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November 2011
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December 2011

A Snowy White Kiwi Hatches Just in Time for the Holidays


A second, rare, white Kiwi hatched on the morning of December 18 at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Willdlife Center. Like it's sibling, Manukura, this little one has received a special and meaningful name -- Mauriora, meaning ‘sustained life’. It hatched in the Wildlife Center's nursery, where Manukura – the world's first white kiwi hatched in captivity – came along in May. 

Called a powerful name by Rangitane chief executive and Pukaha board member Jason Kerehi, he added, "This new kiwi is seen as an assurance that we are blessed with more than one special creature and there is potential for more."

Conservation Department captive breeding ranger Darren Page said it was pretty unusual that two kiwis with the rare gene to produce white chicks had managed to find eachother and mate within the 940-hectare Pukaha forest - not even once, but twice over two seasons! "Both white birds have the same father, who we have identified through his transmitter," he added. "We can't identify the mother but assume she is the same because of the rarity of the white gene."

Eleven kiwi have hatched at the center so far this season and of the two kiwi eggs incubating in the nursery, one is from the same nest as Mauriora. Keepers are waiting to see what that brings.


Photo Credit: Mike Haydon and Pukaha Mount Bruce National Willdlife Center

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When Mom Can't Feed Her Cub, Zoo Keepers Step In


The Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland has been raising Siku, a one month old Polar Bear cub, by hand since his mother was unable to provide enough milk for him. Since birth, the cub has more than doubled in weight, and Zoo officials say little Siku is doing fine. Park Manager Frank Vigh-Larsen says the tiny cub was just two days old by the time it became clear he would not survive without intervention. Three keepers give Siku around the clock care to ensure he continues to grow and develop healthily.




Photo and video credit: Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland



Meet Riley the Seal Pup!


 On December 11, Moody Gardens welcomed a newborn harbor seal! Mom Presley and her pup have spent their short time together bonding through activities like nursing and exploring their exhibit.

“Nursing and sleeping are healthy behaviors for a pup. Right now Riley is curious about the environment and is quickly adapting to its surroundings,” said Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker. “Since there are just more than 100 harbor seals in captivity: this birth and Riley’s health is important to the entire species.”

Riley is not only an exciting birth for Moody Gardens, but also for parents Porter and Presley who first met in 2006. Porter, who was rescued near death off the coast of Maine after being abandoned by his mother, made his home at Moody Gardens in 2001. He had been bottle fed and nursed back to heath by workers at Marine Animal Lifeline, but after an infection destroyed his eye biologists decided Porter would not be able to survive in the wild. Five years later, Presley joined the Moody Gardens family after her caretakers at Memphis Zoo determined the young harbor seal needed a companion.

Although Presley and Porter have conceived in the past, this is the couple’s first successful birth and Porter have conceived in the past, this is the couple’s first successful birth.


Photo credits: Moody Gardens


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Little Rock Zoo Announces Little Monkey Twins


These twin Geoffroy's Marmosets were born November 21, 2011 on a very stormy night at the Little Rock Zoo. They were born to parents Becky and Santana.  In these photos they are riding on Santana (dad). Their sex remains unknown. Becky was very protective of them and was slow to let Santana carry them, but finally did.  They have an older brother, Carlos who was born in early 2010. He would like to help carry the babies, but so far has not been allowed.  They share and exhibit with a White Faced Saki family and 7 Green Iguanas.


Photo credit: Karen Caster, Primate Keeper at the Little Rock Zoo

UPDATE: Tarongas' Three Tiger Cubs Have a Penchant for Mischief


You may have first met these Sumantran tiger cubs from Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Zooborns' October blog post. Then the cubs, born in late August, were just beginning to go out in the habitat for an hour or two. Now they are thriving and growing - as evidenced in these photos taken by Zoo visitor Chris Kaas.  

Zoo Carnivore Supervisor, Louise Ginman said: “The three cubs are developing very quickly and watching mum’s every move. It’s great to see their individual personalities grow and the natural instincts displayed as they spend longer on exhibit."

"Kembali, the first-born male is very much like his father and can be unpredictable at times, which definitely keeps us on our toes," Louise continues, "whereas Sakti, the third-born is very calm and takes things in his stride. Kartika, the second and only female cub born, is definitely the most playful and adventurous, making sure she is the first to test out everything.” 

There are now more tigers in world zoos than in the wild (as few as 400), so zoo breeding programs are vital. These three cubs are a valuable boost to this critically endangered species.





Photo Credit: Chris Kara

More pictures and conservation information after the jump.

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There's Still Time To Get "ZooBorns CATS!" For The Holidays!


