Linton Zoo

Second Generation Tapir Born at Linton Zoo

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (8)

On April 11th, ‘Tiana’, a Brazilian Tapir, gave birth to a healthy male calf, at Linton Zoo

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (7)

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (1)

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (5)Photo Credits: Gary Chisholm / Linton Zoo 

Mom, ‘Tiana’, and dad, ‘Thiago’, are both part of a European Breeding Programme aimed at saving them from extinction. The birth of their yet-to-be-named son is extra exciting for keepers, as it represents a second generation of this family at Linton. Tiana was born at the UK zoo in 2010, and Thiago was born at nearby Paradise Wildlife Park, in Hertfordshire. The latest little one is the 14th Tapir calf to be born at Linton Zoo.

The Brazilian Tapir is a large, heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance.  The Tapir is, in fact, so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years.  It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest, and because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting, it is has already become extinct in part of its range.  The Tapir is a shy creature, taking to water when threatened, where it is able to stay submerged for hours, using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.

The coloring is a dark reddish brown, but offspring are covered in a beautiful pattern of white spots and stripes, which they will retain until about six months of age. This provides a very efficient camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest.

The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Rare Albino Wallaby Joey Grows Up at Linton Zoo

Albino Red Necked Wallaby born to mum Kylie Linton Zoo (2) 26.02.13

When keepers at the United Kingdom’s Linton Zoo first saw the oddly-colored joey peeking out of Red-necked Wallaby Kylie’s pouch on February 8, they affectionately named it ALF (Alien Life Form).  But as the pale-colored joey grew, they realized its dramatic white coloring was truly stunning!  These photos show the joey’s progression from pouch-dweller to snow-white juvenile. Though the joey is now half-grown, it still tries to squeeze into its mother's pouch for a little TLC.

Albino Red Necked wallaby 18.05.19 (1)

Albino Red Necked Wallaby joey with mum Kylie 10.05.13 (8)
Albino Red Necked Wallaby joey with mum Kylie 10.05.13 (5)
Photo Credit:  Linton Zoo


Albino animals (including humans) lack pigment for coloring, which means the joey has pink eyes and white fur. Red-necked Wallabies are usually grey-brown in color, but on rare occasions, a white or albino is born, even after generations of normal-colored individuals. The Linton Zoo staff believes their Wallaby mob is descended from the group of Wallabies given as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II while she was on a state visit to Australia in 1962. This joey is the first albino Wallaby to be born at the Linton Zoo.

See more photos of the albino Wallaby joey below the fold.

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Beloved “Babysitter” Mourned at Linton Zoo


Arnie, a stray cat who became known for his extraordinary talent as a “babysitter” of abandoned newborn animals brought to the Linton Zoo, passed away peacefully last week.  Arnie’s favorite creatures were lion cubs, and he babysat all four of the zoo’s adult lions as well as some of their cubs. 




Photo Credits:  Linton Zoo

Arnie wandered onto the zoo property in 2000 and quickly worked his way into the hearts of the zoo staff.  Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnie gained fame after photos of him with a lion cub made international headlines.  Even after his moments in the spotlight, Arnie didn’t let fame go to his head.  He continued in his role as a friend to all, greeting zoo guests (especially those who were carrying tasty treats), controlling pests, and cheering up anyone who was feeling down.

Linton Zoo staff described Arnie as a “real live Garfield” whose outstanding personality will be missed by not only the people who loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo - especially the animals that he babysat over the years.  Rest in peace, Arnie. 

Name the Christmas Porcupette Born at Linton Zoo

Pork CU

Just when the staff at Linton Zoo thought that they were done with baby animal births for the year, they were delighted to discover this tiny bundle on the 10th of December, sporting more prickles than a Christmas tree! The baby African Crested Porcupine was born to first-time mom Halla and dad Henry, who are proving to be the perfect parents, regularly feeding and grooming the little porcupette and keeping it nice and warm under the heat lamp. The gestation period is approximately 112 days and a baby is born looking just like a miniature adult.

And now the public has been invited to suggest names on Linton Zoo's Facebook page. Since the baby's gender is not yet known, they ask for names that are suitable for either a male or female. The person who suggests the chosen name will receive an annual sponsorship of the porcupette. A sponsorship pack can be mailed anywhere in the world. 

African Crested Porcupines come from Sub-saharan Africa and live in rocky outcrops and hills. They are nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping, waking occasionally to eat. Their quills, which are simply modified hairs, detach easily, giving rise to the myth that they ‘fire’ the quills... but that is untrue. If a predator approaches, the Porcupine will rattle the hollow quills in its tail, followed by a series of growls, grunts and foot-stomping. Only if this fails to deter the attacker will it charge backwards to impale the threat with their spikes. 

Pork w: dad(2)

Pork w. dad xxx
Photo Credit: Linton Zoo

Naturally the new arrival is proving to be bit of a distraction. Due to infrared lamps, it’s easy for staff to see into the nest box without the porcupines knowing they are there. They find it fascinating to watch the interaction between the parents and their new baby. Both Mom and Dad are very attentative, especially Henry, who’s often left to babysit while Halla goes forraging for food.

Watch this video to see for yourself; it shows how really tiny the porcupette is!

One of the Rarest Primates in the World Born at Linton Zoo

Face 1

On March 29, Harriet, one of the White Collared Lemurs at Linton Zoological Gardens, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jako, one of the Malagasy words for monkey. Every lemur has its own distinct personality, and with Jako being such an energetic, playful, comical little bundle of fun, they thought ‘monkey’ was a very apt name.

There are only 13 White Collared Lemurs in captivity in Europe, nine of which are at Linton. This mischievous new baby lives with his Dad Jeepster, mom Harriet and sister Mirana, born last year. This species has been listed as one of the top 25 rarest primates in the world; every captive birth will help to ensure it does not become completely extinct!

