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October 2011

Cameron Park Zoo Tiger Cub Update!


Update: The two Sumantran Tiger cubs from Cameron Park Zoo that we first wrote about HERE, made their public debut on Friday, October 28, in the tiger exhibit yard. The cubs had a trial run of their exhibit the day before, and their keeper along with zoo management felt that they could safely negotiate the tiger yard under the supervision of their keepers.

And, the cubs now have names -- the male is Bugara and the female is Indah.

For the next few weeks the goal is to have Indah and Bugara at play in the exhibit at 2:00 p.m. each afternoon. The play period will last from one to two hours depending on the cubs’ stamina. The cub’s time will also be dependent on the weather -- a temperature of 55 degrees Farenheit (12.7 Clesius) or higher -  and the willingness of the adult tigers to leave the yard and come inside so the cubs can play.

Hi step


Two cubs
Photo Credit: Cameron Park Zoo


Creepy or Cool? Cuttlefish Hatchlings


For the past few weeks aquarists at the Tennessee Aquarium have been monitoring an egg mass which was laid by a cuttlefish pair born and reared at the Aquarium. Shortly after the eggs were removed from the exhibit and placed into a holding tank, tiny cuttlefish began hatching. Carol Haley, the Aquarium’s assistant curator of fishes, said, “The first day about 42 hatchlings appeared. Another 40 or so appeared the following day.”

The hatchlings, called cuttlets, are tiny replicas of their parents. Each individual is small enough to fit inside a quarter teaspoon. Once they emerge from the egg sac, they begin hunting. “They have a pretty big appetite and are ready to use their tentacles to snare the live mysid shrimp we feed them,” said Haley.

These babies are too small to be placed on exhibit like their parents. Right now they use their chromatophores to look like tiny pebbles in the bottom of the holding tank they’ll call home for the next few months. They also use another trick to avoid being a tiny treat for a predator. “Even at their small size they can produce ink,” said Haley. “They will ink more as feisty teenagers, usually when they reach about six months of age.”

When they are six to seven months old, they’ll be large enough to go on exhibit. Until then, Aquarium guests can see these miniature cuttlefish in the Quarantine Room during the 1:30 p.m. Backstage Pass Tour. “Cuttlefish babies are super cute as babies and people are still fascinated by them when they reach adulthood,” said Haley. “They might be the most adorable ‘sea monsters’ you’ll ever see.”


Zoom4 crop

Photo Credits: Bill Hughes/Tennessee Aquarium



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Motherly Monkey Love at Zoological Center Tel Aviv


After nine years with no babies in the Weeper Capuchin enclosure at Israel's Zoological Center Tel Aviv, Kopatch, a 15 year old female gave birth to a tiny baby. Kopatch's rank in the group is usually very low, but since she gave birth it seems to have risen. The capuchin group arrived at the Safari on May 25th 1987, after being smuggled into Germany and confiscated by the government there. They were kept in the Hannover Zoo until they could find a new home.


Photo credits: Tibor Jager


Capuchins are the smartest monkeys among the "New World monkeys". They are famous for their tool use and nut cracking ability, using two stones- one as an anvil and the other to crack the nut with.

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Tiger Triplets a Great Achievement for Taronga Zoo

Tiger CU

Three Sumatran Tiger cubs  - two male and one female - were born at Taronga Zoo in the early hours of August 20. They came into the world one hour apart, to mother ‘Jumilah’ and father, ‘Satu’, as zoo keepers monitored the labor from nearby. These babies are a valuable boost to this critically endangered species, seeing as there are as few as 400 left in the wild. 

Carnivore Supervisor Louise Ginman said: “The whole Zoo is ecstatic at the birth of three healthy little tigers, especially all the carnivore keepers. Satu was brought to Taronga from Germany as part of the international zoo breeding program for Sumatran Tigers to mate with our Taronga-born female Jumilah and introduce new genetics to our region.”

“The female is really cheeky, with a lot of attitude and is the first one to check out new things. The boys are more cautious, but they’re growing in confidence and body size each day, now tipping the scales over 13 pounds (6 kg) each. I was here when their mother was born, so to see her rear her own cubs and be such a great mother really is a highlight of my career.”

Initially, the cubs will spend a very short time on exhibit with their mother, as the youngsters tire easily. As they get older, they’ll spend more time out and about.

Tiger nap

Tiger under mom
 Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo


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Toronto Zoo Has Hope for Remaining Polar Bear Cub


On October 16, three tiny Polar Bear cubs were born at Toronto Zoo to 10 year-old female Polar Bear Aurora. Typically, Polar Bear births occur in November and early December, so this birth is perhaps the earliest captive birth on record. Sadly, two of the three cubs did not survive the first 48 hours after their birth.

