Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

'Soon-to-be-Named' Snow Leopards Raise Funds

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently announced a naming opportunity for their new Snow Leopard cub triplets that were born on April 22.

Until tomorrow, August 7, fans can cast their vote to help name the three-month-old cubs and contribute to species conservation efforts.

The naming opportunity coincides with the cubs move to the new state-of-the-art Asian Highlands destination that opened at the Zoo in June. Following several months of growth and development, the cubs and their mom, Sombra, are now ready to enjoy the larger and more complex spaces offered by Asian Highlands, including the cub yard with specially designed climbing platforms for younger cats.

To participate in the naming opportunity, guests of the Zoo and fans can cast their vote(s), in person, at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in the Asian Highlands destination or online with a donation to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo through the Future for Wildlife Fund at www.futureforwildlife.org/cubnamin.

The cub trio is made up of two males and one female. Voters can choose from the following names:

Bodhi – meaning enlightenment

Goji – meaning goji berry, a fruit native to Asia

Nisha – meaning night

Omid – meaning hope

Zara – meaning flower

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4_38036870_10160738858630002_4342707777345421312_oPhoto Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Funds raised will directly support Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s conservation efforts to protect Snow Leopards in Central Asia in partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust. The cub names will be selected based on three names that receive the highest combined donation total online and on Zoo grounds. Online votes can be made at: www.futureforwildlife.org/cubnaming . Voting ends at midnight August 7, 2018.

Scientists estimate that there are fewer than 7,000 Snow Leopards remaining in the remote mountains of central Asia. Poaching, prey loss and habitat loss are the primary threats to this solitary and elusive cat.

The cub triplets were born weighing just over one pound each and now each top more than 13 pounds. The cubs will remain with their mom, Sombra, until they become independent, which typically occurs around 1.5 years of age.

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Cleveland Welcomes Sixth Eastern Black Rhino Calf

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently welcomed its sixth Eastern Black Rhino calf. After a fifteen-month pregnancy, 14-year-old Kibibbi gave birth on February 7.

"Kibibbi's pregnancy announcement last year coincided [with] bringing our Future for Wildlife program and conservation work to the forefront," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director, Chris Kuhar. "Over the past year, the community has taken action to support conservation efforts that protect the future for wildlife like the critically-endangered Eastern Black Rhino."

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Keepers report that mom and baby are doing well and have been under constant care by the Zoo's animal care team. In order to stimulate the mother-calf bond, Kibibbi and the calf will not be visible to the public for a period of time. During this time, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo looks forward to sharing more about the calf's development. At the appropriate time, guests will have a chance to see them for the first time in the Zoo's African Savannah destination. For behind-the-scenes updates, fans can check Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's social media channels.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo also announced last month that, Igne, a 24-year-old Eastern Black Rhino, is pregnant and due this coming fall.

The Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) is also known as the East African Black Rhinoceros, and it is a subspecies of the Black Rhinoceros. Its numbers are very low due to poaching for its horn, and it is currently listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The new calf's birth is an important one for the species; of the 48 Eastern Black Rhinos located in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) zoos in North America, four were born in 2017 and this is the first of 2018.

To learn more about Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's conservation community, visit their website: www.futureforwildlife.org  


Double the Fluff: Twin Red Pandas Born at Cleveland Zoo

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The fluffle is real! Two Red Panda cubs were born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on June 20.

The cubs, both male, are snug in their nest box under the care of their mother, Xue Li. These are Xue Li’s first cubs.

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Red Panda cubs typically remain in the next box for the first three months of life. Mom may occasionally carry the cubs in her mouth from one nest box to another during this time. The zoo staff does not intervene in the cubs’ care except to perform occasional checkups and weigh the cubs to monitor their progress.  At their most recent weigh-in, the cubs weighed about two pounds each.  Adult Red Pandas weigh eight to 14 pounds. 

Mom Xue Li was born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2013. Her mate, Firecracker, age 11, previously lived at the Buffalo Zoo and the Greenville Zoo. Their pairing was recommended by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, a program that aims to maximize genetic diversity in threatened populations under human care. These two male cubs will make important genetic contributions to the zoo-dwelling Red Panda population when they are paired with unrelated females in a few years.

