Midnight Black, the most popular mascot at the Melbourne International Botanical Gardens, has had his number one position for the past six years.

The iconic marsupial is also known as Midnight Black.

He was introduced to the Melbourne Gardens in 2013 and his popularity has increased every year.

“Mascots have become synonymous with Christmas,” Dr James Bays, the Gardens’ curator, said.

“People love them.

They’ve become iconic.”

The marsupials popularity has not only increased, but the number of mascots sold has doubled in the past five years.

“The popularity of Midnight Black has grown dramatically in the last five years,” Dr Bays said.

The marsups are also a favourite of many of Melbourne’s children and teens.

“We’ve seen a lot of young people come to see the marsupals and we see that they have been embraced by their parents,” Dr Darryl Gwynne, an animal care officer with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries, said, as he watched the peacocks strutting across the gardens.

“They’ve become a great part of our kids’ childhood.”

The park’s mascot, Midnight Black is the most-visited in Melbourne, with more than 1 million visits each year.

The Victorian Department said the peacock has been “saved” by a “couple of very smart people”.

“There’s an incredible level of dedication from both the animals and the people involved in the design and the execution,” Dr Gwynnes said.

Topics:animals,gardens-and-harbour,gardener-andry-preston,melbourne-3000,vic

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