The remaining male cub was taken into intensive care where he'll receive round the clock veterinarian care until it is established that he is thriving and growing.

Aurora, the cub's mother, remains on exhibit in the Tundra Trek at the zoo with twin female Nikita and male Inukshuk.



Photo credits: Courtesy of Toronto Zoo

Baby Joy as Second White Rhino Is Born at Beauval Zoo

Rhino and mon

Something wonderful happened at France's Zoo Parc de Beauval in the middle of the night on Sunday, October 16... a White Rhino was born.  The baby, a male, weighed about 176 pounds (80 kg) and the report is that he and Satara, his mother, are doing well -- so well in fact that he is already on view through a huge window in the Rhino house.

For now he is sticking close to mom and can be seen nursing. But in a few weeks, he will go out with his mother into the habitat to join the 70 other animals that inhabit the sizeable area, including Wildebeest, Giraffes, and Zebras. His horn will begin to grow when he is 3-4 months old.   

This is the second male White Rhino born at the zoo -- the first, Kanty, was born in Novmeber of 2009. The White Rhino is particularly endangered due to poaching for the purported value of their horns. Rare in the wild, the White Rhino has an EEP (European Breeding Program) to encourage reproduction, which has proven difficult at zoos.



Mom and baby

Photo Credit: ZooParc de Beauval

Zoo"Born"ean Orangutan at L.A. Zoo!


Orange is everywhere to be found at the Los Angeles Zoo this Halloween season starting with the newest orange-red, shaggy haired addition to the Red Ape Rainforest – a newly born Bornean Orangutan. This is the second baby for the Zoo’s female Bornean Orangutan, Kalim. She is one of four adult females in the Red Ape Rainforest. Father to the new arrival is Minyak, one of  two orangutan males at the Zoo. Guests can see the baby Orangutan and her older sister Berani who was born in 2005.


Photo credits: Tad Motoyama


Orangutans are native to the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.  In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest.  Decked out in long, shaggy, orange-red hair, orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered.  In the last 60 years, it’s estimated that there has been more than a 50 percent decline in the orangutan population.  This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss.

Manatee and Mommy at Zoo Beauval


Though not a traditional time of year for manatee births, Zoo Parc de Beauval in France welcomed a manatee calf yesterday! The little one has been seen suckling and swimming near mom in its first 24 hours.

Manatees are born underwater and mom helps the calf get to the surface to take its first breath. The babies can usually swim on their own within the first hour after birth. While they only nurse as calves, they will grow to become hearty grazers...eating up to a tenth of their weight in algae, weeds and grasses in a single day!

Sometimes called sea cows, manatees are actually graceful swimmers despite their size. They never leave the water but need to come to the surface to breathe like all marine mammals. Often the only thing visible at the surface of the water is their nose, but below, their powerful tails can propel them along at 5 mph (8 kmph).

There are three species of this highly endangered animal, and they each live in different areas – one in the Amazon River, another along the west coast and rivers of Africa, and a third along the east coast of North America. Beauval Zoo is the only Zoo in France to have a manatee, which was born as part of as the European breeding program for this species (EEP). 

Baby and mom

Photo Credit: ZooParc de Beauval

Cheetah Cubs Venture Outdoors

Mom, cubs

Three cheetah cubs born at Essex's Colchester Zoo in July to parents Uria and Jack, have gotten big enough to begin exploring life outside in their habitat.

Little Milawi, the male, and Tatu and Savannah the two females, have been allowed their first steps into the grass and sun in the cheetah enclosure.  At first all three were very tentative, staying close with mom at the entrance, but soon, two ventured out a bit more, though closely following mum, while the third cub shyly remained within the entrance area.

In short order, the cubs are becoming more confident and independent as they are beginning to leave Uria’s side and explore their new surroundings.



Cub in undergrowth

Photo Credit: Colchester Zoo

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Announcing "ZooBorns CATS!": The Newest Edition in the ZooBorns Library!


From the guys who brought you the smash hit ZooBorns: The Newest, Cutest Animals from the World's Zoos and Aquariums, which called “hands down the cutest books ever to grace my shelf” comes ZooBorns CATS! The Newest, Cutest Kittens and Cubs from the World's Zoos featuring adorable pictures of newborn felines from accredited zoos and conservation programs around the world. ZooBorns: Cats! is the largest and most complete collection of kittens of different feline species ever published! Every sale of ZooBorns Cats! supports the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund. With the official release on November 1st, you can pre-order ZooBorns CATS! now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Look out for exclusive giveaways and excerpts on our Facebook page in the coming weeks!