Denver Zoo

Mouth to Snout CPR Saves Tiny Tapir

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A newborn Malayan Tapir calf is alive and doing well thanks to the heroic efforts of two Denver Zoo staff members. On September 3, Denver Zoo's female Tapir, Rinny, gave birth inside the Rhino/Tapir building of Toyota Elephant Passage. Staff watched as Rinny unsuccessfully attempted to free the infant from inside its amniotic sac. Assistant Curator of Toyota Elephant Passage Rebecca McCloskey safely separated mother and calf then freed the newborn from the sac for inspection. Together with staff veterinarian Gwen Jankowski, they began providing mouth to snout rescue breaths and manually stimulated the baby for regular breathing and in order to expel liquid from his lungs. After a few minutes of rescue efforts, the infant successfully began to breathe on his own. The scene was captured on video tape inside the zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit.

"It's always a little scary when something like this happens, but thankfully we all have great resources and training," says McCloskey. "It was such a relief to see him finally take those first breaths."

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Baby Tapir Dumadi at Denver Zoo 2Photo credits: Denver Zoo

Thanks to the zoo staffers' efforts, the young infant named Dumadi is now walking and swimming just fine. The Tapir is currently doing well with his mother behind the scenes. This is the first birth of his species at the zoo and the first birth of any species in Toyota Elephant Passage.

Dumadi, named for the Indonesian word meaning "becoming," is the first birth for both Rinny and his father, Benny. Benny was born at the City of Belfast Zoo in Ireland in 2006 and arrived at Denver Zoo from Toronto Zoo in 2007. Rinny was born at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo in 2007 and came to Denver Zoo from there in 2010. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.

See the rescue and the baby's first swim below!

As adults, Malayan Tapirs have a distinctive color pattern that some people say resembles an Oreo cookie, with black front and back parts separated by a white or gray midsection. This provides excellent camouflage that breaks up the Tapir's outline in the shadows of the forest. By contrast, young Tapirs have color patterns that more resemble brown watermelons with spots and stripes which help them blend into the dappled sunlight and leaf shadows of the forest and protect them from predators.

Though they are most closely related to horses and rhinos, Tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger. Malayan Tapirs have a large, barrel shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Their noses and upper lips are extended to form a long prehensile snout similar to a stubby version of an elephant's trunk. Malayan Tapirs are the largest of the four Tapir species. They stand more than 3-feet-tall and can stretch from between 6 to 8-feet-long. They can also weigh more than 1,100 pounds. They are also excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water. They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!

Malayan Tapirs are the only Tapir native to Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. With a wild population of less than 2,000 individuals they are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and hunting.


First Amur Leopard Cub Birth in 16 Years for Denver Zoo

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The Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Amur (ah-Moor) Leopard cub born on April 25. The young male, named Makar (Mah-car), is the first birth of his species at Denver Zoo since 1996. Until now, Makar has been behind-the-scenes with his mother. He just received a clean bill of health from zoo veterinarians and guests can see him now inside the zoo's Feline Building.

Mom, Dazma (Dazz-mah), and dad, Hari-Kari (Harry Care-ee) were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.

Amur Leopards take their name from the Amur region located along the Chinese-Russian border. Once found from South Korea to north of the China-Russian border, Amur Leopards are now nearly extinct in the wild and found along a small area in Eastern Russia. They are considered critically endangered with fewer than 40 animals remaining in the wild. Poaching for fur, loss of habitat and trophy hunting are the primary reasons for their decline.

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Photo Credit: Denver Zoo

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13 Snake-Necked Turtle Babies Swim in to Denver Zoo

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Thirteen Reimann's (RYE-man's) Snake-Necked Turtles have hatched at Denver Zoo. The almost fully-aquatic, freshwater species can only be found in Papua New Guinea. As their name indicates, they are known for their long necks, so long that they aren't able to fully pull their heads into their shells. Instead they wrap their necks around the front and sides of their shell to provide predators less of a target. Though adults can grow to more than 10 inches long, the hatchlings are all about the size of a quarter. Some of them may soon be seen in Tropical Discovery's nursery.

