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April 2012

It's Four Little Red Ruffed Lemur Babies for Jackson Zoo


Something was afoot at Mississippi's Jackson Zoo... the pitter patter of 16 little feet! Four little Red Ruffed Lemur babies were born on March 31. The litter was discovered on the morning of April first, after their birth the night before. Timmy, the father, is 27 years old, and the mother, named Moon, is 14. She and all her pups are doing very well. The genders of the babies are still unknown.

Like all lemurs, the Red Ruffed lemur is native to Madagascar. Newborns have fur and are born with eyes open. In the wild they stay in the nest as mom forages until they are about seven weeks old, when they begin to follow their parents through the treetops. These little ones at the zoo have just started to explore the outside area of their exhibit habitat. They usually become fully weaned after about four months.

Lemur babies 2012 009

Photo Credits: Jackson Zoo

What's Black and White But White All Over? Maryland Zoo's Baby Colobus Monkey


The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the birth of black-and-white Colobus Monkey, born on exhibit on April 21. This is the first baby for parents, Keri, age 14, and Bisi, age 19. The infant, whose gender is not yet known, is covered in white fur, and is a little hard to see as it clings tightly to its mother's belly. The staff are monitoring things very closely, and have seen the baby nurse. When appropriate they will do the first veterinary check.

“We have been hoping that this pair would breed successfully, however they are secretive breeders and we were not certain she was pregnant,” stated Mike McClure, general curator. “We were very happy to see this new offspring arrive this morning. We want the mother and baby to be as comfortable as possible, so we are not attempting to bring them off exhibit to check on the infant at this time."

The species is considered in decline as they are threatened by loss of forest habitat across equatorial Africa, and are also hunted for their meat and fur. This birth is the result of a recommendation from the Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity and appropriate social groupings, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the captive population and the health of individual animals. 

Photo Credit: Maryland Zoo

Read more about the colobus after the jump:

Continue reading "What's Black and White But White All Over? Maryland Zoo's Baby Colobus Monkey" »

Orphan Otter Finds New Home in Pittsburgh


Back in March we brought you the story of a young Sea Otter rescued by the residents of Port Heiden, Alaska. Discovered alone on the beach next to his deceased mother, the pup was cared for overnight by concerned citizens, then flown to the Alaska SeaLife Center. One month and one FedEx plane ride later, the pup begins a new life at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium and will go on exhibit next Friday, April 27th. FedEx specializes in transporting animals between zoological institutions safely and comfortably. 


20120418_Meshik-0334Above photo credits: Alaska SeaLife Center

The next milestone for the little pup will be to acclimate to his new environment in Pittsburgh, begin eating solid food, respond to keeper’s cues which will teach him cooperative and husbandry behaviors. These behaviors will allow him to participate in his own care such as voluntary weigh-ins, and presentation of paws and flippers. He will develop his natural instincts as he grows and when he is bigger will be slowly introduced to Alki and Chugach, the Zoo’s current sea otter residents.

Otter Pup at Pittsburgh ZooSea Otter pup arriving in Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Baby Tamandua Time - A First for the Minnesota Zoo!

Minnesota Zoo Baby Anteater 2

The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the  rare birth of a Southern Tamandua (pronounced tah-man-do-ah) infant. It is the first Tamandua ever born at the Zoo.  

Born April 8, the Tamandua – a female – has been spending time bonding with her mom in their exhibit on the Tropics Trail. She weighs just under one pound; zoo keepers are still deciding on a name. There are just 30 Tamanduas in AZA-accredited institutions in North America. 

Baby Tamandua with Mom at Minnesota Zoo

2012.04.12 Tropics PM 40Photo credits: 1st and 3rd photos, Galen Sjostrom. 2nd photo Delaina Clementson.

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Southern Tamanduas have long, curved snouts and long arms that end in sharp claws. Well-designed to take advantage of the abundance of insects living in the rainforest, their thick, coarse fur helps keep ants from biting their skin.  They eat ants, termites, grubs, bees, and honey. Tamanduas can be found in a variety of tropical habitats, from rain forests to arid savannas, and are commonly found near rivers and streams. Clumsy on the ground, these animals spend most of their time in trees, using their long tails to grab branches while climbing. Sometimes called “the stinkers of the forest,” Tamanduas give off a strong smell to mark their territory and scare away other animals.

Lamb Born at Central Park Zoo Signals the End of Winter

Lamb CU crop

March went in and out like a lamb this year – represented by this new Babydoll Lamb at the Central Park Zoo’s Tisch Children’s Zoo. Born on March 1 to mom Turnip and dad Sid, the arrival of the lamb, named Kiwi, is a sure sign that spring is upon us.

