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Beloved “Babysitter” Mourned at Linton Zoo

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Arnie, a stray cat who became known for his extraordinary talent as a “babysitter” of abandoned newborn animals brought to the Linton Zoo, passed away peacefully last week.  Arnie’s favorite creatures were lion cubs, and he babysat all four of the zoo’s adult lions as well as some of their cubs. 

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Photo Credits:  Linton Zoo

Arnie wandered onto the zoo property in 2000 and quickly worked his way into the hearts of the zoo staff.  Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnie gained fame after photos of him with a lion cub made international headlines.  Even after his moments in the spotlight, Arnie didn’t let fame go to his head.  He continued in his role as a friend to all, greeting zoo guests (especially those who were carrying tasty treats), controlling pests, and cheering up anyone who was feeling down.

Linton Zoo staff described Arnie as a “real live Garfield” whose outstanding personality will be missed by not only the people who loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo - especially the animals that he babysat over the years.  Rest in peace, Arnie. 


Minnesota Zoo's Tiger Cubs Are On Exhibit and There's Still Time to Help Name Them!

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The Minnesota Zoo is holding a naming contest for its two female Amur Tiger cubs born this past summer. This contest is being conducted on Facebook and started October 3. Click here to submit your name suggestions through this Sunday, October 14.

Everyone who participates in the naming contest will be eligible for daily prize drawings, including a Family 4-Pack of tickets to the Minnesota Zoo and other great prizes.

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Photo credit: (1-4) MN Zoo, (5) Ashley Ondricek / MN Zoo

 

Name suggestions will be accepted through Sunday, October 14, 2012. Zoo staff will then review all submissions and select the top three names for each cub to be posted on the Minnesota Zoo’s Facebook fan page to be voted on by the public, starting Thursday, October 18. The winning names will be announced on Monday, October 29.


Dumai The Baby Tiger Is About To Make A New Friend

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Dumai, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's Sumatran Tiger cub, is getting a new buddy. Meet Berani, a 5-week-old Malayan male cub scheduled to arrive at Point Defiance this week from Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum. Each was the only cub in a litter and pulled from mom within days of birth because the tiny Tigers were not thriving. Once Berani arrives and is checked out, you will be able to see him in the cub den playing and pouncing with Dumai.

Sumatran Tigers, listed as critically endangered, are the smallest subspecies of Tiger and their fur is a darker orange than that of Malayans. Sumatran Tigers also are the only remaining Tiger subspecies that lives on an island. As few as 300 live in the wild on the Indonesian island.

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Photo Credit: Tulsa Zoo and Living Aquarium

Malayan Tigers, a bit bigger, lighter in color and lankier in body conformation, are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia. The Tiger Conservation Campaign estimates that fewer than 500 remain in the wild.

Each of the tigers will reach 275-300 pounds when fully grown. They’ll eventually be placed into zoo-based breeding populations of their respective subspecies to maintain genetic diversity and increase their numbers.

Bringing the Malayan cub to Tacoma is a wonderful example of the cooperative Species Survival Plan work in action. To learn more about the tigers, the Tiger Conservation Campaign and what you can do to help them, visit www.pdza.org.


First Rusty-Spotted Cats in 168 Years at the Berlin Zoo!

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The Berlin Zoo is celebrating the first birth of Rusty-Spotted Cats in its 168-year history.  Rusty-Spotted Cats are the world's smallest wild cats, weighing only 2.0 to 3.5 lb (0.9 to 1.6 kg) as adults. 

The two kittens were born on August 5, and have only recently begun to leave their den to explore their exhibit.  Playful, clumsy, and a little awkward, the two female youngsters are a delight to zoo guests.  At birth, kittens typically weigh just 2.0-2.7 ounces (60-77 g).

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Native only to Sri Lanka and India, these diminuitive cats are classified as Vulnerable due to habitat loss and the conversion of wild lands to farms.  Rusty-Spotted Cats prefer dense forests and grasslands, emerging at night to hunt for rodents, birds, and lizards. 

Little is known about these secretive cats, and few zoos display this species, making these two kitttens especially important for the captive population.

Photo Credits: Berlin Zoo

0.9 to 1.6 kg (2.0 to 3.5 lb)

After Rigorous Training, Monarto's Cheetah Cub Debuts!

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Just last week, Monarto Zoo introduced its 4-month-old Cheetah cub to the public for the first time. Until that time, the cub remained off exhibit in quarantine. In order to ensure a successful debut, keepers implemented a rigorous training plan. Team Leader of Carnivores, Anna Bennett, said, “this included introducing her to an outdoor exhibit, training her to happily travel in a pet pack, organizing visits by large groups of people as well as visits to other areas of the zoo and listening to the radio daily to get her used a variety of different sounds. She took all these activities in her stride, looking intently at everything and purring happily.”

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Photo credit: David Mattner for Monarto Zoo

According to Monarto Zoo Curator, Beth Pohl, the little cub is as an ambassador for its species educating Australians on the plight of Cheetah in the wild. “In the last 35 years we’ve lost almost half of the wild Cheetah population. Currently there are approximately 7,500 Cheetah left in the wild whereas in the mid 1970s the population was estimated to be around 15,000,” Pohl said. “The decline is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the killing and capture of Cheetah to protect livestock against predation.”


Meet The Magnificent Seven

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It’s lucky number seven for one proud mother at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – following the birth of cheetah septuplets! The litter of Northern Cheetah cubs spent their first weeks tucked up behind the scenes with mum Dubai before making their public debut in the Zoo’s Cheetah Rock enclosure. At 12-weeks-old the playful youngsters are just beginning to develop their own personalities, with keepers spotting them climbing on rocks and chasing each other in the summer sunshine, becoming more adventurous by the day.

Senior keeper Marie Brown said: “All seven are extremely playful but mum’s very patient with them all and is doing a great job of bringing them up." The cubs are the second litter of Northern Cheetah to be born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – and provide a valuable rearing experience for Dubai of this endangered species.

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Photo credits: ©ZSL

 

The septuplets birth comes two years after Dubai gave birth to her first cubs, which were the first litter of Northern Cheetah cubs ever born in the UK.


Visitor Captures Cincinnati's Charming Cheetah Cub

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Cincinnati Zoo visitor Spera captured these compelling images while visiting the zoo's nursery in late July. Savannah, the baby Cheetah, born June 22, is seen playing with Dawn Strasser, the Head Nursery Keeper. Savannah is now out of the nursery and is living with the rest of the Cheetahs at Cincinnati's Cheetah Encounter. Currently she is not on exhibit.

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Photo credit: Spera, taken at Cincinnati Zoo

 


Point Defiance Zoo Steps In To Hand-rear Tiny Sumatran Tiger Cub

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Last week, vets and zoological staff at Tacoma, Washington's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium decided to hand-rear it's then 6-day-old Sumatran Tiger cub. The cub appeared to be losing weight and was not getting enough milk from his mother.

“It’s in his best interest so he can receive round-the-clock feedings with special formula,” head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said. Wolf made the decision to move him from the den box in which his mother, Jaya, gave birth and put him in the zoo’s Animal Health Care clinic after she consulted with zoological staff in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.

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Photo credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

About 200 Sumatran tigers live in zoos around the world. They are native only to the island of Sumatra. There are an estimated 300 in the wild.

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