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April 2010

More Red River Hoglets for Calgary

In the early morning hours of April 1, Red River hog mom Mvula gave birth to her second litter of adorable little Red River hoglets at the Calgary Zoo! The three babies and mom are now ready to come out to play after spending time bonding in their off display nursery over the past two weeks. ZooBorns covered Mvula's first batch of little piglets in April of last year.

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Photo and video credits: Calgary Zoo

Adult Red River hogs get their name from their red coat and because their natural habitat is in the wetland areas of Central and Eastern Africa. The hoglets' camouflage coats make them look kind of like little orange watermelons!

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Bristol Zoo's Baby Snail Boom!

One of the world’s most endangered animal species is successfully breeding at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The tiny young French Polynesian tree snails are just 2mm long and are the latest arrivals in the last population of these snails left anywhere in the world. The species, known as Partula faba, which is endemic to the Island of Raiatea, is extinct in the wild, and these last snails have recently been given to Bristol Zoo Gardens in a critical effort to help save the species from total extinction through conservation breeding.

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Partula-Faba-snail-with-Bristol-Zoo-keeper-Grier-Ewins-(credit-Jenny-Spencer)

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Rare Pygmy Loris Twins Born at Moody Gardens

Moving slowly through the tree tops and weighing only a pound or less in adulthood, the pygmy slow loris lives up to its name. On March 22nd, Moody Gardens in Texas announced the rare birth of pygmy slow loris twins to mother Luyen and father Icarus. Moody Gardens tells us that “Luyen has been a very attentive and good mother to the twins. The babies stay attached to their mom for the majority of the day, taking plenty of opportunities to nurse.” In adulthood, these primitive primates, rely on their human-like hands and huge eyes to hunt tasty insects at night.

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Below: The bashful female at just 15 days old.

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Below: The curious male, also at 15 days old.

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Below: Video of the twins that belongs in the adorability record books. 

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Name the Bouncing Baby Giraffe at Niabi Zoo!

Illinois' Niabi Zoo has a brand new addition and she needs a name! Born this past Saturday, the newborn Masai Giraffe calf weighed in at 5'3" and 150 lbs. A naming contest is on, so send your suggestions to ask@niabizoo.com through May 20. The winner will be announced the following weekend.

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Photo credits: Kevin E. Schmidt / QUAD-CITY TIMES

Video credit: The Dispatch & The Rock Island Argus


Tiny Tiger Cub Makes Video Debut

Born March 18th, the Sacramento Zoo's tiniest tiger cub calls out to mom in his video debut. In the second video, keepers weigh the cub to make sure his growth is on track. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with only an estimated 500 remaining in their home on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The Zoo participates in the Sumatran tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, who recommended the breeding of the Sacramento Zoo tigers. SSPs are cooperative breeding and conservation programs designed to maintain genetically viable populations of animals in captivity, and to organize zoo- and aquarium-based efforts to preserve the species in nature.


One Month Milestone for Mr. Shuffles

Okay okay... we know Mr. Shuffles has been renamed Pathi Harn but watching him shuffle about in this video made us nostalgic for his goofy placeholder name. For those who haven't been following the tale of this adorable elephant calf, veterinarians at Australia's Taronga Zoo had originally thought the baby was going to be stillborn but, miraculously, the calf emerged happy and healthy. He celebrated his one month birthday this past Saturday.


Adoptive Parents Save Endangered Penguin Chick

Quick thinking and action by staff at Denver Zoo and Pueblo Zoo probably saved the life of an African penguin chick. On March 20, four days past its due date, the chick was assisted with emerging from its shell by Pueblo Zoo Animal Care Coordinator Melanie Pococke. Pococke then sought help from Denver Zoo staff in caring for the tiny bird, when the hatchling’s biological parents at Pueblo Zoo were unable to care for it.

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Zookeepers from each zoo met halfway to bring the chick to Denver Zoo where it was placed under the care of experienced parents. The chick’s surrogate father, Durban, and mother, Spencer, are now taking excellent care of their adopted youngster.

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Zookeepers always prefer animals are raised by their parents or surrogates of the same species. This helps ensure they have the skills to raise their own young. Upon receiving the chick, Durban and Spencer immediately began “brooding” the chick by covering it with their bodies and wings for protection and quickly began feeding it.

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Photo Credits: Photo Credit: Greg Henry/Denver Zoo 

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