Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Miniature Donkey is a Huge Hit

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A Miniature Donkey was born in the early hours of August 31 at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  The female foal was the first for mother Naomi. 

“The foal’s belly and legs were still a little wet when we arrived at 7:30 in the morning,” said zoo keeper Sarah Sloan.  It didn’t take long for the little female, who is also named Sarah, to stand, walk, and nurse.  By early afternoon, the foal was delighting zoo visitors with clumsy romps around the outdoor yard while Naomi kept a close eye on her daughter.

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Photo Credits:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

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Penguin Chick a Special Delivery

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A bundle of fluffy gray feathers arrived at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo on June 26:  A tiny Black-footed Penguin hatched to mother Right Pink and father Left Pink. (The penguins are identified by colored bands on each wing.)

Though the Pinks have raised several chicks, this Penguin needed a little help entering the world.  A few days before hatching, the chick used its pointy temporary "egg tooth" (located on the top of its beak) to "pip" through both the internal egg membrane and the eggshell.  Normally, the chick would begin coming out of its shell at this point, but in this case, nothing happened.  "The veterinary staff ultimately helped the chick come out of the egg," says zoo keeper Nikki Finch.  "Mom and dad took the chick back right away and starting caring for it."

The Pinks are apparently doing a great job caring for their chick - its weight increased nearly sixfold, from 52 grams to 298 grams, in just 12 days!

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Zoo guests won't be able to see the Penguin chick, whose gender is not yet known, for several months. "Right now, the chick is with the Pinks in the Penguins' night house," says Finch.  The chick will stay with its parents, dining on regurgitated fish, until it is 21 days old or weighs 500 grams.  "After that, we'll take over feeding the chick and train it to eat fish form our hand," says Finch.  Once the chick loses its fuzzy gray down and sports a nice set of waterproof feathers, it will return to the exhibit and meet the rest of the flock.

Black-footed Penguins are native to the coast of South Africa, where they are threatened by human activity.  At one time, nearly 4 million Balck-footed Penguins inhabited South Africa's coastal waters; today fewer than 55,000 remain.  Black-footed Penguins are managed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan.

Photo Credit:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

 


Kangaroo Joeys Take a Peek at Their First Spring

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The kangaroo yard at Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo in Indiana is jumping with seven Kangaroo joeys!

Most of the joeys were born last year in May or June, but they've only recently been out of their mothers' pouches, exploring the world around them. All of the joeys were sired by the zoo's only adult male kangaroo, Mako, who arrived there in March 2011.

Why are these babies only emerging now? Kangaroos are marsupials, so they are born in a highly underdeveloped state. Right after birth, the babies, or joeys, crawl to the pouch, where they remain for months nursing and growing.

Now, even though a joey might be too big to fit into mom's pouch, that doesn't stop the joey from trying.  Visitors should not be surprised to see odd combinations of legs, feet, tails, and noses poking out of pouches, much like the below!

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Photo Credit: Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo


Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's Dingoes Are Growing Up Fast!

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The Dingo pups born at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo on January 30th are growing up fast! In these new photos from the zoo, the puppies can be seen frolicking in their outdoor environment. Pure Dingoes are increasingly rare in the wild due to hybridization of the species with domesticated dogs. The 6-week-old pups are strong and confident, and in between wrestling and playing, their favorite pit stop is this large hollow log!

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Photo credit: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo


Baby Dingoes Open Their Eyes!

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These photos show Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's Dingo pups at 3 weeks old with their eyes open. The pups spend a lot of time yawning when they are awake. The puppies' parents Mattie and Naya are one of only about 75 pairs of pure Dingoes worldwide, so the pups are an important addition to the pure Dingo population.  In Australia, Dingoes have widely hybridized with domestic dogs, so pure Dingoes are rare. Mattie and Naya came to the zoo from Australia in 2010.

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Cheryl Piropato/Fort Wayne Children's Zoo


Dingo Puppies!

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Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Dingoes Naya and Mattie became the proud parents of seven adorable puppies on January 30.  The four male and three female pups are the first Dingoes to be born at the zoo since 1988.

“All of the pups appear strong and healthy, and Naya and Mattie are excellent parents,” says Elaine Kirchner, Australian Adventure Area Manager. 

For now, the puppies live indoors in a cozy nest box. When Naya enters the nest box, the puppies whimper and crawl to her belly, where they nurse.  The pups’ eyes will open at around two weeks of age, and they may begin to venture out of the nest box to explore the Dingoes’ heated indoor quarters.

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The brown puppies will have the typical ginger-colored coat as adults.  The litter includes 4 males and 3 females

The puppies are weighed every day.  Each has doubled its weight in its first week of life

Seven digo pups were born at the zoo on January 30.  All three colors of dingo are represented in the litter, which is unusual

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Photo credits: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Mattie and Naya are one of only about 75 pairs of pure Dingoes worldwide, so the pups are an important addition to the pure Dingo population.  In Australia, Dingoes have widely hybridized with domestic dogs, so pure Dingoes are rare.  Mattie and Naya came to the zoo from Australia in 2010.

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Many Mongooses for Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's Banded Mongoose baby boom continues!  Five baby Banded Mongooses, born on August 2, made their exhibit debut this week.  Combined with seven babies born in November, six babies born in March, and our original seven adults, Fort Wayne now has twenty five Mongooses in the colony.

The babies are three weeks old and just began entering the exhibit with the adults

The babies are three weeks old and just began entering the exhibit with the adults

The babies are three weeks old and just began entering the exhibit with the adults

The babies are three weeks old and just began entering the exhibit with the adults

The babies are three weeks old and just began entering the exhibit with the adultsPhoto Credits: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

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Leaping Lemur Dive-bombs Older Sister

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in Indiana had a busy spring season in its lemur department. Female lemur Seiodin gave birth to twins on March 8.  Then, just two days later, her daughter Caera delivered a single baby! Seiodin's twin babies get their first look at the outside world in April (first photo below) and Caera's baby takes a cautious peek over mom's shoulder in the second picture. The video shows one of the twins attacking her big sister, Kushla.  At the end of the video, Kushla gets revenge on her little attacker!

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Feisty Dingo Puppies Make Their Debut

Four months old and full of energy, male dingo pup Mattie and female pup Naya come to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in Indiana straight from the Dingo Discovery Centre in Victoria, Australia. While they may look like domestic dogs, dingoes started branching off as a subspecies 4,000-5,000 years ago. Unlike domestic dogs, dingoes howl instead of bark and can only breed once a year. In the photos below, Mattie and Naya explore their new exhibit for the first time and reportedly "enjoyed it immensely!"

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More pics and info below the fold!

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