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October 2012
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December 2012

November 2012

The Adventures of Tank, the Tiny Tortoise


Tank is a Hermann's Tortoise and he's about 4 months old. He has a brother who's even teenier and tinier than he is. He was left to the U.K.'s Paradise Wildlife Park by their former head of reptiles as a leaving present.

Hermann's Tortoises live across Southern Europe, although their once expansive range has been reduced to scattered pockets. Abundant as pets in captivity, this species is in significant decline in the wild due to habitat destruction.




Photo credit: Paradise Wildlife Park

Orphan Tawny Frogmouth Chicks Rescued in Dundas!

Tawny Frogmouth Chick Taronga Zoo 1

High winds in Australia swept these two Tawny Frogmouth chicks from their nest in Dundas. Lucky for them, they landed in someone's backyard who notified Taronga Zoo and local wildlife center staff. 

Distantly related to owls, Tawny Frogmouths also hunt at night but feed almost exclusively on insects. Their fluffy, mottled feathers provide superb camouflage, which protects them from predators. Camouflage also allows them to conserve energy when hunting their 6-legged prey as they just let it crawl to them!

Tawny Frogmouth Chick Taronga Zoo 3

Tawny Frogmouth Chick Taronga Zoo 2

Tawny Frogmouth Chick Taronga Zoo 5

Tawny Frogmouth Chick Taronga Zoo 4

Trio of Big Baby Rodents Have Their First Ever Health Check-ups At Chester Zoo

Three baby Capybaras at Chester Zoo

Three baby capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, have had their first ever health check-ups at Chester Zoo. The trio – named Sakai, Byron and Kosh - were born on Oct 5 to mum Lily and dad Mordon. Keepers and vets gave them a physical examination, inserted microchips, took their weights and determined their sexes during the routine checks. 

Keeper Helen Massey said, “All three of our new arrivals, two boys and one girl, are in great shape. It has been a number of years since we last had capybara babies and so we’re really, really pleased with them. They’re only weighing in at around 5.7lbs (2.6kgs) now but they’ll soon grow into chunky rodents like their mum and dad.”

Two baby capybaras with mum

Chester Zoo keeper Helen Massey carries one of three new born baby capybaras to a health check

Chester Zoo vet nurses Tanya Grubb_left_and Alison Kelsall_right_carry out a health check on a new born baby capybara
Photo credit: Chester Zoo

Capybaras can grow up to almost 5ft (1.5m) in length and weigh up to 130lbs (60 kilograms). They are native to South America and can be found living in small herds in wetlands across most of the continent.

Their scientific name means ‘water pig’, and their bodies have been specially adapted for swimming - with webbed feet and their eyes, ears and nostrils located on top of their heads. They are able to stay submerged in water for around five minutes.

In the wild they are preyed upon by jaguars, anacondas and caiman and humans also hunt them for their meat and skin, which can be turned into leather.

The Capybaras are three of a number of new arrivals at the zoo, which has had something of a baby boom in October. A black rhino, a Rothschild giraffe, a Sumatran orangutan, an okapi and two Giant Otter pups have all been born in the month.