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January 2012
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March 2012

February 2012

2 New Meerkat Pups For Wellington Zoo


New Zealand's Wellington Zoo welcomed a pair of Meerkat pups in January. The couplet is vivacious and healthy according to zoo officials. The birth of new Meerkats is a great opportunity for zoo visitors to observe how each Meerkat has special duties that benefit the group. The babysitters stay close to the burrow with youngsters under their care. The sentries will scan the horizon and sky for predators and the hunters will dig for food, some of which will be given to the young. The young will accompany the group on foraging trips from about 2 months.


Photo credits: Wellington Zoo

New Giraffe Baby Debuts at Oakland Zoo


There's a new giraffe calf at the Oakland Zoo in California and it's a little girl! Born in January 12, to mom Twiga and dad Mabusu, she's been named Maggie and weighed 80 pounds and was seventy-two inches tall at birth. This is the first female giraffe born at the Zoo in nearly a decade. On February 2 Maggie made make her grand debut to the public.

The Oakland Zoo is thrilled to be a partner and supporter of the Reticulated Giraffe Research Project based in the Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. John Doherty, principal researcher for the project, joined the Oakland Zoo giraffe keepers at the Zoo on February 2nd to speak about some of the crucial conservation issues facing this majestic species.  

Maggie is on exhibit every day between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with the rest of the herd.



Photo credit: Nancy Filippi/Oakland Zoo

Rescued Sea Otter Pup United With Surrogate Mom On Valentine's Day!


A rescued male Sea Otter pup, being cared for by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was just placed on the Sea Otter exhibit on Valentine’s Day with experienced surrogate sea otter mother, Joy. The debut of the 8 week old pup makes him the youngest Sea Otter in the aquarium’s history to become part of the two-story exhibit, which is a permanent home for rescued Sea Otters that can’t be returned to the wild. The pup, known as 572, is the 572nd stranded Sea Otter to be brought into the aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program since 1984. He will be named after he is transferred to his permanent home – another accredited facility – later this year.




©Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder

Pup 572 came to the aquarium on January 5 from a Cayucos-area beach (San Luis Obispo County) as a 2 week-old stranded animal weighing less than six pounds. On arrival he was found to have a superficial laceration on his right shoulder, possibly the result of a great white shark bite that may have killed his mother. He was admitted into the aquarium’s veterinary intensive care unit, where he was cared for until he was introduced to surrogate mother Joy on exhibit after the aquarium closed to the public on February 13. He is the seventh pup, in the last two years, to enter the aquarium’s Sea Otter program after the mother presumably suffered a fatal bite from a great white shark. Pup 572 now weighs 15 pounds, having gained 9 pounds in just under six weeks and is a robust, healthy, developmentally normal pup.

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Tiny Spiny Turtle Hatchling at the Tennessee Aquarium


Big news at the Tennessee Aquarium: A highly endangered spiny turtle (Heosemys spinosa) hatched over last weekend of February 4 from a single egg that was incubated at 82 degrees for about 105 days. This latest hatchling is only about 5 cm long and weighs 37 grams.

According to Tennessee Aquarium senior herpetologist Bill Hughes, this tiny turtle is a big success story for a species on the brink of extinction in the wild. "Captive breeding of this species is still an uncommon event, with only three other U.S. zoos having success," Hughes said.  "However, we have worked carefully with these animals and have had 13 spiny turtles to hatch at the Aquarium since 2007."

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has listed this species as Critically Endangered in Indonesia, and Endangered in other parts of its range. Over-collecting these animals in the wild has led to the demise of these rather amazing turtles. Hatchlings like this one, and others in this special management program, represent the last hope if this species vanishes in the wild. So each rare turtle hatchling is worth celebrating.

Photo Credit: Bill Hughes

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Dexter, The Baby Tapir, at Two-Hours Old!


A male Brazilian Tapir has been born at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. The new arrival, named Dexter, was born on Sunday, February 5th. His parents are Misha and Ryan. Paignton Zoo has enjoyed regular successes with Tapirs, breeding seven young over the last 11 years.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: “There are few zoo youngsters as endearing as a baby Tapir. It is always good news to breed such a popular and charismatic species.”

Photo credit: Paignton Zoo

Brazilian or lowland tapirs are threatened due to habitat destruction and hunting for food. The population in European zoos is managed co-operatively.

Tapirs live in wet forest and grassland, where they eat grasses, leaves, buds, fruits and aquatic vegetation. The tapir's short, fleshy, trunk-like nose helps the animal to sniff its way through the forest and is a sensitive finger used to pluck leaves and shoots. This prehensile snout also makes a great snorkel when the tapirs are bathing. They love water and are excellent swimmers.

A single youngster is born after a gestation period of about 13 months. Baby tapirs have striped and spotted coats for camouflage but they lose their patterns as they grow older.

