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Auckland Zoo

Zoo Tales

Telling stories about our animals, our people and zoo life - we're taking you around Auckland Zoo and beyond in our web series, Zoo Tales.

Strangely beau​tiful spiders

Our redback and social huntsman spiders may be scary to some, but we think they're strangely beautiful! ​

New zealand geckos

Our geckos are incredibly diverse and have some amazing adaptations for life in Aotearoa.

In today's episode of Zoo Tales, Ecotherm keeper Emily tells us what’s so great about New Zealand’s gecko species!​

quirky and curious eels

They're slimy and scary to some, but to Ectotherm keeper Georgia, eels are quirky and curious. In today's Zoo Tales, learn all about New Zealand longfin eels and the incredible journey they take when it's time to breed!​

meet rhu the ruru

Due to their distinctive call, ruru, New Zealand's nocturnal owl, are more often heard than seen! In this week'​s Zoo Tales, meet Rhu, one of the ruru (morepork) that call Auckland Zoo home.​


Grand and otago skinks

They're two of the largest skinks left on the mainland of New Zealand, but like many of our species, they're doing it tough in the wild due to introduced pests! 

Join Ectotherm keeper Mike to find out how we're doing our bit to help New Zealand's incredible Grand and Otago skinks.Learn more about  DOC's predator-free 2050 goal here.


meet keeper amy

After fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a zookeeper at Auckland Zoo, team leader of Primates Amy talks about how a life-changing trip to the Sumatran jungle ignited her passion for helping orangutans in the wild.​


playful lions

It's a well-known fact that cats LOVE to sleep – and our big cats are no different. In today's Zoo Tales, find out how our Carnivore keepers find ways to keep our pride of female lions mentally and physically active!​


truly unique tuatara

Slow-growing, spiny-backed and truly unique - take a tour with Ectotherm keeper Julie and meet Toa, Tipua, Taki and Flame, just a few of the incredible tuatara that live at Auckland Zoo.​

leaping success for archey's frogs

For years, we’ve been working with DOC to help New Zealand's Archey’s frog, the world's most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian.

In this week's Zoo Tales join Ectotherms and Birds curator Richard Gibson who takes us through the journey from collection to release of some precious Archey’s frogs into Pukeokahu Forest.​​

whistling whio

Named after their whistling call, whio are beautiful and charismatic ducks! In today's Zoo Tales find out how we're working with DOC and Genesis Energy to ensure whio are in our future forever.

Long-lived and long-necked turtles

​With their serpent-like necks and round unusual eyes, there’s just something about seeing our snake-necked turtles swimming around that is mesmerising! 

In this week's Zoo Tales episode, ectotherm keeper Seth tells us about these long-lived and long-necked turtles.​

red-tailed black cockatoos

Vocal and destructive are just two of the words that team leader of Birds, Emma uses to describe our red-tailed black cockatoos! In today’s episode of Zoo Tales, find out all about these stunning new additions to our Australian aviary.

large and beautiful lace monitors

Say g'day to Bruce, Alf and Ned - our male lace monitors and learn all about these large, beautiful reptiles from ectotherms keeper Seth.​

swimming capybara

​Capybara are the world’s largest rodent and team leader Amy’s love for this species is contagious - find out why in today’s episode of Zoo Tales!​

ice blocks for baboons

On a hot summer's day, an enormous ice block is the perfect treat for our troop of baboons!​

sun-worshipping lemurs

Frozen grape kebabs are on the menu for our ring-tailed lemurs this summer. Watch as Primate keeper Christine tells us what she loves about our sun-worshipping lemurs!​

summer treat for squirrel monkeys

Squirrel monkeys are Primate keeper Sam's favourite species to look after at the Zoo. Watch as she prepares the perfect summertime morning tea treat for our curious and cute squirrel monkeys!​

Kākā chat with Sarah 

​Kākā are one of bird keeper Sarah's favourites – especially cheeky Ned. Join Sarah in the Forest aviary for a chat and some cashews with our kākā.​


​Rare giraffe twins born at Auckland Zoo

It was a bittersweet start to 2017, with the arrival of extremely rare twin giraffe calves and only one surviving. In this week’s Zoo Tales, Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan talks about the arrival of the twins, and why it has been such an emotional and physically exhausting experience, but also one of the most privileged of her career.​​


