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July 2010

Western Pond Turtles Released in the Wild

Just a decade ago, Washington's Western Pond Turtle population had shrunk to only about 150 individuals. Habitat destruction, pollution and disease all took their toll on the turtles but the invasive bullfrog proved to be their greatest enemy. Bullfrogs eat tiny turtle hatchlings and the dramatic increase in predation pushed the Western Pond Turtle to the brink. Luckily, the Oregon Zoo in partnership with other organizations created a head-start program, under which baby turtles are collected in the wild and raised in captivity until they are old enough to be released and fend for themselves. By raising them in warm light for eleven months, the turtle hatchlings skip hibernation and in that short time they actually grow the equivalent of three years in the wild!

Western pond turtle hatchling baby oregon zoo 1Photo credit: Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

"I'm scared Sarge!" "We're all scared son" (Huge ZooBorns kudos to whoever can identify this quote without Googling it)Photo credit Brock Parker, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

A Western Pond Turtle raised at the Oregon Zoo is released into the beautiful Washington wilderness. I'd like to be released there...

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Special Dolphin Delivery

The Minnesota Zoo welcomed a healthy Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin calf on Saturday night to mom Allie. Weighing about 30lbs. and measuring around 2.5 feet long, the sex has yet to be determined. Happily swimming alongside mom, the baby dolphin is exhibiting all the right signs, although the first few weeks are always precarious for new dolphins. The calf's father, Semo, is 45 years old!

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Baby dolphin calf minnesota zoo 2 rsPhoto credits: Bob Cole

Romping Rhino Baby Charms German Zoo-goers

German photographer Tierkinder snapped some nice shots of Zoo Krefeld's 10-day-old Rhino baby. The calf is the third Rhino born at the zoo in four years, and the birth of a female (after two males in a row) represents great hope for the zoos breeding program. In the wild, adult Black Rhinos meet only during breeding season. Due to the potentially aggressive behavior of male rhinos, father Usoni and the other males are being kept apart from the bouncing bundle of joy for now.





Photo Credits: Tierkinder

New Furry Faces at the Belfast Zoo

It’s been a busy week for Belfast Zoo with the birth of two tiny baby monkeys. The new Lion-tailed Macaque and Black and White Colobus Monkey are being looked after well by their mums and the other females in their groups. Sometimes the mothers will even pass the babies off to responsible aunts and older sisters while they go take a break. 

Baby lion tailed macaque belfast zoo 1 rs

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Baby colobus monkey belfast zoo 1 rs

Baby colobus monkey belfast zoo 2

On an unrelated-to-anything-scientific note, baby Colobus Monkeys look to us like a cross between a sheep, a bichon and a tiny old man...

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Double the Giraffage at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay guests got their first look at two new baby reticulated giraffes this week as the babies were introduced to the rest of the herd on the Serengeti Plain for the first time. The first was born on April 6 and was the fourth calf for mother Tesa. The second was born April 24, and is the first calf for mother Chloe. Both are males sired by father Sterling.


Photo Credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Raising a Little Wallaby

Meet the Cincinnati Zoo's newest little Parma Wallaby joey. This species of wallaby is the smallest in the genus Macropus, which includes all kangaroos, wallaroos and some wallabies. Extremely shy in the wild, Parma Wallabies were thought to be extinct until the mid 1960s, when a small hidden population was discovered in the swampy forests of Kawau Island off the coast of New Zealand.

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Baby wallaby joey cincinnati zoo 1

Living in the nursery for now, this baby wallaby will eventually become an outreach animal at the zoo.

Gently Does it with a Brand New Gentoo Chick

All eyes were focused on a tiny, fuzzy, baby Penguin at the Tennessee Aquarium on July 1st. The new Gentoo chick came into the world after a day-long hatching process called pipping. “We started to see the beak poking through a small hole in the shell late Tuesday,” said aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich. “Early last evening the chick was completely out and vocalizing.”



Photo Credits: Tenessee Aquarium

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Sleepy Red Panda Cubs in Knoxville

On June 14th, the Knoxville Zoo welcomed two fuzzy Red Panda cubs to mother Akkali and father Chewbacca. After three weeks the cubs are happy and healthy, although the first couple months for baby red pandas are always precarious. The Knoxville Zoo is a leader in Red Panda breeding and conservation, with 93 births since their first pair, Bernice and Buster, arrived in 1977. The zoo hopes to debut the cubs to the public in the next couple of weeks.

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