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December 2011
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February 2012

January 2012

Meet "Muppet", Taronga Zoo's Andean Condor Chick

Condor chick

Taronga Zoo’s bird Keepers are celebrating the hatching of a very precious Andean Condor chick. The parents, Connie and Bruce, are the only breeding pair in Australasia and their Keepers were hopeful that this breeding season the pair would produce two offspring.

To help the parents achieve this, the Bird Team incubated the first egg they laid. On the November 23, after two months of very careful monitoring and special conditions (including regular candling to check that the egg was healthy and had good vein development), a very strong chick pushed her way out of the egg, much to the delight of all!

This chick became even more of a triumph for the Zoo as the second egg, which the parents subsequently laid and incubated themselves, didn’t make it.

Taronga’s Keepers are currently hand raising the youngster who is thriving. The very curious female, who is yet being called "Muppet" in lieu of any here-to-fore official name, will eventually be a star in the QBE Free Flight Bird Show, swooping her massive wing span across the audience as she flies on to stage and educates people about her wild cousins which are threatened in the wild. 

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Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo

 


Twin Cheetah Cubs Await Names

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The Wilds in Ohio just finished their naming contest for their twin cheetah cubs, one male and one female, born on Octotber 31 to mom Tabu. We hear they are down to 4-6 sets of names but thought you'd like to see these babies as they decide. This is the second litter for Tabu but the first she is raising on her own. She's doing a great job, and has been very protective of her two little cubs.

Female cheetahs typically bear three to five cubs in a litter and the cubs stay with their mothers until they are 12 to 20 months old. A full-grown adult cheetah weighs between 86 and 143 pounds. Cheetahs live and hunt in open grasslands and bushy areas in parts of Africa and the Middle East. They are the fastest land mammals, reaching speeds of 60 to 70 miles an hour over short distances. 

Cheetahs are included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species (African subspecies threatened, Asiatic subspecies in critical situation) as well as on the US Endangered Species Act: threatened species. Today there are just 12,400 cheetahs remaining in the wild, and the biggest population is currently located in Namibia with about 2,500 individuals. Asiatic subspecies is critically endangered counting only fifty to sixty individuals that still have their habitats in Iran.

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Photo Credit: The Wilds

 


Tapir Trio Takes Twenty-Twelve By Storm!

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Three baby Tapirs are taking 2012 by storm! First it was the U.K.'s Chester Zoo, whose female Tapir, Jennifer, gave birth to a little girl (pictured above) on December 27. The calf, named Talia, is doing really well and has already been seen out and about, foraging for food. Then on New Year's Eve a male South American Tapir (2nd and 3rd pictures) was born at the Netherlands' Artis Zoo. Last but not least, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo welcomed a female Tapir calf (last 2 pictures) on New Years Day. There are four species of tapir native to Southeast Asia and in Central and South America, all of which are classified as endangered due to ongoing decline.

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His Name is Tambo! Baby Black Crested Macaque at Drusillas Park

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A critically endangered monkey has been born at the UK's Drusillas Park, as part of the European breeding program. The Sulawesi Black Crested macaque was delivered on October 25 and staff are delighted. Parents Kendari and Moteck were introduced at Drusillas in 2010, after being re-homed respectively from Chester Zoo and Monkey Park in Israel. The new arrival is the couple’s first baby together and hopefully will be one of many more to come.

These large impressive monkeys have just one baby at a time, born with a pink face which darkens with age. So far the baby boy, just named Tambo after the Zoo's naming contest, is thriving alongside Mom and Dad. He will remain very dependent for the next four to five months, clinging to his mother who will nurse him for at least a year. 

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “It is wonderful to see the new addition to our macaque family. He is showing a lot of interest in his surroundings and being doted on by his cousin Kamala who was born at Drusillas in 2010. We are expecting a lot of monkeying around from these two over the coming months.”

Black crested macaques are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where they are now regarded as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). In the last 40 years it is estimated that the population has been reduced by more than 80% due to habitat loss and hunting pressure and they now face the very real threat of extinction in the wild.

