Hogle Zoo

Endangered Leopard Brothers on Exhibit at Hogle Zoo

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Utah's Hogle Zoo is pleased to introduce their new Amur Leopard cubs, Rafferty and Roman!

The cubs were born February 17 and have been bonding with mom, Zeya, behind the scenes, learning all the basics of being an Amur Leopard. Rafferty’s name means “one who possess prosperity”, and Roman means “strong, powerful”.

According to keepers, Zeya is doing a great job nurturing her little duo and is fiercely protective of the boys. At their recent check-up, Rafferty and Roman clocked in at 12 and 13 pounds and are now ready to meet Zoo guests!

Hogle Zoo is thrilled to contribute to the population of this critically endangered species. Experts estimate only 60 Amur Leopards remain in the wild.

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Rafferty RomanPhoto Credits: Utah's Hogle Zoo

The Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and the Jilin Province of northeast China. The Amur Leopard is also known as the “Far Eastern Leopard”.

Amur Leopards are threatened by: poaching, encroaching civilization, new roads, poaching of their prey, forest fires, inbreeding, possible coexisting with disease carriers and transmitters, and exploitation of forests.

Due to the small number of reproducing Amur Leopards in the wild, the gene pool is so reduced that the population is also at risk from inbreeding depression.

The Amur Leopard is known as the most endangered of all Leopard subspecies. It is currently listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. In 2007, only 19–26 wild Amur Leopards were estimated to have survived, and as of 2015, fewer than 60 individuals are estimated to survive in Russia and China.

According to the IUCN’s latest report, “Although the population of P. p. orientalis may have increased recently, especially on the Chinese side of the border (Xiao et al. 2014), the total population remains <60 individuals. With no noted population or range increase, the Sri Lankan Leopard (P. p. kotiya) should retain its current status as Endangered. The Leopard of southwestern Asia (P. p. saxicolor or ciscaucasica) has been recorded in previously undocumented areas of the Caucasus, such as Georgia and Azerbajian (Sarukhanova 2014, Voskyanyan 2014), however, due to overall low numbers and restricted range, this subspecies should remain listed as Endangered (Khorozyan 2008).”


A Six-foot Bundle of Joy

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Utah's Hogle Zoo is pleased to introduce a six-foot bundle of leggy joy:  A baby Giraffe named Willow was born on January 13.

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Unnamed (2)Photo Credit:  Utah's Hogle Zoo

The female calf hit the ground - literally – shortly after noon. Giraffes deliver their babies standing up, so their calves face a four-foot drop as they enter the world.  This fall helps to break the umbilical cord and stimulates the baby to breathe.   Willow’s mom, 13-year-old Pogo, immediately began licking and cleaning her baby, and Willow stood and nursed within an hour of her birth.

Keepers estimate that Willow stood about six feet tall and weighed about 125 pounds at birth. Willow is the 17th Giraffe born at the Hogle Zoo.

The other Giraffes in the zoo’s herd are very interested in the new baby.  Willow’s father, 12-year-old Riley, leans over the wall of a neighboring stall to sniff her.  The other female Giraffes, who act as “aunties,” lick and sniff the newcomer as well.

Wild Giraffes live only in Africa, where they inhabit grasslands and savannahs.  Until recently, Giraffe populations were thought to be stable, but scientists now know that their numbers have fallen dramatically in the last few decades.  As humans convert formerly wild lands to pastures and farms, wild animals have fewer places to live.  For large animals like Giraffes, loss of habitat is a significant threat to their survival.


It's a Girl! Leggy Baby Giraffe Born at Hogle Zoo

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This female Reticulated Giraffe was born on September 23 at Hogle Zoo in Utah. The nearly six foot newborn was immediately cleaned up by mama, 9-year-old Kipenzi, and was standing up and attempting to nurse within the hour.
 
"It's very exciting to have any birth here, but especially Giraffes," said Animal Care Supervisor Jane Larson. "They're such large animals. It's so fascinating to see this long-legged creature come out of the giraffe's womb. We're thrilled!"

Mom and baby are doing well. They've been spending the last week bonding but are ready to greet zoo guests. As of October 3, both mom and baby are now on exhibit in their yard, along with two other Giraffes. Hogle Zoo has displayed Giraffes since 1969, and is proud of the history of 16 successful Giraffe births since then. 

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Photo Credit: Hogle Zoo


 


Tiny Tiger Triplets Say - "Roar!"

Born June 2nd, these critically endangered male Amur Tiger cubs are now on public display at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Mother Basha has been busily attending to the three playful little brothers and they have been growing steadily for the past three months. Amur Tigers are the largest of all cat species, reaching 11 feet and up to 650 lbs. in adulthood.

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A Healthy 251 lb Baby!

After 22 months of pregnancy, mother elephant Christie gave birth to a high-spirited female calf weighing in at 251 lbs or 114 kg at Utah's Hogle Zoo. According to the Zoo's Elephant Manager, Doug Tomkinson, the birth went remarkably quickly and easily. Part of the AZA's Species Survival Plan for African Elephants, this birth contributes to the sustainable population of this species in North America.

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Looking Fierce!

This "ferocious" young cub was born in May at Utah's Hogle Zoo but just recently debuted to the public. Critically endangered in their native home of the Himalayas and other Central Asian mountain ranges, snow leopards are bred at zoos across the country as part of the AZA's Species Survival Plan

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Looking less fierce
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Photo credits (bottom two pictures): Bill Warden

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