering with Save the Bilby Fund in exhibiting an Australian animal display at this year’s Royal Easter Show in Sydney. “The Easter Show provides a great opportunity for visitors to meet some of our amazing native animals up close for the very first time”, Mr Sinclair-Smith said. “We love educating small and ‘big’ kids on our threatened species. So many visitors to the display are unaware of the existence of Bilbies. They think they’re a mythical creature and are amazed to meet one up close”.
Save the Bilby Fund works tirelessly towards securing the long term conservation of Bilbies, and of other endangered/threatened Australian animal species. Kevin Bradley, CEO of Save the Bilby Fund acknowledged the partnership and support of Featherdale Wildlife Park in raising awareness of the cause.“We are proud of our long standing relationship with Featherdale Wildlife Park and organisations like Planet Press in helping to raise awareness of the dire state of the Bilby in the wild. Once, these marsupials roamed throughout Australia but with the introduction of feral animals, their numbers have drastically declined. It is only with improved community awareness and continued support from organisations such as Featherdale that we will have any chance of saving the Bilby from extinction”.
Featherdale Wildlife Park is open 9am to 5pm every day over Easter and is home to the country’s largest collection of native Animals. Visitors to the park are offered the rare treat of getting up close and personal with some cute and fuzzy animals. There are plenty of animal feeding presentations scheduled throughout the day including a giant 4.5m Saltwater Crocodile named ‘Ngukurr’. Check out our Easter school holiday activities and WILD family fun offer.