Cat

Baby Jaguar Attacks Pumpkins

Babette_AGBabette the baby Jaguar met her first pumpkin this week – and the event was caught on camera by Tulsa Zoo staff.

Babette has been practicing her big-cat skills (as seen in this recent ZooBorns post) and she put those formidable talents to use attacking two large pumpkins delivered by zoo keepers.   The mighty little Jaguar bit, pounced, swatted and successfully subdued the large orange vegetables.

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Babette_ag3Photo Credit:  Aaron Goodwin
Video Credit:  Beth Wegner
Why did zoo keepers give pumpkins to the Jaguars, which eat only meat?  The pumpkins served as enrichment for the cats.  Zoos provide novel items like new foods, scents, boxes, and “toys” as enrichment to stimulate animals physically and mentally. 

As a cub, Babette is naturally curious and energetic.  She has become a fan favorite since her birth was announced in September when she was about six weeks old.  Born June 29 to female Ixchel, Babette was named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April. 

Babette will play an important role in the future of her species by someday breeding with an unrelated male as part of the Species Survival Plan managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Jaguars are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to the loss of rain forest habitat in Mexico, Central America, and South America. 


Lion Triplets Are Three Times the Fun

Cotswold Wildlife Park's Lion cubs DSC_0156 (2) photo credit Natasha Jefferies
It’s three times the fun when Asiatic Lion cub triplets Kali, Sita, and Sonika come out to play at Cotswold Wildlife Park

Born May 25, the three female cubs have spent the last two months in the birthing den with their mother, Kanha.  Lionesses rear their babies in seclusion and often reject them if they are disturbed, so the staff monitored the cubs via closed circuit TV.

Cotswold Wildlife Park's Lion cub DSC_0156 (15) photo credit Natasha Jefferies
Cotswold Wildlife Park's Lion cubs DSC_0156 (11) photo credit Natasha Jefferies
Photo Credit:  Natasha Jeffries
 
This is the first litter of Lion triplets born at Cotswold since the park opened in 1970. 

According to the staff, Kanha and Rana are proving to be excellent first-time parents and all three boisterous youngsters are healthy and developing into confident cubs.

Dad Rana met the cubs in the Lions’ outdoor enclosure last week, but for the last two months, he lived next door and took a great interest in the youngsters. 

Asiatic Lions are one of the world’s rarest big cat species. Wild population numbers have declined drastically over the last century, almost to the point of extinction. Once found throughout much of southwestern Asia, they are now only found in India’s Gir Forest with the 2015 census putting the entire wild population at 523 animals. 

Though they live in a protected area, conservationists worry that a disease epidemic could wipe out the entire Asiatic Lion population.  Breeding programs in zoos are extremely important to the future of this subspecies.  Asiatic Lions are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the cubs below.

Continue reading "Lion Triplets Are Three Times the Fun" »


Kittens a Boost for Scotland's Vanishing Wildcats

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Two litters of rare Scottish Wildcats born at Highland Wildlife Park could play a huge role in the conservation of this species, which is considered by some to be Europe’s rarest mammal.

The kittens’ birth is part of a conservation program and could result in the species’ eventual reintroduction to some protected areas of Scotland.

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16_07_12 20 DSC_2054_CreditAlexRidellPhoto Credits:  RZSS/Alex Riddell (1, 2, 4), RZSS/Jan Morse (3)

For several months, the kittens have been tucked safely in their dens with their mothers, but they have begun venturing outdoors recently.  The playfulness that zoo guests observe between the mothers and their babies is actually an important part of developing the kittens’ survival skills.

Also known as the Highland Tiger, this rare native species is facing the threat of extinction due to hybridization with domestic and feral Cats, habitat loss, and accidental persecution.   The species is Critically Endangered in Scotland and is the only wild Cat native to Scotland.

The zoo is partnering with other Scottish conservation organizations to develop an action plan for preserving the species.  The captive breeding program managed by the zoo provides an increasingly important safety net as the wild population of this Wildcat continues to decline.

Although some similarities with Domestic Cats exist, the two species are not to be confused. The Scottish Wildcat is an isolated sub-population of the European Wildcat, which is found in continental Europe. Wildcats prefer to live alone but will come together for breeding, normally giving birth to two or three kittens, which the mother will protect fiercely.

With their big, bushy, black-ringed tail and tenacious behavior, Scottish Wildcats play a large role in Scottish lore, and were often used in clan crests.


Critically Endangered Tiger Cub Is a First for Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami is excited to announce the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran Tiger!

The single male cub was born on Saturday, November 14th and has been in seclusion with his mother since that time. Because this is the first birth for the 4 year old female named “Leeloo,” extra precautions are being taken to isolate and protect mother and cub in hopes that a strong bond can be established. During the next several weeks, it will remain isolated with its mother in a secluded den with little or no contact from staff. This is the first Sumatran tiger born at Zoo Miami and only the fourth born in the United States in 2015. There are only 70 Sumatran Tigers living in U.S. zoos.

