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13 June 2013

Ever wondered what it takes to help save one of Zoos Victoria’s 20 fighting extinction species? Meet Pete, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (EBB), part of Zoos Victoria’s critical breeding program at Melbourne Zoo.

Over the years our keepers have dedicated thousands of hours to research and document EBB breeding and nesting habits, dietary requirements and predator response so that we can better prepare our EBBs for release.

While Pete is safe and sound at Melbourne Zoo, his wild friends have not been so lucky and are constantly under threat from habitat loss and introduced species such as foxes. This is despite EBBs having one of the shortest gestation periods of any mammal (just 12.5 days).

Recently, Pete trialled the latest glue-on transmitters so our keepers could better track him and his friends once they were released back into the wild. This is just one of a number of trials taking place in an effort to release captive-bred EBBs.

Since bandicoots like Pete are nocturnal, these trials have meant many long nights for our dedicated team of keepers and vets but with a recent trial release on French Island in Victoria, there is still hope for the future of these iconic marsupials.

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