​meet our rainbow lorikeets

Our colourful rainbow lorikeets have moved into their walkthrough aviary in the new Strangely Beautiful Australia - watch as zookeeper Deja introduces us to these noisy and inquisitive birds!​​

sneak preview of Strangely beautiful australia

​​​​Join Ectotherm and Birds curator Richard Gibson on a sneak peek tour through our new Strangely Beautiful Australia before it opens to zoo visitors.​

time for a turtle check-up

Our new Strangely Beautiful Australia opens to zoo visitors on Saturday (17 December) and our Eastern snake-necked turtles will call it home! Watch as they get their health-checks before moving in.​​


meerkat mealtime

Carnivore keeper Ellie loves looking after our mischievous mob of meerkats. In this week's Zoo Tales episode, learn how she prepares for meerkat mealtime!​

thank you for asking for choice

​Sending a big thank you to our friends from Hamilton Zoo, Wellington Zoo, Orana Wildlife Park, Unmask Palm Oil and all of you, for joining us to make a big difference on the Ask for Choice campaign.

The vote is happening today in Brisbane and we should know later on tonight what the decision is. We will let you know as soon as we hear the outcome.​​


join our fight for wildlife

Since becoming a zookeeper at London Zoo in the late 1980s to now - Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken has seen how zoos have changed over the years to be​come places where wildlife conservation is at the heart of everything we do.

Zoos from around New Zealand are standing together and campaigning for mandatory labelling of palm oil and we want you to join our fight for wildlife!​ Ask for choice at

jaka's favourite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… ground cloves and ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon… these are a few of Jaka's favourite things!​


ask for choice in Aotea square

A couple of weeks ago we headed to Aotea Square, where hundreds of Aucklanders signed an Ask for Choice postcard – calling for mandatory palm oil labelling on food products.

 ​It's not too late to make a difference! Send a letter now on​

we all scream for ice cream!

A trip to the Zoo is even better with an ice cream in your hand! Our friends at Tip Top Ice Cream have been making the most delicious ice cream for 80 years and are proudly palm oil-free – which is why we love them!​​

unmask palm oil

We're proud to support Ben and the Unmask Palm Oil​ campaign - empowering New Zealanders to demand the right to choose what's in their food.


If you haven't already, you can ask for mandatory palm oil labelling by sending an email on 

Submissions close on 20 November 2016​.

meet keeper dave

Zookeeper Dave has worked all over the Zoo from Primates to Pridelands and with our New Zealand birds. Find out why he wants us all to take a stand and not let our rainforests disappear.

Join Dave and demand labelling of palm oil at www.unmaskpalmoil.c​om/aucklandzoo​


kiwi season

Kiwi breeding season is well underway - join bird keeper Debs as she checks on the chicks and eggs!​

meet Primate keeper Christine

Senior zookeeper Christine has been a member of the Auckland Zoo family for over 30 years and is incredibly passionate about primates and the palm oil problem! Learn why it's so important for you to demand labelling of palm oil in the food that you buy.​

You can ask for choice by sending a letter on​ucklandzoo​

Tiger talk with enzo

​Local legend and awesome Friend of the Zoo member Enzo loves tigers and he's doing all he can to raise money to help this critically endangered big cat!

If you'd like to help with Enzo's fundraising efforts, you can donate on his EveryDayHero page here. ​​


whistling whio

​Named after their whistling call, whio are beautiful and charismatic ducks! In today's Zoo Tales find out how we're working with DOC and Genesis Energy to ensure whio are in our future forever.​​


the sweet sound of conservation success

Tīeke were once near the brink of extinction and are now seen as a conservation success story!

​Visit Auckland Zoo this Conservation ​Week​ (10 - 18 September) and find out about how DOC and the Zoo are working to create more conservation success stories for our precious New Zealand species and learn what you can do to help.

Takahē pair make Rotoroa Island home

Kuīni, a feisty young takahē and mate Anzac started a new life on Rotoroa Island this week. Follow their journey to the island in today's episode of Zoo Tales. 

Orange day for orangutans

Introducing Alessandra - an incredible kid who loves orangutans and is doing all she can to save them! Find out how she inspired her whole school to go orange for orangutans and raised a whopping $720 for the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund.

From all of us here at Auckland Zoo - thank you Alessandra and Halsey Drive School!​


International orangutan day

​It's World Orangutan Day! In today's Zoo Tales episode, team leader of Primates Amy shares her love and passion for these critically endangered great apes.​

World elephant day

​​It's World Elephant Day and in today's Zoo Tales episode, it's not hard to see why zookeeper Joel is head over heels for Asian elephant Burma.​

A very special insect

In today's Zoo Tales episode, ectotherms keeper Ben invites you to get up-close and personal with a very special insect – the wētā punga.​​


terrific tigers

​Happy Global Tiger Day! We’ve got a terrific tiger Zoo Tales today, featuring two of our critically endangered Sumatran tigers - with one of them putting our GoPro camera to the test. Let's join keeper Bianca to learn more...

