ZooBorns is at it again, and we need your help. We are creating a new book, ZooBorns: CATS!, which delivers the largest (and cutest) collection of different species of kitten ever printed. To grace the cover of this new book, we've narrowed it down to 2 candidates. In one corner, stands the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort's Sand Cat, and in the other, Le Parc des Félins Rusty-spotted Cat. It's up to you, our readers, to immortalize one winner who will rule them all. Visit our poll on facebook to weigh in.
On the heels of spring’s arrival, a Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) chick hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo March 20, the third of its kind in the park’s history. National Zoo veterinarians examined the chick and took a blood sample when it was 4 days old, which they will use to determine its sex. Visitors can see the chick and its parents at the Crane Run, part of the Bird House’s outdoor exhibits.
A four pound bundle of joy arrived at Dublin Zoo Sunday. Mother Lana is guarding her infant Gorilla around the clock and it may be some time before keepers have a chance to get a closer look and determine its sex. Keeper Ciaran McMahon said: "We are over the moon with the birth of the baby Gorilla. The new arrival is a great success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European breeding programme for these critically endangered primates. We are one of a few zoos to have a Gorilla family living together and we can see that the bonds between the group are very strong. The youngster is doing very well, within minutes the baby was feeding from mum, Lena, which is a very good sign. We can tell that the infant is strong because there are a lot of head movements."
Last week, Bristol Zoo visitor Mark Eastment got some great photos of a baby Meerkat pup out enjoying the sun with mom. Bristol Zoo Gardens’ new Meerkat exhibit, called Meerkat Lookout, was officially unveiled to the public on February 21st. The state-of-the-art enclosure was opened by 11-year-old Joe Romain, from Brentry, who cut the ribbon after winning a competition run by the Bristol Evening Post to name the new attraction. Builders have been hard at work over the winter months, constructing the meerkats’ new £100,000 home. At 152 square metres in size, it is over three times bigger than the previous enclosure, with space for up to 25 Meerkats.
On February 6th, The Natural Science Center of Greensboro, North Carolina, welcomed three endangered Maned Wolf Pups. The Center's breeding pair Lana and Nazca are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP). You can visit the NSC's Maned Wolf blog to follow the progress of these cubs and to learn more about how you can help this species in the wild. Two of the pups, Vincent and Bonita, were named. The NSC is now holding a contest to name the third pup. Entries are accepted in person only, and we'll keep you posted on the winning name. The choices are below the fold along with many more adorable photos of the pups.
Recently, Houston Zoo keepers gave Baylor and Tupelo a big kiddie pool. Now that Baylor weighs more than 1100 pounds and Tupelo weighs more than 600 pounds, the small, inflatable pools do not last longer than 5 minutes without getting popped. The babies now get a family size pool which is 120 inches in length and holds both calves. It is a lot more durable. This size pool lasts for about 5 uses before it has to be replaced. Playing in the pool is a fun enrichment activity for the babies and the pool is given to them when the weather allows.
A male Grevy’s Zebra was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Saturday, February 26. Eclipse, the 17-year-old mother of the foal, came to the Jacksonville Zoo from White Oak Conservation Center, where she was bred in January 2010. Officials from White Oak advised that the father of the foal is an unnamed resident stallion born in 1999. This is Eclipse’s sixth birth. The foal weighed 108 pounds and stood at three and a half feet tall at the shoulders at birth. Guests can see the foal frolicking after his mother in the Zoo’s Plains of East Africa exhibit. Naming rights will be auctioned off at the Zoo’s annual ExZOOberation evening fundraiser on April 16, 2011.
Unlike other types of Zebras, Grevy’s Zebras face a dire extinction crisis. More than 15,000 of these animals roamed the savannas of Africa in the 1970s, but scientists estimate only 2,200 remain in the wild today. The Zoo supports conservation efforts to save the Grevy’s zebra, including participation in a Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This SSP allows the Zoo to work with other AZA-accredited organizations to help ensure the survivability of the Grevy’s Zebra for future generations.
A Giant Anteater was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on February 22. The mother (dam), named Stella-Abril, and her offspring are doing well. Stella was born on April 28, 1997, and this is her fifth offspring since arriving at the Jacksonville Zoo on May 6, 1998. Killroy, the father (sire), was born October 15, 1999 and arrived at the Zoo on August 16, 2000. This is the 15th Giant Anteater born at the Jacksonville Zoo. This was a highly anticipated birth, in part because veterinary and keeper staff had been performing routine ultrasounds, enabling close monitoring of fetal development. Stella was an excellent patient for these procedures, especially since they were completely voluntary and didn’t require any sedation--just a steady supply of ripe avocado.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is proud to announce the hatching of baby Wolf-Eels! Birch aquarists have so far collected about 250 Wolf-Eels from the mass of eggs, with another few hundred expected to hatch over the next two weeks. The tiny fish are born brownish-pink, about 1 1/2 inches in length. They begin to turn dark gray within a day or so, and begin snacking on tiny shrimp after a few days. They will grow to several feet in length. Check out the video below of aquarist Mark Ball overseeing the hatching!
Photo and video credits: Birch Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has achieved another significant first with the successful hatching of a North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) on Mar. 23, 2011. The Columbus Zoo is only the third zoo in North America to successfully hatch a Kiwi chick since the first one hatched at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 1975 and this chick is only the fifth kiwi to successfully hatch in as many years.
“The fact this egg successfully hatched is a testament to the amazing care and attention given by our staff in consultation with professional colleagues around the world” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “Like an expectant parent, kiwi expert Kathy Brader from Smithsonian’s National Zoo rushed to Central Ohio to be here and assist our team with the newly hatched chick.”