Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo has two new Fossa pups, born on June 26, 2010. Native to the island of Madagascar, Fossas are the main predator of lemurs. They are very agile climbers whose ankles can rotate 180 degrees. This allows them to climb down a tree face-forward while gripping with their back feet. Looking like a cross between a cat and a weasel, they are most closely related to mongooses.
The mother is nine years old and the father is ten years old, both from Madagascar and can be seen on display in Kingdoms of the Night®. After a gestation period average of 52-60 days, fossa pups can weigh between 60 – 100 grams at birth. They are fed an Esbilac formula four times per day by Zoo staff in the Nursery. The pups currently weigh approximately 700 grams or 1.5 pounds.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo has been working in Madagascar since 1998 through the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP). The newest exhibit, Expedition Madagascar, links the work Omaha’s Zoo has been doing on the island. Madagascar is considered to be one of the top hotspots for biodiversity because it is home to the largest number of endemic (native only to this country) plant and animal species.