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.
There’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.
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.
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.
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.
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’ 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!
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.
Philadelphia Zoo's female Black-footed Cat Aza gave birth to a litter of kittens on April 8, 2014: the first Black-footed Cats ever to be born at the Philadelphia Zoo! Their names are Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. Drogon and Viserion are male and Rhaegal is female.
Before making their debut, the kittens underwent a routine wellness check to make sure they’re healthy. In addition to weighing and sexing them, veterinarians completed full physical examinations of each kitten. They also gave the kittens dye marks so the keepers can tell them apart from a distance. Philly Zoo also baby-proofed the kittens' exhibit ahead of the big debut. They lowered the water level in the exhibit and added climbing structures so they could enter and exit their pool with ease, and before entering their exhibit, they practiced with different amounts of water in their indoor bedroom. They also added another feeding dish so Aza could eat separately from her kittens, and they placed the kennel they had been sleeping in inside the exhibit so they would have some familiar scents. A keeper is present to monitor them throughout the day to make sure they're maneuvering through their habitat well, but as you can see in these photos, they are feeling quite at home already.
Just last week, the kittens received another checkup, which included vaccinations, reapplication of dye marks and weighing. Their weights now range from 631 to 757 grams (from a little more than 22 oz. to a little less than 27). All three babies are in great health.
These small but mighty cats are terrestrial and crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn). They are not great climbers, but are skilled diggers when looking for insects or creating birthing dens. They have been observed to have several hunting styles that include: fast hunting (running through and over vegetation, flushing out prey), slow hunting (slow, stalking movements- which indicates they are low to the ground in an almost serpentine motion), and finally "sit and wait" hunting (motionless vigilance at a rodent burrow waiting for an animal to come out of their den). All of these methods have proven successful for this cat. On the 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Black-footed Cat is listed as Vulnerable.
Denver Zoo’s three Clouded Leopard cubs, Pi, Rhu and Saya, are getting to know each other during supervised introductions. Saya, a female born on April 10, arrived May 17th from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). Zookeepers let the three of them play together behind the scenes two or three times a day to socialize to make sure they engage with each other. Saya still won’t meet the public for a few weeks as she needs to grow a little bigger to spend time alone with her new friends in Denver Zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage. You can learn more about her journey at http://bit.ly/1krrhXG.
Saya, below, upon arriving at Denver Zoo in May...
One year after their arrival at Zoo Berlin in Germany, a pair of Palawan Bengal Cats has had a litter of two! The two kittens, a male and a female, have been named Ilian and Taytay, after two places on the island of Palawan, the island in the Philippines where this subspecies of the Leopard Cat originates.
Ilian and Taytay are very special cats: they are the first offspring of Zoo Berlin's breeding program for this subspecies, which is listed as Vulnerable to extinction by the Interantional Union for Conservation of Nature. Zoo Berlin is currently one of only two zoos outside of the Philippines to house Palawan Bengal Cats. The zoo is working to establish a breeding program that will build up a healthy population of Palawan Bengal Cats across zoos. Members of this captive-bred population can eventually be reintroduced on Palawan, to help the wild population recover. In the fall, once they are mature, Ilian and Taytay will move to Prague Zoo and Pilsen Zoo in the Czech Republic.
The Tulsa Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a Jaguar cub, marking the third Jaguar birth at the zoo. This new addition was born on March 26 to mom, Ixchel, and dad, Bebeto. This is the second successful birth for the Jaguar pair, and another important contribution to Jaguar populations.
This birth was in conjunction with the Jaguar SSP, or the Species Survival Plan®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos across the nation. Native to the tropical rainforests of Mexico, Central and South America, Jaguars are considered near threatened due to habitat loss. There are currently more than 100 Jaguars in North American-accredited (AZA) zoos, while it is estimated that 10,000 Jaguars currently exist in the wild.
While the cub is doing well, its sibling did not survive the birthing process. The cub appeared to be stillborn as animal health staff closely watched the internal monitoring camera.
Staff continues to closely monitor Ixchel and her cub from remote cameras to ensure proper development and nursing. The cub’s first 30 days are critical, so both mom and cub will remain in a private, off-exhibit den in the Tropical American Rainforest.
Two Pampas Cats born on October 30 at Uruguay’s Bioparque M’Bopicuá are the second generation of these little-known felines to be born at the facility.
Photo Credit: Bioparque M’Bopicua
With sturdy, compact bodies, Pampas cats resemble domestic cats in many ways. Because of their wide range along the western edge of South America, these cats are well adapted to a variety of habitats, from the pampas (grasslands) to forests, swamps, and cold deserts.
Not much is known about wild Pampas Cats, but they were extensively hunted for their pelts until international trade was banned in 1987. They are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Habitat destruction poses the most significant threat to these cats today.
See more photos of the kittens below the fold.
The nursery in Cincinnati Zoo's Children's Zoo has a brand new addition! Santos, the baby Ocelot, was born November 2 at the Abilene Zoo in Texas. He'll become a part of the Cincinnati Zoo's Cheetah Encounter Show in the summer of 2014.
Ocelots are native to much of South America and Mexico. They are expert hunters, and are fiercely territorial. They are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.