The White Collared Lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps), also known as the Grey Headed Lemur, is from the South West of Madagascar, and highly threatened in the wild. Despite being protected, it is still hunted for food and continued habitat destruction and alteration is a major problem. It has a total remaining habitat area of less than 270 square miles (700 km²), which is very fragmented and partly shared with the Red Fronted Lemur. This has resulted in hybridization between the two species therefore lowering the genetic diversity of the wild population.

W mom


Face 2
Photo Credits: Linton Zoological Gardens

Hüwi the Little Owl Makes a Friend

Turkmenian Eagle owlet (5)

Meet Linton Zoo's newest and fluffiest little addition: a Turkmenian Eagle Owlet named Hüwi, which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl.” When keepers noticed that Hüwi's owl mom, named Rohan, wasn't quite as attentive as she should be, they stepped in to hand-rear the chick. In addition to the human care, the Linton Zoo's gentle resident tabby, Arnie, has also stepped in to befriend the chick, who appears cautiously curious (more on Arnie at the bottom). Weighing just 50 grams (<2 ounces) at birth, three weeks later the chick weighs a healthy, and hefty, full kilo (2.2lbs). 

The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg (10lbs) and is closely related to the slightly larger European Eagle Owl. Sadly, this spectacular bird may now be extinct in its native range in Central Asia. Very few pure bred birds remain in captivity so Hüwi is an invaluable addition to the survival of this species.

Hello you! Arnie the Ginger Tom says hello to his friend

Arnie and Hüwi spot something interesting in the grass. What u looking at!

Both of Hüwi's parents were also hatched at Linton Zoo. Dad, Pip, will be 23 years old this year and Rohan is now 5. Two of last years owlets, Igor and Misha, remain at Linton Zoo and a third brother has gone to live at Woburn Wild Animal Park. 

Turkmenian Eagle owlet (3)

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Wallaby Joeys Galore for Linton Zoo!


Linton Zoo's Parma Wallaby females are pouch full of Wallaby joeys! The troupe was introduced to a new male last year and they have been breeding with much success! By the end of the 1800s the Parma wallaby was declared extinct. It was not until 1965 that a small surviving population was found on Kawau Island (near Auckland). Another wild population was later found in Gosford, New South Wales in 1967. It is from these few animals that the entire current population of Parma Wallabies descends.



Below is a shot of one of the joeys in Mom's pouch when it is still hairless and too small to peek out!


African Sulcata Tortoise Hatchlings Pose For Family Portrait


These are a few of some 45 hatchlings from the Linton Zoological Gardens in the UK. They are African Sulcata Giant Tortoises, also knowns as Spurred Tortoises -- the third largest tortoise in the world, second only to the Galapagos and the Aldabra Tortoises. Some babies hatched in August, but most did in September, making them about 8 weeks old. All are eating well and growing. Hatchlings begin at 2-3 inches (.08-1.2 cm), quickly reaching 6-10 inches (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. Adults are usually 24 to 36 inch long (60–90 cm) and can weigh 100-200 pounds (45 – 91 kg). 

A representative from the Linton Zoo reported, "Getting these newly hatched all looking the same way proved to be an impossible task. Babies are not normally kept loose in the paddock with the adults, but enjoy the comfort and safety of nice warm vivariums with UV and Infra-red lamps, but we wanted to try to get a nice family portrait!"

Below they are with their mom, Kali, who is 30 years old, and one of the possible fathers of the four males at the Zoo. Each year their herd of six African Sulcata Giant Tortoises produce a few young, but this year they had a bumper hatch --which is how they ended up with over 40 babies from the two clutches.

This species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List, but fortunately zoological collections have mastered the art of breeding them in captivity. They are native to the Sahara in Africa.




Photo Credit: Linton Zoo

Meet Tia, a Rare Baby Mongoose Lemur

Mongoose Lemur baby born Linton Zoo 13.05.11 shown at two months old (5)

Born May 13th at the UK's Linton Zoo, this rare baby Mongoose Lemur, named "Tia," has just begun to adventure about her exhibit. Both Mum "Maggie" aged 16, and 21 year old dad "Henry" are clearly pleased with the new arrival. "Megan" their five year old daughter is as excited as any sibling would be. She too is helping out with the daily care of her new sister and as well as having a boisterous new play mate, she is gaining lots of essential parental skills ready for when she too becomes a mum.

Mongoose Lemur baby born Linton Zoo 13.05.11 shown at two months old (4)

Mongoose Lemur baby born Linton Zoo 13.05.11 shown at two months old (1)

Like all lemurs, Mongoose Lemurs are native to Madagascar. However unlike all but one other lemur species, Mongoose Lemurs can also be found outside of Madagascar on the Island of Comoros. 

A special European breeding programmed aimed at saving this species from from extinction is managed at Linton Zoo. Careful co-ordination and constant monitoring of the European population with recommendations on various husbandry techniques and diets is beginning to pay off and Linton Zoo is very proud to successfully breed this wonderful lemur again. This baby is the first born in the captive population for over four years! 

Mongoose Lemur baby born Linton Zoo 13.05.11 shown at two months old (2)

More outstanding photos below the fold.

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Checking in on Linton Zoo's Turkmenian Eagle Owlets


Linton Zoo’s Turkmenian Eagle Owlets are growing up fast. Igor, Yelena and Misha the Turkmenian Eagle Owlets weighed just 50g at hatching, they are now tipping the scales at over 1200g each, quite a difference in just 4 weeks! These 3 bundles of fluff hatched in mid March but were rejected by their inexperienced mother and so were removed for hand-rearing.



Photo credits: Linton Zoo

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