Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Curious Lynx Kittens Show Their Climbing Cred at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s three curious, climbing Lynx kittens have been spotted exploring their public exhibit. Born on May 8, 2013, the two males and one female have been in an off-exhibit outdoor habitat until they were big enough to maneuver the larger public exhibit space. The zoo invites guests to view the growing kittens and their parents – mother, Magina (mah-jee’-nah), and father, Kajika (kah-jee’-kah).

The three Lynx kittens are the first Canada Lynx born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Often mistaken for Bobcats, Lynx are classified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as federally threatened and a Colorado state special concern. The zoo’s Lynx were paired together following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. The birth of the three Lynx is truly exciting. Yet, the story of the parents living together is extremely rare and unique.

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In the wild, Canada Lynx live as solitary cats. They don’t live in pairs, don’t hunt together, nor do they raise their young in family groups. In fact, other than breeding, males and females typically want nothing to do with each other and males want even less to do with their kittens. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo strives to mimic wild-living arrangements in a captive setting, but in the case of Cheyenne's Canada Lynx, they didn’t appear to want to live like their wild counterparts.

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Welcomes 198th Giraffe Calf

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado welcomed the latest addition to their Reticulated Giraffe herd, a female calf born Thursday morning, August 1. The calf is four-year-old Msitu’s (pronounced mi-see-TOO) first offspring and is the second calf to be sired by the Zoo’s five-year-old bull giraffe, Khalid (pronounced cull-EED). Mother and newborn are doing well. Following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tradition, the calf will be named after she is 30 days old.

“Watching a giraffe birth is amazing and startling all at the same time,” says Amy Schilz, lead animal keeper for giraffes and lions. “Giraffes give birth standing up, so their baby enters the world with a six foot fall to the ground. They need that fall to stimulate them to start breathing, but it still makes you hold your breath when they drop.”

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Photo credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

See and read more after the fold!

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Love at First Sight = Baby Porcupine for Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Nale and Elan, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Porcupines, are first-time parents! Nale (nah'-lay) gave birth to a porcupette, or baby Porcupine, on May 8. The baby was born weighing a little over a pound and appears healthy. Zoo veterinarians will not be able to determine if it's a boy or a girl for approximately 30 days, at which time Zoo staff will name the newest Porcupine addition.

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Photo Credit:  Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

"Porcupettes are born with their quills - they are soft when they are first born but harden quickly," Roxanna Breitigan, Animal Care Manager, said. "They are also precocious from the start. Nale's porcupette is active and crawling around the exhibit." 

Nale joined the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo family at the end of June 2012, and Elan was smitten with her right away.

"He started courting her almost immediately," Breitigan said. 

Porcupines typically breed in the fall and their gestation is seven months long. Zoo staff started looking for signs of delivery starting on May 4 - Nale's first possible due date. 

One of the keepers knew something was up when Nale’s behavior changed one morning. "She noticed right away that Nale didn't eat on Wednesday morning, wasn't climbing any trees (Nale is an expert climber, so that was very unusual for her) and was stretching a lot. [She] kept a watchful eye and was there when the baby was born," Breitigan said. 

In the wild, males don't usually have a role in raising their young, but Elan is being a good dad. He is curious, interested, remains calm and keeps a watchful eye on his family from his favorite branch.


Newborn Reticulated Giraffe Stands Tall at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Just twenty minutes after his birth, this five-foot, four-inch calf was already walking about on four spindly legs.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomed its twenty-first Reticulated Giraffe to the herd on January 23rd. Msichana, the calf’s eleven-year-old mother, began birthing at noon as zoo visitors looked on. Caretakers quickly moved her to an indoor stall for privacy, and the one-hundred-and-four-pound baby was born within the hour.

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Photo credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Daily monitoring finds that the calf and his mother are doing well. The two are already back on display for the public. After he reaches thirty days old, the zoo will give the calf a name.

Peek over the fold. 

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Four Little Hoglets!

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The first-ever Red River Hoglets born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are healthy, growing, and spending their days learning how to root and wallow, as every good hog should know how to do. The pair, a boy and a girl, was born the morning of March 23, and can now be seen on exhibit in African Rift Valley on sunny days when the temperature reaches at least 50 to 60 degrees. The hoglets weigh in at a little over two pounds and are already devouring fresh vegetables, along with their mother’s milk.

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Photo credits: Tracey Gazibara, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo


Video credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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