Dozens Of Babies Steal The Show At Cincinnati Zoo

2015-04-02 Lion Cubs 1 626The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating a baby bonanza – dozens of babies have been born at the zoo in the past few months.  In fact, there are so many babies that the zoo is celebrating “Zoo Babies” month in May.Kea

2015-03-16 MonaJeffMcCurryPhoto Credit:  Cassandre Crawford, Jeff McCurry, Cincinnati Zoo

All the little ones have kept their parents – and zoo keepers – busy.  The three female African Lion cubs are particularly feisty, testing their “grrrl” power on a daily basis with their father John and mother Imani. 

Other babies include three Bonobos, two Gorillas, a Bongo, a Serval, two Capybaras, a Rough Green Snake, Giant Spiny Leaf Insects, Thorny Devils, Little Penguin chicks and Kea chicks.  “This is the largest and most varied group of babies we’ve had. We’re particularly excited about the successes we’ve had with the endangered African Painted Dogs and the hard-to-breed Kea,” said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo Executive Director.

See more photos of Cincinnati's Zoo's babies below.

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Emperor Scorpion Has 25 Babies at the Cincinnati Zoo!


The Emperor Scorpion, like the one pictured above, is the largest in the world. And this one has had 25 babies!  According to Thane Maynard from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, their new video of the scorpion and all those offspring is the "coolest thing you'll see all week."  

And it is indeed pretty cool, unless you are squeamish about seeing a giant arthropod walking around with 25 babies on her back! The Giant Emperor scorpion, from tropical Africa, is the largest scorpion in the world, and the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the few places that breed them.  

An interesting fact: If you see one at another Zoo or Museum, chances are good that they were born at the Cincinnati Zoo. A typical litter size is 25, so they have plenty to share with other institutions. The video below will show you the mother and all her little snow-white babies.

Babies CU
Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

Tiny Tarantulas Hatch By The Hundreds!


The U.K.'s Bristol Zoo is celebrating the hatching of over 140 Antilles Pink-toed Bird-eating Tarantulas. At four weeks old, the spiderlings are now little more than the size of a 5p coin with a striking metallic steel blue-black colouring. Zoo guests can see the new arrivals in the window of the tropical breeding room in the Zoo’s Bug World.

Mark Bushell, assistant curator of invertebrates at Bristol Zoo, said: “This species is one of the most beautiful types of tarantula around. When the spiderlings first hatch, they are tiny and translucent but they gradually develop, moult and turn into little blue fluffy tarantulas and are very eye-catching”.


Photo credits: Bristol Zoo

He added: “Breeding these spiders is a real achievement. It has been a fantastic experience for our team of invertebrate keepers and means now have the tools to successfully breed more species of arachnid in future, including some of the more endangered species.”

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It's Alive! Lord Howe Island Stick Insect Hatches at the Melbourne Zoo

Wow. How did something that big come out of that little pod/egg? See this critically endangered Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching right before your eyes. What's more, it will grow to be about as big as the size of your hand. 

This insect came close to not even existing. After a British trade ship crashed in the South Pacific in the early 20th century, its rats scurried off deck onto the island that these stick insects called home and promptly ate all the bugs and like creatures. Apparently one small group of Lord Howe Island Sticks survived on a small section of a nearby island until they were discovered by a couple of Australian scientists. It's like the stuff of movies. You can read more about this fascinating story in an NPR article by Robert Krulwich.

This hatching process was filmed at the Melbourne Zoo in Australia. Press play and be fascinated. 

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

The New Year Brings Insect Baby Bounty

Giant spiny walkingsticks2012_Saint Louis Zoo photo_sm

The Insectarium at the St. Louis Zoo rang in the New Year with numerous hatchings on January 1. The hatchlings are being cared for behind the scenes, but many of the adults can be seen on exhibit.

A total of 39 walking sticks of varying species came into the world, starting with eight giant spiny walking sticks, whose natural habitat is the forests of Papua New Guinea. The babies are not so giant though -- they measure only about one inch (2.54 cm) compared to 5-6 inches (12-15 cm) for adults, which can be easily seen when the baby catches a ride on the back of an adult. Males have huge spines on their back legs which are like built-in weapons to help defend themselves if attacked by other males or potential predators. The total hatchlings that day also included 30 Northern walking stick babies, a species native to forests and woodlands across the U.S., and one lone Vietnamese walking stick, native to tropical forests of Vietnam.

White-spotted assassin bugs2012_Saint Louis Zoo photo_sm

In addition, there were 67 baby white-spotted assassin bugs, 3 of which are pictured above, whose natural habitat is forests of Africa. When hatched, this venomous bug is a tiny yellow, red and brown carnivore -- an opportunistic feeder that eats crickets but has been known to eat small lizards! As an adult, the assassin has two white or two red spots on its back and lives from 18 months to two years.  

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Photo Credits: St. Louis Zoo

Also hatched: Three greater angle-winged katydids, one of whom is pictured above, whose natural habitat is Missouri. Their light green color easily helps them hide among leafy environments.