Previous month:
February 2012
Next month:
April 2012

March 2012

Tiny Tiger Triplets Just Born at Calgary Zoo!


Canada's Calgary Zoo announced that between approximately 4:30 am and 7:00 am on March 30, three Amur tiger cubs were born to female Katja. Their father is Baikal. For the moment, the mother and cubs are being allowed to bond in the security of the birthing area and can only be seen on the webcams (video below). ZooBorns will post updates  - pictures and video - as they grow. 

The birth of these tiny cubs, each weighing an estimated 1.6 pounds (750 gms) is potentially great news for this highly-endangered species. The birth is a result of a breeding recommendation for eleven-year old Katja and ten-year old Baikal from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Program (SSP) for Amur tigers of which the Calgary Zoo is a participant.

Amur tigers are classified as endangered and at the last census conducted in the wild it was estimated that only about 350 - 400 Amur tigers remain. To put into perspective the truly endangered status of these beautiful animals, these three tiny cubs are representative of almost 1% of the entire wild population.



Photo Credit: Calgary Zoo

Second Baby Aardvark For Busch Gardens!


Busch Gardens welcomed its newest resident earlier this week: an adorable Aardvark born Monday, March 26. The healthy baby weighs about 4.8 pounds and is expected to grow to more than 120 lbs. within its first year.

It is currently living behind the scenes at Jambo Junction – located in the Nairobi area of the park – and is receiving care from members of the animal care team. The baby will join mom “Izzy” and dad “Friz” in the upcoming weeks and will be an Animal Ambassador for the park, along with its older brother “Zawadi,” who will be a year old on April 10.

There are fewer than 40 aardvarks in zoos in North America. They are solitary by nature, and Aardvark births are not common. 





Photo credits: Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Meet Jasper The Baby Barn Owl


A five-week-old barn owl, named “Jasper,” born on February 16, is being hand raised for the Cincinnati Zoo's outreach program. Jasper came to Cincinnati from the World Bird Sanctuary in Saint Louis, MO. He is spending quality time getting acquainted with Zoo staff because his days will soon include interacting with school children, greeting visitors at the Zoo, and traveling to schools throughout the Tri-state, as an official Zoo Outreach Animal.




Meet Burrowing Owlets Linford and Christie


News from the UK's Longleat Safari & Adventure Park: A pair of tiny hand-reared baby Burrowing Owls have taken to using teacups to roost in during the day. The owlets, nicknamed Linford and Christie (as they were hatched in the year of the London Olympics), are being cared for by keeper Jimmy Robinson. 

They hatched at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover six weeks ago in February in an incubator and have had to be hand reared now. “Basically I have had to have them with me 24 hours a day every day and that means taking them home with me in the evening and getting up in the middle of the night to feed them,” Jimmy said, adding, “I spend so much time with them they do look at me as their surrogate mom and will follow me around the house or sit on my shoulder. They also enjoy the security of sitting inside their teacups and like to find small spaces on my bookshelf and in between my DVD collection to snuggle up into."

Found throughout the Americas, the burrowing owl is so named because itlives in underground burrows that have been dug out by small mammals such asprairie dogs and ground squirrels. Unlike most owls they are active during the day.



With keeper
Photo Credit: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

Read more after the jump...

Continue reading "Meet Burrowing Owlets Linford and Christie" »

South Africa Welcomes Prince Harry, A Brand New Pygmy Hippo


In the early hours of last Thursday morning, The Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa welcomed a new little fresh-faced baby. Hilda and Herbert, the Pygmy Hippopotamus pair had successfully mated and gifted the ranch with a beautiful 5.1kg healthy baby boy named Harry.

Hilda's water broke last Wednesday afternoon, creating much excitement and anticipation on the ranch. Immediately Hilda and Herbert were separated, making it easier for staff to observe Hilda. The Hippo pond was drained as well to eliminate the risk of her giving birth in the water. Ranch Director, Rob Hall, and Reptile Curator, Neal Martin monitored Hilda throughout Wednesday night...quietly watching her from a safe distance. After a long and uncomfortable night Rob and Neal dozed off just after 5h30 and awoke just less than an hour later, only to discover that Hilda had just given birth! They quietly observed the mother and baby for some time. Hilda was clearly exhausted!








Photo credits: Cango Wildlife Reserve

The Pygmy Hippopotamus' wild population is classified as critically endangered. There are fewer than 3000 left in the wild. They hail from West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. So for Cango Wildlife Ranch, from Oudtshoorn South Africa, to successfully breed another endangered species is a very proud moment for all involved.


Read more beneath the fold.

