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April 2011

Four Little Hoglets!


The first-ever Red River Hoglets born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are healthy, growing, and spending their days learning how to root and wallow, as every good hog should know how to do. The pair, a boy and a girl, was born the morning of March 23, and can now be seen on exhibit in African Rift Valley on sunny days when the temperature reaches at least 50 to 60 degrees. The hoglets weigh in at a little over two pounds and are already devouring fresh vegetables, along with their mother’s milk.



Photo credits: Tracey Gazibara, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Video credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Red Ruffed Lemur Quadruplets Born at Denver Zoo!


The number 13 might be a lucky number after all. Denver Zoo is proud to announce the birth of four endangered Red Ruffed Lemurs, the first of their species born here in 13 years! The quadruplets, born March 12, include male, Rusty and females, Bordeaux, Chianti and Mena. They are now big enough to explore outside their nest box and can be seen with their parents in the Emerald Forest exhibit in Denver Zoo's Primate Panorama.


All photo credits: Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

This is the first litter for both mother, Sixpence, and her mate, Mego. Sixpence was among the infants born in the last litter at Denver Zoo in 1998. Mego came to Denver Zoo from the Duke Lemur Center in April 2008. The two were paired together under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match. Though inexperienced, Sixpence has shown she is a very attentive mother and lets Mego know what he needs to be doing. (More photos after the fold)

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How Do You Say Giraffe in Chinese?


On March 16th, a healthy baby Giraffe was born at the Shanghai Zoo, their second calf of 2011. Since she was born on a bright cloudless day, keepers named the calf "Sunny," making her the second baby at the zoo with an English name. Perhaps due to her particularly tall father, Sunny measured an impressive 194 cm when she stood up shortly after birth. The Chinese characters for Giraffe are 長頸鹿 and sounded out as "cháng jǐng lù," which translates to "long-necked deer." This is the first birth ZooBorns has shared from a Chinese zoo. 



Photo credits: Shanghai Zoo

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Three Little Clouded Leopard Cubs in Nashville!

Clouded Leopard Cub Triplets at Nashville Zoo - Christian Sperka

Nashville Zoo just welcomed two litters of Clouded Leopards born March 19 and 22. Weighing only about half a pound each, the cubs are healthy and being hand-raised together by zoo keepers since Clouded Leopard are vulnerable to extinction and have a high mortality rate as cubs. Clouded leopards are threatened by deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Since 2002, Nashville Zoo has been a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program, Zoological Park Organization in Thailand and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining breeding program.

Clouded Leopard Cub at Nashville Zoo - Christian Sperka

Clouded Leopard Cub Triplets at Nashville Zoo 2 - Christian SperkaAll photo and video credits: Christian Sperka

The video below focuses on how to photograph animals but includes some great footage of the cubs towards the end.

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Linton Zoo's Newest Hatchlings Are a Hoot!


The UK's Linton Zoo has hatched its first Easter chicks, three adorable Turkmenian Eagle Owlets. The fluffy trio weighing just 50 grams at hatching, hatched in mid March but were rejected by their inexperienced mother and so were removed for hand-rearing. They will rapidly grow, weighing in at around a kilo each by the time they are three weeks old. The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest and most spectacular Owl in the world and is closely related to the large European Eagle Owl. Sadly though, it is believed to now be extinct in its original wild range around Turkmenistan, there are also very few in captivity so these three Easter chicks are very important individuals, although they may not realise it! Both parents of these special birds were also hatched at Linton and their dad “Pip” is 22 years old this year.




Photo credits: Linton Zoo

Meet Mom and see the hatchlings in their first moment below the fold...

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Holding a Baby Orangutan... for 24 Hours a Day

Baby Orangutan at the Houston Zoo 1

On March 2nd, primate staff at the Houston Zoo were thrilled to discover that mother orangutan Kelly had given birth overnight. Unfortunately Kelly neglected her baby within the first 24 hours so Zoo staff were forced to intervene and care for the infant. Fortunately the baby is doing quite well and the Houston Zoo is optimistic that the one month old ape can be reunited with mom or introduced to a surrogate who will raise the baby as its own. Since infant orangutans cling to their mothers for their first few months of life, zoo staff currently carry the baby for 24 hours a day! Learn more on the Houston Zoo's blog and do not miss the video below.

Baby Orangutan at the Houston Zoo 3b

Baby Orangutan at the Houston Zoo 2

Photo credit © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo and Video credit © Kara Masharani/Houston Zoo

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Checking in on Bristol Zoo's Lion Cubs


Last week, photographer Mark Eastment got some great pictures of the Bristol Zoo's Asiatic Lion cubs in their outdoor enclosure. The cubs, born Christmas Eve, are now just over 3 months old and as playful as ever. Asiatic Lions are critically endangered in the wild – with only about 300 remaining in the Gir Forest Sanctuary in Northern India. They were once widespread throughout Northern India and Pakistan, but hunting and habitat destruction has reduced their numbers drastically.





Busch Gardens' Cheetah Cub Turns 5 Weeks Old!


Busch Gardens recently released new photos of their now 5-week-old Cheetah cub. As many of you remember, the new cub was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to a mother who wasn’t able to care for him. When zoo keepers saw that the baby was not eating and having trouble gaining weight, they made the decision to hand-raise him. Now, at a little more than two pounds, the cub is eating well, getting stronger and eagerly exploring his new home. Cheetahs are regulated by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which tracks a species’ genetic lines in zoos and animal parks around the world and makes recommendations as to where specific animals should be placed for successful breeding opportunities. It was on the SSP and Jacksonville Zoo’s advice that the new baby was brought to Busch Gardens.

Photo and video credits: Busch Gardens

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Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Thomson's Gazelle


Busch Gardens’ hoof-stock care team is currently hand raising a baby female Thomson’s Gazelle. The baby weighed just over four pounds at birth on February 25. When the calf refused to take milk from its mother, the park’s animal care team started bottle-feeding the baby.  She is now receiving five bottle feedings each day and is weighed daily to monitor her health.  At  about four weeks old, she has already gained more than two pounds. Thomson’s Gazelle, also called “tommies,” are one of three migratory species that make up the vast Serengeti migration. Like the zebra and the wildebeest, the Tommie population can reach more than 500,000 per migration. This baby will remain in the park’s back area until she is healthy enough to join the herd of Thomson’s gazelles on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. Guests can view the herd from Nairobi Walkway and get close-up views of the animals on the Serengeti Express Railway.


Photo credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

First Giraffe Birth for Cincinnati in 26 Years!


Tessa, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s four-year-old Maasai Giraffe gave birth to her first calf Saturday morning, April 2 at 9:40 a.m. in her indoor stall. This news is especially exciting considering that the last time the Zoo celebrated a Giraffe birth was nearly 26 years ago!  The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with Giraffe births actually dates back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a Giraffe born in captivity.


Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo

NOTE: The video below contains fascinating but graphic footage of the actual birth.

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