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September 2012

August 2012

Baby Armadillo the Size of a Tennis Ball

Baby Armadillo at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 1

Look what just rolled into Busch Gardens Tampa - a tiny Three Banded Armadillo born to proud armadillo parents Zowie and Ollie. Born June 21, the baby was the size of a golf ball, now a month later he has grown to be the size of a tennis ball. When full grown adult Three Banded Armadillo’s are roughly the size of a softball. The youngster can be seen in Jambo Junction. 

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Below: Baby and mom, Zowie, enjoy some outdoor romping in the grass. 

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Some fun armadillo facts courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa.

  • The gestation period for a Three Banded Armadillo is just 120 days!
  • The young will nurse for about 72 days before being weaned.
  • Baby armadillos are born blind but quickly develop the ability to walk and close their shell.
  • After 72 days baby armadillos are no longer dependent on mom and will go out on their own.

Baby Siamang Swings into Tel Aviv

Baby Siamang and Mom at Tel Aviv Zoo

Earlier this month, Siamang mom and dad, Jamby and Jan (Jan is the boy), welcomed their first baby, which also marks the first baby Siamang for Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan. Even though Jamby's pregnancy lasted eight months, the healthy baby weighed in at just 170 grams (1/3rd of a pound)!

When these Siamangs first arrived at Zoo Tel Aviv, they were exhibited with the Orangutans but the match was not meant to be. Jamby and Jan felt the need assert their dominance over their gentle roommates. When keepers decided the Siamangs were being bullies, the red apes were relocated.

Siamangs are endangered in their native home of Southeast Asia due to habitat destruction.

Baby Siamang Close-up Tel Aviv Zoo

Baby Siamang at Tel Aviv ZooPhoto credits: Tibor Jäger

Name These New Snow Leopard Cubs!


Syracuse, New York's Rosamond Gifford Zoo is proud to announce the birth of its first Snow Leopard cubs in 14 years! Born June 14th to parents Zena and Senge, the cubs are set to be on exhibit daily from 11 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. To mark the rare occasion, Rosamond Gifford Zoo is inviting the public to participate in a contest for the cubs.

Guidelines for the Snow Leopard cub naming contest:

  • Entrants may submit name suggestions via the zoo website at
  • Suggestions must be received by 4:00 p.m. on August 22.
  • Preference will be given to names that originate from languages of the Snow Leopards’ native countries (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly also Myanmar).
  • Entrants must complete all fields on the entry form; incomplete entries will not be considered.
  • The contest is open to those 5 and older.
  • Each entrant may submit two name suggestions – one per cub.
  • A committee at the zoo will select the top names of those suggested.
  • The top names will be posted on the zoo’s web site from August 27 through August 30 and the public will vote on their favorites.
  • The winning names will be announced at the zoo on September 4.



Photo credits: Amelia Beamish

Snow Leopards are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP)—a collaborative effort between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and zoos around the world to help ensure their survival. Snow Leopards are perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, but human threats have created an uncertain future for the cats. It is estimated that there are between 4,000 and 6,500 Snow Leopards left in the wild. There are currently 137 Snow Leopards in 63 zoos in the United States.  As first time parents, Zena and Senge are genetically valuable within the captive population and will likely have the opportunity to breed again in the future.

Snow Leopards are found in the mountains of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly also Myanmar (Burma). They prefer steep, rugged terrain with cliffs, ridges, gullies and slopes interspersed with rocky outcrops. The cat’s habitat is among the least productive of the world’s rangelands due to low temperatures, high aridity and harsh climatic conditions. Very little is known about the social behavior of Snow Leopards in the wild.

Sixteen Little Webbed Feet! Capybara Babies Born At Brevard Zoo


On August 2, Brevard Zoo’s Capybara, Bailey, gave birth to a litter of four pups. This is the first Capybara litter born at the Zoo in more than 10 years. Their genders have not yet been confirmed. The entire Capybara family, including first-time parents Bailey and Clancy, can be seen on exhibit in the La Selva loop daily.

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, related to chinchillas and guinea pigs. Its common name means "Master of the Grasses”. They are social, semi-aquatic mammals that live in groups found throughout South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, French Guyana, Uruguay, Peru, and Paraguay. Capybaras live in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and marshes, flooded savanna, and along rivers in tropical forest. They are very vocal animals and communicate through a combination of scent and sound, including purrs, barks, whistles, squeals and grunts. Baby Capybara are typically weaned at about 16 weeks, but can be found nibbling grasses as early as one week after birth.



Photo Credits: Brevard Zoo 

Caribbean Flamingo Chick Takes First Steps at Bronx Zoo


A Caribbean Flamingo hatchling took its first steps at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. The chick is helped to its feet by its mother and stands on a nest mound in the pond outside of the zoo’s Aquatic Birds exhibit. Flamingos build nest mounds in the shallow water to keep their eggs and offspring out of the water until they are ready to fledge. 

It will be crucial for the little one to develop leg strength through daily walks and eventual swims as it grows, since their legs become so long compared to their body mass. But that is one thing that makes Flamingos so well adapted for their environment. Long legs allow them to easily wade across shallow water and their beaks are specially adapted to filter feed, separating food items from the mud and silt. 

Flamingos are hatched with white downy plumage but develop trademark pink coloration from pigments in the algae, crustaceans, and other invertebrates that make up their diet. In the wild, these birds inhabit shallow bodies of salty water where food is plentiful.


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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Below watch the very special moment that was captured as the mother nudges her chick to stand up... and the baby takes it's first wobbly step.

