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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

Brushtail Bailey's Baby Pics Emerge! A ZooBorns First!


Bailey, WILD LIFE Sydney's Golden Brushtail Possum, may not be a very recent arrival, but he is the first of his kind to appear on ZooBorns, and we just had to share his baby pics! By March of this year, this then 6-month-old, tree-dwelling marsupial and native to Tasmania, had become the zoo's star attraction. The third Golden Brushtail Possum born at the zoo since 2008, Bailey is a testament to WILD LIFE Sydney’s successful breeding program.


Photo credit: WILD LIFE Sydney

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Update! Baby Elephant at San Diego Zoo Gets a Name

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You may have first read about this new baby African Elephant born on August 28 here on ZooBorns. This little female calf at San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park has just been named! She will be called Qinisa, a Siswati word that means to act with energy, act determinedly, fulfill one’s word, or speak the truth. The name is pronounced (!) EEN-EE-seh (! is a tongue pop instead of a q sound).

Her name is very fitting, as Qinisa has developed fastest of the 12 calves born to the herd. At only one week old she was sucking water into her trunk and using it to pick up objects like sticks. Dexterity like that has not been seen at such a young age among the other calves according to Curtis Lehman, San Diego Zoo Safari Park animal care manager. The other calves only exhibited that skill after at least a few weeks of age.



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Qinisa seems to be spending the least amount of time nursing compared to the others, but she is getting more than enough milk from mom Swazi. Qinisa is averaging a weight gain of 2.2 pounds (1 kgm) per day, having gained a total of 40 pounds (18 kilograms) in her first 21 days of life. 

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Photo Credit: Sand Diego Zoo Safari Park

Beside her quick learning curve, keepers have also observed how other elephants interact with her --whenever mom allows it. Big brother Mac is playing nice; then again, he’d better, or Mom would have a word or two with him. The adult females only interact occasionally, since they know to keep their distance from protective Swazi, the herd’s matriarch.

But the zoo’s two young female babysitters, 6-year-old Khosi and 5-year-old Kami, seem to have the most access to the calf and continue to compete for babysitting rights. They stay with the trio of Swazi, Mac, and Qinisa overnight, so Kami has the upper hand to get more time. Swazi seems to now be taking advantage of the two baby-sitters and wanders away from Qinisa when she naps... but not for long. If Qinisa wakes, Swazi quickly returns to her baby.

Have You Ever Seen a Baby Bilby's Eyes, In the Dark...?


Two Bilby joeys were born at Perth Zoo in April 2012. The twins, both females, spent around 73 days developing in the safety of their mother’s pouch before she deposited them in the burrow in their exhibit in June. They weighed 242g each at that stage. Once deposited in the burrow, they soon began venturing outside of the burrow. This is the second year in a row Perth Zoo has bred Bilbies. Perth Zoo’s breeding program is part of regional recovery efforts to safeguard the Bilby from extinction. Major threats to the Bilby include foxes and cats, competition from rabbits, and habitat loss.


Photo credit: Perth Zoo


B Is For Brooklyn!


This Saturday, September 22, ZooBorns co-founder and co-author of ABC ZooBorns!Chris Eastland, will be at two special NYC Bookend Events as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival. The two events will offer guests and their children lively readings and book signings of ABC ZooBorns! You're invited to come join the fun at both! Also giving readings and signing books at both events will be Artie Bennett, author of Poopendous! and The Butt Book. The first event is at Coney Island's New York Aquarium, and will be followed by a second at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo. Come on out and meet the authors, and enjoy a day at the zoo, the aquarium, or both! Details below...


A-Z Authors and Animals at the Aquarium

Enjoy a morning at the New York Aquarium! Come listen to lively author readings by Artie Bennett (Poopendous! and The Butt Book) and Chris Eastland (ABC Zooborns!), followed by book signings.

Location: New York Aquarium, Surf Avenue & West 8th Street

Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Price: $14.95/Adult, $10.95/Child (Ages 3-12), $11.95/Senior



A-Z Authors and Animals at the Zoo

Enjoy an afternoon at the Prospect Park Zoo! Come listen to lively author readings by Artie Bennett (Poopendous! and The Butt Book) and Chris Eastland (ABC Zooborns!), followed by book signings.

Location: Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue (Prospect Park)

Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Price: $8/adults, $5/children, $6/seniors



We hope to see you there!

New Penguin Chick at Perth Zoo Growing Up Fast!


This little Penguin chick hatched at Perth Zoo on July 29. Its parents took turns sitting on the egg and caring for the chick in their burrow. And once it hatched, they provided excellent care; the chick grew very quickly, weighing over 1 kg by the time it was five weeks old. These photos were taken weekly, starting on July 20 when the chick was one day old, ending at the age of five weeks. Very soon the chick will emerge from the burrow, ready to take its first swim! Its sex is still not known. 

Penguins are found around the southern coast of Australia and around New Zealand. While listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, they are threatened by changes to their coastal environments, predation by dogs, cats, foxes and rats, and become entangled in discarded fishing line and plastic bags. Perth Zoo is part of a regional breeding program for the species and has had many successful births over the years. 


