Bioparc Valencia

Endangered Dama Gazelles Arrive with the Spring

1_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017

The entrance of spring has brought the births of many animals at BIOPARC Valencia, and among them is the Dama Gazelle.

In 2014, three females and a young male arrived at BIOPARC Valencia with the aim of creating a breeding group. The park recently welcomed the birth of two calves and expects the arrival of a third calf any day now. This was the "premiere" of the park’s male as a father, and the new calves offer hope for the survival of this beautiful species.

2_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017 (3)

3_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017 (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama), also known as the Addra Gazelle or Mhorr Gazelle, is a species native to Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel.

This Gazelle has been classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. It has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Their diets includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.


Aardvark Arrives for Bioparc Valencia’s Anniversary

1_Oricteropos - madre y cría - en BIOPARC Valencia - febrero 2017 bj

On January 28, an Aardvark was born at BIOPARC Valencia in Spain. The birth increased the number of this particular family at the park to a total of five, which includes the parents and two other females (also born in the park).

The new mom is taking excellent care of the new cub, and staff reports that supplemental care and feeding are not required for the new Aardvark. However, keepers constantly monitor the cub’s weight and work to assure that the appropriate temperature and humidity are provided in the new families den. Every night a thorough review of the animal takes place and the cub is cleaned, weighed and its skin is moisturized.

If the cub continues the current healthy pattern of growth and development, he may be placed on-exhibit in time for the park’s 9th anniversary. (In February, BIOPARC Valencia celebrates 9 years of love for nature and will show their appreciation to the public by offering discounted admission rates.)

2_Oricteropos - madre y cría - en BIOPARC Valencia - febrero 2017 (2) bj

3_Bebé oricteropo - cerdo hormiguero - recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia (2) bj

4_Bebé oricteropo - cerdo hormiguero - recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia bjPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

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Calf Strengthens Gene Pool of Endangered Giraffe

1_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (4)

BIOPARC Valencia recently announced the birth of a lovely female Rothschild’s Giraffe.

The healthy calf has been spending time bonding with mom, Bulería. Father Julius and the rest of the herd have also been introduced to the almost-one-month-old Giraffe.

2_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (5) (1)

3_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016

4_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Rothschild’s Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), also known as the Baringo Giraffe, is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. It is named after the Tring Museum’s founder, Walter Rothschild.

All individuals living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe is at risk of hybridization and is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Its geographic distribution includes central Kenya, northern Uganda and southern Sudan. According to latest figures, there are fewer than 1,500 individuals in the wild.

BIOPARC Valencia participates in the EEP (captive breeding program for endangered species), and this new breeding is involved in this important initiative to preserve biodiversity.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe is distinguishable from other subspecies because of its coloring. Where as the Reticulated Giraffe has very defined dark patches, with bright channels between, the Rothschild’s has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild’s has no markings on the lower leg.

This subspecies mate any time of year and have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months, typically giving birth to a single calf. They prefer to live in small herds, with adult males and females only mixing for mating. Males are larger than females and tend to be darker in color.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: “Current estimates of population size [of the Rothschild’s Giraffe] are well below 2,500 mature individuals, numbers are declining overall and no subpopulation is estimated to contain more than 250 mature individuals. The population is potentially close to meeting the population threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion C, depending on the number of individuals, if any, that survive in south Sudan.”


BIOPARC’s New Gorilla Given Special Name

1_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA nacida en BIOPARC Valencia cumple 3 meses

The Western Lowland Gorilla, born August 18 at BIOPARC Valencia, was recently given a name. The zoo excitedly revealed that the little female’s name would be one that honored and gave recognition to a special place…Virunga.

Formerly known as Albert National Park, Virunga National Park is located in the eastern boundary of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Uganda and Rwanda, from the mountains of the same name to the Ruwenzori Mountains. This beautiful wilderness first became a National Park in 1925 and is the most biologically diverse protected area in Africa. With an area of 7,800 square kilometers (equivalent to the province of Barcelona, Spain), treasured habitats as diverse as rainforests, savannah, lava plains, swamps, glaciers and active volcanoes make up the park.

This park is home to the Mountain Gorillas, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in 1979 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. The park is also included on the list of World Heritage sites that are in danger.

2_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA nacida en BIOPARC Valencia cumple 3 meses (2)

3_NOVIEMBRE 2016 La gorila Nalani y su bebé llamada VIRUNGA - cumple 3 meses en BIOPARC Valencia

4_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA junto a su padre MAMBIE en BIOPARC Valencia - noviembre 2016Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

Virunga National Park is also popularly known for the movie "Gorillas in the Mist", which focused on the scientific and conservation work with Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), in the Virunga Mountains, done by American zoologist Dian Fossey.

