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November 2010

Rare Amur Tiger Triplets Debut in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium welcomed three little Amur Tiger cubs back in September and they have just made their big public debut! Growing bigger and braver by the day, the trio enjoy exploring their new den and met reporters and a few lucky guests last week. Amur tigers were once called Siberian tigers because originally they were found throughout Siberia. Residents of Siberia and Northern China once considered these majestic cats god-like and in fact the most elite military unit if the Chinese Imperial Army was called the Tiger God Battalion. Unfortunately, throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries these tigers were hunted extensively by livestock owners and as part of a Russian army eradication program. Today they are almost completely confined to the Far East portion of Asia along the Amur River.

Tiger cub pittsburgh zoo 1

Tiger cub pittsburgh zoo 1Photo credits  ©2010 Paul A. Selvaggio 

Baby Sea Dragons at Georgia Aquarium!

The Georgia Aquarium recently introduced three Sea Dragon babies to its display in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery. The Georgia Aquarium is the third facility in the United States to successfully hatch Weedy Sea Dragons. An interesting fact about the Weedy Sea Dragon is that it is the male of the species that “gives birth.” The female lays up to 250 to 300 eggs onto the soft underside of the male's tail. The eggs are embedded into the skin in cup-like structures that harden and form around each egg to hold and protect them during brooding. After about two months, the bright pink eggs hatch into miniature juveniles, which settle into the vegetation.




Dad is protecting his little ones [below]

Photo credits: Georgia Aquarium


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Austria's Newest Panda Baby Needs a Name

With so much excitement here in the U.S. over the new Panda baby at Zoo Atlanta, it's easy to overlook another bubbling panda baby born in Vienna Austria's Schonbrunn Zoo. Now just 11 weeks old, the the black and white ball of joy is ready to take a name. Schonbrunn has invited the public to vote among three choices. 1.) Fu Hu = happier Tigers (2010 is the Chinese Year of the Tiger.) 2.) Ao Kang = healthy Austrian boy and 3.) Wei Xing = joy of Vienna. The Giant Panda is endangered in the wild due to habitat loss and a very low birth rate.



Photo credits: Schonbrunn Zoo


Arrivals from Another World at Zoo Basel

Zoo Basel has successfully bred Fried Egg Jellyfish, a species of jellyfish found in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Adriatic Seas. The species is particularly challenging to breed because they require live plankton to eat and plenty of sunlight to survive. These young jellies were kept behind the scenes in a special breeding tank which imitated conditions in their natural environment. They are now on exhibit at Zoo Basel's Aquarium. Unlike most jellyfish, this species is capable of propelling itself through the water and do not depend on currents to carry them.



73628_160243640680051_145158452188570_244734_5800964_nPhoto credits: Zoo Basel

Below is  a picture of an adult Fried Egg Jelly. They can grow to 13 inches in diameter!

737px-SpiegeleiquallePhoto credit: Wikimedia Commons

"Brave and Feisty" Cougar Cub Debuts in Oregon

The Oregon Zoo's Cougar cub will be on exhibit starting Thursday, Nov. 11, though visitors will need to keep a sharp eye out to see the youngster. Like all baby Cougars, the female cub is well-camouflaged by the brown spots on her coat. Since her birth Sept. 19, the cub has lived in a maternity den with her mother, Chinook. She and Chinook will have access to the Cougar exhibit in the morning, while the cub's father, Paiute, will be on exhibit in the afternoon. The cub, who keepers describe as "brave and feisty," has ventured into the exhibit several times this past week, first with the exhibit's viewing areas completely closed and then with zoo staff watching from the viewing areas.

Cougar Cub Oregon Zoo 1

Cougar Cub Oregon Zoo 1Photo by Michael Durham, © Oregon Zoo.

"As we expected, the cub quickly adapted to having people around," said Michelle Schireman, Oregon Zoo Cougar keeper. "She's quite the little explorer. Her comfort was the determining factor in our decision to open the exhibit to zoo visitors."

Read more below the fold

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Teething Tiger Twins in San Diego!