Besides being easy on the eyes, these teddy bear-faced sheep are intelligent, quite docile and tame easily. The gentle creatures measure less than 24" tall from the shoulder once fully grown, and as adults, weigh 70 to 150 pounds. They make good weeders and lawn mowers, as they graze all through the day on grasses. 

As senior keeper Rob Gramzay has noticed, Kiwi is getting bigger and bigger by the day. She was only about 7 pounds (3.18 kilos) when she was born -- but now she's an armful! 

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher

Aardvark Baby #8 for Colchester Zoo

Baby Aardvark Asleep at Colchester Zoo1

Colchester Zoo continued its incredible Aardvark breeding success with the birth of an eighth baby, the seventh for mama Aardvark Oq! Colchester Zoo Curator Lisa Doran reported that “Both mum and baby are doing well and baby is a very large and healthy size.”

Oq and baby are currently housed in the birthing burrow whilst the baby grows strong. They will be able to return to the rest of the group within approximately a month, when the youngster will be strong enough to survive any bumps from the rest of the group who are notoriously clumsy.

Aardvark Baby with Mom at Colchester Zoo 2b

Aardvark Baby with Mom at Colchester Zoo 2a

Aardvarks are native to Africa living mainly in the sub-Saharan areas. Their habitat is generally grasslands and open woodland and their diet consists of ants, termites, fruit and other insects.

Anthony Tropeano, Zoological Director at Colchester Zoo said, “We are delighted to have another success with our breeding group of Aardvarks and very proud of the breeding record to date.  Our dedicated keepers are watching the new baby round the clock to ensure that it is thriving and we very much hope that it continues to do well.”

Aardvark baby rolled on back

Toco Toucan Chicks - A ZooBorns First!


The newest baby birds at Zoo Atlanta may take a little while to grow into their looks. Two Toco Toucan chicks hatched around St. Patrick’s Day – a success for a species that can be difficult to breed in captivity.

The chicks are healthy and thriving in an off-exhibit building, where they are currently being hand-reared by Zoo staff. Toucan chicks have soft beaks, which increases their risk of injury in the first few weeks before they fledge. As a precaution, Zoo Atlanta staff removed the new arrivals from their parents’ nest when the chicks were 3 weeks old.

Native to South America, Toco Toucans are the largest and most recognizable of the toucan species sporting black plumage, white throats and bright orange bills.




Check out the chicks at just four weeks old below!

Toco-chicks1-Apr-12Photo credits: Zoo Atlanta

Lulu and Roscoe Romp Through Milwaukee County Zoo

Fennec_fox_kits_4-12-12 (24)

Meet Lulu and Roscoe, the Milwaukee County Zoo's newest Fennec Fox kits. Born January 27th, the cubs recently made their public debut accompanied by mom, Daisy, and father, Duke. Fennec foxes' oversized ears act like natural air conditioners, radiating heat away from their bodies and cooling their blood in the light desert breeze. Their ears also help detect tasty prey at night, including small insects scurrying nearly-silently atop the sand.

Keepers describe the kits as very playful, enjoying their toys and rough-housing with each other. 

Fennec_fox_kits_4-12-12 (52)

Fennec_fox_kits_4-12-12 (22)Photo credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

She's All Legs! Fresno Chaffee Zoo's New Baby Giraffe


A female Reticulated Giraffe calf was born on April 5 at California's Fresno Chaffee Zoo. She came into the world at approximately 10 a.m. to Baba, her 18 year old mother, and Angalia (or “Gali” as he’s called), her father. She started life at 5 1/5 ft tall and 125 pounds (57 kmgs).

She is in the process of being named by a FB contest on the Fresno Chaffee Zoo's wall if you would like to weigh in and vote.


Photo Credit: Fresno Chaffe Zoo

A Bond To Last A Lifetime, One Year Later

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 3

Who can forget Kasi, Busch Gardens' Cheetah Cub born January 17th 2011, and his playpal Mtani, the Labrador Retriever puppy? For readers who've never met the dynamic duo, Kasi was paired with Mtani in order to help him get accustomed to socializing with other animals. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” explained animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life."

Monday, April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the first time park guests got to see an 8-week-old male cheetah cub and a 16-week-old female yellow Labrador puppy start to strike up a friendship that the park’s animal experts expect to last a lifetime. Now, a year later, they live together full time at the park’s Cheetah Run habitat and even travel together to schools, events and television studios, helping the park’s education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.



Photo credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Learn more about the pair's anniversary beneath the fold...

Continue reading "A Bond To Last A Lifetime, One Year Later" »