Feeding mainly on bamboo, Red Pandas are most active at night and sleep much of the day. They prefer to rest on tree branches and are quite comfortable outdoors in very cold weather.

Red Pandas are native only to the Himalayan Mountains in southwestern China. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to the consistent decline in their wild population, which numbers only 10,000 mature individuals.  As Red Pandas’ habitat is lost and fragmented into smaller and smaller tracts, the population shrinks and the effects of inbreeding, such as lowered fertility, further the decline.

 


New Pygmy Slow Loris Baby in Cleveland

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The Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to some pretty amazing creatures, especially the unique prosimians housed in the building's nocturnal wing.

One of the exhibits is home to Pygmy Slow Lorises, and one of the newest residents is a baby weighing just 130 grams. The baby loris, whose gender has yet to be determined, was born on May 18 to mom Tevy (12), and dad Tai (9). 

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"Having a baby Pygmy Slow Loris is a pretty significant occurrence," said Executive Zoo Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. "There are only 21 AZA accredited facilities in the entire U.S. where this type of loris can be seen on exhibit. We're extremely proud of our zoological programs staff for the care they give these rare animals. This is our seventh successful Pygmy Slow Loris birth since 1998."

The mother has been in Cleveland since 2013, and the father arrived in 2011. The baby brings the Zoo's number of Pygmy Slow Lorises up to six.

The Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) is a member of the prosimian family, which are generally small, mostly nocturnal primates that are not quite monkeys or apes. This family also includes: lemurs, tarsiers, pottos and the aye-aye. Pygmy Slow Lorises are native to the forests and bamboo groves of Southeast Asia, including Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Adults can grow up to 8 inches long and weigh only 12 ounces.

The Pygmy Slow Loris is classified as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Zoo participates in the Pygmy Slow Loris Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Species Survival Plans are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species. SSPs identify population management goals and make recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied population. The new loris baby is a very significant birth as there are only 61 Pygmy Slow Lorises in North American zoos.

All eight species of Slow Loris are threatened by exploitation for the pet and tourist photo prop trades, traditional medicine, and habitat loss. In partnership with field conservation partner Dr. Anna Nekaris and the Little Fireface Project, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo protects Slow Lorises by studying their ecology to inform conservation measures and conducting education and awareness program aimed at addressing the trade in Slow Lorises.

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A Tiny Anteater is Big News at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating the birth of their first-ever Giant Anteater! The baby, whose sex is still undetermined, was born on exhibit on November 25 to mom, Pica, and dad, Kutter. The baby seems to be healthy and thriving. For now, animal care and veterinary staff are keeping their distance and giving mom and baby time to bond, as Pica is very protective of her newborn. (We're told it was even tricky to snap a few photos!) Now weighing about two pounds, the little Anteater will cling to mom's back for several weeks as it develops.

The successful birth of this tricky-to-care-for species was the result of careful collaboration between the zoo's conservation and science staff. To predict the optimal time to pair Pica with Kutter, staff sampled the hormones in Pica's urine. Further hormone monitoring allowed the zoo to confirm Pica’s pregnancy and make a reasonable prediction of when the birth might take place.

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The baby Anteater is a welcome addition not just to the zoo, but to the managed nationwide population of Giant Anteaters as well. The zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Giant Anteaters, which are classified as Vulnerable in the wild. SSPs are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species such as Black Rhinos, African Elephants, Lowland Gorillas and Amur Tigers. 

Giant Anteaters are native to Central and South America and can eat tens of thousands of ants and termites in a single day with their long, sticky tongues. Full-grown males can measure up to 7 feet (2.13 m) long and weigh more than 100 pounds (45.36 kg). 


Prehensile-tailed Porcupette Gets Special Care at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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On August 28, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed a Prehensile-tailed Porcupine, born mom Emma and dad Wilbur. There are times, both in zoos and in the wild, when parents has trouble accepting or caring for their offspring. Keepers noticed that Emma was not feeding her baby, and so the male porcupette has been getting supplemental bottle feedings from animal care staff. The parents have stayed nearby and are begining to show signs of bonding with their baby. In the photos, the porcupette is shown bonding with his father for the very first time on October 30.

