Welcome to the pack
We have recently welcomed two new dingo puppies to the Lone Pine family - one boy and one girl. Born in August 2019, these pups still have a lot of growing and learning to do, as they settle into life at the sanctuary. The puppies were bred at the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre located in Victoria, Australia.
Since arriving, our puppies have started basic obedience training, crate training, and socialisation with Tanami (our adult dingo). You may see some of their training on the webcam with our mammal keepers. It is very important that our dingoes develop these skills, so that we can safely carry out various procedures such as health checks, vaccinations, nail clipping and veterinary procedures. You may also notice our keepers introducing our pups to various items such as rakes and wheelbarrows, which are used on a daily basis to clean their exhibit.
They will also start learning to walk on a lead, so they can eventually come out to meet our guests and enjoy walks throughout the sanctuary for enrichment and exercise.
Our puppies are now successfully residing with our adult dingo, Tanami. You may also see her on camera from time to time.
New Dingo Habitat
Our new exhibit (opened October 2018) was built to better reflect habitat complexity, both as an educational tool for guests, and mental and physical stimulation for dingoes. Space requirements for up to three dingoes is a minimum of 220m2 (NSW Standards for Exhibiting Animals). The new area exceeds this standard significantly, with the exhibit totalling 550m2. The exhibit space you can see on the webcam is just half of the total area, all of which is fully accessible by our dingoes.
The Dingo Habitat incorporates a high degree of structural complexity with large rocks, trees, undulations and hills, bodies of water, dens and hiding spaces, as well as numerous vantage points and multi-level traversing points.
Koala Cuddle Train
We call this our “Cuddle Train Camera”. Despite having plenty of places to sit, these koalas often choose to sleep stacked up in a group hug – sometimes 3 or 4 in a row.
The nine young boys; Connery, Fraggle, Merlin, Davis, Clifton, Tango, Grover, Rumble and Daquiri, have been known to enjoy a good cuddle with each other from a very young age. Now all aged three and a half years old, sanctuary guests and webcam viewers can see a range of their daily cuddles such as the ‘Classic Spoon’, the ‘Koala Sandwich’, or the original ‘Cuddle Train’.
While generally a solitary species, many of the koalas at Lone Pine have grown up together and have formed close bonds with their room-mates (in this case, very close!). Exhibit standards set out by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries requires that each koala has no less than two available resting forks at any one time, but Lone Pine’s Cuddle Train boys have a total of 27 different resting places within their exhibit. Despite having plenty of room to spread out and sleep alone, they choose to sleep close together.
Koalas spend between 18-20 hours a day sleeping or dozing in order to conserve energy. Their food source, eucalyptus leaf, doesn’t provide much nutritional value and is mostly just fibre and water. The koalas at Lone Pine receive fresh eucalyptus every day which is harvested from our very own plantations where we grow all of their favourites. You might even be lucky enough to watch as the leaf gets changed out daily.
This space here is just part of our expansive 'Koala Forest' exhibit, where a number of our female koalas live.
Our Koala Forest is a large, shaded semi-outdoor exhibit, that comes with the added luxury of outdoor air-conditioning, to help keep our little ladies cool during the heat of summer. When the weather is warm, you may see our koalas laying about exposing their chest, or dangly their hands and feet. This is how koalas help stay cool, catching the breeze as it goes by. You may also notice that at certain times of the day, our keepers put down the blinds to keep the hot sun off the koalas.
Female koalas are smaller than males and have beautiful, unmarked white chests (males have brown scent glands). They have a pouch where their young develop for the first six months. The pouch faces downwards, just like the pouch of their closest relative, the wombat. Sometimes, our little koala joeys and their mums live in this exhibit.
We often have local wildlife chill out in this exhibit too. See if you can spot the cheeky little Butcherbirds, as they come down and sing the koalas an afternoon song.
Here you can catch the live antics of our two platypodes, Barak and Aroona.
As both of our platypodes are male, and predominantly solitary animals, they each have their own large exhibit to enjoy. They like to switch every now and then, so some days you'll see Barak in here; other days, Aroona. You can tell if it is Barak, as he has more white patches across his bill, but you'll have to be quick to spot it!
The water in our platypus tanks is cooled using geothermal energy. This means that we use the earth's underground cooling properties to keep the water at a platypus-approved 22 degrees Celsius. The roof of our Platypus House also holds one of the sanctuary's largest solar power grids.
At times, you may notice that our platypus seems to be following the same swimming route. This is because when underwater, platypus close their eyes and use electro-sensors in their bill to locate prey. If circling a particular area, it could be that they have sensed their prey and are trying to hone in on the exact location. Our platypodes enjoy a varied diet including yabbies (crayfish), mealworms and fly pupae.
These are the beautiful views guests can enjoy from our Riverside Cafe. This public park area is located outside of our main sanctuary grounds, so free for families to enjoy for a picnic, a kick of the footy, or a quiet coffee on the river.
The Mirimar River Cruise arrives daily at Lone Pine - you may spot it on the water. You might also spot wild birds in the trees, such as kookaburras, cockatoos, and lorikeets. At night, planes can frequently be seen in the background, as they come and go from the airport. Twice a month, we host free outdoor movies on the lawn. There is also a meditation space, a free public BBQ (wood-fired), and plenty of parking. Bonus - this area is also dog-friendly! Just be sure to keep your pooches on lead.