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April 2011
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May 2011

Red River Hoglets at Howletts!

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On May 3, 2011, Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, England welcomed the birth of two baby Red River Hogs.The Red River Hog, or bush pig, is widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, across forests, mountains and grasslands. These pigs are social animals, often living in small groups called "drifts" or herds.

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Most active at night, Red River Hogs have made enemies with some farmers by raiding crops. They are hunted for this reason, as well as for meat. While they are not at high risk, there are very few in zoos, so these babies offer a rare opportunity to appreciate this strong, intelligent and adapatable animal. With its reddish coat and patterned face, it is probably the most attractive-looking of wild pigs.

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Photo credits: Shelly Ansell


Black Necked Swan Babies, Just in Time

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Just in time for Mother's Day that is...  This weekend, New Jersey's Turtle Back Zoo welcomed the arrival of three white fluffy Black Necked Swan chicks.

Black Necked Swans, native to South America (including the Falkland Islands), are the largest of the species.  They've got short wings but are still able to fly fast. Swan babies are called cygnets. Parents carry cygnets on their backs while swimming, which helps the parents regain the weight they lost in the process of mating, incubating and feeing their brood. Swan eggs are the biggest of any flight bird. Guess that explains how they can look this fluffy upon arrival!

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These cygnets will soon turn greyish, developing blacker neck feathers in about three months. They will not sport a true white and black coat until they are two years old. Swans are herbivores and are considered vital in controlling aquatic plant life.

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Photo credits: Turtle Back Zoo


Orphaned Opossum Finds a Happy Home

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Two weeks ago, the mother of this baby Opossum was found killed by a passing car. The individual who found the mother knew enough to check around the mother and in her pouch (due to time of year) for babies. There was only one baby, and they brought her in to The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia.  She will join the animals at the museum and could someday be used in the museum's educational live animal programs with school children. The woman in the picture is Virginia Living Museum’s Vet Tech – Linda Addison.

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Photo credits: Karlton Rebenstorf


Australia's Newest Bundle of Baby Rhino Joy!

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For some time now staff at Monarto Zoo in South Australia have been eagerly waiting for the birth of a southern White Rhino calf. Monday April 25 put an end to the waiting game with the arrival of a wrinkly, big footed baby Rhino. Staff arrived early to find mum resting inside her night area, which is unusual for that time of morning, and upon hearing staff Umqali promptly greeted them to reveal a tiny baby hiding behind her. So far this year, on average one rhino a day has been killed by poachers in Southern Africa. This is an appalling statistic. AND it is all for compressed hair-keratin, the same substance that forms our toenails! It is so important that zoo’s like Monarto and others make people aware of how fragile nature is and provide them with a way for people to act in the best interest of the natural world.

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Photo and video credits: Monarto Zoo

Continue reading "Australia's Newest Bundle of Baby Rhino Joy!" »


North Carolina Zoo Welcomes Healthy Ocelot Twins

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On April 12th, The North Carolina Zoo welcomed two Ocelot cubs. The cubs underwent their first examination last Friday. The female now weighs 880 grams; the male now weighs 910 grams. This was the third litter for the mother, who has given birth to six cubs in total, all from the same father. A female Ocelot will mature to about 20 lbs. and an adult male can reach as much as 35 lbs. Ocelots are typically born with blue eyes, which eventually turn brown. Their fur patterns are unique like human fingerprints. The Zoo will likely keep the cubs for about a year and then transfer them to another facility determined by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' breeding management program.

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Photo credits: North Carolina Zoo


Wolf-eel Babies Hatch in High Definition

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In late March, we brought you news of Birch Aquarium at Scripps' hatching of 250 tiny Wolf-eels. The Aquarium has just released stunning close-up images of the remaining eggs. The pictures, taken by Peter Kragh, show the eels at the very moment of birth. Adult Wolf-eels are generally curious and friendly, despite measuring 80 inches or more when fully grown.

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Photo credits: Peter Kragh


Meet Pequeño, Belfast's Newest Baby Pudu

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In early April the Belfast Zoo welcomed a Southern Pudu baby, the aptly named "Pequeño!"  The smallest member of the deer family, the Southern Pudu measures only 17 inches (43 centimeters) in adulthood. That's one tiny deer! At birth the fawn was so small that it was the same weight as a pint of milk! Zoo manager, Mark Challis, is delighted with the newest arrival “Southern Pudus are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild so the birth of the fawn is extremely important.  Southern Pudus originate from the dense lowland forests of South Chile and South-west Argentina and as Spanish is the native language we have named the fawn, ‘Pequeño’ which means small.”

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Currently there are just 70 pudu kept in European zoo’s, the European breeding programme is managed by zoologists in Wuppertal Zoo. This recent addition brings the total number of Southern Pudus at Belfast Zoo to four! Visitors can easily spot Pequeño as fawns have white spots, which provide camouflage.


Say Happy Mother's Day with ZooBorns: The Books!

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Photo credits: Emmanuel Keller

What better way to let Mom know how much you love her than with a copy of ZooBorns for all ages or ZooBorns! for young children or both?! Both titles are available at Amazon, B&N, and wherever books are sold. In addition to making that Mom in your life happy, here are some other reasons to pick up ZooBorns:

  1. They are the cutest animal books ever created. No joke.
  2. They benefit conservation - 10% of ZooBorns book revenue goes directly to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund.
  3. Buying these books will help us bring you more of the critters and stories you love. Everyone wins!

Order now to ensure delivery in time for Mother's Day!


Meet Caspian, the Eurasian Eagle Owl

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The CIncinnati Zoo welcomed a Eurasian Eagle owl chick four weeks ago. Named Caspian, the young Owl could grow to have a wingspan on six feet from tip to tip! Wild Eurasian Eagle Owls are found across Europe, Asia and even in parts of Northern Africa. Their diet consists largely of small mammals, but full grown Eagle owls can prey on larger animals like foxes, and young deer. The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is one of the largest owl species in the world.

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Photo credits: Connie Lemperle