Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

New Pygmy Slow Loris Baby in Cleveland


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). 



4_KCL_5765Photo Credits: Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks

"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.


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.

See more photos after the fold!

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Baby Capybaras Born in The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo


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.





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


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 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. 




Photo Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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My, what big ears you have! Slender-horned Gazelle born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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An endangered Slender-horned Gazelle with improbably long ears and big dark eyes will greet visitors at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo beginning August 1 in the African Savanna.

Born in late June, the female calf has been off exhibit for about four weeks to give her time to bond with her mother, Francis. The calf is the first offspring at the Zoo for Francis, who came to Cleveland in 2009 from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and for her father, Ziggy, who came to the Zoo in 2010 from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. The calf brings the number of Slender-horned Gazelles at the Zoo up to five. The other members of the herd are adult females Bullet and Ella.

Standing about 30 inches tall and weighing about 60 pounds, these graceful Gazelles have large ears, which serve as a cooling mechanism in the scorching desert heat, and slightly oversized hooves for walking in sand. Both males and females have horns.

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Slender-horned Gazelles were once one of the most common Gazelles in the Sahara Desert. While they still have a wide range, including Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia, their populations are small and fragmented. They are classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Slender-horned Gazelles.

Photo credits:  Joe Yachanin


Ferocious! Black-footed Kittens at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Reaching only about 3.5 lbs as adults, Black-footed Cats may be the world's smallest felines. When these two little kittens were born April 2 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, they weighed-in at just 7 ounces (200 grams). The kittens' sexes have yet to be determined. They were born to mom, Godiva, and father, Wyatt.

Wyatt is considered a genetically valuable animal whose genes and offspring are an important contribution to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Black-footed Cats. There are about 18 accredited institutions in North America with Black- footed Cats and this is the third litter for Cleveland Metroparks.

Peek a Kitten

Blackfooted Kitten up close and personal

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Black-footed Cats are the smallest of the African cats, with adults reaching about 3.5 pounds when fully grown. Their conservation status is listed as “vulnerable” in the wild. Black-footed Cats are found in the grasslands and savannas of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The gestation period is from 63 to 68 days, resulting in a litter of 1-3 kittens. Kittens develop quickly, eating solid food at five weeks and capturing prey at six.

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A New Baby Giraffe for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!

The eldest female Masai giraffe at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has a new calf to raise. Lindi, 26, gave birth on July 11 in the giraffe barn to a male calf named Trevor. Trevor is the first successful offspring for father, Travis, 4, who came to Cleveland in 2008 from the San Diego Zoo.

“Mom and baby are doing relatively well,” said Andi Kornak, the Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores and Large Mammals. “He was standing and moving around in an appropriate amount of time and was nursing within a few hours.” 

Giraffes give birth standing up, so newborns get an abrupt introduction to the world by dropping up to 6 feet to the ground. They are about 6-feet tall when they are born and weigh between 100 to 150 pounds. The calf joins the other giraffes in the African Savanna exhibit, Jada, 4, Grace, almost 3, Shirley, 5, and Jhasmin, 5. Keepers will give mom and baby time to bond and hope they can join the other giraffes in the herd on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna. 


Photo Credit: Jeanne DeBonis/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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