Continue reading "South Africa Welcomes Prince Harry, A Brand New Pygmy Hippo" »

SeaWorld Orlando Rescues Two Month Old Turtle Hatchlings


The animal rescue team at SeaWorld Orlando received two Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings earlier this week.  They are approximately two months old.
The first was found at Melbourne Beach by a tourist and was delivered to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Melbourne Beach, Fla. It weighs only 2 ounces and is nearly 3 inches long. The hatchling was lethargic and weak when it arrived. The second was found in Cocoa Beach, covered with algae and fauna, and also brought to the Society weighing 2.5 ounces and measuring just over 3 inches long. Both were taken to SeaWorld for examination and continued care, including, feeding, giving fluids and around-the-clock observation and monitoring.  

It’s a tough journey ahead but both turtles are looking better and are showing positive signs. Hawksbill turtles are endangered due to human exploitation and habitat degradation.    


Photo Credit: SeaWorld Orlando 

Read more after the jump:

Continue reading "SeaWorld Orlando Rescues Two Month Old Turtle Hatchlings" »

Two Sets of Twin Clouded Leopards For Nashville!


Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the births of two litters of Clouded Leopards. On Feb. 13, Lom Choy and her mate Luk welcomed two cubs, one male and one female. On March 11, Jing Jai and her mate Arun also welcomed a male and female pair. Both sets of parents are housed off-exhibit, and the cubs are being hand-reared together. In the coming weeks, a female Clouded Leopard cub born March 8 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. will arrive to join Nashville’s four. The zoo plans to place all five on public exhibit this summer. A specific date will be announced soon. 

“Nashville Zoo is one of only three zoos in the United States that is currently breeding these dynamic cats,” said Karen Rice, mammal curator at the Zoo. “These cubs will greatly contribute to the Clouded Leopard population and breeding efforts at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions across the country.” 

Photo and video credits: Christian Sperka / Nahville Zoo

Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program, Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted Clouded Leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. 

Introducing clouded leopards to potential mates is difficult due to the cat’s reclusive disposition. Male Clouded Leopards are often aggressive and have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce fatal attacks, cubs are hand-raised and introduced to mates at a young age. Since 2009, 11 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.

Visitors Witness Rare Giant Anteater Birth


Visitors to Longleat Safari & Adventure Park in Wiltshire, UK had an unexpected surprise when they witnessed the arrival of a rare baby Giant Anteater. Choccy, as he’s been nicknamed by keepers, made his unscheduled appearance on March 9 in front of a stunned audience of onlookers. The tiny anteater’s arrival is particularly welcome as the species is officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

For the first six months mom Maroni will carry Choccy on her back virtually all the time. The baby takes milk by moving around underneath her and only very rarely lets go. The baby aligns itself to the pattern on mom's back to provide camouflage from any predators who might prey on the young. It’s so effective that it’s almost as if the baby become invisible.

Giant Anteaters originate from South America and can be found in tropical and deciduous forests. As its name suggests the giant anteater is the largest of the anteater family and can grow to over two metres in length with tongues that extend to more than 60cm. Their long nose, tongue and sharp claws enable them to get to into ant and termite mounds, eating over 30,000 insects in a single day!


Photo Credit: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park 

Read more after the jump.

Continue reading "Visitors Witness Rare Giant Anteater Birth" »

Brookfield Zoo Black-footed Kitten Bonanza!


The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is happy to announce its newest addition, and a first for the zoo: a Black-footed Cat born on February 14.

Although staff are now cautiously optimistic about the kitten’s future, such was not the case in the beginning. Hours after his birth, Animal Programs staff became concerned about the male kitten’s well-being because his 4-year-old mother, Cleo, appeared not to be providing proper maternal care. The kitten was not nursing and his body temperature was alarmingly low. Additionally, he was significantly underweight at birth.






Photo credits: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society


To ensure that he had a chance for survival, staff quickly decided to intervene and handrear the kitten at the Chicago Zoological Society’s Animal Hospital, where he received round-the-clock care. He was placed in an incubator to increase and maintain his body temperature. Now 6 weeks old and gaining weight, the kitten is being fed a milk formula from a small bottle and is starting to eat solid foods.

The story continues after the jump with more photos...

Continue reading "Brookfield Zoo Black-footed Kitten Bonanza!" »

Meet Lion Cubs Mtai and Serafina


Female African lion “Cabara,” age 6, gave birth to four cubs on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2012, at the Saint Louis Zoo. Unfortunately, two of the cubs born did not survive because Cabara was unable to produce milk to feed them. Zoo staff intervened, and the two surviving female cubs are currently being hand-reared by staff in a behind-the-scenes nursery at the Children’s Zoo.

“In the wild, it is not uncommon for lion mothers to rear fewer than fifty percent of the cubs born in a litter,” says Steve Bircher, curator of mammals/carnivores at the Saint Louis Zoo. “The cubs are growing rapidly and appear to be healthy.”



Photo credits: Rachael Macy/Saint Louis Zoo

The cubs’ names are “Mtai” (pronounced Muh-TIE), after a village in Tanzania, and “Serafina,” which means “angel” in African Swahili. At six weeks, they are eating some meat and drinking formula from bottles.