Wellington, say hello to Lace Monitor lizards Darwin and Jannali. The pair will be ready to welcome visitors from Wednesday 3 January, right on time for the Summer Holidays.

“We are incredibly excited to be welcoming Lace Monitor Lizards to Wellington Zoo for the first time in our history”, says Karen Fifield MNZM, Wellington Zoo CE and President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“The biggest Lizards you’ll find in Wellington, these Australian native animals can reach up to 2 metres in length and will join the ‘Neighbours’ area of the Zoo, home to several other animals native to Australia including Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, and Wallabies.

“Our Zoo whānau has been working tirelessly to build the perfect Lace Monitor habitat, and we know our community will agree that we have provided Darwin and Jannali with a stimulating environment where they will be happy and healthy”.

Darwin and Jannali were hatched at Auckland Zoo before arriving at Wellington Zoo in 2018. For the last five years they have been living in a habitat off-display where they’ve had time to grow before now moving into their newly built home.

The new habitat has been under construction for the last year and features both internal and external areas landscaped and furnished to replicate the animals’ natural habitat. The entire habitat is temperature-controlled, and Darwin and Jannali will have access to a pool with running water.


About Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo is New Zealand's first Zoo, established in 1906, and is Wellington’s oldest conservation organisation. Home to over 500 native and exotic animals, Wellington Zoo became a charitable trust in 2003 and remains a not-for-profit organisation.

Wellington Zoo became the world’s first Toitū net carbonzero certified zoo in May 2013. Wellington Zoo received Rainbow Tick Accreditation in 2022.

Wellington Zoo is an accredited member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.