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October 2009

What's a Kudu?

The Kudu is a forest antelope native to eastern and southern Africa. This baby girl was born September 23rd at Switzerland's Zoo Basel, which seems to have no end of rare babies and outstanding pictures. Little "Giza", pictured below, is actually a Lesser Kudu, the smaller of the two Kudu species. On a side note, species are commonly named "lesser" to indicate a smaller sized species within the same genus. It is not intended as an insult. 

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Meet the World's Smallest Rabbit

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits are the world's smallest and among the rarest. Native only to a single area of Washington State, this once isolated population of Pygmy rabbits usually weighs less than a pound in adulthood and was declared extinct in the wild in the '90s, after the remaining 14 bunnies were scooped up and taken into the equivalent of bunny protective custody.

This year the Oregon Zoo welcomed 26 of the little guys, bringing this year's total to 73 baby bunnies (kits) among participating breeding facilities. Color is added to the ears in the pictures below so zoo staff can tell the kits apart. 

Baby pygmy rabbit kits oregon zoo 1 

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Unlike most rabbits, the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit did not breed prodigously in captivity, partially due to inbreeding within the tiny wild population. As a result they were cross bred with Idaho Pygmy Rabbits and subsequent breeding efforts have been more successful. Learn more by clicking on "Continue reading..." below or at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Back from the Brink: Phoenix Zoo Pioneers Oryx Breeding Efforts

The Phoenix Zoo has pioneered efforts to save the Arabian Oryx from extinction.  In 1967, four years after the Phoenix Zoo started their oryx program, the species went completely extinct in the wild. Today an estimated 1,500 Arabian Oryx live in zoos and wildlife preserves around the world and most of these animals can be traced back to the original seven sent to the Phoenix Zoo in 1963.

Just recently the Phoenix Zoo (Twitter @PhoenixZoo) welcomed its 237th baby oryx calf. Named “Nadirah” (nuh-deer-uh), Arabic for precious or rare, the girl weighed only 13.5lbs at birth but will grow to be between 200-400 lbs in adulthood! She is reportedly strong, feisty, and quite vocal, just like her father.

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Striped Stockings: Baby Okapi at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

While it might look like a zebra or horse, the okapi is actually the only living relative of the giraffe. A shy, reclusive forest dweller, little is known about okapis in the wild. 

On October 3rd, mother okapi Betty gave birth to a female calf at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. Mother and daughter are bonding well, as the pictures below demonstrate. 

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Learn more by clicking "Continue reading..."

Continue reading "Striped Stockings: Baby Okapi at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo" »