Franklin Park Zoo

Baby Ostrich Goes for a Walk

Ostrich chick (2)_Taken 9.8.16
Morning walks, three feedings a day, and attentive care are all part of an Ostrich chick’s daily routine at Franklin Park Zoo.

The chick, hatched on September 3, weighed about 2 pounds at hatching and measured about eight inches tall. By the time it is six months old, the chick will weigh around 150 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. The hatching is a first for Franklin Park Zoo.

Ostrich chick and egg size comparison_Taken 9.13.16
Ostrich chick in nest box_Taken 9.13.16 Photo Credit:  Franklin Park Zoo


Because the zoo’s adult Ostrich pair has not been able to reproduce, staff decided to obtain an egg from another zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, incubate it, and hand raise the chick once it hatched.

The not-so-little chick requires a lot of one-on-one time with keepers. Daily walks are important to encourage proper bone development. Diet, consisting of grain, greens, and chopped egg, is carefully monitored so that the chick does not gain weight too rapidly, which also ensures strong, straight leg development.

The male chick will be introduced to the adults when it is five to six months old. In the wild, Ostriches live in flocks that can number 100 birds.

There are four surviving subspecies of Ostrich, all native to Africa. Although all subspecies are in decline, only the North African Ostrich, which has disappeared from most of its original range, is listed as Critically Endangered.

Zoo New England supports the Sahara Conservation Fund’s work in Niger to protect the North African Ostrich.

Ostriches, which live on Africa’s grasslands, are flightless birds built for running. They use their wings for balance as they run. Their long powerful legs, flexible knees, and two-toed feet help them outpace predators and maintain speed over long distances. Ostriches can deliver powerful kicks in self-defense, and each of their toes has a long, sharp claw. Reaching speeds of 45 miles per hour, Ostriches the world’s fastest two-legged animal.

Male Ostriches are black with white primary flight feathers and tail. Females are gray-brown and white. At nearly two inches across, Ostriches’ eyes are the largest of any land animal. With eyes on the sides of their heads, Ostriches have a 350-degree view of their environment.

See more photos of the Ostrich chick below.

Continue reading "Baby Ostrich Goes for a Walk" »


Kids Play At Franklin Park Zoo

1_IMG_2388

There’s a new kid at Franklin Park Zoo… a Nigerian Dwarf Goat kid, that is.

The new kid was born February 16 inside the barn at Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm. Shortly after birth, the little female was standing, and within hours she was observed nursing. This is the second offspring for mom, Leia, and dad, Lucky.

The kid recently underwent a medical exam, and she appears bright, alert and active. The goat kid, who has been named Chewbacca, weighed about four pounds at birth.

“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and we hope people will stop by during this school vacation week to see this adorable new addition,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.

2_baby goat 2

3_baby goat

4_Senior Zookeeper Melissa Durham holds the kid during her exam on February 17, 2016Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo

 

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are noted for their wide range of color patterns, which include combinations of black, brown or gold mixed with white, as well as for their easy-going temperaments.

Adult males can reach a maximum size of 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm), and females can grow to about 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm).

These herbivorous miniature goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) are of West African descent. They have been domesticated as dairy goats and can be found all over the world. Highly adaptable, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can live in climates ranging from cold to hot and dry.

Despite their size, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for expressing a high quantity of milk. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, making Nigerian Dwarf Goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are gentle, friendly, and can easily be trained to walk on a leash. Their size and temperament enable them to be excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals.

Continue reading "Kids Play At Franklin Park Zoo" »


Six Foot Baby Born at Franklin Park Zoo

FranklinPark_GiraffeBaby_1

The staff at Franklin Park Zoo, in New England, is pleased to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe Calf!

FranklinPark_GiraffeBaby_2

FranklinPark_GiraffeBaby_3

FranklinPark_GiraffeBaby_4Photo Credits: Amanda Giardina/Zoo New England (1,2,3,4,5); Sarah Woodruff (6,7,8,9,10,11)

After a labor and delivery that lasted about an hour, mother, ‘Jana’, gave birth to the female giraffe calf, on October 2nd, inside the Giraffe Barn. Within 40 minutes of birth, the calf was standing, and she was observed nursing about an hour and a half after birth.

The female calf had her first examination, the following day, by the Zoo’s veterinary staff. She weighed 160 pounds and stood at 6-feet tall.

The calf’s parents, ‘Beau’ and ‘Jana’, are very genetically valuable within the North American captive Masai Giraffe population. Since 2006, Beau and Jana have had five successful births, including the new calf. The pair are also grandparents as well, with offspring at zoos up and down the eastern United States.

