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October 2012
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November 2012

Baby Sloth Hangs out at Pueblo Zoo


On October 24, the Pueblo Zoo welcomed a baby Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth.

For the first few weeks of life, the baby, whose gender is not yet known, will remain off-exhibit with its mother, Chewie. Pueblo Zoo officials are seeking help to name the baby via the zoo’s Facebook page. The staff’s favorite name? They’d like to continue the “Star Wars” theme started with the mother’s name and call the baby Han.

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Because they subsist on leaves, which provide little energy, Sloths conserve their resources by moving slowly. Their shaggy, algae-covered fur blends expertly with the treetops, making them nearly impossible to see unless they move – which is not often, although sloths will descend to the ground to relocate to a new tree or to defecate, which occurs about once a week. Sloths digest their food very slowly, so slow that up to two-thirds of their body weight may come from leaves in their digestive tract.

Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloths are found in two separate areas of South America: southern Central America, extending into Colombia and Ecuador, and a separate population in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. In both areas, they live an arboreal life in the rain forest canopy. Although forest destruction is likely affecting Sloth populations, not enough is known about this species in the wild to evaluate its status.

Photo Credit: Pueblo Zoo

Customs Agents intervene to rescue rare Johnston's Chameleons


Two tiny and very delicate Johnston’s Chameleons hatched the UK’s Exmoor Zoo. Just over an inch (3 cm) long, the babies had an auspicious start in life:  they were laid by a female that was part of an illegal shipment en route to the Czech Republic and seized by customs agents in Belgium.

Because Johnston’s Chameleons occur only in the western branch of Tanzania’s African Rift Valley – the Albertine Rift – they are extremely rare in captivity, according to Danny Reynolds of the Exmoor Zoo.  “They are probably the first of this species ever born in captivity within UK zoos,” he said.   



The illegal shipment of 59 Chameleons was due to be destroyed when the UK’s Specialist Wildlife Services and UK Customs officials intervened and placed all the lizards in UK zoos. Females at several other zoos have laid eggs, but those at the Exmoor Zoo were the first to hatch.

Like all Chameleons, Johnston’s Chameleons are zygodactylous – they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward, which enables them to easily cling to tree branches (or toothpicks, as seen in the photos above).  They capture insects with their long, extrudable tongues.  In captivity, the babies are fed fruit flies and day-old crickets.

Photo Credit:  Exmoor Zoo

Meet Delilah - The Giant Anteater Pup!


Meet the newest addition to the Palm Beach Zoo's family! Delilah was born about 6 weeks ago and weights just over 6lbs. She was born to proud giant Anteater parents, Cruz & Odelia. The Palm Beach Zoo currently holds the second largest collection of Giant Anteaters in Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facilities. Delilah will not be available for public view for a few more months - stay tuned for updates on her progress.


Odelia takes a break from baby...

Photo credit: Palm Beach Zoo

Two Little Pigs Born at Belfast Zoo Help Preserve Their Species

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On Saturday, October 13, Belfast Zoological Gardens celebrated the arrival of twin Visayan Warty Piglets. Parents Malcolm and Mabel arrived in Belfast in 2010 as part of a European breeding program; Belfast Zoo is one of only four zoos in the UK to look after this species.

Zoo Manager Mark Challis said “We first bred Visayan Warty Pigs in 2011 and we are delighted that this success has continued with the recent birth of our twins. Visayan Warty Pigs are the most critically endangered of all wild pigs. They were once native to six islands in the Philippines but are now extinct on four of these. In fact, approximately 95% of this pigs’ natural habitat has been cleared away by local farmers who cut down the forest for farm use. It is therefore imperative that zoos play an active role in the conservation of this amazing species.”

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

Peek-A-Boo... It's an Elephant Shrew!


Meet one of the National Zoo's newest babies! This adorable Short-eared Elephant Shrew is just weeks old and can be seen at the zoo's Small Mammal House. Elephant Shrews are small insectivorous mammals whose name comes from their noses' resemblance to the trunk of an elephant. They are in fact more closely related to elephants than they are to shrews! Elephant Shrews are one of only a handful of monogamous mammals and are a model group for the study of monogamy. 



Photo courtesy of FONZ Photo Club member Clyde Nishimura.

Two Baby Gorillas in Two Weeks for Tel Aviv Zoo

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There's baby boom going on in the Primate Department at The Zoological Center Tel-Aviv Ramat-Gan, as two Western Lowland Gorlilas were born in the last two weeks. 

The zoo was delighted in the birth of a baby Gorilla by mom Anya, 25 years old. Much to the delight of all, in less than 2 weeks, 34-year-old Lia added to the troop with a baby of her own. Anya's little one has been named Amelia, after Zoo Tel Aviv's curator Dr. Amelia Terkel, who is retiring at the end of the year after 30 years of dedication.

