La Palmyre Zoo

Two Baby Orangutans Born Just Weeks Apart


Two Bornean Orangutan babies were born just three weeks apart at France’s La Palmyre Zoo.  The two little ones are important additions to the zoo breeding program designed to help save this endangered species.

Photo Credit:  F. Perroux/Zoo de la Palmyre

During the night of August 15, 18-year old Katja gave birth to a male named Hutan after a gestation period of 7.5 months. Because this was Katja’s first baby, zoo keepers were concerned that her lack of experience could cause Katja to improperly care for her baby.  But Katja was mother-reared (as opposed to being hand-reared by humans) and observed many babies being raised in her family group, two factors that contribute to proper infant care.  So far Katja is taking good care of Hutan and exhibits strong maternal skills. 

Three weeks later, 39-year-old Tiba gave birth to her fifth baby, a female named Nanga. Tiba is an experienced mother. However, a few days after the birth, Tiba had to treated for an infection, which raised some concerns for her infant.  Fortunately, the treatment was successful Tiba is now doing much better.

These infants are the zoo’s first since 2002 and are the result of a new male Orangutan named Barito, who arrived in 2014 to replace the resident male, who was unable to produce offspring.

Katja and Tiba are together but remain isolated from the rest of the group so they can build strong bonds with their babies. Orangutans have the longest childhood of any animal except humans – babies remain with their mothers for 8-12 years.  Orangutans can live for more than 50 years.

Wild Bornean Orangutans face serious threats in the wild as rain forests are replaced by large palm oil plantations.  Found only on the island of Borneo, these apes are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to massive habitat destruction. 

La Palmyre Zoo supports the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project in Sabah, Borneo.  Only 20% of Sabah's Orangutans live in protected areas, so there's an urgent need to conserve the remaining 80% who live in plantations, commercial forests or unallocated lands. This conservation work includes reconnecting isolated forest fragments through land acquisition, creation of corridors, and construction of artificial bridges; minimizing human/animal conflicts; and collaborating with forest loggers and plantation operators in order to promote a sustainable oil palm industry.

See more photos of the baby Orangutans below.

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Baby Blue-Eyed Lemur Receives Special Care in France

Blue-Eyed Lemur 1

A baby Blue-Eyed Lemur has been receiving very special care at its home at the La Palmyre Zoo. When the youngster appeared weak and was having trouble clinging to its mother's fur following its birth on April 9th, keepers sprang into action to hand raise the baby, providing 24-hour care.

The little girl, the first of this species born at the zoo since they began caring for its kind eleven years ago, has been making great progress and is growing at a steady rate. After removing it for care, keepers brought its entire family to the nursery to make sure that the parents stayed in visual contact with the newborn. Now, at two months of age, the baby is healthy and reportedly very active.

Blue-Eyed Lemur 2

Blue-Eyed Lemur 3
Photo Credit: F. Perroux / La Palmyre Zoo

Last week, both the newborn and its family were returned to their normal enclosure, however, for now the baby is remaining in its own cage within the enclosure as a precautionary measure due to its small size. When it is big enough, the baby will be slowly and carefully reintroduced to its entire family.

See and learn more after the fold!

Continue reading "Baby Blue-Eyed Lemur Receives Special Care in France" »

Un, Deux, Trois Cheetah Cubs, Born in France at La Palmyre Zoo

Che 1

On September 22, something exciting happened: three female cheetah cubs were born at La Palmyre Zoo in France. Mom Nandi's gestation lasted 91 days. At birth, the cubs weighed between .95 and 1.05 pounds (435-480 grams). Now, at 3 weeks old, they weigh almost 4.5 pounds (2 kilos). Watch them being weighed on the video below. The cubs have also opened their eyes - the first after 8 days, the last on day 12. 

This is the third litter for 8-year-old mother Nandi, and these births are very good news for the European captive breeding program of cheetahs. The species is listed as "vulnerable" on the UICN Red List. It is threatened by habitat destruction, conflicts with humans (and thus hunting), competition with other large predators, like lions and hyenas, and due to the lack of genetic diversity within the species. 

The cubs father, Roucky, is 3.5 years old and was transferred to La Palmyre last spring from the Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre in UAE. 

Che trio w keepers

Che scale

Che weigh cu

Che weigh cu side

Photo credit: F. Perroux/La Palmyre ZooL

2012 is also the 20th anniversary of the first cheetah birth at La Palmyre Zoo. Between 1992 and 2012, the zoo has registered more than 70 cheetah births. This success rewards the efforts of Zoo Palmyre vet Thierry Petit, who implemented a specific protocol consisting in separating females from males on a regular basis in order to stimulate heats and matings.

Che trio

Rare Sri Lankan Leopards Debut in France

15 days oldSri Lankan Leopard cubs at 15 days old

Threatened by poaching and habitat destruction, this rare subspecies of Leopard got a helping hand from the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Of the seventy-seven Sri Lankan Leopards in captivity, sixty-six live in Europe, including these two adorable cubs, born March 6.

This is the first litter for Leïah, La Palmyre Zoo's 4 year old Sri Lankan Leopard female. The two babies, now five weeks old, are in perfect health.

3 weeks old

The cubs spent their first week secluded with mom to minimize disturbances while the family bonded. Since then the babies received vet check-ups and microchips. They made their big debut this past Friday.

5 weeks oldSri Lankan Leopard cubs at five weeks old

5 weeks old BPhoto credits: © Florence Perroux/La Palmyre Zoo