Previous month:
May 2010
Next month:
July 2010

June 2010

England's Meerkats Show Home Team Pride

World Cup fever has spread to Bristol Zoo Gardens where the meerkats have spent the week playing with miniature soccer balls. Meerkats are inquisitive animals and footballs provide the perfect enrichment toy to play with. Keepers at Bristol Zoo are keen to show their support for the England team and are hoping that a win today will be ‘simples’.



Photo Credits: Bristol Zoo and Gardens

Continue reading "England's Meerkats Show Home Team Pride" »

Extremely Rare Batagur Turtles

Long considered a "royal delicacy" in Cambodia, the Batagur turtle has been hunted to near extinction throughout Southeast Asia. Today the turtle is critically endangered and it is unclear where wild Batagurs still live. With the hatching of two baby Batagurs at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo last week, the total number of this rare species in captivity climbs to 20. To breed the rare turtles, a father and son team of herpetology experts, Peter and Reinger Praschag, were brought in to recreate just the right natural environment for egg laying.

Baby batagur baska turtles 2

Baby batagur baska turtles 1

Baby batagur baska turtles 3

Photo credits and copyright: Photos 1 and 2 - Daniel Zupanc. Picture 3: Zoo Vienna / Norbert Potensky

Polecat Pups Point to Conservation Progress

When polecat mother 'Moonshadow' gave birth to 10 tiny pole pups earlier this month, keepers at the UK's Shepreth WIldlife Park were astonished. The European polecat is the ancestor of the domesticated ferret. In the wild, polecat moms usually have just four to six young per litter. The bountiful birth, part of a captive breeding program, is great news for conservation efforts too. All ten will be released back into the wild in the fall. Polecats were hunted to near-extinction in England during the 19th century. While the animals are good at hunting rats and rabbits, which are usually seen as pests by farmers, they were ruthlessly culled to protect game bird estates.



36996_404333092084_521892084_4787334_755608_nPhoto Credits: Shepreth Wildlife Park

Prairie Pups Are Out in Force

It's baby prairie dog season at the Nuremberg Zoo in Germany and, lucky for us, photographer dark-ness spent two days there capturing prarie dogs doing what they do best: eating and greeting one another. As we mentioned in a previous post, prairie dogs live in "towns" of tens of thousands or more and touch noses to say hello.

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 1

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 2

Open wide!

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 4rs

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 6

More pics below the fold.

Continue reading "Prairie Pups Are Out in Force" »

8 New Paws at Point Defiance Zoo

Born in late May to first-time mother Java, the newest addition to Washington's Point Defiance Zoo is a pair of cuddly little Sumatran tiger cubs. “We want people to see them as soon as they’re ready,” staff biologist Andy Goldfarb said. Typically, tiger cubs venture out of the den around 8 weeks old. “They’re sure to be crowd pleasers, but they’ll also be educational ambassadors, bringing a note of optimism about their species directly to Northwest families.” 



The two new cubs bring the total number of Sumatran tigers in North American zoos to 74. With fewer than 500 left worldwide, zoo staff stress the significance of the cubs to the species as a whole. “Sumatran tigers are among the world’s most critically endangered species,” said general curator Karenn Goodrowe Beck. “These cubs not only add to the overall population, but they also provide invaluable genetic diversity to the breeding program.” 


See and read more below the fold...

Continue reading "8 New Paws at Point Defiance Zoo" »

A Sack of Bobcat Kittens

With a gun in one hand and a sack of bobcat kittens in the other, an Alabama hunter proudly plopped the newborns down on the counter and asked the veterinary assistant to raise them so he could eventually give them to his kids as pets. The vet tech was stunned, but quickly recomposed herself and told the hunter she would see to the welfare of the kittens, but didn't disclose that she had no intention of turning them into pets. She immediately turned to the internet for an expert in rehab and release and identified Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue. It was agreed that the kittens would go to Florida for care and eventual re-release back into the wild.


It took three days to secure the Florida import permit and time was of the essence. The only kitten formula available to the clinic was known to result in dehydration in bobcat kittens. The second more critical factor was that their eyes would be opening any day and if they were to ever to live free, it was imperative that they not bond to humans. They never make good pets, but the bonding that takes place during the nursing stage could make them fearless of people and that would get them into trouble as adults.



Big Cat Rescue put out a call to all of the Tampa animal based charities and on all of their social networks that they needed a nursing mother cat who had kittens of her own. Jack Talman of found a mother cat but her kittens were too old and she was going into heat so there was concern that she may not have milk nor interest for new babies.


The story, via, continues after the jump...

Continue reading "A Sack of Bobcat Kittens" »

Sneaking a Peek at Buffalo's Snow Leopard Cubs

For the first time in five years, the “pitter patter” of little snow leopard paws can be heard at the Buffalo Zoo. Two male cubs were born on June 6, 2010 to mother, Annapurna, and father, Dwaine. The breeding was recommended as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help a species maintain a healthy and stable population. Red lights in the den cannot be seen by snow leopards (cats lack cones for red light) but allow keepers to keep a watchful eye on the new family.

Snow leopard cub and mother buffalo zoo 1rsa

Snow leopard cub and mother buffalo zoo 2rs

First-time mom, Annapurna, was the last snow leopard to be born at the Buffalo Zoo. She is taking good care of her little ones, who remain with her in the nest box off exhibit. Keepers have set up a Live Cam in the nest box so visitors can observe the cubs’ progress on the monitor inside Ecostation. 

Snow leopard cub and mother buffalo zoo 3 rs

Snow leopard cub and mother buffalo zoo 1 rsb

Found in the high mountains of Central Asia, including the Himalayas, Altai and Hindu Kush, snow leopards are solitary animals that typically only come together for breeding. Snow leopard cubs open their eyes at seven to nine days, eat sold food at two months and follow their mother on hunts at three months.

Snow leopards are highly endangered due to poaching for the fur trade, loss of habitat, dam projects and loss of food sources.