Jacksonville Zoo

Jacksonville Zoo Set to Debut Sumatran Tiger Cub

1_Cub peeking out of her den Credit - John Reed

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ (JZG) first Tiger cub in 35 years will make her public debut on Saturday, February 13 at 10:00 a.m.

The 18-pound Sumatran Tiger cub will be on exhibit for the first time in JZG’s ‘Land of the Tiger’. The award-winning exhibit features a fortified trail system for her to explore that spans the length of two football fields—plenty of choices for the adventurous cub.  

“It has been so much fun watching our Tiger cub grow and play, and I can’t wait to share her with our visitors,” said Elana Kopel, Senior Mammal Keeper at JZG. “It is my hope that when they see her, it inspires them to support the conservation of these incredible, endangered animals.”

2_Cub sees a bug Credit - John Reed

3_Cub getting used to her surroundings in preparation for her debut Credit - John ReedPhoto Credits: John Reed

This will be an exciting time for the cub, allowing her the first opportunity to explore her new surroundings with her feline curiosity. She has spent the first few months of her life in a den, off-exhibit, to encourage and strengthen the loving bond with her mother, Dorcas. Her impressive new home provides a fully immersive experience for both guests and animals, and JZG can’t wait to introduce the Jacksonville community to this adorable youngster.

The Zoo will also announce the cub’s name, given by a generous donor, when she makes her exhibit debut.

The cub was born in the early morning hours of November 19. She is the first Tiger born at JZG in 35 years and was the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. in 2015. First-time mother Dorcas (also known as Lucy) is 4-years-old, and first-time dad, Berani, is 14-years-old.

Continue reading "Jacksonville Zoo Set to Debut Sumatran Tiger Cub" »


A Tiger Cub’s Christmas List

1_Lucy and her cub

Jacksonville Zoo’s most adorable newcomer celebrated her first Christmas!

The 8-pound-plus Sumatran Tiger cub, at almost two-months-old, is at a rambunctious age and growing bigger each day. She now needs enrichment items to strengthen her teeth and muscles. Items such as wind chimes, windsocks, Boomer balls, and Bungee cords help promote playful instincts and challenge her mind.

Jacksonville Zoo compiled a Wish List in time for Christmas, and Zoo patrons have helped "Santa" fulfill many items on the list.

Toys and other items can still be purchased by anyone and shipped directly to the Zoo, via JZG’s Amazon Wish List. For more information, visit: www.jacksonvillezoo.org/wishlist

Items can also be mailed directly to the Jacksonville Zoo at this address: 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville Florida 32218

2_Tiger Cub close up - Credit to Janel Jankowski

3_Tiger Cub 1 - Credit to Janel Jankowski

4_Tiger Cub 2 - Credit to Janel JankowskiPhoto Credits: Janel Jankowski

The cub was born in the early morning hours of November 19, less than a week before Thanksgiving. She is the first tiger born at JZG in 35 years, and the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. this year. First-time mother Dorcas (also known as Lucy) is 4-years-old and came to JZG from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Berani, the 14-year-old father, is also a first-time parent who came to JZG from the Akron Zoo.

ZooBorns introduced the new cub in an article from the beginning of December: “Zoo Thankful for First Tiger Cub in Over Three Decades”, and we have been eagerly supplying updates on the tiger’s progress, to our readers.

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the six subspecies in existence today. They are only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Originally, nine tiger subspecies were found in parts of Asia, but three subspecies have become extinct in the 20th century. Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild. They are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

"Protecting tigers involves protecting the animals they prey upon,” said John Lukas, Conservation and Science Manager at JZG. “Illegal hunting and snaring removes natural tiger food from the forest and forces tigers to kill domestic livestock to survive.”

To combat extinction of those tigers in the wild, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports a Wildlife Protection Unit on the island of Sumatra. The unit patrols the national forest, removing traps and snares that harm Sumatran Tigers and their prey, and they also keep poachers out of the reserve.


