Prague Zoo is celebrating a quadruple success in their 10-year efforts to breed Bush Dogs. The litter of 4 is made up of 3 females and 1 male. The puppies have already started leaving the breeding box to explore their exhibit. These quadruplets are a genetically important addition to Europe's Bush Dog population. Their father arrived at the Prague Zoo from Japan after two years of negotiations, making him unrelated to any other dog in Europe. The zoo is the only Czech zoo with these carnivorous canines.
What smells like popcorn, purrs like a kitten, and has a tail as long as its body? Why, a Binturong of course! Meet the The Staten Island Zoo's newest resident a six-week playful and inquisitive Binturong named “Oliver Wolf.” The four-pound creature, also known as Bearcat, is a viverrid found in South and Southeast Asia. It is uncommon or rare over much of its range and listed as vulnerable because of a population decline estimated to be more than 30%.
Weighing 50 lbs or more at maturity, Oliver Wolf will eventually serve as an ambassador animal, meeting and educating the public about the plight of his species in the wild.
Binturongs are identifiable by a prehensile tail that is as long as its body and are classified as carnivores although they eat mostly fruit. They are related to civets and fossas. In the wild, Binturongs sleep during the day high in the forest canopy and love to bask in the sun. They play a special role in rainforest ecology by spreading seeds from the fruits they eat and subsequently poop out.
From 2005 to 2009, the Staten Island Zoo exhibited the only Binturong in the New York metropolitan region and was among only 27 zoos in the country to have them in their collection. They are considered a “red” program in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) due to the low numbers available for breeding and thus low genetic diversity. The Staten Island Zoo participates in the international Species Survival Program the strategy of which is to add to the breeding population of threatened and endangered species.
The dog days of summer may be coming to a close, but the cat days seem to be just starting: Exmoor Zoo in England welcomed a Caracal kitten in mid-August, and it is a joy to see the mother completely devoted to caring for her new baby. Mom and kitten were spotted taking a lunchtime bath and snooze together about a week ago on August 24. The kitten is pictured at just one week old. The little one still has eyes closed and gets carried around everywhere by mom. Caracal kittens will open their eyes between four and ten days old, and nurse until they are weaned at about ten weeks.
See more nap-time photos after the fold!
Knoxville Zoo is now home to two Red Panda cubs, born June 1. The twins, one boy and one girl, are born to mother Scarlett and father Madan.
Though young and still a bit reclusive, the cubs already have rather distinct personality traits. The female cub is feisty, often letting
out a "huff-quack" - a cross between a hiss and a bark- to keep strangers at bay. Her brother is a bit more easy going, much like his father. Scarlett and her cubs have been bonding in their next box. When the twins are older, they will leave the nest box for the zoo's outdoor
Red Panda exhibit. Until then, the 11 week old cubs are looking for names! The zoo is holding a naming contest for the pair. Voting will occur on their website starting August 31.
The birth of these cubs brings the number of red pandas born at Knoxville Zoo to 106. The zoo ranks as one of the top two zoos in the world for the breeding of endangered red pandas. Red pandas are endangered, primarily due to destruction of their native habitat, which extends from western Nepal to northern Myanmar.
Two Pygmy Goat kids are outside enjoying the warm weather at Five Sisters Zoo in the UK! And more are on the way: another female goat, Molly, is heavily pregnant, with zookeepers expecting her to give birth any day now. Pygmy Goats, often kept as pets as well as for their milk, are a breed of domestic goat originating from wild goats of West Africa.
Photo credits: Five Sisters Zoo
On July 7, Sao Paulo Zoo welcomed a baby that was over six feet (1.85 meters) tall: a giraffe, of course! The calf is a healthy male, born to parents Mel ('Honey') and Palito ('Stick'). The delivery started around midnight, when security staff noticed and called in the vets, biologists and keepers. Because the mother was having difficulties in delivering, the vets decided to assist by tying a rope to Mel's front legs and pulling.
Giraffe Keeper, Laurindo, who has worked at Sao Paulo Zoo for 33 years, says he has never seen such a strong and healthy baby giraffe. Within his first two weeks, the calf was already looking for things to eat, and hopping and kicking with energy. The zoo has a tradition in breeding this species: this is their 24th giraffe born since their first in 1977.
See a video of the calf below:
See and read more after the fold!
The zoo and a major weekly magazine in Brazil promoted a public vote to choose his name based on ten names that were chosen by the zoo staff. The calf is now called Girafales, the name of a character in a Mexican TV show that is very famous in Brazil, and alludes back to the species name.
