Minty the Bilby
You'll discover our bilbies, including Minty, scurrying around in the dark in the Nightfall nocturnal habitat zone at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo on Darling Harbour.
Minty the bilby arrived at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo at the beginning of 2014. Although she was shy to begin with, she has become very outgoing and is the friendliest of the Zoo's five bilbies. Minty loves to eat mealworms straight from her keepers' hands and can be a little sassy!
- Born 15 April 2010
- Loves to eat insects and fruit
- A very powerful digger
The beautiful greater bilby is a shy little creature, preferring to hide in its spiral-shaped burrow during the day and only coming out at night. Even though they look cute with their long ears, pointy nose, crested tail and lovely soft blue-grey fur, they're tough and have many adaptations to help them survive their home range of arid semi-desert environments and shrub lands in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Bilbies dig spiral burrows with their stout forelegs and strong claws, and then seal the entrance with dirt behind them. Bilbies eat both plants and insects and never need to drink because they get all the water they need from their food. They have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell to help them track down their dinner, using their long tongues to slurp up insect larvae, spiders, seeds, fungi and grasses.
The greater bilby is the only remaining species of bilby after the lesser bilby became extinct in the 1950s. Nationally, the Greater Bilby is on the brink of extinction and is listed as a vulnerable species on the Environment Protection and Biodiversily Conservation (EPNC) Act, 1999. Habitat degradation and predation by feral animals are responsible for this species decline.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has created the largest feral-free area on mainland Australia at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in outback NSW. Within the safety of this area, AWC is establishing the largest wild self-sustaining population of Greater Bilbies in the country.