Newborn Colobus Infant Captures Keepers Hearts

Cuddle CU

Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park are in love with a week old baby Colobus Monkey – the latest addition to one of the black and white Colobus groups at the park. At this young age keepers are unable to tell whether it is male or female. Since Colobus are a social group, all the females in the troup, not just mom, will take responsibility for the little one's care, keeping it warmed, protected and nourished for at least the first few months of it's life. 

Adult black and white Colobus monkeys have striking black pelts with a white mantel and a long white tip to their tail. The young are born entirely white and their coloring will appear gradually as they mature. Their dramatic black and white pelts are still highly prized and hunting. That, along with deforestation across their natural habitat of equatorial Africa, has resulted in a decline of numbers.

Infant colobus c The Aspinall Foundation

Photo Credit: Port Lympne/Aspinall Foundation

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Silvery Langur Baby Swings Into Santa Ana Zoo


The Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park is pleased to announce the birth of a Silvery Langur (Trachypithecus cristatus) on the 31st of January, 2012. The proud parents are Oliver and Daria. The yet to be named baby is the second offspring of this pair. Mom, dad and baby can be found at home in the primate area at the zoo.

Bright orange at birth with pale skin, over the first three to five months of life Silvery Langurs change to a grayish coat with a darker face and hands, and eventually weigh up to fifteen pounds.  Silvery Langurs are at home in the dense tropical forests of Indonesia and Malaysia where they are considered near threatened with a decreasing population mostly due to land clearance, often for palm oil plantations. Silvery Langurs are specialist leaf eaters with a digestive system adapted to ferment the tough cellulose material in leaves.  With a diet high in vegetation, Langurs will sit quietly for many hours digesting their food.   


Photo credits: Ethan Fisher

The Santa Ana Zoo has housed Silvery Langurs since 1984, and holds the longevity record for this species with a female reaching over 35 years of age.  This birth at the Santa Ana Zoo and was a collaborative effort with Species Survival Plan Program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  The mission of the AZA Species Survival Plan Programs is to manage and conserve select threatened or endangered, ex situ populations through the cooperation of AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums.

The new baby is on view for the public daily between 10:00AM and 4:00PM at the Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park, 1801 Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

New Baby Anteater for Brevard Zoo


The Brevard Zoo in Florida has welcomed its first baby Giant Anteater. The little one, born on January 26 to mother Boo and dad Abner, will hitch a ride on mom's back for the first year of its life. The baby's gender is currently unknown.

“It’s very exciting for us because it’s the first time we’ve had a giant anteater born at the zoo,” said zoo marketing director Andrea Hill. Hills said they do not normally name new animals for about 30 days -- roughly the time it takes for them to adjust and be ready to go out on exhibit. Their group of anteaters are being kept off exhibit until they all adjust to the new baby.

Giant Anteaters are usually solitary mammals in the wild that come together to mate. An adult female gives birth to just one baby, called a pup. Pups are born with a full coat of hair; similar coloring helps the baby blend in so predators can't see it. 



Photo Credit: Brevard Zoo

Speaking of Speke's Gazelles...


A new female Speke's gazelle named Iris was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on January 6. This is the second offspring for mother Lily and father Chip. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Speke's Gazelle Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Speke's gazelles in AZA zoos.

These small antelope are quite endangered in their arid homeland of Somalia. Their pale fawn color blends well with the sandy terrain there. To avoid predators, newborn calves lie motionless in the sparse vegetation, emerging from hiding long enough to nurse. 

The gazelle family can be seen together outside at Red Rocks on warmer days and inside the Antelope House on colder days. You can see in the video below that Iris has been exploring the habitat and getting used to stretching her legs by dodging adults and generally darting around!

CU Spekes w mom

Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo


Dingo Puppies!

White puppy

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Dingoes Naya and Mattie became the proud parents of seven adorable puppies on January 30.  The four male and three female pups are the first Dingoes to be born at the zoo since 1988.

“All of the pups appear strong and healthy, and Naya and Mattie are excellent parents,” says Elaine Kirchner, Australian Adventure Area Manager. 

For now, the puppies live indoors in a cozy nest box. When Naya enters the nest box, the puppies whimper and crawl to her belly, where they nurse.  The pups’ eyes will open at around two weeks of age, and they may begin to venture out of the nest box to explore the Dingoes’ heated indoor quarters.

Puppy pile

The brown puppies will have the typical ginger-colored coat as adults.  The litter includes 4 males and 3 females

The puppies are weighed every day.  Each has doubled its weight in its first week of life

Seven digo pups were born at the zoo on January 30.  All three colors of dingo are represented in the litter, which is unusual

Puppies in bowl

Puppies 2
Photo credits: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Mattie and Naya are one of only about 75 pairs of pure Dingoes worldwide, so the pups are an important addition to the pure Dingo population.  In Australia, Dingoes have widely hybridized with domestic dogs, so pure Dingoes are rare.  Mattie and Naya came to the zoo from Australia in 2010.

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