Houston Zoo

Holding a Baby Orangutan... for 24 Hours a Day

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On March 2nd, primate staff at the Houston Zoo were thrilled to discover that mother orangutan Kelly had given birth overnight. Unfortunately Kelly neglected her baby within the first 24 hours so Zoo staff were forced to intervene and care for the infant. Fortunately the baby is doing quite well and the Houston Zoo is optimistic that the one month old ape can be reunited with mom or introduced to a surrogate who will raise the baby as its own. Since infant orangutans cling to their mothers for their first few months of life, zoo staff currently carry the baby for 24 hours a day! Learn more on the Houston Zoo's blog and do not miss the video below.

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Photo credit © Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo and Video credit © Kara Masharani/Houston Zoo

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Pool Time for the Houston Zoo's Young Elephants

Recently, Houston Zoo keepers gave Baylor and Tupelo a big kiddie pool. Now that Baylor weighs more than 1100 pounds and Tupelo weighs more than 600 pounds, the small, inflatable pools do not last longer than 5 minutes without getting popped. The babies now get a family size pool which is 120 inches in length and holds both calves. It is a lot more durable. This size pool lasts for about 5 uses before it has to be replaced. Playing in the pool is a fun enrichment activity for the babies and the pool is given to them when the weather allows.


Houston's Maned Wolf Pups Are All Ears

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Dora and Diego, Houston Zoo's Maned Wolf pups are growing fast, but perhaps not as fast as their ears!  The two were born in late December and are being hand-reared at The Denton Cooley Animal Hospital. In order to help Dora and Deigo prepare for socialization with other wolves, Houston Zoo enlisted the help of an experienced "Mom". According to the zoo's blog, "the best option would have been to introduce them to another Maned Wolf litter that was being mother-raised but there were no other females due at the same time as our pups. So we looked internally and one candidate stood out as being right for the job: Taji, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.  Taji was raised with the cheetahs and works as part of our Cheetah Ambassador Program."

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The pups cuddle up to auntie Taji...

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Photo credits: Houston Zoo

More cuteness below the fold...

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Giraffe Is First Birth at Houston Zoo's African Forest

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The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe, the first birth in The African Forest, the Zoo’s newest addition which opened on December 10, 2010.  Mom Tyra delivered the healthy female calf shortly after 5 p.m. on March 4 at the McGovern Giraffe Exhibit at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy. “The calf weighs 150 pounds and is 6 foot 6 inches tall. She’s a strong healthy baby,” said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor Laurie McGivern. This is 12 year old Tyra’s sixth calf.  Kiva, the father is 15 years old.  With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 8, including 5 males and 3 females.

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reciprocal giraffe kisses...

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Photo credits: Stephanie Adams / Houston Zoo

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Green Tree Python Babies Slither into Houston

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Green Tree Pythons are a favorite among reptile fans due to their vibrant green color. However, zoo visitors are often amazed to see that newly hatched babies are either bright yellow or brick red. The Houston Zoo recently hatched 18 little Green Tree Pythons, 8 yellow and 10 red.  These colors help them hide in their preferred habitat, which is in low lying tree branches along the forest edge. When they grow to about 22 inches long their color changes to bright green - sometimes this color change can occur in only 8 days! The red and yellow colors are not related to sex or any other trait. While these reptiles may eventually reach over 4 1/2 feet in length, at birth they are about the length of a pencil. 

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(Below) An adult Green Tree Python in its trademark colors

Adult color Green Tree Python Houston Zoo1Photo credits: Stephanie Adams

More photos and info below the fold

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Meet Dora and Diego the Maned Wolf Pups!

Dora and Diego, Maned Wolf puppies at the Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the births of two rare Maned Wolf pups. Born December 30, the pups are being hand reared at the Houston Zoo's Denton Cooley Animal Hospital. "This is the first successful birth of Maned Wolves at the Houston Zoo in over 10 years," said Houston Zoo Curator of Carnivores and Primates Hollie Colahan. "The pups weigh just over 5 pounds now and are being cared for around the clock by Zoo carnivore and animal hospital staff," added Colahan. The pups are fed 6 times each day and were just introduced to solid food last week. Maned Wolves are not closely related with any other living Canid (wolf, dog or fox) and one study suggests that they may be the sole South American surivivor of the mass extinction of large Canids at the end of the last ice age. 

Diego's weigh-in

Diego does his best puppy dog eyes at the Houston Zoo

Maned Wolves are native to the grasslands, savannahs and tall grass prairies of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The species once thrived and ranged throughout much of South America.Unlike other wolves that live in cooperative breeding packs, Maned Wolves are solitary animals. Little is known about their lives in the wild where their populations are increasingly threatened by habitat loss to agriculture.

MUCH more cuteness below the fold...

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Duikers Close-up with a Wide Angle Lens...

Komet the Yellow Backed Duicker at Houston Zoo

Meet Komet, a Yellow-backed Duiker born in early December 9th at the Houston Zoo. These large and gentle antelope live in the rainforests of central and western Africa. When they are alarmed, they flash a vivid yellow wedge of hair on their backs. While duikers are primarily vegetarians, they will eat insects from time to time and have even been observed stalking and eating rodents and small birds!

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Mama Duiker at the Houston Zoo Mama Duiker at Houston Zoo bPhoto credits: First image, Laurie McGivern, Hoof Stock Supervisor, second and third images Stephanie Adam / Houston Zoo


Houston Zoo Welcomes a Baby Eland

The Houston Zoo welcomed the arrival of a baby giant on October 11.  A baby Giant Eland, that is. Mom Dorothy gave birth to an as yet unnamed male calf between noon and 1 p.m. on Monday, October 11.  The calf was standing on his own at 1:30 and was nursing 10 minutes later.  He weighed 60 pounds at birth.

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Photo credits: Stephanie Adams

 

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It's a Girl! Houston Welcomes Baby Elephant "Tupelo"

Tess, a 29 year old Asian Elephant, delivered a healthy 273 pound female calf Sunday evening at the Houston Zoo’s McNair Asian Elephant Habitat. The calf has been named Tupelo by the Zoo’s Elephant care team. Tupelo’s birth is the second Asian Elephant birth at the Houston Zoo since May 4th, when 19 year old Shanti delivered a male calf, Baylor. Thailand, the Houston Zoo’s 44 year old Asian bull Elephant, is the father of both Baylor and Tupelo.

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Photo Credits: Stephanie Adams / Houston Zoo

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