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November 2011
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December 2011

UPDATE: Tiny Tano Now Taking Visitors!


Recently, ZooBorns reported on Tano the infant Gorilla's move from Prague Zoo to Wilhelma in Stuttgart, Germany. Tano has successfully completed his quarantine period and beginning today, lucky visitors can view the tiny Gorilla between 11.30 and 12 Noon. Tano can also be seen during his feeding times, although there is no set time table for these.

For the past three weeks, Tano has been cared for around the clock by surrogate mothers nurses Bea Jarczewski, Margot Federer and Thali Bauer. For now, the most important things in this little Gorilla baby's life are sleep, warmth, body contact, cuddling, vocalization, and of course, milk when he is hungry!



Photo credit: Wilhelma / Th. Bauer

Los Angeles Zoo's Tiger Cubs Debut!


The Sumatran Tiger cubs are ready to show their stripes to visitors of the Los Angeles Zoo. On Friday, December 9, 2011 the Zoo welcomes the adorable pair on-exhibit as they join their mother for their official public debut. Guests of the Zoo can finally visit the cubs and see first hand how energetic and playful they are. The cubs and their mother will transition off-exhibit various times throughout the day, allowing outdoor time for the Zoo’s male Sumatran Tiger.



Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

The L.A. Zoo welcomed the birth of the Sumatran tiger cubs on August 6, 2011. Since then, they’ve remained off-exhibit under the care of their mother and Zoo Keepers. While off-exhibit, Zoo fans have followed the cubs’ growth and development on their dedicated web page. This is the third litter of Sumatran tiger cubs born at the Los Angeles Zoo.

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UPDATE: More Pics of Vienna's Baby Anteater

Anteater 1

Look who's new at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna! This baby giant anteater, named “Hombrecito” by his keepers, made his appearance into the world on November 27, after a gestation period of 190 days. As is typical for anteaters, the newborn climbed straight onto his mother Emilia’s back, looking just like a miniature version of her. His fur pattern is a perfect camouflage when he sits on her back. Right now he's not too heavy -- Hombrecito weighs barely three pounds (1.4 kg) and measures just 14 inches (35cm) from his nose to the tip of his tail.

“During the first period, the little one rides piggy-back. When his mother sleeps – and anteaters do sleep a lot – the little one snoozes well covered by her bushy tail. He also suckles in this position”, explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.  “The mother suckles her young for around six months. But it does not take him long to discover his parents mash which he licks up with the long tongue typical for this species” says Schratter. One day he'll be wolfing down up to five thousand insects - or grubs - per minute!

The father, Silva, moved to Vienna from Colchester Zoo only a year ago. 





Photo Credits: Schönbrunn Zoo 

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Meet Perth's Newest Baby Puggle!


A prickly new arrival made its first public appearance at Perth Zoo yesterday. The Echidna Puggle, the latest breeding success at the zoo, was given a quick weigh and inspection by keepers, before being placed back in its nursery burrow where it will spend the next two to three months. The youngster weighed in at 526 grams and will continue to grow over the next three to four years before reaching the normal adult weight of around 4 kg. The Puggle, named Kai (Nyoongar for surprise), weighed less than one gram when it hatched in September and spent the first two months of its life in its mother’s pouch. “Once the puggle’s spines started to emerge the mother deposited it in the nursery burrow,” Perth Zoo’s Australian Fauna Supervisor Arthur Ferguson said.



Photo credit: Perth Zoo


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Eastern Bongo Baby Adds to Critically Endangered Species


There's a new Eastern bongo baby at Zoo Atlanta! First-time mother Matilda delivered this newest ambassador for the critically endangered species on December 2. The calf is the first for Matilda and the Father, Tambo. Both parents are 3 years old.

“Naturally, we’re delighted about any birth here at the Zoo, but Matilda’s calf also illustrates the role zoos can play in wildlife conservation,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “This is a species on the brink of extinction. Sharing the hope and joy of a new baby helps us educate our guests about these majestic animals and the need to preserve them in the wild.”

Known for their deep reddish coats and magnificent curved horns, bongos are the largest of the African antelope species. Largely due to their elusive nature, the animals were the subjects of legends and superstitions prior to their relatively recent discovery by western science in the 20th century.

Believed to number fewer than 500 in the wild in their native Kenya, eastern bongos face extinction as a result of habitat destruction, poaching and hunting for the bushmeat trade. Matilda and Tambo were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American Zoos and has reintroduced captive-born bongos to eastern Africa.


Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta


Baby Skunks for Boston's Museum of Science!


Boston's Museum of Science is excited to introduce its two new baby Striped Skunks! These babies arrived at the Museum on November 10. They were captive born on September 24. When they get a bit bigger they will begin their careers as education animals here at the museum. Best known for their powerful scent used as a defense mechanism, Striped Skunks are one of four species of North American Skunks and are native to New England. Most people can easily recognize the characteristic white striped marking which is jokingly referred to as "nature's stop sign".


Why is the Skunk black and white? It is typically most active at night and needs protection against its nocturnal predators. Since most nocturnal animals have more light sensing cells than color sensing cells in their eyes, a bright color would not stand out, but the distinct white stripe is easily visible. The stripe on skunks is unique to each individual. Can you notice the difference in these two skunks? Despite the warning signs, skunks do have a main predator and that is the Great Horned Owl. Owls swoop in above Skunks so it is hard for the Skunk to see them coming. Like most birds, the Great Horned Owl has a very poor sense of smell therefore it doesn't mind its smelly meal.

The Painting Ferrets Love ZooBorns!

As a holiday gift to ourselves, ZooBorns recently commissioned a stunning piece of performance art from the Painting Ferrets. We selected the "super polka" soundtrack for better and worse. Enjoy!

And remember, if you're looking for a holiday gift for yourself or an animal lover in your life, check out ZooBorns: Cats!, our original ZooBorns or our kids book ZooBorns!. Wow... that gets kind of confusing... They are all right here

African Sulcata Tortoise Hatchlings Pose For Family Portrait


These are a few of some 45 hatchlings from the Linton Zoological Gardens in the UK. They are African Sulcata Giant Tortoises, also knowns as Spurred Tortoises -- the third largest tortoise in the world, second only to the Galapagos and the Aldabra Tortoises. Some babies hatched in August, but most did in September, making them about 8 weeks old. All are eating well and growing. Hatchlings begin at 2-3 inches (.08-1.2 cm), quickly reaching 6-10 inches (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. Adults are usually 24 to 36 inch long (60–90 cm) and can weigh 100-200 pounds (45 – 91 kg). 

A representative from the Linton Zoo reported, "Getting these newly hatched all looking the same way proved to be an impossible task. Babies are not normally kept loose in the paddock with the adults, but enjoy the comfort and safety of nice warm vivariums with UV and Infra-red lamps, but we wanted to try to get a nice family portrait!"

Below they are with their mom, Kali, who is 30 years old, and one of the possible fathers of the four males at the Zoo. Each year their herd of six African Sulcata Giant Tortoises produce a few young, but this year they had a bumper hatch --which is how they ended up with over 40 babies from the two clutches.

This species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List, but fortunately zoological collections have mastered the art of breeding them in captivity. They are native to the Sahara in Africa.




Photo Credit: Linton Zoo

Vienna Zoo is Booming with ZooBorns!


A new arrival is delighting keepers at Austria's Zoo Vienna. On Sunday, the 27th of November, a baby Giant Anteater was born and dubbed 'Hombrecito' by zoo veterinarians. Immediately following the birth, mother and child were allowed much needed rest and privacy. Visitors are now able to see the little one clinging tightly to his mother's back.

Little Hombrecito weighs around 3 pounds and measures about 14 inches in length. His mother will nurse the pup for about six months. His coloration is so similar to his mothers that it provides an almost perfect camouflage for him when he is positioned on her back.


Giant Anteaters are among the most endangered animal species in Central and South America. This uncommon captive birth is a testament to the success of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), of which Vienna Zoo is key participant.


Hombrecito's birth was followed closely by the birth of a Vicuna calf, just three days later. Keepers believe this calf, the second Vicuna to be born at Vienna this year, is a female.

Photo credits: Norbert Potensky

Meet Nero, Maryland's Brand New Baby Sifaka!


The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce the birth of a second male Coquerel’s Sifaka (CAHK-ker-rells she-FAHK) baby born on Saturday, November 12, 2011, almost nine months to the day that his older brother Otto was born.  “We observed changes in Anastasia which made us suspect she might be pregnant, but we were not sure if it was just wishful thinking on our parts so soon after Otto’s birth,” stated Mike McClure, general curator.  “We are very pleased to see that the baby is healthy, and to observe that the Sifaka family is bonding quite nicely in a quiet off exhibit area for now.”



Photo and video credits: The Maryland Zoo

More pics below the fold...

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