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Big Day for a Little Leopard

1_BIOPARC Valencia - leopardos - madre y cachorro (primer día en el bosque ecuatorial)

BIOPARC Valencia’s Sri Lankan Leopard cub timidly jumped at the opportunity to explore the outside area of his exhibit for the first time. The young male was born July 16, and until now, he has been safely tucked away with mom inside their den.

Although mom is never far away, the cub now has the opportunity to experience a simulation of all the things young Leopards enjoy in the wild. His new chance to explore will also allow zoo visitors a possible glimpse of the magnificent cub and his beautiful mother.

2_BIOPARC Valencia - cachorro de leopardo trepando a un árbol en su primer día en el bosque ecuatorial

3_BIOPARC Valencia - leopardos - madre y cachorro (primer día en el bosque ecuatorial) (6)

4_BIOPARC Valencia - leopardos - madre y cachorro (primer día en el bosque ecuatorial) (8)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

When BIOPARC keepers discovered the new cub was a male, they decided to offer the students of Valencia School the opportunity to select his name. Keepers decided on three potential monikers: Kaos, Okon, and Ekon. Students were allowed to vote, and keepers anticipate announcing the winning name very soon.

The Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is a subspecies native to Sri Lanka that was first described in 1956 by the Sri Lankan zoologist Deraniyagala.

The Sri Lankan Leopard has a tawny or rusty yellow coat with dark spots and close-set rosettes, which are smaller than those that appear on the Indian Leopard.

They are solitary hunters, and like other Leopards, silently stalk their prey until it is within striking distance. Once close to the prey, it unleashes a burst of speed to quickly pursue and pounce on its victim.

According to some, there appears to be no birth season or peak, with births scattered across months. A litter usually consists of up to 2 cubs.

In 2008, the Sri Lankan Leopard was classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Because of its beauty, the species is a prized trophy for poachers. Unfortunately, the wild population is estimated between 700-950 individuals.


BIOPARC Keepers Announce New Gorilla Is a Girl

1_OCTUBRE 2016 - BIOPARC Valencia - La gorila Nalani y su bebé de 7 semanas de vida (3)

BIOPARC Valencia is excited to announce that their newest Western Lowland Gorilla is a female! The birth of the baby on August 18 was witnessed, and filmed, by amazed Zoo patrons. (See our original article here: Zoo Guests Witness Gorilla Birth)

The new girl has become an important part of the Spanish zoo’s Gorilla troop. Mom, Nalani, and father, Mambie, are doing a fitting job caring for their new offspring.

From the beginning, keepers have worked to maximize the welfare of the mother and her baby. Unless necessary, the technical team of BIOPARC does not interfere in the natural development of breeding and, in this sense, mother and offspring have not been separated at any time. For this reason, only observation, patience and some luck, have finally allowed keepers to see and take a photo of the genital area of the new baby, and thus confirm that is a female.

2_OCTUBRE 2016 - BIOPARC Valencia - La gorila Nalani y su bebé y Ebo

3_BIOPARC VALENCIA - Grupo reproductor de gorilas - MAMBIE, NALANI su bebé y el pequeño EBO (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two subspecies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary and secondary forests and lowland swamps in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the Gorilla most common to zoos.

The main diet of the Gorilla species is roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, tree bark and pulp, which are provided for in the thick forests of central and West Africa. An adult will eat around 18 kg (40 lb) of food per day. Gorillas will climb trees up to 15 meters in height in search of food.

Females do not produce many offspring, due to the fact that they do not reach sexual maturity until the age of 8 or 9. Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Unlike their powerful parents, newborns are tiny (weighing about four pounds) and able only to cling to their mothers' fur. The infant will ride on mother’s back from the age of four months through the first two or three years of life. Infants can be dependent on the mother for up to five years.

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Visitors Watch Blesbok Give Birth

2BIOPARC Valencia - blesbok recién nacido - sept 2016 (2)Visitors to Spain’s BIOPARC Valencia on September 20 got a big surprise when a Blesbok gave birth to a calf in its zoo habitat.

Zoo guests watched the entire natural birthing process as the female Blesbok paced during her labor, then lay down to deliver the calf. 

BIOPARC Valencia - blesbok recién nacido - sept 2016 (4)
BIOPARC Valencia - Nacimiento de un blesbok a la vista de los visitantes - 2016 (3)Photo Credit:  BIOPARC Valencia



The little calf was alert from the moment it was delivered and positioned itself perfectly so mom could clean it off.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, the calf finally stood on wobbly legs.  The whole process was over in just a few minutes.