The Brookfield Zoo is proud to share the birth of a male Snow Leopard cub, born on June 13. The cub was born to first time mom Sarani and her mate, Sabu. At just over two months, the cub weighs about 10 pounds. The cub will remain off exhibit until he is about 3 months old. This will allow him time to bond with mom before making his public debut in mid-September.
Saranti and Sabu, both about 3-years-old, were paired based on a recommendation from the AZA's Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSPs help to manage the breeding population of a species in order to ensure that it is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Including this cub, there are currently 140 Snow Leopards in 60 institutions in North America. The Brookfield Zoo has been home to Snow Leopards for nearly 80 years.
Snow Leopards are an Endangered species, with an estimated population between 3,500 and 7,000 in the wild. They are native to high, rugged mountainous regions throughout central Asia. The species is threatened by human influences, such as poaching, depletion of prey, retribution killings, residential and commercial development and civil unrest.
Kaitlyn, a six year-old Sumatran Tiger, safely delivered two healthy cubs on August 22—the first tiger cubs to be born at Australia Zoo in it 43-year history! After going into labour at 11:00 am, she delivered the first cub at 5:07 pm and the second at 5:39 pm. Both Kaitlyn and her new arrivals are healthy and doing well, according to Australia Zoo Head Tiger Supervisor Giles Clark.
"We're so pleased with how well the birth went. Kaitlyn is a fantastic first time mum," Giles says. "The cubs will spend the next few weeks bonding with mum. This will also ensure the cubs gets the colostrum and a head start while they are so small." Visitors to Australia Zoo will have the opportunity to see the cubs in late October, but in the meantime, you can take a peek inside the den with a live tiger cam.
See and read more after the fold!
There was excitement in the air on Friday, August 23 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The zoo's panda team watched the panda cam anxiously as Mei Xiang, the zoo's female panda, went into labor around 3:36 pm. After two hours, at 5:32 pm, she gave birth to a cub! Viewers heard the cub vocalize and caught a quick glimpse before Mei Xiang immediately began cradling it. The cub had its first neonatal exam on Sunday morning. It appeared robust, active and a healthy shade of pink. The cub weighed 4.8 ounces (137 grams) and is nursing and digesting successfully. At the time of the exam, it had a full belly.
“I’m glued to the new panda cams and thrilled to hear the squeals, which appear healthy, of our newborn cub,” said Dennis Kelly, director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. “Our expansive panda team has worked tirelessly analyzing hormones and behavior since March, and as a result of their expertise and our collaboration with scientists from around the world we are celebrating this birth.”
Panda pregnancies can be tricky. Artificial insemination has been long used and is one of the more successful methods of producing cubs for Giant Pandas in captivity. Changes in hormone levels and behaviors indicate a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. The only way to definitively differentiate between a true pregnancy and a pseudopregnancy is seeing a fetus on an ultrasound. In Mei's pregancy, a secondary rise in urinary progesterone on July 10 indicated that she would either give birth or experience a pseudopregnancy in just over a month. Her behavior was consistent with this. She experienced decreased appetite and began spending more time in her den. An ultrasound on August 5 showed no evidence of a fetus. However, by August 11 she began body licking and cradling toys, which indicated that she could give birth soon. Luckiy, she did! A paternal analysis will determine the father of the pup within a few weeks. Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice on March 30 with semen from both Tian Tian, the zoo's male Giant Panda, and San Diego Zoo's male Giant Panta, Gao Gao.
This is Mei Xiang's third cub as a result of artificial insemination. Her first cub, Tai Shan, was born in 2005. He now lives at the Panda Base in BiFengxia in Ya'an China. The zoo's pandas live in the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda habitat, where they conduct cutting-edge research crucial to the survival of this endangered species.
Cotswald Wildlife Park welcomed two newborn Patagonian Mara on August 6. They are quite shy and speedy, but zoo staff managed to snap a few pictures of the little ones out and about. They share an enclosure with two young Capybara next to the Giant Anteaters.
The species, also known as the Patagonian Hare, is the closest relative of the Guinea Pig. They are endemic to Patagonia, meaning that they originate from that area and are found nowhere else in the world. These rabbit-like rodents feed on plants throughout the day and are excellent runners. Pairs will mate for life, and the male will guard the female from potential predators.
Photo credits: Cotswald Wildlife Pakr
Patagonian Mara are listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Their preferred habitat are lowland forests and bush, which are rapidly being converted for agricultural use. According to the IUCN, main threats to the Mara are habitat loss, competition with grazing livestock and hunting for their skins.