matilda in walkabout

Updates on ExhibitAustralia Walkabout

September 15, 2015

The Virginia Zoo is saddened to announce the passing of two of our Bennett’s Wallabies that were imported from New Zealand and live in the Australia Walkabout exhibit. Results came back from the lab last week, showing that one died from toxoplasmosis (toxo).  Results are still pending on the second wallaby.

Toxo is a parasite that can live for many years in the soil and there is no way to sanitize or disinfect against it. It is present in soil all across North America and is transmitted by cats. We, at The Virginia Zoo have done everything possible to help minimize risk to our animals. Our multi-prong approach includes: modified dietary regimes by feeding on platforms; innovative medical therapies; prophylactic treatments once a week and landscape elements to limit exposure to dirt.

There are always inherent risks and challenges when introducing and bringing exotic wildlife into a collection. The Virginia Zoo, like many other accredited zoological organizations across the country, is committed to utilizing the best practices to treat and manage disease in our animals. Through our thorough study of these animals and toxoplasmosis we are hoping to bring forward experimental techniques and research in regards to the disease.

The other Wallabies in this exhibit are thriving and can be seen up close in the Australian Walkabout. We have emus, wallabies and kangaroos that would love to meet you.  If you have any questions or would like more information please email us at info@virginiazoo.org