“We are so thrilled to share the news of this exciting birth,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Jana is an experienced mother and she is doing everything a mother giraffe should do. As with any new birth, we are continuing to monitor the mother and baby closely.”

Giraffes are more temperature sensitive than other savannah animals, and are kept indoors when temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, on October 8th, the new calf was able to enjoy a beautiful Boston day and explore the outdoor area with her mother!

Beau and Jana were bred as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo New England is an active participant in this program. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.

More info and great pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Six Foot Baby Born at Franklin Park Zoo" »


Peekaboo, Little Red Panda!

Panda cub (2)
A baby Red Panda has arrived at Franklin Park Zoo!  Born on June 19, the male cub stayed in the nest box for about 90 days with his mother, Carys, and is just now peeking out to greet zoo visitors.   Red panda cub 2 (2)

Red panda cub - credit Melissa Durham (2)
Red panda cub and mom 3 (3)Photo Credit:  Franklin Park Zoo (1,2,4); Melissa Durham (3)

The cub was recently given access to the outdoor exhibit, which means he can choose to stay indoors or outdoors.  A video monitor allows zoo visitors to see the cub in the nest box if he is not outdoors.

“We are thrilled to announce this exciting birth. Carys has proven to be an excellent mother and she is doing everything an attentive Red Panda mother should,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, who added, “The cub is very curious and it is fun to watch him explore and learn new skills from his mother.”

Zoo New England participates in the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Carys and her mate, Yang. This is the first cub for Carys.

Red Pandas live in the cool temperate bamboo forests in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan in China, as well as in the Himalayas and Myanmar. Red Pandas have a small bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks, which make up a significant portion of their diet. This species is declining and threatened by habitat loss in the wild.  Red Pandas are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

 


Two-Toed Sloth Hangs Out with Mom at Franklin Park Zoo

Sloth Boston_1

Franklin Park Zoo, in Boston, is pleased to announce the birth of a Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth!

Sloth Boston_4

Sloth Boston_7

Sloth Boston_2Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo/Zoo New England (1,3,7), Sarah Woodruff (2,4,5), Katelyn Deaton (6)

 

The baby, born August 12, is the offspring of Nero, age 8, and Lunesta, age 10. The baby can be seen on exhibit with its mother, Lunesta, in the Little Critters building within the Children’s Zoo. The baby, whose sex is not yet known, underwent its first medical examination on August 14 and appears healthy, bright and alert.

Linne's Two-Toed Sloths are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but efforts to preserve that status are essential to future survival.  Franklin Park Zoo, part of the Zoo New England Corp, participates in the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.

Linne’s Two-Toed Sloths are large, furry mammals that live in trees and are found in the tropical forests of South America. They spend almost their whole lives dangling upside-down from branches that they hold on to with all four clawed feet. While these animals move really well through the branches, once they are on the ground they are very slow and vulnerable to predators as they are not built for walking.

Sloths eat mainly a vegetarian diet of leaves and shoots, and they spend roughly 15 hours a day sleeping. Although they live in trees, sloths are not related to monkeys; rather, their closest relatives are the anteater and the armadillo.

See more photos of the new baby, below the fold.

Continue reading "Two-Toed Sloth Hangs Out with Mom at Franklin Park Zoo" »


Endangered Siberian Crane Hatches at Franklin Park Zoo

1 crane

Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts has announced the successful hatching of a rare Siberian Crane chick. Hatched on May 6, the chick is the offspring of Sneetch, age 20, and Shakti, age 22.

In the wild, Siberian Cranes breed in the high Arctic regions of Siberia. These Endangered birds stand about 4 feet (120 cm) tall and are noted for their pure white plumage and black flight feathers. It is estimated that only 3,000 of these birds remain in the wild.

There are only 21 Siberian Cranes in captivity in four North American institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Franklin Park Zoo has six Siberian Cranes including the new chick. Since 1999, there have been eight chicks, including the newest chick, hatched at the zoo.

2 crane

3 cranePhoto credit: Franklin Park Zoo

This success is the result of a lot of hard work and technical expertise. The chick at Franklin Park Zoo is a result of artificial insemination. The chick’s parents, a breeding pair, have resided at Franklin Park Zoo since 1996. Because these birds hail from the high Arctic regions, each year on February 14 the zoo staff increases the amount of light in the birds’ exhibit by one hour a week to simulate the light cycle in their native environment. The light is increased until the birds receive 21 to 22 hours of light a day. Once the light cycle reaches this point, the birds typically begin breeding. Franklin Park Zoo is actually the first zoo in North America to have successfully bred this endangered species.

