Previous month:
November 2012
Next month:
January 2013

December 2012

Now There's Three Little Penguin Chicks at Moody Gardens!

3 penguin chicks.jpg

Photo Credit: Moody Gardens

Another little Penguin chick has hatched at Moody Gardens, making him the third baby this season for parents Ren and Garfield. You may have read about the first two, who were born on Thanksgiving Day, a few weeks ago on Zooborns. 

This new baby Gentoo Penguin came into the family earlier this week, and currently weighs 221 grams. And he's growing fast. Here you can watch him along with sibling Quinn and Raye, a must-see video. 

Adult Gentoo Penguins have distinctive white patches above the eye area and white speckling in the adjacent black plumage around their heads. They also have yellow feet, making them unique in the Moody Gardens collection. These new additions made it the eighth straight year that Moody Gardens has successfully bred a Gentoo Penguin. 

Twin Ruffed Lemurs Born at Mogo Zoo


Found only on the island of Madagascar, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs are critically endangered.  But twins born at the Mogo Zoo on October 6 offer a glimmer of hope for the species.

The yet-to-be-named and sexed twins are being expertly cared for by their parents.  According to Animal Operations Manager Paul Whitehorn, “Tame’ and Itasi are being great parents, and the youngsters are becoming so active and a delight to watch.”  Though the twins are still nursing, they are already enjoying healthy fruits and veggies as part of their daily diet.





Unfortunately, the future for wild Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs is bleak.  Classified as Critically Endangered, these primates are threatened by habitat loss due to slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, and mining.  Additionally, they are hunted by poachers for their meat. 

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs are the only diurnal primates to build nests.  Australia’s Mogo Zoo participates in the Species Management Program to ensure the genetic diversity of the captive population.

Photo Credit:  Mogo Zoo

Double the Fun: Two Rhinos Born at Knowsley Safari Park


Two White Rhinoceros calves – one male and one female – were born just two days apart at the Knowsley Safari Park.

On November 7, female Piglet delivered baby Njiri and on November 9, baby Thabo was born to 18-year-old Winnie.  Both calves were sired by 18-year-old bull Shako.  Piglet and Winnie were pregnant for 16 months.




The calves were given African names to celebrate their wild heritage.  Njiri means “warthog” and Thabo means “joy.”

These calves are the 12th and 13th Rhinos to be born at Knowlsey Safari Park in the last ten years.  The park’s breeding program is managed by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

White Rhinos are hunted extensively in their native African home and are perilously close to extinction with only about 20,000 remaining in the wild.  Rhinos are often killed solely for their horns, which are sought on the black market.  The birth of these two calves is important to maintaining a healthy and genetically diverse population in zoos – which may one day be needed to augment the dwindling wild population.

Photo Credits:  Knowsley Safari Park

More photos below the fold!

Continue reading "Double the Fun: Two Rhinos Born at Knowsley Safari Park" »

How does a Giant Anteater pup yawn? Like this!


Early in the morning on September 27, female Giant Anteater Zoe delivered a healthy baby at the Reid Park Zoo.  After allowing the first-time mom and her new baby to spend some quiet time together, the two are now delighting crowds while they are on exhibit every afternoon.

A naming contest among zoo fans resulted in the winning name of Zola for the female baby. Her father’s name is Xander.



Baby Giant Anteaters, called pups, are carried on their mothers’ backs for the first several months of life.  They become independent at around 10 months.

Giant Anteaters are native to South America, where they live in a variety of habitats from grasslands to rain forests.  After breaking open ant and termite mounds with their huge, curved claws, they collect the insects with their long, sticky tongues. 

In parts of their South American range, Giant Anteaters are abundant, while in other areas they have been completely eradicated.  Because of these regional extirpations, Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. 

Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo

Penguin Chick Growing Fast at the Little Rock Zoo

Penguin Chick 2 Days Old Cerdit Hannah Baker 2

An endangered African Black-Footed Penguin chick at the Little Rock Zoo is on a mission – to eat, eat, and eat so he can grow, grow, and grow!  So far, the strategy is working.  This little chick, who weighed just 2 ounces (54 grams) at two days old (top photo), now weighs more than a pound (450 grams) at five weeks of age (bottom photo).

Penguin Chick 3 Weeks Credit Stephanie Hollister 2

Penguin Chick 5 Weeks

Like many young birds, Penguin chicks eat huge amounts of food in relation to their body weight and grow rapidly.  This allows the chicks to become self-sufficient at a young age, relieving mom and dad of the burden of constant feedings. 

The zoo’s new arrival is the first chick for parents Skipper and Easy.  He does not yet have a name.   The chick’s arrival increases the zoo’s Penguin flock to 16 birds.

African Black-Footed Penguins are native to the rocky coastlines of southern Africa and nearby islands.  African Penguins once numbered more than 1.5 million, but there are fewer than 200,000 birds today.  The harvesting of Penguin eggs, loss of habitat, and repeated oil spills have taken a toll on the population, and the African Penguin is now considered endangered.

Photo Credits:  Hannah baker (top), Stephanie Hollister (center), Little Rock Zoo (bottom)

Denver Zoo Welcomes Royal Lion Cub Trio From Qatar


The pitter patter of little paws can be heard at Denver Zoo's Predator Ridge exhibit with the arrival of three Lion cubs from the Royal Family of Qatar. The trio, made up of males, Tsavo and Enzi, and female, Sabi, were born June 24, 2012 and will likely only live at Denver Zoo temporarily until permanent homes are determined. Weather permitting; visitors can see the triplet cubs in Predator Ridge during the next few months of their temporary stay.



Photo credit: Denver Zoo

This is the first time Denver Zoo has had Lion cubs since 2006. The trio was donated by Sheik Khalid Hamad Al Thani, son of Qatar's ruling emir. He received the cubs' parents as a gift from the country of Sudan a few years ago. The Lions bred and the female died after a difficult birth. With the Lion family having doubled in size, the sheik contacted zoos in the United States that could better meet the needs of this Lion pride. Denver Zoo was asked to assist as Curator of Large Mammals Hollie Colahan is also the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) Coordinator, which determines the best home for Lions in North American zoos. SSPs are cooperative animal management, breeding and conservation programs that work to ensure long-term species survival. Colahan travelled to Qatar, met with veterinarians caring for the Lions and personally oversaw the import process in late October.

Continue reading "Denver Zoo Welcomes Royal Lion Cub Trio From Qatar " »

Two Playful Clouded Leopard Cubs Arrive at San Diego Zoo

SDt 3.jpg

Two 14-week-old Clouded Leopard cubs, Riki-san and Haui-san, were spotted pouncing, climbing and using each other as trampolines in the San Diego Zoo's Children’s Zoo nursery. The cubs arrived earlier this week from the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, where a very successful breeding program has helped to increase the population of this critically endangered species. 

Brothers Riki-san and Haui-san will spend 30 days in quarantine, where they are visible to the public daily and have already become guest favorites. After this quarantine period, the cubs will join the Zoo’s Backstage Pass animal ambassador program.

Named for its cloud-like spots, the male Clouded Leopard can weigh up to 50 pounds 22.6 kgs). This cat is found mostly in the Southeast Asian rain forest and is an excellent swimmer and climber. In fact, the Clouded Leopard and the Margay from South America are the only cat species that can climb down a tree head first, thanks to the flexibility of the ankle joints. 


SDt 4


Photo Credit: ZSSD/San Diego Zoo

Thirteen-pound Riki-san (right) is the larger of the two cats but is also the more timid one. His coat pattern is darker and his rosettes more pronounced. According to zookeepers, Haui-san, at 11.5 pounds, is feisty and quite playful, enticing his bigger brother to wrestle and play a game of chase.

Taronga's Tiny New Tawny Rescue Had Taken Tumble From a Tree


Nurses at Taronga Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital have been kept busy by the arrival of this Tawny Frogmouth. The little chick was brought in after it fell out of a tree, and was attacked by Magpies on the ground. Luckily, it was picked up by passers-by. This young bird is in good health, and Taronga nurses are making sure it’s being kept safe and warm in a nest made out of cloth.


Photo credit: Taronga Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo Lion Cubs Get First Check-up

Lion 1

It’s a boy! And a girl! And a boy! And a girl! Last week, Woodland Park Zoo's four Lion cubs that you may have read about HERE on ZooBorns, received their first health check-up. The exam revealed the quadruplets, which included a weigh-in, fecal sampling and an overall assessment of their health. They’ll get the first of a series of vaccinations at the next exam coming up in a few weeks. The cubs turn four weeks old this Saturday.

Each cub weighs between 8 and 9 pounds (3.6-4 kgs), which is in the normal weight range for their age. Vets noted that the cubs had full, round bellies, meaning they’re nursing regularly. Adia continues to show excellent maternal skills, and she has herself some robust, healthy cubs.

Mom and cubs remain in an off-view maternity den that allows the family to bond in a quieter environment. The cubs will go out in the public exhibit when they are older and outdoor temperatures reach a minimum of 50 degrees. Until then, zoo-goers can watch recorded video of the cubs at a kiosk stationed at the lion exhibit or at Zoomazium. 

Lion face

Lion 4

Lion 3

Photo Credit: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Blackpool Zoo's Little Mountain Zebra Born in a Stable Significant for Species

Zebra foal close up 2

There is a truly festive feel in the air at Blackpool Zoo after the birth of a very special boy in one of its stables. The male Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra foal, yet to be named, is only the fourth of his kind to be born in the UK for the past decade and he is a hugely significant addition to the European Endangered Species Program.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011 lists Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras as Vulnerable with a total population of less than 9000 mature individuals. Current studies indicate that this number could decline by more than 10% in the next 25 years due to an increase in hunting and loss of natural habitat to agriculture.

When senior mammal keeper Sofie Fawzy arrived for work on Monday, November 26, she was delighted to find the beautiful little striped boy up on his feet, feeding from his mother. Although keepers suspected that mom Betty was pregnant, a due date was not yet confirmed. It was hoped that, as an older mum, 19-year-old Betty would give birth safely to her very first foal. And indeed she did.

Zebra w mom.jpg

Zebra foal
Photo Credit: Blackpool Zoo

Blackpool Zoo broke a nine year absence of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra births in 2011 when its other resident female, Helene, gave birth to Tebogo, who recently moved to an all-male group in Germany. The father of both foals is Fernando. 

Sofie, who oversaw the birth and rearing of Tebogo, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have another foal, and mother and baby are doing very well. It will be fantastic to see another lively young one running around. As it is coming up to Christmas, we feel very honored to have our own special little boy who was born in a stable!”

Story continues after the jump:

Continue reading "Blackpool Zoo's Little Mountain Zebra Born in a Stable Significant for Species" »