On July 6, 2011 a baby Black Duiker was born at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to parents Chelsea and Kringle. This was a very important birth because it's so rare. This baby brings the population of Black Duikers in Zoos to a total of only 17! While it is believed that there are 100,000 Black Duikers in the world today, their numbers are in decline due to hunting.
The baby doesn't yet have a name because it's keepers are waiting on gender confirmation, but it may be able to be seen by Zoo guests, as it has access to the yard area in it's parent's habitat. These photos taken August 9 give us a good look at an even better hair day!
Photo credits: Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Three Fishing Cat kittens, two males and one female, were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Jul. 29, 2011. These photos were taken during a routine vet check-up, but for now these water-loving felines are with their mother in a secluded den where they will remain for the next few weeks. This is the first offspring for this pair of Fishing Cats that came to the Columbus Zoo in 2010 as part of the Species Survival Plan for these endangered animals.
Photo credits: Grahm Jones
Adult fishing cats are twice the size of a domestic cat and range in weight from 15-35 pounds; males weigh significantly more than females. True their name, Fishing Cats love nothing more than a good fish dinner, but will also snack on crustaceans, mollusks, frogs and snakes. In fact, these cats are large to enough to hunt larger game and occassionally will take down a small wild pig or deer.
The nocturnal Fishing Cat is found in southern Asia in densely vegetated areas near marshes, mangroves, rivers and streams as well as in tropical dry forests. Water pollution, clearing of forests for settlements and agricultural use, and over-exploitation of local fish stocks are a threat to the Fishing Cat. The Columbus Zoo’s conservation program has supported assessments of distribution, status and movements of fishing cats in their native habitat as well as workshops and school awareness programs in Fishing Cat range countries.
It was big news when a North Island Brown Kiwi Chick hatched on Mar. 23, 2011 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which you can read about HERE. And now, just months after their historic first hatching of this unique bird species, a second hatched on Jun. 25. Only six Kiwis, including the two chicks at the Columbus Zoo, have hatched in the past five years in the whole of North America.
“The first hatching of a Kiwi at the Columbus Zoo was a notably rare occurrence” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “To have a second Kiwi hatch, especially so soon after the first one, is further proof our animal care team’s efforts are firmly based on science and expertise.”
The newest chick, whose sex will be determined through DNA testing, is currently being cared for behind the scenes. The first chick is a male and animal care staff named him “Ariki” (ah-ree-kee), meaning first-born or chief in the species’ native New Zealand. Including these chicks, there are now five kiwis at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and a total of 21 kiwis in three United States zoos.
On July 13, three Flamingo chicks went on exhibit at Columbus Zoo. In recent years, the zoo has been increasingly successful in breeding Flamingos. Keepers have found that hand rearing chicks makes these typicaly easily spooked birds more manageable in their adulthood. Columbus Zoo lightens the load for Flamingo moms by positioning a wooden decoy egg in the nest after removing the real eggs for incubation. This ensures that the females won't continue to lay, since egg laying is a taxing operation.
Photo credits: COurtesy of H. Misner and Columbus Zoo
Unlike adult Flamingos, chicks hatch covered in a fluffy white down which will remain white or grey during the first two years of their lives. The Flamingo's trade mark pink plummage appears in the second or third year. This trio will be on display for an hour each day (from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) with the other 32 flamingos in the Zoo's flock. The rest of the time they'll be behind the scenes eating a special formula and getting plenty of sleep.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has achieved another significant first with the successful hatching of a North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) on Mar. 23, 2011. The Columbus Zoo is only the third zoo in North America to successfully hatch a Kiwi chick since the first one hatched at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 1975 and this chick is only the fifth kiwi to successfully hatch in as many years.
Photo credits: Columbus Zoo
“The fact this egg successfully hatched is a testament to the amazing care and attention given by our staff in consultation with professional colleagues around the world” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “Like an expectant parent, kiwi expert Kathy Brader from Smithsonian’s National Zoo rushed to Central Ohio to be here and assist our team with the newly hatched chick.”
Cheetahs have been born at the the Wilds conservation center for the first time in the center’s history. The first litter was born on October 20. Wilds' staff monitoring the female by video observed five-year-old “Kenji” leaving the cubs shortly after they were born and could see that one of the cubs was still wet and noticeably weaker. Because the mother showed no interest in returning to the three cubs, the decision was made to hand-rear them. The second litter was born yesterday, October 28, and the three cubs are currently being cared for by five-year-old “Kamaria”. The Wilds is located in Cumberland, Ohio.
Photo credits: Grahm Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
”Everyone at the Wilds is very excited about the new cubs. Our whole team has put a lot of effort into making this program a success,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management. “At the same time, we are being very cautious. Newborn cubs can be very fragile and we have to monitor their progress one day at a time. We hope that these cubs will survive and go on to be future breeders for the managed population."The breeding of these endangered cats at the Wilds was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for cheetahs.
Gorilla mom Cassie and Columbus Zoo staff were all thrilled Sept 29th to welcome an adorable newborn gorilla. This is the first baby for Cassie, a critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla. Father Annaka and two other members of the gorilla troop have also proven to be attentive family members. The numbers of wild gorillas are declining due to poaching, habitat destruction, and disease, but the Columbus Zoo is doing its part to help. Learn more at the bottom of the post.
Photo credits: Grahm Jones / Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo supports several great ape projects including the Mbeli Bai Study of Western Lowland Gorillas based in the Republic of Congo, and the Cross River Gorilla Project in Cameroon and Nigeria. Over the past five years the Columbus Zoo and Partners in Conservation has distributed more than $4 million in conservation grants worldwide. More than $1 million has been devoted to gorilla conservation in their range countries since 1993.
Back in April and May, we brought you the story of Misha the Louisville Zoo's baby gorilla, which had been injured by a surly male gorilla. To facilitate her recovery, it was determined that Misha should be moved to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which is internationally recognized for caring for gorillas in social groups including the placement of young gorillas with surrogate mothers. Surrogates are taught to not only care for their baby like their own but also to bring the baby over to staff when prompted for bottle feedings, medication and regular check-ups. For now though, Misha spends most of her time with zoo staffers as you can see in the must watch video below.
Surprising fact: baby otters actually need to be taught how to swim! Not so surprising fact: the process is obscenely adorable! In March we brought you incredible pictures of the Columbus Zoo's newest baby otter kits. Now we bring you wonderful video of mama otter teaching those same pups how to swim and some great additional photos.
Photo and video credits: Grahm S. Jones
Read the otterly adorable details below the fold, courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.