“Siberian Cranes are an incredible species with an important conservation story to tell. Every successful hatch is important as it helps to hedge against this species’ extinction,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England president and CEO. “With any new birth or hatch, there is always risk but we are hopeful that this new chick will continue to thrive and will contribute to the survival of its species.”


African Pygmy Falcon Chicks Hatch at Franklin Park Zoo

Falcon chicks ages 12 and 7 days old - credit Sarah Woodruff

Two tiny African Pygmy Falcon chicks hatched on February 3 and February 8 are being hand-reared at the Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts.

Falcon chicks ages 13 and 8 days old - credit Sarah Woodruff

African pygmy falcon chicks, ages 7 and 12 days old - credit Jess Horens...
Photo Credits: Sarah Woodruff (1,2);  Jess Horens (3)

 

While the zoo staff always prefers to have baby animals raised by their parents, the staff feared the chicks would not survive without intervention.  The parents’ behavior during incubation showed that they would not have the skills to raise their chicks, so the eggs were placed in an incubator.   

Like any baby bird, raising African Pygmy Falcon chicks is extremely time-consuming.  In the first week after hatching, the staff fed the small birds six to seven times a day. Each week, the number of daily feedings decreases as the birds consume more food at each meal. By 24 to 26 days old, the birds will be able to feed themselves. 

“It takes a very dedicated effort to raise these tiny falcons,” said Fred Beall, Zoo New England General Curator. “We have had great success with this species at Franklin Park Zoo and are one of only a few zoos in North America that is successfully breeding African Pygmy Falcons. These hatches are a real reason to celebrate.”

Franklin Park Zoo has exhibited African Pygmy Falcons since 1999. The chicks are the offspring of a female that hatched at Franklin Park Zoo in 2012.

African Pygmy Falcons are native to the arid and semi-arid grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. These birds, which weigh less than one pound as adults, are the smallest of all African birds of prey and are about the same size as an American Robin.  


Little Roo Joey For Franklin Park Zoo!

Franklin-Park-Zoo-Kangaroo-Joey1

Franklin Park Zoo has a new addition - a Red Kangaroo joey! The joey is approximately six months old and began to poke its head out of its mother’s pouch a few weeks ago. Kangaroo babies are born after a very short 30 to 35 day gestation and are about the size of a jelly bean. Joeys begin to emerge from the pouch for short periods at around 190 days. They will feed from the mother for up to a year, but at about eight months will start to try solid food.

Franklin-Park-Zoo-Kangaroo-Joey

Franklin-Park-Zoo-Kangaroo-Joey2
Photo credits: Sarah Woodruff / Franklin Park Zoo

The joey, whose sex is not yet known, was born to mother Skippy, age 6, and father Binowee (an Aboriginal word meaning “green place”), age 4. The birth marks the first joey at Franklin Park Zoo since 2005.

Continue reading "Little Roo Joey For Franklin Park Zoo!" »


The Red Panda Party Don't Stop!

Red-Pandas-FPZ-5

The Red Panda explosion of late has us wondering: Will the lesser Panda party ever stop? Is that confetti in this little cub's mouth? Regardless, you can't have enough Red Panda babies in your life, so break out the streamers, it's Panda time once again! This pair was born at Franklin Park Zoo on July 4 to Stella Luna, age 6, and Yang, age 5. The typical gestation period for Red Pandas is about 134 days, and females give birth to one to four cubs. Born helpless and with eyes closed, the cubs stay in the nest box with their mother for about the first 90 days. The twins are expected to be on public view sometime in this month. Party on!

Red-Pandas-FPZ-4

Red-Pandas-FPZ-3

Red-Pandas-FPZ-1

Red-Pandas-FPZ-2
Photo credits: Franklin Park Zoo


UPDATE: Western Lowland Gorilla Growing Up!

207641_10150156308391989_45674661988_6848763_4612290_n

Nearing her one year birthday,Western Lowland Gorilla baby Kambiri is thriving at the Franklin Park Zoo. Mom Kiki and Dad Kitombe did an excellent job in raising her. The baby, born November 3 inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest, was originally featured on Zooborns.com during her first well-baby visit to the vet. She was found to be very healthy then and it shows! We thought you'd like to see her and wish her happy birthday.

She's now eating leafy greens with the baby teeth that are starting to come in, playing with her blanket and dozing against mom.

175639_10150096022611989_45674661988_6470143_796011_o

Reach

Nom

308485_10150301823561989_45674661988_8139517_674124816_n

Nap
Photo Credit:Don Crasco

Continue reading "UPDATE: Western Lowland Gorilla Growing Up!" »