Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jessica Watson's Bilby to Dock at Dreamworld Australia

FAMOUS NAME: Jessica the bilby named after sailor Jessica Watson..
Following an official naming ceremony in Ipswich on Thursday 10 February with Frank Manthey of Save the Bilby Fund and Mayor Paul Pisasale, Dreamworld welcomed a new bilby named Jessica after Junior Young Australian of the year, Jessica Watson.

The teenager who competed in a solo journey around the world in her 10.23m yacht will share her name with the little bilby and hopefully some of her success, as the marsupial does her best to help grow the bilby population.

The endangered marsupial was handed over to the themepark that is well known for its success in the Queensland bilby breeding program.

Dreamworld is one of the few wildlife parks in the state with bilbies on display and the only non-government institution with approval to breed the marsupials for release back into the wild.

The Queensland breeding program was established to increase awareness of the grim plight faced by bilbies in the wild and to educate guests about how they can contribute to the embattled marsupial’s conservation.
Jessica will call the specially designed, semi-nocturnal bilby exhibit at Dreamworld home as the park’s wildlife staff investigate a suitable mate for her.

Of the 22 bilbies released into Currawinya National Park over the last three years, Dreamworld has bred nine bilby’s including seven males and two females. Today, bilby tracking has shown that the population has grown to more than 60, making up almost 10% of the entire world population.

The bilby is one of Australia’s most endangered animals with an estimated 600 bilbies remaining in the wild


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