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Photo credits: Dave Parsons


Red Ruffed Lemur Quadruplets Born at Denver Zoo!

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The number 13 might be a lucky number after all. Denver Zoo is proud to announce the birth of four endangered Red Ruffed Lemurs, the first of their species born here in 13 years! The quadruplets, born March 12, include male, Rusty and females, Bordeaux, Chianti and Mena. They are now big enough to explore outside their nest box and can be seen with their parents in the Emerald Forest exhibit in Denver Zoo's Primate Panorama.

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All photo credits: Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

This is the first litter for both mother, Sixpence, and her mate, Mego. Sixpence was among the infants born in the last litter at Denver Zoo in 1998. Mego came to Denver Zoo from the Duke Lemur Center in April 2008. The two were paired together under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match. Though inexperienced, Sixpence has shown she is a very attentive mother and lets Mego know what he needs to be doing. (More photos after the fold)

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Denver Zoo Raises Palm Cockatoo Count by Two!

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Denver Zoo recently welcomed two Palm Cockatoos from two different breeding pairs. The chicks hatched on January 18 and February 10 and their genders are still unknown. Though the hatchlings will eventually be on display at the zoo's Nurture Trail exhibit, they are currently growing and developing under the watchful eye of bird keepers in the zoo's Bird Propagation Center. These are the second and third Palm Cockatoo chicks to be hatched at North American Zoos in the last year.

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Photo credits: Denver Zoo / Dave Parsons

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Meet Kanoa, Denver's Newest De Brazza's Monkey!

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Denver Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a male De Brazza's Monkey named Kanoa! He was born to mother, Marinda and father, Kisoro, on November 27. This is the second birth for Kisoro, who came to Denver Zoo after being rescued from a black market in the Congo. Like his sister Kanani, born December 19, 2009, Kanoa is described as very independent and precocious despite his mother's early attempts to be protective. This makes his name all the more appropriate. "Kanoa" is Hawaiian for "free one."

Debrazzas_baby_5302l_dpPhoto credits: Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

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Denver Hatches Dragons in Time for Halloween!

As Halloween draws near, Denver Zoo is hatching dragons! Komodo Dragons, that is. Four have already hatched and four more eggs remain in an incubator. The hatchlings began emerging from their shells a week ago. They are all behind-the-scenes now, but visitors should be able to see them in Tropical Discovery’s nursery in time for the zoo’s Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo.

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A Komodo Dragon hatchling emerges from its shell (Below)

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Photo Credit: Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo

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Hesty Makes Her Debut

Little Hesty, the baby Sumatran Orangutan, got off to a rocky start back in June and July as ZooBorns readers might recall. Her mother, Nias, did not nurse her baby properly and Hesty was removed from her mother to be fed by Denver Zoo staff. Fortunately, training efforts with Hesty and Nias on how to nurse properly eventually paid off, and now all is well. Hesty made her public debut this weekend.

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Photo credits: Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo Rescues Ailing Baby Orangutan

On Jun 19th, Denver Zoo welcomed a new baby Sumatran Orangutan to mother Mias. Eleven days after the birth, zoo staff noticed the infant looked weak. After sedating Mias so they could examine the infant, named Hesty, they realized the baby was severely dehydrated and had not been nursing properly. Despite veterinarians best efforts to encourage proper nursing, they had to intervene again when the baby appeared unresponsive July 1st. Due to the exceptional care provided by Denver Zoo staff, the baby is now healthy and has been reunited with mother Hesty. Throughout the process, keepers and vets cared for the baby in view of mom, who watched attentively throughout the process.

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Denver Zoo Tiger Quadruplets!

Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of four endangered Amur tiger cubs born May 31 in a private maternity den. The cubs cannot be seen by visitors yet and are being monitored by keepers via a closed-circuit camera. Zoo veterniarians gave the cubs a clean bill of health at a recent exam.The quadruplet cubs are the first to be born at Denver Zoo since 2003. An announcement will be made when the cubs are big enough to be seen in their zoo habitat.

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Photo Credits: Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo

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