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December 2009

March of the Baby Penguin

Spoiler Alert: plot elements from the film Happy Feet revealed below! ;) Keepers at The U.K.'s Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a King Penguin chick. The chick, which is almost two months old, is the first King Penguin to be born at the Zoo in five years.

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King penguins lay one egg per breeding season and, instead of keeping it on a nest, the parents tuck the egg under their belly and rest it on their feet. The parents take turns to look after the egg and gently roll it between them to transfer it. After 56 days the eggs will hatch. Newly hatched chicks stay on the parent’s feet for the first month.

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Read on for more pics and a video...

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Rare Human Assisted Beluga Birth at Shedd: Second Calf in a Week!

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium welcomed its second healthy baby Beluga calf in under seven days. The 152 lb. calf was born with human assistance by animal health and care experts presumably after it appeared that the birth was not progressing smoothly on its own. According to Shedd, this is only the fourth time a Beluga calf has been successfully birthed after human assistance was required in any aquarium.

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Sad Update: This baby beluga calf passed away shortly after this announcement. The baby exhibited some strange behavior soon after the birth and despite the best efforts of Shedd's incredible animal health and care experts, it could not be saved. ZooBorns extends its condolences to Shedd Aquarium and its heartbroken staff.

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Wolf's Guenon Monkey Born at the Bronx Zoo

Born earlier this month to parents Jordan and Gigi, this baby Wolf's Guenon girl is the newest addition to the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo and can be seen year-round in the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit.  

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Colorful and chatty, Wolf's Guenons are Old World Monkeys native to the area south of the Congo River in central Africa. These highly social monkeys have a wide range of calls they use to communicate with one another.

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Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher / ©WCS 


A Busy Year for Babies at Chessington Zoo

The UK's Chessington Zoo reports a record year for baby births. Marc Boardman, Zoo Manager, explained: “2009 has been our biggest baby boom EVER at Chessington World of Adventures, with everything from gorillas, spider monkeys and lemurs to frogs, seahorses and condors getting in on the action. Most of the animals in Chessington Zoo are endangered or threatened species and the most important part of the work of the zoo is its contribution to conservation.” 

Mbulu, baby Western Lowland Gorilla
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Ayu the Binturong, the first parent-reared Bearcat born in the UK for decades
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One of Chessington's many recent Skunk babies
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More feathered and furry fun below the fold...

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Baby Beluga at Shedd Aquarium

At 6:36 AM yesterday morning, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium welcomed a bouncing baby beluga calf to 23 year old mother, Puiji! Approximately 5' 4" long and 162lbs., the calf has been determined to be male. For many baby animals, the first few hours, days and even weeks are a critical period and during this time the calf will be under 24 hour observation and the beluga enclosure, Secluded Bay, will live up to its name, off limits to everyone except marine mammal staff. This will provide mother and calf time to bond. In the meantime, you can enjoy these brand spanking new baby beluga pictures courtesy of Shedd. 

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Watch the actual birth! Note that this is a tiny bit graphic for the particularly squeamish.

 

Additional information and the latest updates available on Shedd's website!


Plump Pygmy Hippo Calf Daydreaming

Flory, a  Pygmy Hippo born in late September at the Diergaarde in Blijdorp, Netherlands, rests close to mom. These photos and video, by lensman A.J. Haverkamp, show the infant Pygmy Hippo at only ten days old. Critically endangered in their native home of Western Africa, Pygmy Hippos thrive with proper care at zoos and most of what scientists know about this fascinating animal is derived from zoo populations.

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