Two female Sumatran Tiger cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park showed off their new pearly whites on Friday Nov. 5th. Born on Oct. 5, the 10- and 9-pound cubs are being acclimated to human interaction in anticipation of vaccines or other necessary veterinary care. It also allows keepers to check if the cubs are teething. Keepers discovered the cubs' canines are now emerging. The cubs are described as clumsy on their feet, which is typical for cubs of this age..

Photo credit: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo Safari Park


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Critically Endangered Little Leopard

Last week the Jacksonville Zoo announced the the birth of a rare Amur Leopard cub. Born August 27th, the baby was initially not gaining weight properly and so the zoo decided to hand-rear the cub. Amur Leopards are critically endangered in the wild with only 50 estimated to live in the Russian Far East - their native land. The Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance works to protect these beautiful animals and you can learn more on their site

Amur Leopard Cub Jacksonville Zoo 1

Amur Leopard Cub Jacksonville Zoo 1Photo credits: Jacksonville Zoo

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Baby Otter Swim Lessons at Longleat

Longleat's two baby Asian Small-clawed Otters are being taught to swim in a paddling pool - by the keeper they think is their mum.  Deputy Head of Section at Animal Adventure, Beverley Allen, is rearing the pups and has bottle-fed the cute pair since they were born. The pair, named Sumalee and Kasem, are now being taught to swim ready to return to their birth parents. As Beverley explains "I started off putting them in the sink with a little bit of water when they were about nine weeks old. Then they progressed to my bath, where I could make the water a bit deeper to let them practice their breathing. Now they're splashing around quite happily in a paddling pool, with a few toys to encourage them to play." Baby otters need to be taught to swim, so while they might look a little surprised int he first half of the video, it's for their own good!

Baby otter swim lesson longleat safari park

Baby otter swim lesson longleat safari parkPhoto credits: Longleat Safari Park

You can see pictures and video of these pups when they were just a few days old in this post from September.

Australia's Newest Little Sea Lion Pup

In the United States we are familiar with the California Sea Lion, but Australia has its own species, the aptly named Australian Sea Lion. Unlike its North American cousin, this species is endangered so Australian zoos are doing their part to bring awareness to conservation efforts and help rebuild the population. The Adelaide Zoo welcomed a new Australian Sea Lion pup over Halloween. 



The yet to be named female pup was born to first time Mum, Ady. Both are doing very well but unfortunately Ady did not accept her baby, which was a possibility known to her keepers. Carnivore keeper, Arliah Hayward said, “This is not an uncommon occurrence for first time mothers who have been hand-raised, meaning the mother does not have the maternal instincts to raise a pup on her own. “It is always our goal to have mother and baby together, however in this circumstance it was best for the survival of the pup that keepers intervened,” said Ms. Hayward. The pup is now in the care of Adelaide Zoo’s Animal Health Clinic and keepers.

Sealion-at-Zoos-SA-06Photo credits: Zoos South Australia


Continue reading "Australia's Newest Little Sea Lion Pup" »

Adopt Baby Nori the Chimpanzee at the NC Zoo

As covered in August on ZooBorns, baby Nori's mom could not properly take care of her and North Carolina Zoo staff made the difficult decision to hand-raise her. Now three months old, baby Nori is doing well and the North Carolina Zoo Society is offering a special adoption package to commemorate this very special baby's birth. The $30 adoption package contains a copy of Nori’s birth certificate, a fact sheet about the young female, a button commemorating her birth and a photo. Proceeds from this special adoption will help support Nori and her companions at the N.C. Zoo as well as their wild relatives. 


Baby nori the chimpanzee at north carolina zoo 1

Baby nori the chimpanzee at north carolina zoo 1

With 13 members in the troop, the N.C. Zoo has the largest chimp collection in any U.S. zoo. The zoo also has a strong conservation presence in Africa and supports conservation efforts in great ape range countries. We here at ZooBorns think adopting Nori would make a special gift for any animal lover this holiday season.

Baby nori the chimpanzee at north carolina zoo 1

It's a long but exceptional video. Skip around if you get impatient, but don't miss it.

To learn more about adopting Nori, call the N.C. Zoo Society at 336-879-7250 or visit this site for more information.