Albuquerque Biological Park

Albuquerque BioPark Welcomes Chimpanzee Twins

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The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo welcomed new twin Chimpanzees on November 4, 2014. The pair have stayed very close to their mother, ‘Elaine’, for the past four months.  

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Photo Credits: by Ray Watt / ABQ Biopark Zoo

Zoo staff were finally able to determine that both babies are male, and now, the BioPark wants your help in choosing the names of the two baby Chimpanzees, through an online contest. The two names with the most votes will be chosen. The options being presented are:

  • Rio
  • Dezi
  • Alby (short for Albuquerque)
  • River
  • Moyobi

 

You can vote for your favorite name by visiting the ABQ BioPark's Facebook page at facebook.com/abqbiopark or at  http://woobox.com/pt6x4e.

"It is fairly unique to have chimp twins, but Elaine is an experienced mother and is doing extremely well," said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager, "The twins are getting stronger and more active every day.  Elaine is teaching them to hang on by walking around and letting them hang on to her without being held."

The ABQ Biopark Zoo was asked to breed their chimps as part of the Species Survival Plan. This plan helps zoos around the country coordinate breeding programs for threatened and endangered species and helps to maintain good genetic diversity.

More great photos, below the fold!

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Meet the Two-Day-Old Elephant Calf at ABQ Biopark

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After a 22-month wait, the Albuquerque BioPark in New Mexico welcomed a healthy female Elephant calf on October 2.

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Photo Credit:  ABQ Biopark


"Rozie and her calf are doing well and are getting to know each other behind-the-scenes," said Rhonda Saiers, Elephant Manager. "She is learning to nurse and getting more steady on her feet. She'll get to meet her sister, Daizy, and grandmother, Alice, within a few days."

The newest addition is the third Elephant born in New Mexico. Rozie was the first Elephant born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo back in 1992. She gave birth to Daizy, her first calf, in 2009. The multi-generation herd includes Rozie, her mother Alice, daughter Daizy and brand new calf. An unrelated female, Irene, is also part of the herd and has been a good auntie. Samson and Albert, two young males, have formed a bachelor herd, and can be seen in yards adjacent to the females. 

"We're proud to be part of Elephant conservation through our breeding program," said Rick Janser, BioPark Director. "Our diverse herd represents how Elephants socialize in the wild, living in groups and raising calves together. These Elephants show how conservation programs can help ensure a future for endangered species."

Asian Elephants are endangered with only 40,000 left in the wild. The ABQ BioPark participates in the Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP boosts Elephant reproduction efforts and promotes genetic diversity to build a self-sustaining elephant population in North America.

The new calf will make her public debut in coming weeks.  Rozie's new calf is an important addition to the Elephant population and to Albuquerque's herd. She will learn how to be an Elephant with the guidance of older Elephants. And Daizy, now 4 years old, will learn what it's like to raise a calf, which will help prepare her to be a mother in a few years.

See more photos of the Elephant calf below the fold!

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White Rhino calf travels cross-country to new home

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A male Southern White Rhinoceros calf born on an unusually cold night at Florida's White Oak Conservation Center is now being hand-reared by the staff at New Mexico's ABQ BioPark, thanks to a unique arrangement between the two facilities. 

After the baby was born in Florida on October 30, the White Oak staff observed that the 169-pound calf was slow to start nursing and did not establish a strong bond with his mother, so they decided to hand-rear the calf. 

Because the calf’s father is Bully, a male Rhino sent from the BioPark on a special loan to White Oak, the calf belongs to the BioPark.  White Oak Conservation Center partners with zoos to conserve threatened species through breeding and other programs.

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The calf is bottle-fed a mixture of skim and 1% cow's milk with extra dextrose and vitamins added. This formula mimics the very sweet, low-fat milk of Rhino mothers. The baby Rhino is hand-fed around the clock, every 3-4 hours, at the BioPark.

"We are pleased that Albuquerque can offer a good home to this Rhino calf," said Mayor Richard J. Berry, shown feeding the calf in the photo above. "We know that our Zoo will give him top-notch care, and what a great treat for families to watch this little guy grow up."

"The calf is very playful and rambunctious," said Zoo Manager Lynn Tupa, who traveled with the two-week-old calf from Florida. "He did great during the trip, and we enjoyed getting to know him. He loves his fuzzy blankets, which he rolls around on and drags with him."

The calf's first few months at the BioPark will be spent behind-the-scenes as he gets accustomed to staff and the three adult Rhinos Bertha, Lulu and Bernie.

The Southern White Rhinonoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), native to southern Africa, is the world’s third largest land animal, but nearly became extinct in the early 1900s, when hunting reduced the White Rhino population to 100 animals. Today, there are more than 20,000 individuals. Conservation efforts such as captive breeding have been an integral part of this success story. Zoos and other facilities have been able to provide social, open spaces for Rhino groups to breed and thrive. Unfortunately, poaching for Rhino horns continues to threaten the future of the species.

Photo Credit:  ABQ BioPark


Feisty Snow Leopard Twins Are Cleared To Venture Out

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The ABQ BioPark is thrilled to announce the birth of two male Snow Leopards. Kiran and Kalmali, born July 21, 2011, are beginning to venture into their exhibit with their mother, Kachina, on the Zoo’s Cat Walk.

“Kachina is a great mother, very fierce and protective of her cubs,” said Shelly Dicks, Mammal Supervisor. “The cubs are peeking out after her and coming into the exhibit, but still shy when people are watching. However, when we arrive in the morning, it’s clear they’ve been having a grand old time. They’ve torn up the enrichment and made a mess of the exhibit!”

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Photo credits: Katie Mast/ABQ BioPark

Snow leopards are endangered, and zoos and conservation organizations around the world are helping to protect them through a Species Survival Plan (SSP). Organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the SSP helps arrange adult pairs to maintain genetic diversity. Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo Manager, helps to coordinate the snow leopard SSP. Check out the additional photos beneath the fold...

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Partially Blind Harbor Seal Proves a Perfect Mother

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On April 13, eight-year old Harbor Seal Gracie, gave birth to a bouncing baby pup in a special birthing pool. Gracie arrived at the Albuquerque BioPark in 2004 after sustaining a gunshot wound which caused significant eyesight loss. BioPark staff were concerned that her impaired eyesight might be a problem in motherhood, but Gracie relies on her other senses to communicate. “Seals use scent and vocalization, so we’re finding that her eyesight is not an issue at all,” said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager. “The pup is so cute. She nurses often and communicates with mom constantly, so there is a lot of vocalization. Usually after nursing, they play in the pool together.”

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Harbor Seal Pup and Mom Kiss at Albuquerque Zoo

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The pup will remain off exhibit with her mother in the birthing pool until able to eat solid food. See more below the fold...

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