Bilby twins born just in time for Christmas
IT'S not quite a Christmas miracle but twin baby bilbies born are a wonderful present for those devoted to saving the impossibly cute marsupial.
To mother Amber and father Windorah, twins festively named Holly and Claus have been born.
They now proudly call the Frank Manthey bilby enclosure home, named after Ipswich's Bilby Man and co-founder of the Save the Bilby Fund.
Holly and Claus are the latest additions to the breeding program at the Ipswich Nature Centre to help save the endangered bilby.
"To have a city that's part of a breeding program that's helping an endangered species like the bilbies and then giving birth to twins, it doesn't get any better than that," Mayor Paul Pisasale said.
"Breeding bilbies in captivity is quite rare and very difficult, so these twins are a real feat for the Ipswich Nature Centre.
"Holly and Claus are part of our breeding program; they were born in Ipswich and we're very proud of that."
As is his tradition, the Mayor presented the twins with Born in Ipswich Certificates to commemorate the happy occasion.
Having a boy and a girl is a special bonus for the breeding program. Claus will be used for display and education and Holly will be introduced to the breeding program.
Two red kangaroos have also been added to the Nature Centre's menagerie.
They were given I Wish I Was Born in Ipswich certificates.
"Holly and Claus have only recently emerged from their very proud mum's pouch and joined the centre's public display," the Mayor said.
"This is a terrific outcome for the city but also for the bilby population as a whole."
Cr David Morrison - a father of twin sons - said the birth of Holly and Claus was significant to Ipswich and the state-wide breeding program .
Cr Morrison recalled meetings in 2008 with the State Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan who was determined to make sure Mr Manthey's dream to have bilbies in Queens Park became a reality.
"I say sincerely that the Ipswich bilby enclosure is the best in the world," Cr Morrison said.
"It was an honour to be involved in the delivery and the opening in July 2009 of the Frank Manthey Bilby Enclosure.
"We were originally permitted sterile bilbies for the enclosure, however no-one told the bilbies they were supposed to be sterile and from there we have been granted permission to part of the State breeding program."