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May 2012

Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at Point Defiance

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ZooBorns strives to highlight the ways animals born at accredited zoos and aquariums can directly support vital conservation programs in the wild. Perhaps no effort better illustrates this than the Red Wolf Recovery Program, for which the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is the flagship breeding facility.

Hunted, poisoned and cut off from natural habitat, Red Wolves were formally declared extinct in the wild after biologists captured the remaining 17 wolves in the 1970s for an ambitious new pilot breeding program. Remarkably, 14 of the those wolves bred in captivity and by 1987 enough pups had been born for the US Fish & Wildlife to attempt reintroduction efforts.

Today over 100 Red Wolves roam their native habitats in northeastern North Carolina. While this a far cry from the tens of thousands that once ranged from New England to Florida, it still represents a tremendous success, marking the first time a predator population has been rebuilt in the wild after being declared extinct in the wild.

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On May 14, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff were delighted to welcome 8 critically endangered Red Wolf pups to mother Millie, an 8-year-old female, and father 9-year-old Graham. Millie is an attentive and protective mother, said Will Waddell, the zoo’s Red Wolf program coordinator, who also manages the nationwide Red Wolf Species Survival Plan and is part of the Red Wolf Recovery Team. 

While these pups are first born on zoo grounds in 29 years, the program has produced hundreds of pups at off-site breeding facilities since its inception.

 

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Zoo staff are working on a closed-circuit camera feed of Millie and her pups in their den so they might be viewable by the media and the public. They likely will come out of their den and into the exhibit in three to four weeks – a purely voluntary action – Waddell said.

470789_10150826218914624_125282134623_9734552_398132010_oPhoto credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Learn more about the Point Defiance Zoo's leadership in the Red Wolf Recovery Program and visit the program's official US FIsh & Wildlife page. For more info and photos, continue reading after the jump.

Continue reading "Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at Point Defiance" »


That Baby's Bright! Javan Langur Born at Howletts

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Howletts Wild Animal Park has officially welcomed a bright new addition to their Javan Langur Monkey group. These are the first pictures of the adorable apricot infant, born last month and named Malang. Head Primate Keeper Matt Ford said: "Malang is doing very well and it’s great to see her out and about with the family group."

Javan Langurs are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red list of endangered species and they face the same threats as other primates in Asia, including loss of habitat and hunting. The brightly colored primates are not often seen in wild animal parks but Howletts and Port Lympne are collectively home to over 50 individuals. Animal Director, Neil Spooner said: ‘We have one of the largest collections of Javan Langurs outside Indonesia and have had over 100 births since the early 1980’s. Our Javan Primate Project just outside MaIang, Indonesia launched at the end of last year. The conservation project is rescuing primates from the illegal pet trade and rehabilitating them, so that they can be reintroduced  to areas of the wild that we protect – Malang is a very fitting name for our latest langur birth."

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Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe/Howletts Wild Animal Park

Read more about the Langur's coloring below the jump:

Continue reading "That Baby's Bright! Javan Langur Born at Howletts" »


Baby Loggerhead Turtle Rescued and Restored

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A handful of baby Loggerhead Turtles were bought into UnderWater World In Queensland Australia. They came from a batch hatched at Buddina, a suburb in Queensland, and were "cold-stunned" -- a condition akin to hypothermia that can lead to death when water temperatures dip below 50 degrees. The babies were checked by UnderWater World's vet. Once they were deemed to be in good shape, they were released beyond the breakers by UnderWater World's lifeguards. 

Loggerhead turtles had been an abundant marine turtle species. But population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, have kept them on the threatened species list since 1978.

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Photo Credit: UnderwaterWorld


Triplet Snow Leopard Cubs Only Two Weeks Old!

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A beautiful display of spots appeared on May 2 at Woodland Park Zoo when triplet Snow Leopards were born to 7-year-old mother Helen. The cubs represent the second litter for Helen and 6-year-old father Tom. Veterinarians performed a neonatal examination today on the cubs, which were confirmed as two females and a male. As you can see, the cubs have still yet to fully open their eyes. The mom and cubs are off public exhibit in a maternal den until mid-July to allow privacy for bonding and proper nursing.

“Helen was an excellent mother to the pair of cubs she gave birth to in 2009 and successfully raised. We’re very pleased to see that she’s nurturing the three cubs very well and that they appear to be progressing normally. They appear to be healthy, their eyes are just now opening and their bellies were full of milk, indicating that they are nursing,” said zoo Director of Animal Health Dr. Darin Collins. The cubs currently weigh between 2.1 and 2.4 pounds.

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Snow Leopards are an endangered species. The Snow Leopard is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. Snow Leopard scientists estimate as few as 3,500 remain in the wild.

More photos and info below the fold

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Baby Bird or Baby Dinosaur? Meet a Red-legged Seriema Chick!