Jacksonville Zoo Announces Sex of New Sumatran Tiger

1_JZG female Sumatran Tiger cub_n

The Sumatran Tiger cub, at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG), had its first wellness check recently, and the Zoo’s vets confirmed that the cub is healthy and… a female!

The cub is almost 48 cm (19 inches) long, weighs 3.46 kg (7.5 pounds). She's eating well and mom is taking excellent care of her. Mom normally feeds in a separate room for the first few days. When the mother separates from the cub, Zoo Staff gradually extend the time period to see how comfortable she is. Once the staff have gained the trust of the mother and feel she is comfortable, they cautiously and quickly take that opportunity to exam the cub. The entire check up lasted about five minutes.

Guests can try to catch a glimpse of the cub via television monitor in the Zoo’s ‘Land of the Tiger’ exhibit building.

2_JZG female Sumatran Tiger cub_n
3_JZG female Sumatran Tiger cub_n

4_JZG female Sumatran Tiger cub_nPhoto Credits: John Reed / JZG

The cub was born in the early morning hours of November 19, less than a week before Thanksgiving. She is the first tiger born at JZG in 35 years, and the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. this year. First-time mother Dorcas (also known as Lucy) is 4-years-old and came to JZG from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Berani, the 14-year-old father, is also a first-time parent who came to JZG from the Akron Zoo.

ZooBorns introduced the new cub to our readers in an article from the beginning of the month: “Zoo Thankful for First Tiger Cub in Over Three Decades

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the six subspecies in existence today. They are only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Originally, nine tiger subspecies were found in parts of Asia, but three subspecies have become extinct in the 20th century. Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild. They are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

"Protecting tigers involves protecting the animals they prey upon,” said John Lukas, Conservation and Science Manager at JZG. “Illegal hunting and snaring removes natural tiger food from the forest and forces tigers to kill domestic livestock to survive.”

To combat extinction of those tigers in the wild, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports a Wildlife Protection Unit on the island of Sumatra. The unit patrols the national forest, removing traps and snares that harm Sumatran Tigers and their prey, and they also keep poachers out of the reserve.

5_JZG female Sumatran Tiger cub_n


Zoo Thankful for First Tiger Cub in Over Three Decades

1_Tiger3LR - Credit Janel Jankowski

In the early morning hours of November 19, less than a week before Thanksgiving, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG) welcomed the arrival of a single, critically endangered Sumatran Tiger cub.

”This rare cub’s birth is so exciting for the zoo and our community. We can’t wait to see the youngster grow, develop and explore the special features we designed into our newest Land of the Tiger habitat, especially the unique trail system,” said Dan Maloney, Deputy Director of Animal Care and Conservation.

2_Tiger1LR - Credit Janel Jankowski

3_Tiger2LR - Credit Janel JankowskiPhoto Credit: Janel Jankowski

The cub, whose gender is unknown at this time, is the first tiger born at JZG in 35 years, and the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. this year. First-time mother Dorcas is 4-years-old and came to JZG from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Berani, the 14-year-old father, is also a first-time parent who came to JZG from the Akron Zoo.

Berani was labeled a ‘behavioral non-breeder’ because he couldn’t quite get the correct ‘technique’ when it came to mating. However, when placed with Dorcas, Berani earned his stripes and successfully fathered their first cub.

To ensure appropriate mother-cub bonding, the newborn will remain with Dorcas in an isolated area with little contact from staff for the next several weeks. Tigers are solitary animals, and since males do not play a role in raising offspring, Berani will remain at a distance as he would in the wild.

In a wonderful twist to the "tail", Dorcas’ sister from the same litter, Leeloo, gave birth to her first cub just five days earlier at Zoo Miami. Coincidentally, the sire’s name is also Berani (no relation to the Berani at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens). ZooBorns shared news of the cub at Zoo Miami in our article from November 28, 2015.

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the six subspecies in existence today. They are only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Originally, nine tiger subspecies were found in parts of Asia, but three subspecies have become extinct in the 20th century. Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild.

