Miami Metrozoo

Tiger Cub Gets Life-Saving Help From Keepers

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Staff at Zoo Miami have intervened to support a critically endangered Sumatran Tiger cub whose health was failing.

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12342726_997927980229505_3897901829118046434_nPhoto Credit:  Ron Magill

The male cub, who you met on ZooBorns shortly after he was born on November 14 to four-year-old Leeloo, had been developing well.  But because this was Leeloo’s first cub, keepers kept an extra-close watch on the little one’s development by weighing him regularly.  After two weeks of weight gain, the cub lost weight for several days in a row. 

Keepers believe that the single cub was not creating enough nursing stimulation, therefore Leeloo’s milk production had begun to diminish, which is not uncommon in first-time mothers with single cubs.  In the wild, a cub like this would probably not survive.

To support the cub and ensure that he develops properly, keepers have begun separating the cub from Leeloo regularly and offering supplemental bottle feedings.  Fortunately, the cub tolerates the feedings well, and more importantly, Leeloo accepts him back after the feedings, grooms him, and socializes with him.  This is crucial for the cub’s development so he can learn how to be a Tiger and socialize with other Tigers – and vitally important to his future as he breeds and contributes to the survival of his species.

Sumatran Tigers are native only to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where fewer than 500 of these magnificent cats remain.  Excessive deforestation for the planting of palm oil plantations has been a major factor in the decline of Sumatran Tigers.  They are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the cub below.

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UPDATE: Zoo Miami's Clouded Leopard Cubs

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The staff at Zoo Miami knows that their fans are eager to see more of the Clouded Leopard cubs born March 13 – so they’ve released some new photos from a recent veterinary checkup!

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Photo Credit:  Ron Magill

The two female cubs are now two months old and doing well in an off-exhibit area with their mother. It is typical for young cats to remain in the den for several months.  The cubs will soon move onto exhibit, but no date has been set for their public debut.

Check back to ZooBorns’ first look at the Clouded Leopard cubs when they were just a few weeks old!  

See more photos below.

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First Look at Zoo Miami's Lion Cubs

Kashifa cub 8 IBFour Lion cubs born on March 6 at Zoo Miami were viewed in person for the first time last week after spending more than a month in the den with their mother.

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Kashifa cubs 12 IBPhoto Credit:  Ivy Brower

Until now, zoo keepers have viewed the new family only by closed circuit camera.  Last week, they were able to temporarily separate the mother, four-year-old Kashifa, to get a closer look at the cubs.  

In the wild, Lion cubs remain in the den or hidden in brush for about six weeks, when they are old enough to join the pride.  Zoo Miami’s four cubs are not yet on public display, and are expected to remain behind the scenes with Kashifa for a few more weeks.

See more cub photos below!

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Zoo Miami's Lion Cub Makes His First Public Appearance

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For the first time in Zoo Miami history, a Lioness and her cub went on public exhibit together. First-time mother Asha and her three month old male cub K'wasi thrilled zoo guests last week as they explored the exhibit and interacted together. 

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Photo Credit:  Ron Magill

You’d never know by looking at him, but K’wasi had a rough start in life.  ZooBorns chronicled his difficult journey here and here.  When he was just a few weeks old, he battled bacterial infections and lost weight.  Thanks to supplemental bottles from zoo keepers, K’wasi has made a comeback.

See more photos of Asha and K'wasi below the fold.

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Nyala Calf Gets Her Shots at Zoo Miami

Nyala Baby B“This won’t hurt a bit!”  That's what the veterinarian might have said to Zoo Miami’s week-old Nyala calf on vaccination day.  The female calf, born on February 5, endured her shots and was proclaimed in good health after her neonatal exam.  

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami

The newborn Nyala weighed about 13 pounds and has a lot of growing to do.  These antelope, which are native to southern Africa, weigh between 120-300 pounds as adults.  Males are larger than females and sport spiral-shaped horns, which are used in ritual fights for dominance during mating season. 

Nyala populations in Africa are relatively stable, though habitat loss and competition with domestic cattle pose some threat.  These antelope prefer woodlands and dense thickets that offer cover from predators like Lions and Leopards.  About 80% of Nyalas live in protected areas and parks, but mature male Nyalas are sought as game trophies.    


