Previous month:
August 2010
Next month:
October 2010

September 2010

Four Little Lion Cubs at the National Zoo

The four lion clubs born at the National Zoo Aug. 31 had their first physical exam today. All four cubs are believed to be female, according to the vets, but it is difficult to determine their gender with certainty at such a young age. Each cub weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.

Baby lion cubs national zoo 1

Baby lion cubs national zoo 2

“They were great first-time patients and all four cubs appear to be healthy at this time,” said Dr. Katharine Hope, associate veterinarian at the Zoo. “Their eyes are starting to focus on things, their hearts and lungs sound clear, they are all strong and in good body condition and it looks like some of their lower teeth will start erupting soon.”

 “The exam today was encouraging,” said Craig Saffoe, interim curator of the Zoo’s Great Cats Exhibit. “Shera has taken excellent care of her cubs since they were born, and we’ll provide the best care that we can to ensure that mom and cubs continue to thrive.”

Baby lion cubs national zoo 3

Baby lion cubs national zoo 5

Because the cubs are only 2½ weeks old, animal care staff members are cautiously optimistic. The mortality rate for cubs younger than 1 year old in captivity in 2009 was about 30 percent, compared to a 67 percent mortality rate for cubs in the wild. Their next exam will be in about a month, when staff will be able to confirm the cubs’ genders and administer vaccinations.

Baby lion cubs national zoo 4

Baby lion cubs national zoo 4Photo credits: Meghan Murphy / Smithsonian's National Zoo

The Zoo’s other female, Nababiep (Shera’s 6-year-old sister), is expected to give birth. Luke, the 4-year-old male African lion, bred with both females earlier this year.

To follow the Zoo’s progress in building a pride and now caring for the cubs, read the updates from the Zoo’s lion keepers and check for news on the Zoo’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Tas Devil Baby and Wombat Joey for Zoo Australia

Zoo Australia, home of the late great Steve Irwin, has welcomed a bevy of babies this spring* including a Wombat Joey, two Tasmanian Devil pups, and a few Koala joeys. The zoo's head of mammals, Tammy Forge says of the little Devils, "These little guys will play an important role in Tasmanian devil conservation efforts, and will be ambassadors for their species here at Australia Zoo." Below are pictures of the Devils, follow by a shot of the Wombat Joey peeping out from his Mom's backwards facing pouch.  Wombats are designed for digging, so this special pouch keeps baby clean while Mom forages with formidable claws.

Tasmanian devil australia zoo


Photo Credits: Australia Zoo

Golden Girl Goes for Dragons!

On August 8, the first of 22 Komodos hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.  Several of the young Komodos that hatched at the Zoo are currently exploring their newly renovated exhibit in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.

CAPTION: Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee Betty White and Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio pose with a Komodo dragon hatchling at the Los Angeles Zoo on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, prior to releasing the hatchlings into their newly renovated exhibit located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.  Photo Credit: Tad Motoyama.


Continue reading "Golden Girl Goes for Dragons!" »

Zurich's Youngest Bonobo Seen Snacking

Last week, veteran photographer and ZooBorns contributor A.J. Haverkamp snapped pictures of Likemba, Zoo Berlin's baby Bonobo. Only defined as a separate species in 1929, Bonobos differ from chimps largely for their more peaceful and easy going social dynamics.


Photo Credits: Arjan Haverkamp

Team ZooBorns is off to Houston today for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' annual conference. We'll be posting from the road and we hope to see some of you in the lonestar state!

Melbourne Zoo: "It's a Boy!"

Melbourne Zoo's Asian Elephant Kulab gave birth to a male calf at 10.30 am yesterday. He is the first-ever male calf to be born at Melbourne Zoo. He weighs 142.2kg (315lbs) which is very heavy for a new born elephant. He is built very much like his father (Bong Su), with long legs and a broad head. Everyone at Melbourne Zoo is very excited by this new addition to the family.

Photo Credits: Melbourne Zoo

Meet a Baby Bamboo Lemur

This tiny four week old Western Lesser Bamboo Lemur, also known as a Sambirano Gentle Lemur, was born at the UK's Banham Zoo. Sadly, the tiny lemur was rejected by its mother but luckily a zoo staffer was ready and willing to take up the 24 hour job of raising the baby. These lemurs live almost entirely on bamboo and spend most of their lives high up in the treetops.

Baby sambirano lemur 1

Baby sambirano lemur 1

Baby sambirano lemur 1Photo credits: Banham Zoo

Hopefully we'll all get more updates on the baby via the Banham Zoo's Facebook page.

ZooBorns Books Available for Pre-Order Now!

ZooBorns is proud to announce the release of two brand new books this fall: ZooBorns! (for young children) and ZooBorns (for all ages). These are the cutest animal books ever made, chock-full of outstanding photos, but there's more - each entry includes interesting facts about the species and related conservation initiatives. 10% of all ZooBorns' profits from these adorable books goes directly to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Conservation Endowment Fund. Browse through both titles below and pre-order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

ZooBorns! (for young children)
Pre-order ZooBorns!  (for young children)

ZooBorns (for all ages)
Pre-order ZooBorns (for all ages)


Five Baby Otters, First Pups in 20 Years for Santa Barbara!

For the first time in over 20 years, the Santa Barbara Zoo is hearing the high pitched squeals of baby Asian Small-clawed Otter pups. Eventually these otters will be among the most playful and active of baby animals, but for now they are safe and cozy in the den with their parents. Over the next three months, their eyes will fully open, their claws will emerge and they will get swimming lessons in shallow water with their parents as instructors. This vulnerable species was bred at the Santa Barbara Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure healthy genetic diversity for this species in North American zoos.

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Many more pics and much more info below the fold

Continue reading "Five Baby Otters, First Pups in 20 Years for Santa Barbara!" »

Roly + Poly Red Panda Cubs!

Two roly-poly little Red Panda cubs were born mid-June at the Assiniboine Park Zoo to proud panda parents Slash and Dash. Since Dash abandoned her young last year, a decision was made to hand-raise the two female cubs rather than risk losing them, as the Red Panda is an endangered species.  There are only 8,000 surviving Red Pandas in the Himalayas of China and adjacent countries -- the result of poaching and loss of over 50% of their habitat from forest destruction and fragmentation. 

Red panda cubs assiniboine park zoo 1b

(Above) Steele on the left and Robyn on the right

Red panda cubs assiniboine park zoo 1b

Red panda cubs assiniboine park zoo 1b

Red panda cubs assiniboine park zoo 1b

(Below) The cubs at 1 week!

Red panda cubs assiniboine park zoo 1b

Photo credits: Assiniboine Park Zoo

Continue reading "Roly + Poly Red Panda Cubs!" »