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October 2013

M’Bopicuá Breeding Station Welcomes a Threatened Pampas Deer Fawn

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On September 29, M’Bopicuá, known in Spanish as Estación de Cría de Fauna M'Bopicuá, welcomed a little Pampas Deer into the world. The fawn is a healthy female, and she is being well care-for by her mother. The Pampas Deer is a threatened species in Uruguay, where the station is located. 

Once found widely throughout the grasslands of South America, the Pampas Deer now exists in small, isolated populations in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Conversion of habitat for agriculture and predation by feral dogs have contributed to their decline. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the remaining habitat of the Pampas Deer is less than one percent of what existed in 1900. Historically, Pampas deer were hunted sustainably for their meat and skins, but their use is much less common now that the species is threatened.

M’Bopicuá Breeding Station works to protect and repopulate native species in danger of extinction around their conservation area. A member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, M’Bopicuá also focuses on environmental education and training with local school children. This little fawn may play an important role in the station's breeding program, or someday be released into protected conservation land.

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Deer 3Photo credits: M’Bopicuá

See a video of the fawn:

 

The little fawn shows off her speed:

 


Zoo Miami's First Ever Lion Cubs!

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For the first time in the 33 year history of Zoo Miami, the birth of Lions is being celebrated!  On Tuesday, September 24th, “Kashifa’” a 3 year, 8 month old Lioness gave birth to three cubs in a special den off exhibit.  Until today, the cubs were being observed in that den via a closed circuit camera which indicated that the newborns are being well cared for by the first time mother.  This morning, zoo staff was successful in shifting the mother, which allowed the separation of the cubs and subsequent safe access for their neonatal examination.  The examination enabled staff to determine the sex of the cubs as well as obtain weights while carefully evaluating their overall condition.  In addition, they received microchips for identification.  The two males and single female appeared to be in excellent health weighing between 1.63kg and 1.75kg and will remain off exhibit with their mother for approximately 3 months until zoo staff feels confident that the cubs can be introduced to the rest of the pride and safely navigate the exhibit with the adults.

Kashifa is one of four Lions that form the pride at Zoo Miami.  She shares the exhibit with her sister, Asha, and two unrelated brothers, Jabari and Kwame.  Both females were born at the Bronx Zoo in New York in January of 2010 and the males were born at the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin in September of 2007.   It is not known for sure which if the two brothers is the father of the cubs as both males had equal access to the females. 

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These cubs were born as part of a carefully planned breeding that was the result of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation.  Species Survival Plans are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) mission to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered species populations in accredited institutions.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold...

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