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Kendari

Photo Credits: Drusillas Park Zoo

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All Eyes On Siku, The Baby Polar Bear Sensation!

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The Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland's (southeast of Kolind, Denmark) female Polar Bear, Ilka, gave birth to a single male cub on November 22. After two days the park decided to immobilize Ilka, because the cub was constantly screaming and very unsettled. Ilka could not produce milk, so instead of leaving the cub to die, keepers decided to try to bottle feed him. Siku is now 32 days old, and weighs 3,200 grams.

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Photo and video credit: Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland

The cub's name is SIKU, which means “Sea ice” in Greenlandic language. The name is symbolic, because Polar Bears are 100% dependant on sea ice for their survival. Polar bears catch all their prey from the sea ice, so no sea ice - no Polar Bears. With sea ice in the Arctic Sea rapidly diminishing, the latest forecasts predict that the Polar Bear may be almost extinct in the wild 40 years from now.

Continue reading "All Eyes On Siku, The Baby Polar Bear Sensation!" »


Wooly White Baby Colobus Arrives at Drusillas Park

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The UK's Drusillas Park is celebrating the arrival of a baby Colobus monkey - the first to be bred at the Zoo. The little scamp was born on November 18 and is looking extremely alert alongside parents, Elgon and Isis. Born covered in wooly white fur resembleing a lamb, it will be approximately six months before the baby develops the black and white color like the adults.

The new arrival is being closely guarded by mom but will become increasingly confident over the coming weeks. These large black and white monkeys live in family groups of up to 20, which often consist of a male and several females plus their young. They usually have one baby at a time. 

This family group was re-homed to the zoo at the beginning of the year from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. In the wild, they inhabit the forests of central Africa where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. Colobus monkeys are highly arboreal, travelling through the treetops using their elongated arms and legs to spring from branch to branch. A long mane hangs from their shoulders like a cape as they perform hair-raising displays of jumps and lunges. 

The colobus monkeys at Drusillas Park are part of a European breeding program. Hopefully, the family tree will continue to grow at the zoo for many years to come.

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Photo Credits: Photo 1: Vic Sharratt, Photos 2, 3: Drusillas Park Zoo


Taronga Tiger Cub Tuesday!

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How better to say Happy New Year than with updated pictures on the trio of Sumantran Tiger cubs at Australia's Taronga Zoo? You can read all about these beautiful babies on ZooBorns both HERE and HERE.  The three, Sakti, Kartika and Kembali, are full of energy and play - and keep mom Jumilah on her paws... as seen in the video below.

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

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Photo Credit: Bobby-Jo Clow



Good News! Critically Endangered Spider Monkey Born at Twycross Zoo

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Born December 8, these are the early pictures of a new baby Veriegated Spider Monkey at the UK's Twycross Zoo. This is the first Spider monkey baby born there in 10 years. And as you can see, the baby's mum takes good care to cradle her baby when outdoors. At times, the whole family gathers round while the baby sleeps, secure on it's mother's shoulder.

Veriegated Spider monkeys are critically endangered due to habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade and are listed as one of the 25 most endangered primates by IUCW. It's estimated that over 90% of their natural habitat in northern Columbia and north-western Venezuelais is already gone and of the approximately 60 Spider monkeys in Eurpoean zoos, there were no births in the year of May 2009-2010. That makes this baby a very valuable and important addition to the remaining population.

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Photo Credits: Gillian Day

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Ringing In The New Year With 6 Tiny Turtle Hatchlings

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Zoo Prague rang in the New Year with the hatching of six baby Leopard Tortoises. Three of the six had hatched yesterday and the remaining three emerged in time for New Year's day. The fourth largest Turtle species in the world, Leopard Tortoises can grow to be 28 inches long and weigh 120 pounds! The striking pattern on its shell gives the Leopard Tortoise it's name. While little is known about the reproduction requirements for these Tortoises, Zoo Prague were the first breeders of the species to learn that cool temperatures (between 10 and 15 degrees celsius) were needed for the initial development of their eggs.

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Photo credit: Peter Velenský, Prague Zoo

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