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Photo Credit: Perth Zoo

Tamandua Baby Body Slams His Teddy Bear Buddy


No, Quito the baby Lesser Anteater (Tamandua) isn't training for Wrestlemania, he's actually just gripping his stuffed bear for stability while Reid Park Zoo vets give him a routine check up. The rest of the time, Quito attaches firmly to mom Lety. Born August 30, little Quito is the newest of 51 Southern Tamanduas in captivity across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions.

Tamandua are a species of Anteater native to much of South America. It has been reported that Amazonian Indians keep them in their homes for Ant and Termite control! While their diet is the same as their relative the Giant Anteater, Tamandua are able to search for their food high in the trees, so there are plenty of Ants and Termites to go around.



Photo credit: Reid Park Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo's New Curious and Playful Baby Dwarf Mongoose Trio

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Edinburgh Zoo’s group of dwarf mongoose grew by three recently, when they welcomed a trio of new babies. Doting dwarf mongoose mom and dad, Elvina and Elmo, are being kept busy with their adventurous offspring. This is their first litter of kits since the pair arrived at the Zoo in January. The newborns are keeping mum and dad on their toes with their antics; the trio have quickly taken to exploring the different tunnels around their enclosure.

These playful and curious characters are incredibly social animals that can live in groups of between two and 20. In the wild dwarf mongoose can be found inhabiting the dry grassland and bush lands of Africa. Small by name and size, they are usually around seven to 11 inches (28 cm) in length and are Africa’s smallest carnivore, as well as the smallest of the mongoose species.

Sharon Hatton, carnivore keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “It’s great news for us that Elvina and Elmo have successfully bred already, after only arriving at the beginning of the year. We were hopeful that they would produce a litter this year, however realistically we thought it would take them a little longer to settle in. It was a bit of a surprise…but a good surprise." 

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Photo Credit: Katie Paton

Perth's Popping With Pups!

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Meet Perth Zoo's new Asian Small-clawed Otter pups. Perth has had two litters of four pups born at the zoo in the past few months. One of the litters can be seen in their exhibit opposite the Red Pandas. Perth Zoo is part of regional breeding program for Otters and the births are the zoo's first in 18 years. These highly social critters pair for life, with males playing an important role in the rearing of pups. Dad's duties can include building the nest, supplying food for mom and her pups, as well as teaching the young to swim! Hunted for their fur, meat and body parts, otters are under threat in the wild.

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Photo credit: Perth Zoo

Learn and see more beneath the fold...

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Baby Rhino Born at Pittsburgh Zoo - the First in Forty-five Years

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The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is celebrating some big news! For the first time in over 45 years there, a baby Black Rhinoceros was born to mom Azizi. The female calf weighs about 70 pounds and appears to be doing very well.“We are so excited to welcome a big, beautiful, bouncing, female rhino,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “The birth of a Black Rhino is significant because they are critically endangered and Azizi’s calf will introduce new blood lines into the zoo population.”

There are 4,800 Black Rhinoceroses left in the wild. Between 1970 and 1992, the Black Rhino population decreased by 96% — the most dramatic of all Rhino species. Black Rhino populations are recovering slowly despite intensive efforts to end poaching, the biggest threat to animals worldwide. Mom and baby will not be on exhibit for the public until after they have had the appropriate amount of time to bond, and until the weather and temperature conditions are ideal for this African native. Visitors are asked to check the Zoo’s website and social media sites for details of when baby will be viewable.


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Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Keepers noticed Azizi was acting differently last week. She started pacing and appeared uncomfortable. “At one point she put her feet on her water trough and was stretching,” says Dr. Baker.

“Labor lasted roughly 50 minutes with no complications,” says Dr. Ginger Takle, director of animal health. “We wanted to be close in case Azizi should need us, but she did very well for a first time mom. Keepers and zoo veterinary staff monitored the birth nearby, but out of sight to allow for a natural delivery. The baby was nursing within two hours of her birth. Nursing is an important first step in bonding with mom. Calves gain about 30 pounds each week from the nutrients in the mother’s milk.

Dr. Takle added, “It is important for the calf to continue to nurse and gain weight especially during the first three months which are critical. As she continues to grow, we will begin to introduce solid food at about one month of age, starting with alfalfa and sweet potatoes.”

Hang on! Rare Javan Gibbon born at Hellabrunn Zoo

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Clinging to its mother as she swings from branch to branch at Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo, a tiny Javan Gibbon represents hope for this critically endangered primate.

Born August 19, the infant is one of only handful of Javan Gibbons born worldwide each year in zoos, making it an important part of the international captive breeding and conservation effort for this species.

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The baby, whose gender is not yet known, is the fourth baby born to female Pangrango and is a constant source of entertainment for older brother Flip, age 7, and sisters Isabell, 4, and Kim, 2. 

“Munich’s Javan Gibbons are really very special; this endangered species of primate is only found in one German zoo, here at Hellabrunn. The birth of a fourth baby increases the family to six members. We play an important role in breeding and we are making a significant contribution to the conservation of Javan Gibbons. We are very proud of this,” said zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.

Javan Gibbons are found only on the Indonesian island of Java and are one of the world’s most endangered primates.  They share the island, which is about the size of North Carolina, with 135 million people and are confined to a few small forest reserves.  Javan Gibbons are also known as Silvery Gibbons. Like all gibbon species, they use their long arms to brachiate among tree branches.  Family groups sing loudly to advertise their territory to other gibbons. 

Photo Credit:  Hellabrunn Zoo