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June 2012

New Baby Chimp for Los Angeles Zoo


The Los Angeles Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby Chimpanzee -- their first since 1999. The new addition was welcomed to the chimp family of 15 (one of the largest troops in the nation) on March 6. Her mother, Gracie, has proven to be a wonderful and caring mother. She even allows other females to carry and help care for the baby. As of May 18, Gracie and her little one can be seen by visitors.

With such a large chimpanzee family, the LA Zoo's primate staff is held in high regard for it’s care of chimpanzees, acting as a model for the Species Survival Plan for other zoos. Chimpanzees are currently on the endangered species list. Wild populations in the African forest have decreased because of foresting, hunting, commercial exportation, and collection for scientific research. Although chimpanzees are protected in 34 national parks and reserves, laws can be difficult to enforce in remote regions.

Mom& chimp

Yo baby

Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama/Los Angeles Zoo

After 6 Years of Trying, Israel's Ramat Gan Zoological Center Succeeds!


Israel's Ramat Gan Zoological Center has succeeded with its first birth of an extremely rare Somali Wild Ass Foal on the 26th of April, Isreal's 64th Independence Day. The newly arrived foal was appropriately named Israela. Anticipating a 12-month gestation period, keepers kept the foal's father and mother separate until last Spring so that their baby would be born in the most favorable weather conditions. During mother Yelenyo's pregnancy, she was separated from father Abeba so that she would have a peaceful and interruption free gestation period.






Photo credit: Tibor Jäger

The Somali Wild Ass is critically endangered with only 350 wild individuals remaining in its native Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. There are only 130 individuals in captivity worldwide.

A Pile of Arctic Fox Pups for Como Zoo

Artic Fox Kit at Como Zoo 2

On Saturday, May 20, Como Zoo's Arctic Fox mom, Aurora, gave birth to 9 pups! While that might sound like a lot, Arctic Foxes have been known to give birth to litters of 19 pups or more! 

Weighing-in between 1.8 and 2.2 ounces, the pups, also called kits, are resting with their mother and are not currently on public display. Zephyr, the papa, is proudly frolicking in his exhibit space. Pups are helpless and blind when first born. They nurse until they can eat solid food. Both parents care for the pups. 

Arctic Fox Pup Como Zoo 1

Artic Fox Kit Sleeping at Como Zoo 3

A full grown Arctic Fox is about 10 -16 inches long and weighs about 6-12 pounds. It has short legs and a long bushy tail that it uses like a fluffy scarf by wrapping it around itself when sleeping. Its long hair is white in the winter and "blue" or gray in the summer. Its head has a stubby muzzle, small ears, and large eyes. Its feet are lined with fur, which helps it conserve heat.

Arctic Fox Kit Litter at Como Zoo 4A pile of pups

Hüwi the Little Owl Makes a Friend

Turkmenian Eagle owlet (5)

Meet Linton Zoo's newest and fluffiest little addition: a Turkmenian Eagle Owlet named Hüwi, which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl.” When keepers noticed that Hüwi's owl mom, named Rohan, wasn't quite as attentive as she should be, they stepped in to hand-rear the chick. In addition to the human care, the Linton Zoo's gentle resident tabby, Arnie, has also stepped in to befriend the chick, who appears cautiously curious (more on Arnie at the bottom). Weighing just 50 grams (<2 ounces) at birth, three weeks later the chick weighs a healthy, and hefty, full kilo (2.2lbs). 

The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg (10lbs) and is closely related to the slightly larger European Eagle Owl. Sadly, this spectacular bird may now be extinct in its native range in Central Asia. Very few pure bred birds remain in captivity so Hüwi is an invaluable addition to the survival of this species.

Hello you! Arnie the Ginger Tom says hello to his friend

Arnie and Hüwi spot something interesting in the grass. What u looking at!

Both of Hüwi's parents were also hatched at Linton Zoo. Dad, Pip, will be 23 years old this year and Rohan is now 5. Two of last years owlets, Igor and Misha, remain at Linton Zoo and a third brother has gone to live at Woburn Wild Animal Park. 

Turkmenian Eagle owlet (3)

Continue reading "Hüwi the Little Owl Makes a Friend" »

Little Lemurs Debut at the Bronx Zoo

_Julie Larsen Maher 6551 Coquerel's Sifaka and Baby MAD BZ 04 25 12

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo recently welcomed two baby lemurs, a Conquerel's Sifaka and a Collared Lemur. 

Both babies will spend their next few weeks clinging firmly to mom's back. Coquerel’s Sifakas spend most of their time in trees and leap effortlessly, launching themselves vertically with their strong legs. Like most species of lemurs, the females are dominant, claiming the choicest food and the best sleeping and sunning spots.

Collared lemurs use their long tails to balance when leaping through the forest canopy. Collared Lemurs live in groups of males and females but are not matriarchal like the Sifaka and many other lemurs.

_Julie Larsen Maher 6830 Collared Lemur and Baby MAD BA 04 27 12

Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Video Credits: Luke Groskin © WCS

Ostrich Chicks Shake Things Up at The California Academy of Sciences' Earthquakes Exhibit


The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco unveiled a new exhibit and planetarium show called Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet on May 26.  In addition to plate tectonics and preparedness, the exhibit covers how earth processes shape our landscapes and thus influence evolution over millions of years. That’s where the baby ostriches come in.

Earthquakes fit into the larger story of plate tectonics, a constant process that builds mountains, moves continents, and creates the landscape in which life evolves.  In the case of the ostrich, it and its closest relatives — other flightless birds like the emu, cassowary, kiwi, and rhea — are scattered today all over the Southern Hemisphere, on continents that are thousands of miles apart.  Yet they all evolved from a common ancestor, one that lived during a time when all the southern continents were joined together.  Their distribution today is evidence that the Earth’s landmasses have moved great distances in the past—a validation of plate tectonic theory. The ostrich chicks will be on display until late 2012.