Cincinnati Zoo

First Ever Birth of Pallas' Kittens with the Help of Advanced Science


Three healthy Pallas’ Cat kittens (two males and one female) were born on June 8th, 2011 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden following a laparoscopic oviductal artificial insemination (AI) procedure conducted by scientists from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW).  This pregnancy and birth are the first ever in Pallas’ Cats from artificial insemination.


Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The AI procedure was performed using laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery combined with a new oviductal insemination technique for cats that was developed at CREW.  The Zoo’s female Pallas’ Cat, Sophia, was treated with two hormones to stimulate ovarian follicle growth and ovulation and then was inseminated in both oviducts with semen collected from the Zoo’s male Pallas’ Cat, Buster.  Three healthy kittens were born following a 69 day gestation.  The kittens, now 9 weeks of age, are being raised by their mother in an off-exhibit enclosure.

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Rockhopper Penguin Chick Raised by Both Parents at Cininnati Zoo


The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has successfully hatched 11 Rockhopper Penguins over the last three decades. 

First time parents, the father, Wallace & mom Kim are taking good care of their new chick, who hatched on June 16, 2011. Just like it happens in the wild, both Rockhopper Penguin parents help take care of their young there at the Zoo. You can see them in the video below.

Photo Credit: David Jenike, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden


You can see the Rockhopper Penguin family in the Subantarctic Display in the Wings of the World Exhibit.

Meet Caspian, the Eurasian Eagle Owl


The CIncinnati Zoo welcomed a Eurasian Eagle owl chick four weeks ago. Named Caspian, the young Owl could grow to have a wingspan on six feet from tip to tip! Wild Eurasian Eagle Owls are found across Europe, Asia and even in parts of Northern Africa. Their diet consists largely of small mammals, but full grown Eagle owls can prey on larger animals like foxes, and young deer. The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is one of the largest owl species in the world.



Photo credits: Connie Lemperle

First Giraffe Birth for Cincinnati in 26 Years!


Tessa, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s four-year-old Maasai Giraffe gave birth to her first calf Saturday morning, April 2 at 9:40 a.m. in her indoor stall. This news is especially exciting considering that the last time the Zoo celebrated a Giraffe birth was nearly 26 years ago!  The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with Giraffe births actually dates back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a Giraffe born in captivity.


Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo

NOTE: The video below contains fascinating but graphic footage of the actual birth.

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A Second Miracle at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo


The Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Lindner Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) are excited to announce the birth of the world’s first endangered cat produced by Oviductal Artificial Insemination (AI)!  Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s veterinarian and a handful of other Zoo animal care specialists conducted their first physical examination of the Brazilian Ocelot kitten today, six weeks after its January 22 birth, and determined it’s a girl, weighing in at three pounds. This AI kitten is the second born to the mother, Kuma, who previously gave birth in 2008 to a healthy kitten conceived using the traditional AI method.  Kuma is the first Ocelot to have multiple pregnancies and kittens produced by AI. 





Photo credits: 1st photo by Chris Eastland / 2nd - 6th photos by Shannon Calvert

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Screaming Hairy Armadillo Babies!


The Cincinnati Zoo recently welcomed three Screaming Hairy Armadillo babies, which will eventually join the Zoo's outreach program to teach school children about animals and conservation. As their name implies, the Screaming Hairy Armadillo squeals when threatened, perhaps by a hungry jaguar. Native to Arengtina, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay this species ranges from deserts to grasslands and escapes the heat of the summer day deep within a burrow. 


Photo and video credits: Cincinnati Zoo

It's Raining Little Penguins!

A bird in hand... baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Apparently it's baby penguin season on ZooBorns with the latest adorable installment coming direct from the Cincinnati Zoo. This Little Penguin chick is just two-weeks old and is currently being cared for behind the scenes, inside the Zoo's Wings of Wonder exhibit.The chick weighs approximately 250 grams (or a quarter-pound), but is expected to weigh just over two pounds as an adult. Mom, “Oreo” (7-years-old) and dad, “Boomer” (8-years-old), were not properly incubating the egg, so staff at the Cincinnati Zoo made the decision to pull the egg and incubate it themselves. Little Penguins are the smallest species of penguin but that doesn't mean this chick doesn't like to eat. Zoo aviculture staff have to feed the demanding little bird six times a day, every three hours. At first it was fed a delicious fish milkshake but has since graduated to slices of fish (sashimi if you will).

Feed me! -  Baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Baby penguin at the Cinncinnati Zoo

Don't miss this great video

Softly-Softly into the World...

Quiet, slow and shy, Pottos spend their days sleeping in nooks high up in the trees and nights hunting for tasty fruits, tree sap and the occasional sleepy bug. Only three North American zoos exhibit Pottos and only the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully bred this rarely seen primitive primate. In some parts of Africa, the Potto is called a "Softly-Softly," however when the diminutive Potto is threatened, they will jab at enemies with pointy vertebrae on the back of their necks. Distantly related to apes and humans, they are more closely related to other lorises. These photos come to us courtesy of and copyright by the Cincinnati Enquirer

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch
Photo credits: The Enquirer / Ernest Coleman

Cincinnati's Newest Cougar Cubs

Two eight-week-old Cougar cubs are now on display in the Cincinnati Zoo nursery. Born September 17th, the brothers, named “Joseph” and “Tecumseh” will assist the Zoo in educating people about the need to protect these beautiful cats that once roamed throughout much of America. The brothers will soon join the Cat Ambassador Program in the future Night Hunters exhibit.

Cougar cub cincinnati zoo 1a

Cougar cub cincinnati zoo 1aPhoto credits (two top photos): David Jenke

Cougar cub cincinnati zoo 1a

Cougar cub cincinnati zoo 1aPhoto credits (two bottom photos): Connie Lemperie

Pulling for Cincinnati's Rare Rhino Calf

Nikki, the Cincinnati Zoo’s endangered Indian Rhino, gave birth early this morning to the world’s first live Indian Rhino calf produced by artificial insemination (AI). Nikki delivered a male calf at 6:06 a.m. in her indoor stall. Currently, the calf is in critical condition with Zoo staff working diligently to feed and stabilize him. Meanwhile, Nikki is doing well and will remain indoors. Nikki has been monitored 24 hours a day since the first of October.  She became increasingly restless throughout Monday evening into the night. Cincinnati Zoo Volunteer Observers called Zoo staff in early Tuesday morning. Nikki delivered her calf while volunteer and staff watched anxiously via a live video feed. As soon as the calf was born, Zoo staff jumped into action to assist and resuscitate the calf who was at first not breathing.  The calf has been successfully breathing on its own since.



Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo

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