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Photo credit: Ivy Brower


Israel's Sand Cat Kittens Back by Popular Demand

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Since so many of you loved our story about Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan's Sand Cat kittens yesterday, we couldn't resist sharing new pictures we received this morning.  The more recent images show the kittens a bit older and with their eyes fully open! Enjoy!

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Photos by Tibor Jager

See more below the fold!

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A Cheetah Cub and His Puppy Companion Build a Lifelong Bond

10496992_920383311311679_8853372725256295054_oPhoto taken on June 18, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Seen here at just seven weeks old, San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Cheetah cub is getting to know his new dog companion as the two continue to bond and spend time at the Safari Park's Animal Care Center. The Rhodesian ridgeback puppy was paired with the cub after the Cheetah was rejected by his mother and had to be hand raised as an animal ambassador. The Cheetah and puppy will be raised together and the dog will serve as a lifelong companion to the Cheetah. 

Safari Park Cheetahs selected for training as ambassadors are paired early in life with a domestic dog. As the two companions grow up together, the dog's body language will communicate to the cheetah that there's nothing to fear in new or public surroundings, which relaxes and calms the Cheetah. The Safari Park currently has four cheetah ambassadors all of which are trained to participate in the Park's Cheetah Run experience.

 


Jasper The Lynx Cub Struts His Stuff At Point Defiance Zoo

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Meet Point Defiance Zoo's 9-week-old Canada Lynx kitten. Jasper is part of the Species Survival Plan® for Canada Lynx, which are listed as endangered in Washington state. He now weighs about 4 pounds and is being hand-reared by Point Defiance Zoo staff. Jasper will make periodic appearances around the zoo this summer as he grows into his role as an ambassador for his species.

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Lynx Triplets Born at Dudley Zoo

DZG_Lynx_Cub_3There’s much excitement at the United Kingdom’s Dudley Zoo!  Three Carpathian Lynx cubs – the first ever born at the zoo – arrived on May 23.

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DZG_Lynx_Cub_2Photo Credit:  Dudley Zoological Gardens


The triplets have been tucked in their den with mother Daisy since birth, but they started to explore the great outdoors this week.

Assistant Curator Richard Brown said of first-time mother Daisy, “We’re all absolutely delighted with the cubs’ progress.  We've got a few more weeks to wait until we find out what sex they are, when we'll also be giving them their first vaccinations."

Dad is three-year-old Dave, who remains in the enclosure with Daisy and their offspring. 

Carpathian Lynx are a subspecies of Eurasian Lynx found in the Carpathian mountains of Romania.  Scientists believe that about 2,500 Lynx live in these forests, the densest population in all of Europe. 

Lynx are secretive cats, and are most active early in the morning and late at night.  They feed on hares, birds, and other small prey. 

In some parts of Europe, these cats are locally extinct due to loss of habitat.


From Renewed Life to New Life…

Cub with Caregiver

Less than 1 year ago, Venus made headlines as one of few animals in the world to under-go eye surgery. Cango Wildlife Ranch's treasured 6 year old female Cheetah, Venus, experienced a challenging start to life but nothing prepared keepers for this remarkable turn-around.

The Roman Goddess of love, beauty and fertility shares more than just a name with Cango's spotted Goddess. One who is equally as beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Venus was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts. Vets monitored her for many months but her condition continued to deteriorate and gravely affected her quality of life. After months of tests, planning, preparation and much needed fundraising, vets were able to take Venus to the Cape Animal Eye Hospital for surgery.

Venus During Surgery

Doctor Anthony Goodhead (Cape Town) removed the cataracts and large amount of scar tissue from Venus’ corneas. Due to her particular case, it was determined that new lenses would not resolve her condition; however, by removing all the obstructions it would restore her sight. Multiple tests were done on Venus to better understand the cause of her impairment, specifically with regards to diseases commonly found in Cheetahs. Luckily she tested negative for all. According to experts, it is likely that Venus’ condition was as the result of malnutrition as a cub. Venus’ surgery was a massive success. She is now far-sighted but for the first time in over two years… she can see.

Venus Surgery

Cango Wildlife Ranch keepers' experience of Venus’ pre and post-surgery behavior was a privilege in itself. She transformed from a scared, nervous and fairly aggressive animal to a more confident assured cat who rambunctiously explored her surroundings, as if it is the first time, even though it had been her home for years.

Venus Pre-Surgery

Venus’ recovery has gone exceptionally well. She undoubtedly received a renewed gift-of-life… and now it seems she is paying it forward.

Just the other day, Venus gave birth to four healthy cheetah cubs. She surprised keepers with her amazing maternal skills as a first time mom. Both mom and cubs are healthy and happy!

Pippa and Peyton

 

Continue reading "From Renewed Life to New Life…" »


Meet Baku and Cleo!

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As adults, Africa’s Serval cats are one of the world’s most successful hunters. But as kittens, these future spotted killers are one of the cutest creatures you’ve ever seen. Making their debut this week in Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, the brother and sister Servals are just two months old. You can see them in the new Animal Training Session presentations held daily in the Zoo’s Safari Canyon theater at 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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