In the meantime, his keepers are taking good care of him. 

"He's a trooper," says Steve Kinczel, a veteran  keeper for The RainForest exhibit who has been bottle-feeding the baby. "He's had a good appetite from the beginning." Kinczel, who named the baby Eddie, said he is eating solid food now but his diet continues to be supplemented with bottle feeding four times a day. His diet includes carrots, sweet potatoes and greens along with some rodent chow.

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5 porcupinePhoto credits: Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer, Cleveland 1, 2; Cleveland Zoo 3-6

Click here to see a slideshow of many more wonderful photos of Eddie the porcupette, taken by photographer Gus Chan.

Prehensile-tailed Porcupines are born with their eyes open and claws fully formed. Their quills, which are soft at birth, harden in about a week. These porcupines, a group of species native to South America, are named for their special ability to grasp and hang from branches by their tails. 


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Welcomes Capybara Babies

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Just after 7am on May 12th, four healthy Capybara babies were born at The RainForest exhibit of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This litter almost doubles the zoo's Capybara population, bringing their total to nine individuals. The birth was a part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Capybara Species Survival Program. This program helps zoos across the nation breed the species cooperatively in an effort to maintain a viable captive population.

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Photo Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Capybaras are the largest rodent in the world growing up to four and a half feet long and weighing in at up to 150 pounds. Native to South America, they are found on all of the continent that lies east of the Andes Mountains. They are a highly social species who typically live in groups of 10-20 individuals, though groups of as large as 100 have been reported. The wild population of Capybara is considered stable and not threatened, though hunting for its meat and pelts has reduced populations in some of its range.

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Baby Capybaras Born in The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Just ten days ago, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed the birth of three baby Capybaras. The new babies bring the Zoo’s group of Capybaras up to six including mom Shoya, dad Budha, and another adult female, Bonita. They can all be seen on exhibit together on the second floor of The RainForest.

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world. They can grow up to 4.5 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds. They are native to South America and can be found throughout most of the continent east of the Andes Mountains.

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Photo credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo


Meerkats Abound at Cleveland Zoo

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
is alive with the pitter patter of really teeny tiny feet! The zoo’s resident Meerkat mom recently gave birth to several kits.  The zoo staff is unsure how many kits are in the litter, but suspects they were born around August 26.  Mother Meerkat has been keeping her babies hidden in a tunnel den, mostly out of view of staff members and the public.

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“We decided it would be better for the health and welfare of the kits to not disturb them by entering the exhibit and allow them time to bond with their mother,” Curator of Animals Andi Kornak said. “Consequently, we are not sure exactly how many of them there may be total, but we do have visual confirmation on three individuals.”

Meerkat kits in the wild are kept hidden in the mob’s tunnel system to protect them from predators. They are tended to by several members of the mob, not just their mother, who act as baby-sitters or wet nurses. A Meerkat typically gives birth to between one and five kits. The kits normally begin exploring outside the den at about 3-4 weeks old.

Meerkats are native to southern Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. In the wild they forage for insects are other small creatures including scorpions and spiders.

Photo credit:  Joe Yachanin/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Help Name This Baby Eastern Black Rhino

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A Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf was born on July 1 at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and it's a boy! The calf weighed about 80 pounds (36 kg) at birth and is growing fast. In just four weeks he now tips the scales at about 150 pounds (68 kg). When fully grown he will weigh about 3,000 pounds or 1360 kg! Animal keepers will give mother and baby time to bond and hope they can be put on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna. 

The Zoo hopes the public will help name the calf by visiting clemetzoo.com and voting through August 9 for their favorite potential rhino name. Tthe winning name will be revealed on August 10.

The Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) is classified as “Critically Endangered” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the primary organization for quantifying conservation assessment efforts.  The IUCN estimates there are less than 1,000 of this rhino subspecies left in the wild, concentrated primarily in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has been very successful in breeding Eastern Black Rhinos as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Program; this is the fifth successful rhino birth at the Zoo since 2000. 

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Photo Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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