Thursday 25 December 2014

Bilby is almost thrown out with bath water as George goes animal crackers

Tony Jones

Published 21/04/2014 | 02:30

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, Britain's Prince William, watch as their son Prince George reacts after they unveiled a plaque to commemorate their visit to the enclosure for the Australian animal called a Bilby during a visit to Sydney's Taronga Zoo April 20, 2014. The Prince and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George.      REUTERS/David Gray   (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
British Royals William and Kate, and Prince George reacts after they unveiled a plaque to commemorate their visit to the enclosure for the Australian animal called a Bilby during a visit to Sydney's Taronga Zoo
William, Kate and baby George at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool

THE bilby is already an endangered species in Australia, so when baby Prince George took a shine to one of the creatures on a royal visit Down Under it looked distinctly like the odds on its survival were about to take a significant turn for the worse.

Only for the rapid intervention of a nimble Kate, Prince George would have got his hands on the mammal and it might have been curtains for the 'critter'.

Prince William and Kate had taken their eight-month-old son to Sydney's Taronga zoo to meet the rare bilby – a rabbit-like marsupial named after the royal infant.

But they had to warn keeper Paul Davies about their son's iron-like grip when he threatened to grab one of the ears of the creature, affectionately known as Australia's Easter bunny.

George clearly enjoyed his trip to the zoo and when he arrived, carried by his mother, he wriggled his arms and legs in excitement, squealing and gurgling when he spotted his namesake George the bilby.

His parents took it in turn to support him as he stood up and held on to a low clear plastic fence that surrounded the marsupial's pen. At one point they had to grab on to their baby, who will one day be king, when he tried to climb into the enclosure to get at the bilby.

Irish Independent

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