Binghamton Zoo

Binghamton Zoo Celebrates Arrival of New Porcupine


The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, in New York, is proud to announce the arrival of a Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine. The porcupette was born on Father’s Day, June 21.

Weighing in at 400 grams, the baby has progressively gained weight since birth. Once the sex is determined, a name will be announced. For now, the young porcupine is being monitored by zoo staff and is bonding with mom, Zoey, and dad, Mattie. 



4_2015_animal_porcupine_baby2Photo Credits: Binghamton Zoo

The birth of this porcupine is a major success for the Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine’s Species Survival Plan. The father, Mattie, came to the Binghamton Zoo in November 2014, under recommendations from the SSP as a breeding candidate for Zoey. Each SSP carefully manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Baby porcupines (also known as porcupettes) are not born with sharp or barbed quills. Instead, the porcupette’s quills are soft and bendable, gradually hardening in the first few days after birth. Their quills will reach maturity after 10 weeks. They are dependent on the mother for nutrition the first 4 weeks after birth, eventually foraging for other food sources. They are completely weaned at 15 weeks.

These porcupines have a prehensile tail that allows them to grasp branches for balance. They also have long, curved claws that enable excellent climbing abilities. They spend most of their time in trees and will den in tree nests, rock crevices, brush, logs, and tangled tree roots.

Prehensile-Tailed Porcupines are native to South America. They feed on the bark of trees, buds, fruits, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, seeds, and crops like corn and bananas. At the zoo, the porcupines’ diet consists of yams, carrots, greens, and leaf eater biscuits.

The porcupette is currently on exhibit with its parents, Zoey and Mattie, in the New World Tropics building.

Help Name Binghamton Zoo's Otter Triplets!

1 otter

The Binghamton Zoo has announced the birth of three North American River Otter pups, born on March 1!

The pups were born to Elaine and Leroy, the resident otters who have been at the zoo since 2007. The pups weigh in at about .5 pounds each (180-232 g). It is hard to determine their sexes due to their size and age.

A naming contest for the three otter pups will take place until April 3. Submit your ideas here

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3 otter

4 otterPhoto credit: Binghamton Zoo

Female otters give birth, nurse, and care for their young in a den prepared by the mother. They are born with fur, but are otherwise helpless. Elaine has been a wonderful mother and has been taking care of them since birth. When they get older, they will get a swimming lesson from mom.

The last time the pair had a pup was in 2010, when they had their firstborn, Emmett, who is now at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, Colorado.

The three otter pups will stay at the Binghamton Zoo through the summer and into the fall, when at the decision of the North American Species Survival Plan management committee, they will go to other zoos to become the foundation of new breeding pairs.

Learn more after the fold.

Continue reading "Help Name Binghamton Zoo's Otter Triplets!" »

Baby Red Panda Thriving at Binghamton Zoo

Red paw

New York's Binghamton Zoo excitedly announced the birth of a male Red Panda, the first of its species to be born there. The cub, named Zhin-Li (meaning "treasure"), is steadily gaining weight and showing all signs of thriving. It is the first offspring of mother Mei-Li and father Xiao-Li, paired together as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan.

"The simple chore of properly socializing them to allow coexistence within the exhibit was a major accomplishment," said David Orndorff, the Binghamton Zoo's Animal Curator. "Add to that that this is the first birth by this female and with a male that has never fathered cubs in the past, shows the dedication and commitment of the Binghamton Zoo's animal care staff." 

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Red keepers

Red body

Photo Credit:  Melissa Grippin, Binghamton Zoo 

The Species Survival Plan was created by AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) to ensure the long-term survival of captive species. This baby  will continue in this program and when of age, will be paired with a female to breed at another zoo. The cub represents a "treasure" for the Binghamton Zoo, and also for the whole conservation community. There are roughly 175 Red Pandas located in zoos throughout the United States and Canada, but only about 60 individuals fall under the subspecies Ailurus fulgens refulgens (styani). These Red Pandas are distributed among 23 institutions, including the Binghamton Zoo. 

This story continues, with more pictures of the cub, after the fold:

Continue reading "Baby Red Panda Thriving at Binghamton Zoo" »

You Otter Be in Pictures

Last month the Binghamton Zoo's North American river otters, Elaine and Leroy, had a baby boy. This is the first time in Zoo’s 135 year history that they have welcomed a newborn otter pup. Since the birth, zoo staff have been working overtime to ensure the health of the pup. Oh, and the winner of the "sleepy otter pun" challenge gets to see their title up in lights (in the post title). Thanks for all the great otter puns. It was tough to choose one, but Micrathene's comment took the title!




Photo Credits: Ross Park Zoo