Korora - the smallest penguins in the world

The little penguin (korora) may be the smallest penguin in the world, but they can make a lot of noise! Bird keeper Debs let us join her while she fed our korora and told us more about them. ​

The little penguin stands just 25cm tall and weights a little over 1kg. They have a wide range of calls, including mewing like a cat, loud screams, trumpeting and deep-toned growls. Little blue penguin populations are declining in areas that aren't protected from predators. Where predator control is in place, populations have been stable or increasing. 

Auckland Zoo's little penguins are all rescue animals who sustained injuries and wouldn't be able to survive in the wild.

Gentle giants

​Both in their mid-forties - Smiley and Chippie are spring chickens considering Galapagos tortoises can live to be over 150 years old! Learn more about these gentle giants from keeper Sarah. 

we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

​We were delighted to welco​me students from Oturu School who drove a whopping 300km from Kaitaia to Auckland to be part of The Wareho​use Zoofari programme. Watch these animal-mad kids on their big Auckland Zoo adventure!​​

caring for oiled wildlife

This past week, zoo staff and vets have been working with Auckland Council and Wildbase Oil Response to help care for birds affected by a diesel spill into Lake Pupuke​.

Wētā punga workshop

We've just added 12 new wētā punga from epically beautiful Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) to our 'wētā workshop' - ready to breed a new generation of this threatened species!​

cheeky and charming kea

Kea are the world's only alpine parrot, one of the most intelligent birds and unique to Aotearoa. Find out more about these creative and noisy parrots from keeper Devon.​


awesome asian small-clawed otters

​Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the world's 13 otter species, but according to keeper Helen they're not to be messed with!​​


Giraffe on the move

​​Join us (again) on our ‪#‎giraffeonthemove‬ road trip as we follow Zuri's epic journey to Wellington Zoo.​

punk-rock cotton-top tamarins

​One of the most endangered primates in the world, their punk-rock shock of white hair gives them their most appropriate name! Learn all about our bachelor group of cotton-top tamarins from keeper Sam.​​

orangutan training session

Taking a blood sample from a male orangutan with a two metre arm-span is no easy task. Watch how our Primate team work with orangutan Charlie during one of his training sessions.​

a floral treat for our pygmy marmosets

​June and Piccolo, our pygmy marmosets, love to devour flowers, especially hibiscus. Watch to find out more about these miniature monkeys from keeper Caroline.

chalk and cheese cheetah

​A goofball and an accountant? Join cheetahs Anubis and Osiris on a walk around the Zoo and get an insight on their 'personalities' from keeper Emma.​

meerkat mob

Mealworms, rodents, lizards and even scorpions - a meerkat will munch them all! Meet keeper Nick and learn all about our inquisitive mob of seven meerkats.​

Lovely masked lovebirds

Join bird keeper Chris in the African savannah aviary to learn all about our masked lovebirds and hear them twittering away in the trees!​

elephant update with andrew

Since joining our zoo family last year, elephant Anjalee has captured the hearts of everyone who has met her – including Burma!​​

oupa, phone home

Meet E.T lookalike Oupa, one of our oldest residents and proud father to 17 baby leopard tortoises at the Zoo!​

gentle giants

With that big horn on their heads, our rhinos may look scary to some people – but if you ask Pridelands keeper Henry, he’ll tell you they’re gentle giants!​

Fantastic Flamingos

​Long necks, ankles halfway up their legs, pink plumage and noisy squawks. Watch to find out why keeper Sarah loves everything about our flock of flamingos!

African savannah opening

Meerkats, leopard tortoises and masked lovebirds have moved in and we're working hard to finish off the last touches. Watch for a sneak preview of our new African savannah!​

The world's largest bird

What's the largest bird in the world, but in the same family as the kiwi? Watch to find out!​

Introducing our zebras, itika and carlo

​Never call a zebra a stripy horse in front of Pridelands keeper Larry! Watch Zoo Tales to find out a quick and easy way to tell the difference between female zebra Itika and stallion Carlo.​

A trip to the dentist

​When an animal has a toothache or needs a check-up, we call a very special dentist to take a closer look. Find out how Dr Russell Tucker treats the pearly whites of female lion Kura and male meerkat Ndulu in this episode of Zoo Tales.​

Pridelands preview

As we get closer to the completion of our Pridelands development, we wanted to give you a VIP tour of the site – and who better to take you than our Projects manager Carl!​​

Horticulture with hugo

Our manager of Horticulture Hugo is passionate about plants! Not only do he and his team make the Zoo look beautiful - they’re also working to conserve many rare and threatened plant species.​

Excellent ectotherms

At Auckland Zoo, our ectotherms team care for over 50 species of reptile, amphibian, invertebrate and fish. It’s hard to pick favourites, but we asked Don for his top five.​

Orange-fronted parakeets hatch!