"Protecting tigers involves protecting the animals they prey upon,” said John Lukas, Conservation and Science Manager at JZG. “Illegal hunting and snaring removes natural tiger food from the forest and forces tigers to kill domestic livestock to survive.”

To combat extinction of those tigers in the wild, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports a Wildlife Protection Unit on the island of Sumatra. The unit patrols the national forest, removing traps and snares that harm Sumatran Tigers and their prey, and they also keep poachers out of the reserve.


Meet Jacksonville Zoo’s Photogenic Giraffe Calf

57575_10153109864858336_6977200158755030384_o

The New Year started off amazing for Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, in Florida! On January 17th, the zoo welcomed a 193 pound female Reticulated Giraffe. 

10339475_10153109864868336_2514368994180427043_o

10931697_10153109864863336_1786564894065325151_oPhoto Credits: Brittney Hendricks 

The calf stood 6 ft. 2 inches, at birth. She has been on exhibit, enjoying becoming acquainted with the rest of the zoo’s young giraffes. Proud parents of the new girl are ‘Naomi’ and ‘Duke’. 

Giraffes are the tallest animals on earth and can reach a maximum height of 18 feet. Both males and females have horns, and each animal has unique markings that grow darker with age. In the wild, giraffes can live up to 25 years, and they have been known to live as long as 28 years, in captivity.

In the wild, they prefer to eat leaves and shoots of trees. However, in zoos, they are fed alfalfa hay, grain, browse, fruits, and vegetables.

Observations in the wild indicate that they lie down only 5-6 hours per night. During most of this time, the animals remain alert with their necks erect and their eyes alternately opened and closed. Giraffes may go into a deep sleep for just 5 minutes each night. During deep sleep a giraffe bends its neck backward in an arch and rests its head behind its back legs or on an extended back leg.

The gestation period for giraffes is about 15 months. Breeding can occur throughout the year and a single calf is born, rarely twins. Calves are usually 6 feet tall and can stand up 20 minutes after birth. Females are excellent mothers and defend their calves vigorously. In the wild, lions are the principal predators of calves, although hyenas, leopards and even wild dogs may also kill newborns up to three months of age. Male calves are weaned at approximately 15 months. Female calves are weaned a couple of months later. There is no difference in the mortality rate between male and female calves.

Jacksonville Zoo acquired their first giraffe, a male named ‘Long John’, in December 1957.


Rare Leopard Twins Born at Jacksonville Zoo

Amur leopard exam Jacksonville Zoo 120313 WRK 066

Two critically endangered Amur Leopards were born at Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on November 16 while the zoo staff watched via remote video monitoring system.

Amur leopard exam Jacksonville Zoo 120313 WRK 048
Amur leopard exam Jacksonville Zoo 120313 WRK 044
Photo Credit:  Bill Konstant

“We are very proud of our leopards and our animal care team who have successfully brought two more of these extremely rare cats into the world,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education.

This is the third litter for female Makarii her mate Nicolai. The cubs were active immediately after birth and have been nursing frequently, which is a good indicator of the cubs’ strength and health.

Makarii and Nicolai have reared two previous litters in 2011 and 2012.  Amur Leopards are managed under a Species Survival Plan program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Amur Leopards are one of the world’s rarest cats:  only about 30 remain in the boreal forests of far eastern Russia.  Zoo breeding programs are critical to the survival of this magnificent species.

 


First Leopard Cubs, Now a Baby Lion For Jacksonville Zoo!

Jacksonville-Zoo-Lion-Cub3

There is more cause for celebration at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. On the heels of the arrival of two Amur Leopard cubs comes a 3 and one-half pound bundle of joy. A tiny female lion cub was born June 30th to second time mother Tamu and father Mshoni. Mshoni is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' most genetically valuable Lions, making this a significant addition the AZA's population. With so little maternal experience, Tamu is unable to adequately nurse the newborn. Zookeepers and veterinarians have stepped in to supplement the cub's diet with formula bottle feedings and to closely monitor her to ensure her good health. This is first surviving lion birth at Jacksonville Zoo since 1974.