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The Red-legged Seriema is one of South America's largest terrestrial birds. While it can fly short distances, it prefers to run on its long, powerful legs rather than use its short, stumpy wings. This two week old chick was hatched at SeaWorld Orlando on April 30. The current Seriema population in U.S. zoos is only 62, and the last bird was hatched in 2009, so each hatchling is precious to the population.

SeaWorld Orlando's resident bird expert, Sherry Rodriguez, has been hand-raising the chick and it’s doing very well (see photo at bottom). This is a huge commitment -- she takes it home every night for round-the-clock feedings and even uses a feather duster in its brooder (incubator) to simulate the mother bird’s feathers.

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The central habitat of the Red-legged Seriema is in the grassy, savanna-like cerrados of central Brazil. The species is also found farther south in the grasslands and woodland subtropical areas in southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The diet of the Seriema is largely animal food, specifically insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders but they also enjoy small invertebrates such as lizards, frogs and snakes. Fruits, seeds and leaves are also consumed but are a very small percentage of their diet.

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Photo credits: Jason Collier | Photographer, SeaWorld Orlando


It's a Tiny Trio of Snow Monkey Babies

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The Japanese Macaque troop, also known as snow monkeys, at the UK's Highland Wildlife Park recently welcomed a trio of babies born between April 21 and 25. The three belong to moms Mang, Djangal and Angara. Still only 3 weeks old, the babies are staying close to their mothers. The gender of the little ones will not be determined for a bit and until then, they won't be named, but keepers are already noticing their different characters starting to come through. One in particular is a little more boisterous than the others!

Japanese macaques are found throughout Japan, living in large troupes in woodland and sub-tropical forests. Instantly recognisable due to their bright red faces and white fur, these primates are fully adapted to seasonal climate changes as temperatures in Japan can plummet to as low as -15°C in the winter, making their Scottish Highland home ideal. There are now 21 Japanese macaques living at the Highland Wildlife Park. 

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Photo Credit: Jon Paul-Orsi


Memorable Mother's Day For A Disney "Mom"

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Mother’s Day was possibly a little more memorable this year for a Disney “mom” that recently gave birth to a white rhino calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

After a 16-month gestation period, Kendi delivered her fourth calf Friday, May 4. The healthy male, which has not yet been named, is the ninth white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; his mother, 13-year-old, Kendi, was the first.

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Photo credit: Gene Duncan

“The birth of a white rhino calf is certainly something to celebrate since the population of this species is endangered in the wild,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks. “It’s encouraging that with protection and careful management, the global population of white rhinos continues to grow.”

Continue reading "Memorable Mother's Day For A Disney "Mom"" »


Baby Saki Monkey Born at Brevard Zoo

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Brevard Zoo’s first Saki Monkey was born on April 27 to first-time mom Chuckie. The baby is a female, but has not yet been named. The 8 year-old mom, or dam, was born at Sacramento Zoo. The sire, Yuki, age 20, was born at Jackson Zoo.

Saki Monkeys are part of the Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. and Chuckie and Yuki are a recommended breeding. Females are desperately needed in the captive population so it is an extra boon that their offspring is a girl. Both mom and baby are on exhibit in the La Selva loop. 

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Photo Credit: Brevard Zoo

 


Calling All Elephanatics! Berlin's Got Great News!

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Berlin's Tierpark has the good word that on May 8th, a male Asian Elephant calf came into the world. The little bull and his 18 year old mother Nova are doing well and the family was presented to the public on on May 10th. This is the second birth for Nova. The yet to be named new arrival is about 35 inches tall and weighs around 225 pounds!

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Photo credits: Tierpark Berlin

The major threat facing the endangered Asian Elephant today is the loss  of its habitat Southeast Asian habitat (from India in the west to Borneo in the east) resulting from deforestation. Other causes for their population decline include poaching for ivory, isolation of Elephant populations and Human-Elephant conflict.


Say Hello to Kansas City Zoo's Red River Hog Piglet Quartet

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Little black, cream and red watermelons with wiry pink tails, Spock ears and button snouts -- that just about describes these four new Red River Hog piglets. Born at the Kansas City Zoo on April 23, they made their public debut on May 10, at just 17 days old.

Weighing around 2 pounds (.90 kilos) at birth, they will nurse from mom for at least three months. Pig milk has nearly double the fat of cow or human milk so they will grow quickly; Mom Binti and Dad Runty weigh a healthy 150 pounds (68 kilos) each.

Binti has proven to be an ideal mom, at first by making her own nest from grasses and vegetation and now by nursing and tending to the every need of her babies. Not to exclude Dad from caregiving kudos, Runty is already quick to come to the defense of the piglets and keep them within eyesight of Binti. Rounding them up and keeping a close eye on these four isn’t easy.

How do the zoo keepers tell them apart? One twitches its ear most of the time, one squeaks all the time, one eats all the time, and one is trying to cause trouble all the time! On their first exam by the zoo's vet, they were micro-chipped to ensure each its individual identity.

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Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo