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February 2013
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March 2013

Zoo Salzburg's Tapir Cub Sports a Striped Birthday Suit

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A healthy, five-pound tapir was born on March 1st at Zoo Salzburg. The sex of the cub has not been determined yet. The first-time mother, Bibi, is taking good care of her cub. Bibi came to Zoo Salzburg last year from Zoo Brno in the Czech Republic. 

Tapir cubs are born with white spots and stripes that help them to camouflage in the rainforest understory of South America. They begin to lose their stripes at one to two months, and have an unmarked adult coat at six months old. 

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Tapir hero

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Photo credits: Zoo Salzburg 

Read more after the fold.

Continue reading " Zoo Salzburg's Tapir Cub Sports a Striped Birthday Suit" »

Tiny Dik-dik Antelope Makes a Big Impact at Chester Zoo


She stands just a few centimetres tall but this tiny new arrival at Chester Zoo is making a big impression. Aluna, the tiny Kirk’s Dik-dik Antelope, is not much taller than a TV remote. 

For now, she is being bottle-fed milk five times a day by the zoo’s dedicated curator of mammals after she failed to bond with her mother. She will be given a helping hand until she is old enough to tuck into a diet of buds, shoots and fruit on her own.


Photo credits: Chester Zoo

He said: “Our little one is growing stronger and stronger by the day and, all being well, it shouldn’t be too long until she‘ll be able to really hold her own. For the time being though her feed times are staggered through the day and she has her first bottle in my living room at home at around 7am. I then pop her into the car and bring her to work where she has another three feeds in my office. Finally, her last one is at 10pm back at my house.

“She’s already pretty quick on her feet and gives us quite the run around in the office. That’s why we’ve called here Aluna which means ‘come here’ in Swahili. It’s rather apt!”

Many more photos below the fold...

Continue reading "Tiny Dik-dik Antelope Makes a Big Impact at Chester Zoo" »

Presenting... A One Day Old Mouse Deer!


Last week, Zoo Zurich welcomed one of the world's smallest hoofed animals into the world. Mouse Deer, also known as Chevrotains, are neither mouse nor deer. Nine of the 10 extant Mouse Deer species are found in South and Southeast Asia, with one other species inhabiting Central and West Africa. The French word Chevrotain can be translated as "little goat".

UPDATE: Mom is a Patient Playmate for Antwerp Zoo’s Lion Cub


Nestor, the Lion cub born at Belgium’s Antwerp Zoo on August 29, loves to play.  His favorite toy?  Mom! 

This energetic six-month-old cub has been featured several times on ZooBorns, from his first days on exhibit, playing in water, and enjoying the snow.  Now Nestor is honing his hunting skills through play. 



Photo Credit:  Antwerp Zoo

Nestor’s mother, Maouli, is a willing and patient playmate for her little cub. But like all Lion moms, she lets her offspring know when he’s gone too far.  And when she lets loose with a Lion-sized snarl, Nestor is sure to take notice.

Africa’s wild Lions are in decline.  Recent studies suggest that fewer than 30,000 Lions survive on the continent.  Their numbers have dropped due to habitat loss and encroachment of human activity. 

See photos of Nestor and Maouli at the end of a play session below the fold!

Continue reading "UPDATE: Mom is a Patient Playmate for Antwerp Zoo’s Lion Cub" »

UPDATE! Beau the Orphaned Echidna Now Has Spikes


You’ve been watching Beau the orphaned puggle (baby Echidna) grow up on the pages of ZooBorns ever since it was found on a hiking trail near Sydney, Australia and brought to the Taronga Zoo.   

Upon arriving at the zoo in October, Beau was about a month old and nearly hairless.  About a month later, you could see fine hairs beginning to sprout.  Now, Beau is growing the coat of protective spikes typical of adult Echidnas. 



Photo Credits:  Taronga Zoo

 “I’m thrilled with Beau’s speedy development!  With fur and larger spines, Beau certainly looks like an Echidna now!” said veterinary nurse Annabelle Sehlmeier, who also acts as Beau’s surrogate mother.