When a pair of non-breeding (supposedly) orange-fronted parakeets moved to the Zoo a few months ago, no one was more ecstatic than bird keeper Emma when five chicks hatched!​

Love our little (Tasmanian) devils

Carnivore keeper Anneke would like everyone to fall in love with Tasmanian devils as much as she has. In this episode of Zoo Tales, Anneke shows us why they're so special and why this species needs our help.

Shore skinks check in to Rotoroa Island

This week on Zoo Tales, 80 shore skinks check in to their motels on Rotoroa Island with the help of our ectotherms team and visitors to the island​.​

Heading off on zoofari

Schools are nearly out for summer and this year 51,428 children and adults came to the Zoo through our education team – phew! 

Of those, thanks to The Warehouse and Ritchies Coachlines, 25 schools and approximately 4,500 students from low decile Auckland and Northland schools joined us on a Zoofari.

Watch this Zoo Tales episode to get a sneak peek of their Zoo​fari experience.

A pig's eye view of Auckland zoo

​​​This week on Zoo Tales we follow kune kune pigs, Alma and Neena, on their daily walk through the Zoo and Animal Experiences keeper Hayley tells us a bit about our two favourite pigs.​

Rotoroa island field trips

On this week's Zoo Tales, Auckland Zoo's Rotoroa Island ​education officer Brian takes us on a field trip (with orca and kiwi!) and tells us why wildlife education is important as well as fun.

If this is something you think your school would enjoy, you can apply here.

meet our carnivores and their keepers

​In this week's Zoo Tales, our Carnivores team leader Lauren introduces us to her team (that includes the animals!) and what they get up to every day at the Zoo.​

farewell orangutans!

We said a sad farewell to three of our zoo family, orangutans Madju, Isim and Gangsa. Watch to see the team effort it takes to prepare them for their flight to the United States.​

Pāteke released to Rotoroa Island

​​​​It was the perfect sunny day when keeper Natalie released six pāteke (brown teal) on to Rotoroa Island​ recently. Watch Zoo Tales to see them take to their new wetlands homes like ducks to water!​

Wild sea turtle treated at Auckland Zoo's vet centre

​In this episode of Zoo Tales, our vets are caring for a sea turtle that washed up on 90 Mile Beach, tired, hungry and dehydrated.

Charlie's check-up

Ath​ough it's Isim, Gangsa and Madju that are moving to America - all of our orangutans had to have health checks to pass the animal import requirements for the United States. We filmed Charlie's check-up for this week's Zoo Tales, so you can see just how many people it takes to do a full medical examination on a fully grown male orangutan.​​

Kiwi chick released to Motuora island

 It was a gorgeous day for kiwi chick Angitu’s release to predator-free Motuora Island - the perfect place for a kiwi crèche.​​

It's hatch time for our kiwi chicks

​Wi​th no egg tooth, it's kicking and pushing that gets a kiwi chick out of its egg! Watch the exhausting hatch as well as a five-day-old chick being moved to a brooder - the last stage before being released.

First kiwi eggs of the Operation nest egg season

​In this episode of Zoo Tales, DOC ranger Rolf delivers the first kiwi eggs for the Operation Nest Egg season. See how keeper Michelle checks for signs of kiwi life before incubating them.

a tour of auckland zoo's vet centre

​​​The New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM) is where you can see the Zoo's vet team in action! In this episode of Zoo Tales, our manager of vet services, James takes us on a tour and we meet some of the patients they're caring for.

meet capybaras Rosita and Consuela

Since their arrival at the Zoo, capybaras Rosita and Consuela have been settling in nicely with our squirrel monkeys. Learn all about these rainforest rodents and watch them munch their 5+ a day!​​​​

Giraffe Zabulu's hoof x-ray

With hooves as big as a dinner plate, it's a challenge for vets and keepers when a giraffe needs a foot x-ray! Watch team leader of Pridelands Nat and zoo vet Sarah as they x-ray Zabulu's hooves.​​​​​

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