Jacksonville-Zoo-Lion-Cub2

Jacksonville-Zoo-Lion-Cub

Jacksonville-Zoo-Lion-Cub4
Photo credit: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens


First Day of Spring Brings New Baby Mandrill to Jacksonville Zoo

Front

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a Mandrill born on March 20 to 16-year-old dam Deanna, and 17-year-old sire Douglas. The gender of the infant is not yet known. Mother and infant are doing very well, and the baby appears strong and healthy. This marks the fourth offspring for Deanna and brings Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ mandrill collection to a total of five animals.

Kumani, another female offspring of Deanna’s, is currently sharing the living space with her mother and the newest addition and is gaining valuable experience by observing maternal behavior. Deanna and the little one were officially introduced to the public on March 23. From now on, they will rotate on and off exhibit with mandrills Douglas and Gucci.

Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys. Shy and reclusive, these primates are found only in African equatorial rain forests. They can easily be identified by their colorful blue and red facial markings and their bright pinkish-red behinds. Mandrills are threatened. Considered a delicacy by many Africans, they are hunted as bushmeat. In additon, the increase in the use of land for agriculture and human settlement is shrinking the rain forest they call home.

CU

CU 2

Two

SIde
Photo Credit: Mark Sheppe/Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens


It's a New Baby Giraffe for Jacksonville Zoo

Nudge

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a male reticulated giraffe on January 11. The calf weighs approximately 145 pounds (65.7 kg), is six feet tall (1.82 m), and doing well. Guests riding the Zoo train may see the calf and its mother in the outdoor holding area, pending weather conditions or feeding and health care

“The neonatal or ‘well baby’ exam has been completed, and the calf is off to a good start,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  “The calf was standing on all fours within one hour of the birth and is now walking, sitting, standing and nursing properly. The keepers and animal healthcare staff will continue to monitor the newborn closely.” 

This is the second offspring for mom, five-year-old Naomi, since she arrived at Jacksonville Zoo in October 2006. The calf’s father is Duke, the 14-year-old patriarch of the giraffe herd, who has now sired a total of seven offspring since he came to the Zoo in April of 2003. The Zoo now has nine giraffes in its collection and this is the 31st giraffe born there.

In the wild, poaching, human population growth and habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation continue to impact giraffes across the African continent. Current estimates by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have the giraffe population at less than 80,000 individuals across all subspecies. This is a considerable drop in the last decade, where, in 1999, it was estimated by the IUCN that there were more like 140,000 giraffes.

Gir up

Eye

W mom

Nose

Photo Credits: Jacksonville Zoo 


Yipes! Stripes! It's a Rare Grevy's Zebra Foal!

Jacksonville-Grevy's-Zebra-Colt-5

A male Grevy’s Zebra was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Saturday, February 26. Eclipse, the 17-year-old mother of the foal, came to the Jacksonville Zoo from White Oak Conservation Center, where she was bred in January 2010.   Officials from White Oak advised that the father of the foal is an unnamed resident stallion born in 1999.  This is Eclipse’s sixth birth.  The foal weighed 108 pounds and stood at three and a half feet tall at the shoulders at birth.  Guests can see the foal frolicking after his mother in the Zoo’s Plains of East Africa exhibit.  Naming rights will be auctioned off at the Zoo’s annual ExZOOberation evening fundraiser on April 16, 2011.

Jacksonville-Grevy's-Zebra-Colt-1

Jacksonville-Grevy's-Zebra-Colt-2

Jacksonville-Grevy's-Zebra-Colt-3
Photo credits: John Reed Photography

Unlike other types of Zebras, Grevy’s Zebras face a dire extinction crisis.  More than 15,000 of these animals roamed the savannas of Africa in the 1970s, but scientists estimate only 2,200 remain in the wild today.  The Zoo supports conservation efforts to save the Grevy’s zebra, including participation in a Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  This SSP allows the Zoo to work with other AZA-accredited organizations to help ensure the survivability of the Grevy’s Zebra for future generations.

Continue reading "Yipes! Stripes! It's a Rare Grevy's Zebra Foal!" »