Both babies are thriving. In these early days of life, they cling to their mother's chest and belly, gradually moving to riding on her back. Soon after, these two will advance to exploring their habitat. The best part is that they will each have a play-pal in each other! 

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Photo Credit: Tibor Jager

The Zoological Center Tel-Aviv Ramat-Gan, tried introducing three different males into the group before they started breeding. It wasn't until Lucas, their silverback, arrived from the Netherlands 15 years ago that things started to change for the better. A total of ten Gorilla babies have been born to date at the Tel-Aviv Zoo, which makes them one of the leading zoos in Gorilla breeding, proudly contributing to Gorilla preservation through the European Endangered Species Programme.

Get Your Paws On This! ZooBorns: The Next Generation


It's finally here! Get a jump on the holidays and get your paws on our new all-ages hardcover book today - ZooBorns: The Next Generation. 10% of sales supports the Conservation Endowment Fund. Order on Amazon here - or at B&N here: Also available wherever books are sold. 10% of sales supports the Conservation Endowment Fund.


Species: Cheetah
Name: Kasi
Home: Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, Florida
Born: 1.17.2011
Status: Vulnerable
Photo credit: © 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All rights reserved.


Species: Arctic Fox
Name: Kenai
Home: Aquarium of the Pacific, California
Born: May 2011
Status: Least Concern
Photo credit: Robin Riggs / Aquarium of the Pacific


Species: Pygmy Hippopotamus
Name: Prince Harry
Home: Cango Wildlife Ranch, South Africa
Born: 3.22.2012
Status: Endangered
Photo credits: Tammy Moult / Cango Wildlife Ranch


Available from these booksellers or wherever books are sold:



"The new generation of zoo babies will reset the standard for devastating cuteness. From the creators of the smash hit ZooBorns series of books, ZooBorns The Next Generation features full-color photos and fascinating facts on exotic baby animals from every corner of the world. Filled with brand-new species and some beloved favorites, this collection is irresistible to any animal lover. These babies are much more than just adorable furry faces. They are ambassadors for their species in the wild, helping educate about conservation while they entertain."

Oh So Photogenic! Update on Point Defiance Zoo's Tiger Cubs

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Point Defiance Zoo's male Tiger cub duo, Berani and Dumai are now 11 weeks old and weigh over 20 pounds! You can see the babies on exhibit at the Cub Den during Zoo hours. Berani is a Malayan Tiger and Dumai is a Sumatran Tiger so they are not brothers; you can read about how they came together on our ZooBorns post on October 13... and see many more pictures of the little guys too.

The world populations of Sumatran and Malayan tigers have dwindled into the low hundreds. Point Defiance is  are calling on visitors and fans to help raise $5k that will go directly to anti-poaching efforts in Southeast Asia. Learn more how you can help save these critically endangered species

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Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

Four Little Lion Cubs Born at Woodland Park Zoo

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Three-year-old South African mama Lion Adia gave birth to four cubs at night on November 8 at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, after a gestation period of 109 days. This is big news because it's the zoo's first newborn Lion cubs in 20 years!  This is the first litter for Aida and 13-year-old father Hubert too. 

The babies are with Mom in an off-view maternity den where they can do that important, ealry bonding in a hushed environment. Expert keepers and veterinarian staff are closely monitoring the litter via an internal web cam to ensure Adia is providing excellent maternal care and the cubs are properly nursing.The first 48 to 72 hours after a birth are critical, particularly among mammals. Adia is a first-time mother so naturally there is concern, but we are cautiously optimistic she will instinctively provide attentive maternal care to her cubs. 

Airal view of lion cubs

Photo Credit: Woodland Park Zoo

Lions are born blind and they’ll begin to open their eyes within a week or two after birth. As part of the exemplary animal care and health program for the zoo’s thousand-plus animals, zoo veterinarians will perform health checkups every couple of weeks for weight monitoring, vaccinations, and critical blood and fecal sampling.

The genders of the cubs are not yet known, but look for that news, and more pictures and video in future updates. Until then, watch the first video the zoo has shared with the public below. 

Read more after the fold:

Continue reading "Four Little Lion Cubs Born at Woodland Park Zoo" »

Baby Echidna Puggle Update!


Does this puggle look familiar? Many ZooBorns readers first learned about puggles after being introduced to this little girl on October 23. We're happy to report that Beau, Taronga Zoo's Short-beaked Echidna baby, also known as a puggle, is doing very well under the watchful eyes of the nurses in their wildlife hospital.

In the wild, female Echidnas return to their burrow every few days to feed their offspring, so Beau gets fed milk every three days, which has helped her triple in size. Her caregivers have begun exposing the youngster to dirt, so that Beau can learn to dig and burrow! She is developing a prickly coating of spikes, which rise a few millimetres above her skin, as pictured in its most recent image below.

Puggle update

Photo Credit: photo 1, Ben Gibson, Photo 2, Lorinda Taylor

In case you ddin't see it, here's the video of Beau nursing and getting cleaned up.