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August 2011

First Four Cheetah Cubs Show The Sun Their Spots


The first litter of cheetah cubs to ever be born at Chester Zoo have stepped outside for the first time. Born five weeks ago, in late June, the four rare Northern cheetah cubs ventured into the great outdoors.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said: “This is a first for Chester Zoo and we are delighted to say all four youngsters and mum are doing really well.” Tim added: “This subspecies is Endangered in its native northeast Africa. That’s largely because they have increasingly found themselves coming into conflict with larger predators and also farmers, as both their habitat and access to prey has reduced."

“They exist only in a handful of zoos in Europe," Rowlands continued, "and we are the only collection to have bred them in the last twelve months. So this is a great achievement for KT, her cubs and everyone here at the zoo. It’s also really positive news for the future of the species.”


Photo Credit: Lee McCarthy

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Tasmanian Devil Quartet: Three Boys and One Valuable Little Girl


At Sydney's Taronga Zoo, Tasmanian Devil Keepers at got their first hands-on check of four little
devil joeys, the first born at the Zoo this breeding season. The youngsters were snuggled tightly in their nest with their mother, Nina. Keepers gently lifted them out to check their body condition and determine their sex. Closer inspection revealed that Nina had given birth to one female and three male joeys.



Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo

Australian Fauna Supervisor, Nick de Vos, said: “Over the last few months we’ve been observing Nina and the joeys from a distance. We knew she had four little ones but we were absolutely stoked to discover she had a girl amongst the litter. Females are vital for the ongoing national breeding program."


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Rare Sand Kitten Birth Gives Hope for Conservation


After 63 days of gestation, a rare Sand Cat Kitten was born at Israel's Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan - Safari. Once plentiful in numbers in the dunes of Israel, the Sand Cat has become extinct in the region. This is Safari Zoo's first successful Sand Cat birth and it is hoped this kitten will join Israel's Sand Cat Breeding Program in order to help reintroduce the species into the wild.

Three weeks ago, the kitten's mother Rotem refused to go into the night chamber at the end of the day. Keepers let her stay outside and the next night she gave birth to a tiny baby in the den in the outdoor enclosure. Keepers first saw the kitten when it poked it's tiny head and looked out from the den.




Photo credits: Tibor Jager

Many more pics below the fold...

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Baby Giraffe Born in Belguim


There's a brand new baby giraffe calf on the savanna at the KDMA 's Planckendael in Belgium. Born to mom, Diamond, in late July after a gestation period of 15 1/2 months, the newborn is probably a male, weighing about 132 pounds (60 kg). The mother gave birth peacefully over 3 1/2 hours in the stable of her lodge, with her keepers nearby. That is a long time for a giraffe birth, but it is shorter than it was for Diamond the first time she gave birth. The calf was on its feet in only 20 minutes and is estimated to be 5' 9' (1.8 meters) tall.

Once the baby's gender is confirmed, they will start a poll for names on their website, There will be five African names the keepers provided from which to choose.

The newborn is getting used to the outdoors first in a small part of the savanna arena. The door remains open to the stall so mother and baby can go in or out as they please. Soon the new calf will be able to explore the greater plains together with his or her family, to which baby makes five:  Mom Diamond, Sarah, Barbie, and the lone male, Karega Baridi.



Photo Credit: Planckendael/KDMA

Did you know that giraffes are are the tallest land animals in the world and yet they have only seven cervical vertebrae, just like a mouse (and like us!)?

One of Madagascar's Most Endangered Born at Marwell!


Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the birth of one of the most endangered species of Lemur in Madagascar. Wild Alaotran Gentle Lemurs (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis) are only found inhabiting the reed beds around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar. Marwell Wildlife, which is part of the conservation breeding programme, currently has five Alaotran Gentle Lemurs. John Pullen, the charity’s curator of mammals, said: “The youngster seems to be doing very well and Lelafo is a great mum, who is very protective. We are uncertain of its sex at this stage because we keep our distance to make it as natural as possible for them. Once we know the baby’s sex the animal keepers will find it a suitable Madagascan name.”



Photo credits: Marwell Wildlife

What follows is a video compilation featuring this Gentle Lemur as well as several other species born recetnly at Marwell including a Grevy's Zebra, Capybaras, Saki Monkeys, Ring-Tailed Coatis, and a Scimitar Horned Oryx.

Three Little Noses Peek into the World: Red Panda Triplets at Red River Zoo

On June 20, three little faces - two male and one female -- were seen in the Chinese Red Panda nesting box at Red River Zoo in Fargo, ND. This is the second time the zoo has had triplet Red Pandas. The mom is Wei Da and the father is Rusty, a male on a breeding loan from the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

At birth, each of the cubs weighed in around 130 grams. Now, at  6 weeks old, the babies weigh just about a pound (4590 gms) and are doing well. Zoo keepers say Wei Da is doing a great job as mom, especially with three cubs to raide all at once!


Photo Credit: Marcy Thompson

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Arabian Oryx Brought Back from the Brink!


One of Marwell Wildlife’s most majestic animals, the Arabian Oryx, has been ‘brought back from the brink of extinction’ thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists. Successful captive breeding programs and re-introduction efforts mean the species has finally qualified for a move from the Endangered category to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Marwell Wildlife, based in Hampshire, is home to the only breeding group of Arabian Oryx in the UK. Just last month, the park celebrated the birth of a female Arabian Oryx called Akilah.


Photo credits: Marwell Wildlife

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Meet Bella and Bill, The Baby Fennec Foxes


Safari West in Santa Rosa, California is now home two two six-week-old Fennec Fox kits. Bella, is pictured above and last with Bev Baily, Animal Collections Manager for Safari West. Bill, Bella's brother, is seen having his breakfast in the second picture. Nocturnal hunters, fennec foxes detect tasty insects and small rodents with their ridiculously oversized ears.


Photo credits: Safari West

Critically Endangered Horse Foal Finds its Feet

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 8

Prague Zoo welcomed its 216th Przewalski's Horse foal on August 1. Prague Zoo has the leading international stud book (breed registry) of this critically endangered species and boasts the longest continuous breeding history worldwide. The foal's father is a male from the Ukraine whose grandmother Lena was the last Przewalski's Horse ever caught in the wild. For this reason, the new foal's genes are extremely valuable for maintaining diverse bloodlines in breeding populations. The foal's Mother Hara has proven an exemplary mom, immediately coming to the aide of the foal by cleaning it and overseeing its crucial first steps. Sadly, the Przewalski's horse became extinct in the wild in 1968, but Prague Zoo and others worldwide have had success in efforts to revitalize wild populations.

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 1

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 3

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 5

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 6
Photo credits: Tomáš Adamec

More photos below the fold...

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It’s a Boy! And a Boy! And a Girl!


Three African lion cubs were born to female “Kaya” late last week at Tuscon's Reid Park Zoo–Kaya’s Keeper heard them vocalizing when she arrived on the morning of July 28, 2011. Mom and the three cubs have been left largely undisturbed so that she can focus on taking good care of them, but vets gave the babies their first medical check yesterday morning.  The three cubs (two boys and a girl) seem healthy and strong. They won’t be on exhibit for a while, but we’ll keep you posted on their growth!




Photo credits: Reid Park Zoo