Because the delivery went smoothly, zoo staff members saw no need to intervene or assist with the birth.

In nature, these antelope live on South Africa’s grassy plains.  A prolonged labor and delivery could leave the mother open to predation by lions or hyenas.  The same is true for a newborn Blesbok calf – it must be able to walk and follow its mother within a few minutes of birth or be targeted by a predator.

Blesbok nearly became extinct about 150 years ago due to overhunting.  New hunting regulations allowed Blesbok numbers to increase, and the species is no longer threatened with extinction. 


Zoo Guests Witness Gorilla Birth

GORILA RECIÉN NACIDO EN EL BOSQUE ECUATORIAL DE BIOPARC VALENCIA - AGOSTO 2016 (DETALLE)
Visitors to Spain’s BIOPARC Valencia got the rare opportunity to witness the birth of a baby Gorilla on August 18.

With the entire Gorilla troop and numerous zoo guests looking on, female Gorilla Nalani calmly delivered her baby, consumed the placenta, and gently cleaned her newborn.  Several guests filmed the event and posted the footage on YouTube.

Gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - 17 agosto 2016 (6)
Gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - 17 agosto 2016 (7)Photo Credit:  BIOPARC Valencia
 
The baby’s umbilical cord remains attached to its navel, and will remain there until it naturally dries up and falls off. 

Despite this being Nalani’s first baby, she did all the right things with her newborn.  She had witnessed other births in the Gorilla troop and most likely learned from those experiences. 

The zoo staff had chosen to allow the birth to occur without intervention, and the Gorillas now have free access to both indoor and outdoor shelters.  Keepers will continue to monitor the group closely and provide the best conditions for the health of the mother and baby.

Births like this are managed by the European breeding program to maintain the highest level of genetic diversity in rare zoo animals.  Gorillas are listed as Endangered due to poaching, human disturbance, invasive exotic species, human-wildlife disease transmission, timber extraction, and mining.

See more photos of mom and baby below.

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Third Zebra Birth of the Year at BIOPARC Valencia

1_3 cría de cebra nacida en BIOPARC Valencia este año - agosto 2016 (10)

BIOPARC Valencia recently welcomed their third Grant’s Zebra foal of this year!

This season’s “baby boom” started with the birth of a filly on June 7. There is no word yet on the sex of the park’s newest addition.

2_3 cría de cebra nacida en BIOPARC Valencia este año - agosto 2016 (2)

3_3 crías de cebra nacidas este año en BIOPARC Valencia 2016

4_3 crías de cebra nacidas este año en BIOPARC Valencia 2016 (3)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra. This subspecies represents the Zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

The distribution of this subspecies is in Zambia, west of the Luangwa River and west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north to the Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania, north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi into southwestern Kenya as far as Sotik. It can also be found in eastern Kenya and east of the Great Rift Valley into southernmost Ethiopia. It also occurs as far as the Juba River in Somalia.

This northern subspecies is vertically striped in front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and hind flanks. Northerly specimens may lack a mane. Grant’s Zebras grow to be about 120 to 140 centimeters (3.9 to 4.6 ft) tall, and generally weigh about 300 kilograms (660 lb). Zebras live in family groups of up to 17 or 18 individuals. They live an average of 20 years.

Needing water daily, they remain no more than half a day's walk from water sources. Their diet includes grass, tough stems, and sometimes leaves or barks of trees and shrubs. They require a lot of food so it is not uncommon for them to spend around 20 hours a day grazing.

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How To Feed a Baby Blesbok

2 El equipo técnico de BIOPARC Valencia alimentando con biberón a una cría de blesbok recién nacida - verano 2016 (2)
When a baby Blesbok born this summer at Spain's Bioparc Valencia wasn't able to get enough milk from its mother, zoo keepers stepped in to offer bottle-feedings to get the calf off to a strong start.

The little calf gulps down his bottles quickly and cooperates well at feeding time.

Cría de blesbok recién nacida recibiendo los cuidados del equipo técnico de BIOPARC Valencia - verano 2016
Cuidador de BIOPARC Valencia alimentando con biberón a una cría de blesbok recién nacida - verano 2016Photo Credit:  Bioparc Valencia
Blesbok are a type of antelope that live on the plains and grasslands of South Africa, preferably near water.  They live in herds, grazing on grasses and following the seasonal rains. 

Centuries ago, Blesbok herds stretched for miles across the grasslands, but they were hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s.  After hunting regulations were enacted, Blesbok numbers strongly rebounded and they are no longer threatened with extinction.

The name “Blesbok” is derived from the Afrikaans word for “blazed antelope,” a reference to the prominent white blaze on the faces of adults. 

See more photos of feeding time below.

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