Update: Zoo Miami's Lion Cub is Thriving

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A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a male Lion cub born December 15 at Zoo Miami.  Shortly after the cub was born to first-time mother Asha, keepers observed that he was losing weight.  He then faced several bacterial infections.  To help the little cub, keepers began offering a supplemental bottle to the cub three times a day.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the zoo staff, the little cub is now thriving and his prognosis for long-term survival is good.  The cub was recently separated from Asha for a quick physical exam and received his vaccinations.  Asha welcomed her cub back without hesitation after the brief exam. 

The cub, who has not yet been named, will remain off-exhibit with Asha for several weeks.  Eventually, he will be introduced to the rest of the zoo’s Lion pride.




Bottles Give a Boost to Zoo Miami’s Lion Cub

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A male Lion cub born December 15 at Florida’s Zoo Miami is getting extra care from zoo keepers after battling several health challenges in his short life.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami
The only cub born to first-time mother Asha, he remains in stable condition and zoo officials are guarded but hopeful about his chances for survival. The cub has already overcome dehydration and a bacterial infection. Now, keepers are concerned that Asha may not be producing enough milk for her cub, so they provide supplemental bottle feedings three times a day.

Because they want the cub to bond with his mother, keepers offer the bottles through a barrier, allowing him to remain with Asha. Fortunately, Asha accepts the cub after each feeding, an important factor in the cub’s socialization. The staff observes Asha and her cub with a closed circuit camera and reports that Asha is an attentive mother, but the cub could still face challenges in the next several months.

See more photos of the cub below the fold.

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Zoo Miami Welcomes 45th Zoo-Born Giraffe!

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Last month, Zoo Miami welcomed it's 45th giraffe birth! Born March 12th to mother Mia, the calf underwent neonatal tests in order to determine whether it's a girl or a boy, receive vaccinations, and generally assure that its health is good. The calf passed with flying colors and was given a clean bill of health. At 6 feet tall and nearly 150 pounds, this "little" girl is 5-year-old mom Mia's second offspring.

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 Photo credits: Ron Magill / Miami Zoo


Western Lowland Gorilla Baby Born at Zoo Miami

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On Father's Day -- June 19 -- after months of anticipation, a tiny Western Lowland Gorilla was born to mom Kumbuka, 14-year old, at Zoo Miami in Florida.

Because the mother is so protective, zoo keepers don’t want to disturb the first critical days of bonding and nursing between her and her newborn, so the baby's gender and weight has not yet been determined.. The infant has been observed nursing and appears healthy. Once the staff can safely separate mother and infant, the veterinary staff will perform a neonatal exam.

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Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami Makes History with Giant Otter Pups

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For only the second time in history, Giant River Otters have been successfully bred at a North American zoo. Born January 31st at Zoo Miami, there are two pups, one male and one female, each weighing between 2 and 3lbs. While they might be small now, these pups will grow up to be truly giant at a length of 6ft and a weight of around 75 lbs.! This landmark event represents the culmination of years of collaboration between Zoo Miami, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Cali Zoo in Columbia and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment.

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Photo credits: Ron Magill / Zoo Miami

Since their birth, the parents and pups have been left alone in seclusion because of how sensitive they can be to external activity. After giving the parents and pups several weeks alone to bond and establish themselves, they were briefly separated yesterday (for the first time) so that the Zoo’s veterinarian could perform a neonatal exam on the newborns.  Neither of the pups has opened their eyes yet but all indications from the quick exam are that they appear to be healthy and strong.

A first-time mother, Kara was born at the Philadelphia Zoo in March of 2005 and arrived at Zoo Miami on June 4th, 2008.  She is on loan from the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources in Brazil.  The first time father’s name is “Witoto,” and he is on loan from the Cali Zoo in Cali, Colombia where he was born in April of 2004.  This is truly an international collaboration in an effort to preserve this extremely rare animal!  The pair has been a visitor favorite at “Amazon and Beyond” since the exhibit’s opening in 2008.

More photos below the fold!

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