We are pleased to announce a winner in last week's ZooBorns CATS! hard cover book giveaway! The winner is Michele P. in Modesto CA. Many Thanks for your participation in the giveaway and congratulations to our winner.

Remember, there's still time to get ZooBorns CATS! for the holidays.

ZooBorns CATS! features adorable pictures of newborn felines from accredited zoos and conservation programs around the world. This is the largest and most complete collection of kittens of different feline species ever published! 

You can order ZooBorns CATS! any time on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. A percentage of proceeds from sales of "CATS!"  goes directly to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund.

What follows is a smattering of feline favorites from within the pages of CATS!

Clouded Leopard

Matsi, Nashville Zoo's Clouded Leopard Cub (Photo by Christian Sperka)

Sumatran Tiger

Daseep, Wuppertal Zoo's Sumatran Tiger Cub (Photo by (c)


Aguapo, Le Parc des Felins's Jagarundi Cub (Photo by Joelle Camus)


Unnamed Serval Kitten from The National Zoo (Photo by Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian National Zoological Park)

Baby Sugar Glider is Saved From Angry Birds!


This young Sugar Glider joey was found on a road about an hour drive from Sydney's Taronga Zoo being attacked by birds. Taronga vets discovered a small wound on her leg and Wildlife Nurse Annabelle took her home for round-the-clock-care. She’s now doing really well and has just moved into the Zoo’s Nocturnal House at Wild Australia. Sugar Gliders are nocturnal Marsupials native to Mainland Australia. Their most striking feature is a patagium, or membrane that stretches from their hands to their feet, allowing them to actually glide 50 - 150 meters. That's about a football field and a half! Great save Taronga!





Photo credit: Taronga Zoo

Ever Heard of Food Flagging Frogs?


These tiny tadpoles are a huge sensation at Schönbrunn Zoo, the first zoo to have succeeded in the breeding these food flagging frogs native to Borneo. Congratulations come from Professor Walter Hödl of the University of Vienna, one of the most renowned international amphibian specialists, saying: “This is the first breeding program world-wide!”

Food flagging frogs owe their name to the fact that they communicate by waving to each other. This habit comes from their adapting to their natural surroundings, as they live by roaring streams and waterfalls. In order to attract their fellows’ attention, they not only call but they also wave their hind legs. By doing this, they spread the coloured webs between their toes to emphasise their signals.


3 tads

Photo Credit: Photo 1 and 3 Schönbrunn Zoo/Norbert Potensky, Photo 2: Doris Preininger

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Second Grevy's Zebra Foal For Great Plains Zoo


Trinity, the 10-year-old Grevy's Zebra at Great Plains Zoo in South Dakota gave birth to a male foal weighing 80 pounds (36.28 kg). After a 13-month gestation, zebras give birth to a single foal. The foal typically weighs between 50 and 80 pounds. The Zoo’s animal care staff monitored the new family through the video camera system.

“Grevy’s Zebras are facing extinction, so this is a very important birth, not only for the Zoo, but for the survival of the entire Grevy’s Zebra population,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo. “Our Zoo plays a crucial role in maintaining the captive breeding population.”

Just like human newborns, the foal will spend much of his time sleeping, eating and settling in with his mother. He and his mother can be seen in the arena of the Hoofstock winter viewing building. This is the second foal born at the Zoo -- in September, the Zoo’s other 10-year-old Grevy’s named Demani also gave birth to a male weighing 100 pounds. That foal is thriving. The Zoo plans to ask the public for help in naming the pair of zebra foals in the new year.


Photo Credit: Great Plains Zoo

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Three's Company For Houston Zoo's Fossa Troupe!


On June 25, 2011, three Fossa pups were born to the Houston Zoo's female, Riana. Although Riana was only with her own mom for a few days before keeper’s had to intervene due to maternal aggression, she has proven to be an excellent and laid back mother. Houston Zoo carnivore keepers set up cameras in Riana’s nest box and because they were already raising an orangutan infant, the monitor was set up in the primate area. The overnight caregivers pulled double duty, monitoring Riana and her pups remotely while caring for baby Aurora, their hand-raised orangutan.

The litter turned out to be three girls, named Ingrid, Heidi and Gretchen in honor of their father, Hansel. True to their agile fossa nature, the girls are extremely active, tumbling around their enclosure while using their long tails for balance. One of their favorite activities is trying to run all together on their giant “hamster wheel”, built by Keeper Josh Young. Usually one of them wants to run the opposite direction from her sisters, which makes for some really great entertainment for our keeper staff!



Photo Credit: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

More pics and info below the fold!

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