More agile and co-ordinated, Beau is also starting to explore the surroundings and exhibit Echidna behaviours.

“Beau’s become adventurous and now climbs out of the travelling box. When disturbed, the young Echidna will flinch, curl up, or dig into the dirt, which is exactly what Echidnas do,” Annabelle explained.

The puggle, which weighs about three pounds (1.3 kg), lives in a large plastic tub with dirt for burrowing, although it still finds comfort in its nesting box that contains shredded paper and a tea towel.


Springtime Brings Lambs to Artis Zoo

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Two lambs were born at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam during the first week of March. Within four hours, the lambs could stand upright and drink their first milk. After a few days, they will begin to eat grass and hay.

The petting zoo at Artis has Cameroon Sheep and Hampshire Down Sheep, as well as goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and Kunekune pigs. 

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Photo Credits: Artis Zoo

Watch the lambs venture out into the petting zoo with their mother:

A Sneak Peek at Toledo Zoo's Twin Polar Bear Cubs


Twin Polar Bear cubs were born at the Toledo Zoo on November 21, but they’ve been behind the scenes with their mother Crystal until last week, when they stepped outdoors for a sneak peek. The cubs, who have not yet been named, are not expected to go into their exhibit until sometime in May.

The zoo staff monitors the twins by remote camera to reduce the stress on Crystal, age 13, and allow her to devote her energies to caring for her babies.  The twins’ father is Marty, the zoo’s resident male Polar Bear.


Photo Credit:  Dr. Randi Meyerson

“This is the fourth litter of Polar Bears the Zoo has had since 2006,” Dr. Randi Meyerson, curator of mammals, said. “I credit our success to high-quality animal care, the staff’s relationship with the animals, the bears’ good temperaments and an outstanding facility. When the Arctic Encounter® opened in 2000, it was a state-of-the-art facility, and it still is.” 

The Zoo’s cubs have an important future as ambassadors for a species, protected under the Endangered Species Act, which faces grave threats in their native habitat. “Human activities have a direct effect on Polar Bears,” Dr. Meyerson said, “and their plight should encourage all of us to decrease our carbon footprint.”

Polar Bears in United States zoos are managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Through this cooperative breeding and conservation program, zoos nationwide work together to maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations.

Jeff Sailer, the Zoo’s executive director, said, “As the number of Polar Bears in the wild decreases, it’s more important than ever that cubs in zoo settings serve as ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. We hope these cubs inspire our visitors to join us in caring for Polar Bears and their environment.”

Meerkat Kits Arrive at Warsaw Zoo

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On February 2nd the Warsaw Zoo received their newest addition with the birth of a litter of Meerkat kits. The birth brought three new members to the zoo's clan of Meerkats. The youngsters have emerged from the burrow, which they were born in just over a month ago, and are now out and about on exhibit for all to see.

Meerkats, native to southern Africa are small carnivores in the mongoose family. Females give birth to litters up four times a year. Young are born in a burrow, and after opening their eyes for the first time approximately 14 days after birth, come above ground to explore the world at about three weeks of age.

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Photo Credit: Warsaw Zoo

Haku the White River Otter Takes a Stroll

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The Sunshine City Aquarium, located at the top of a high rise building in the heart of Tokyo, has a very special resident in Haku, a four month old female River Otter. Weighing about 3 pounds (1.36 kg), little Haku, whose name means white, greets visitors for a portion of the day from her backpack-like pouch or while on a leash with a little harness. If that weren't unique enough, Haku is unusual in that her fur has stayed so light. By this time in their growth, a River Otter's fur would have already turned black.

It's not hard to see why Haku, with her little face and whiskers, natural curiosity and bursts of energy, charms all who see her. Since she is still too young to join the seven other otters on exhibit at the Aquarium, she serves as a great ambassador for her species as she walks around for visitors to see up close.

A Japanese blogger who recently visited Haku in person captured her in these pictures, and you can watch her in action in a video below!

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Photo Credit:Blogger Beginner ++

Watch as Haku takes a stroll with her keeper around the Aquarium to visit her neighbors.