Read more about the Bronx Zoo's conservation efforts below the jump:

Continue reading "Caribbean Flamingo Chick Takes First Steps at Bronx Zoo" »

Tiny Snails Are a Big Deal For Conservation


Partula Hebe is one of eleven Snail species that have been extinct in the wild for over 20 years and have only survived due to an international zoo breeding program. The same zoo community, in close collaboration with the French Polynesian Government, has led a field conservation initiative to re-establish these endemic Snails back to their island homes. The Partulid Action Plan aims to reintroduce all surviving species to their island homes by the end of the decade. Bristol Zoo Gardens, ZSL, Edinburgh, Chester and Marwell Wildlife are some of the zoos involved in helping conserve this species.


Photo credit: ZSL London Zoo

These amazing images show an adult Partula Hebe Bella Snail sharing a special edition Darwin £2 coin with its 3-week-old baby at ZSL London Zoo. The species is one of 10 highlighted by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) as owing its survival to zoos. 

One of the Rarest Primates in the World Born at Linton Zoo

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On March 29, Harriet, one of the White Collared Lemurs at Linton Zoological Gardens, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jako, one of the Malagasy words for monkey. Every lemur has its own distinct personality, and with Jako being such an energetic, playful, comical little bundle of fun, they thought ‘monkey’ was a very apt name.

There are only 13 White Collared Lemurs in captivity in Europe, nine of which are at Linton. This mischievous new baby lives with his Dad Jeepster, mom Harriet and sister Mirana, born last year. This species has been listed as one of the top 25 rarest primates in the world; every captive birth will help to ensure it does not become completely extinct!

The White Collared Lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps), also known as the Grey Headed Lemur, is from the South West of Madagascar, and highly threatened in the wild. Despite being protected, it is still hunted for food and continued habitat destruction and alteration is a major problem. It has a total remaining habitat area of less than 270 square miles (700 km²), which is very fragmented and partly shared with the Red Fronted Lemur. This has resulted in hybridization between the two species therefore lowering the genetic diversity of the wild population.

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Photo Credits: Linton Zoological Gardens

Baby Mouse Lemur Season Finale!

Baby Mouse Lemur Duke Lemur Center

Back in July we brought you Duke Lemur Center's first batch of wriggling baby Mouse Lemurs! Today we officially bring the season to a close and what a successful one it's been! A total of twenty infants, ten males and ten females, have been born this summer with the last birth on August 10th. The oldest mouse moms were four year olds Oleander and Calendula and the youngest was 10 month old Nettle. 

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As an added bonus, Duke Lemur Center has also shared photos of their tiny Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur babies, marking the first successful birth of this species since 1987! This unique animal is the only tropical mammal as well as only primate anywhere known to hibernate. Unlike cold weather hibernators, the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur appears to enter periods of dormancy during drought. While hibernating, this lemur lives off of stores of fat in its tail. Despite having a name that's a mouthful, this species is one of the smallest of all primates.

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_3DH3115_cm7123 7124 7125EDPhoto credits: David Haring / Duke Lemur Center

New Mom for Wilbur the Wallaby! Rare Adoption at Blackpool Zoo


Wilbur the Red-necked Wallaby has found happiness with a new family after his birth mother tragically passed away while he was still in the pouch. He has been ‘adopted’ by another female at Blackpool Zoo, which is an extremely rare occurrence among marsupials.

Keepers came to work on June 16 to find Wilbur in the pouch of his mother, who had died during the night. They immediately removed him and the decision was taken to hand-rear him. Senior mammal keeper Sofie Fawzy took Wilbur home and fed him at three hour intervals for eleven days before the team decided to mix him with other members of the group for interaction.

Another mother and baby were already in a separate area of the Wallaby Walkabout so the orphan was gradually introduced. Keepers were amazed to see that after just two days Wilbur was feeding from the female and getting on with well with the other joey. The situation was very closely monitored and keepers continued to weigh Wilbur to ensure he was gaining weight at a satisfactory speed. Wilbur and his new family will remain cordoned off from the rest of the group as they continue to bond, but should be out and about in the Wallaby Walkabout in the coming month.



Photo Credit: Blackpool Zoo

Read more of the wallaby baby story after the jump:

Continue reading "New Mom for Wilbur the Wallaby! Rare Adoption at Blackpool Zoo" »

Snow Leopard Cubs Show Their Noses For the First Time Today at Akron Zoo


The snow leopard cubs that were born at the Akron Zoo on May 14 will make their first public appearance today, Monday, August 13, from 10:15 –10:45 a.m. Visitors will get to enjoy seeing the babies as they get their first forays out into the sun under the watchful eye of mom Shanti. They will continue to be on exhibit everyday during those hours for the time being until they are bigger and can be out longer.

Currently at 12 weeks old the cubs weigh about 12 pounds and are thriving. According to their primary keeper, Sarah Kirkman, “The cubs are starting to act more and more like snow leopards. They have displayed great balance just in the past week or two and have been climbing and jumping and becoming a lot more adventurous. Their mom, Shanti, has been doing wonderfully with them and has been great at tolerating them climbing all over her and is very playful with them.”

There is a naming contest for the babies:The Zoo has narrowed the choices down to five and people can vote for two of the five names on the Akron Zoo website through August 20. Read more about this and see what the name choices are after the fold.

Snow leopards are an endangered species and only nine cubs have been born this year that are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the United States. Snow leopards are an endangered species primarily due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching for their pelts and body parts and killings by local herders when a snow leopard has preyed on their livestock. There are only 155 snow leopards in the SSP in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild.


Photo Credits: Akron Zoo

Continue reading "Snow Leopard Cubs Show Their Noses For the First Time Today at Akron Zoo" »