Minnesota Zoo

Baby Tamandua Time - A First for the Minnesota Zoo!

Minnesota Zoo Baby Anteater 2

The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the  rare birth of a Southern Tamandua (pronounced tah-man-do-ah) infant. It is the first Tamandua ever born at the Zoo.  

Born April 8, the Tamandua – a female – has been spending time bonding with her mom in their exhibit on the Tropics Trail. She weighs just under one pound; zoo keepers are still deciding on a name. There are just 30 Tamanduas in AZA-accredited institutions in North America. 

Baby Tamandua with Mom at Minnesota Zoo

2012.04.12 Tropics PM 40Photo credits: 1st and 3rd photos, Galen Sjostrom. 2nd photo Delaina Clementson.

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Southern Tamanduas have long, curved snouts and long arms that end in sharp claws. Well-designed to take advantage of the abundance of insects living in the rainforest, their thick, coarse fur helps keep ants from biting their skin.  They eat ants, termites, grubs, bees, and honey. Tamanduas can be found in a variety of tropical habitats, from rain forests to arid savannas, and are commonly found near rivers and streams. Clumsy on the ground, these animals spend most of their time in trees, using their long tails to grab branches while climbing. Sometimes called “the stinkers of the forest,” Tamanduas give off a strong smell to mark their territory and scare away other animals.

Popular as Pets, Endangered in the Wild - Baby Chinchillas in Minnesota


The Minnesota Zoo’s Zoomobile program has three new baby chinchillas! Born August 6, the trio were born precocial  -- with their eyes open and fully furred. They weighed about 47 grams (1.6 ounces) at birth. They are nursing and doing well with mom. Typically they are weaned between 6-8 weeks of age.

They are long-lived, with records of some scurrying about to the ripe old age of 20 years. Adult females are heavier than males, weighing up to 28 ounces (800 gms), while males are about 17.5 ounces (500 gms). These rodents are from South America and  were once abundant in the High Andes. While there are quite a few chinchillas in captivity, they are considered to be endangered in the wild due to exploitation because their thick, incredibly soft fur brings a very high price. Pelt hunting diminished populations greatly, but increased the demand as these shy animals became increasingly rare. Commercial trade of wild Chinchillas is now banned.



Photo Credit: Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoomobile and its team of trained naturalists travel to schools and community events throughout the state of Minnesota and beyond, providing an educational and entertaining environmental experience to a variety of audiences. Zoomobile Naturalists use live animals, biological artifacts, theater techniques, story telling, and audience participation to create a dynamic, personal, and fun program for all ages.


Baby Camel in the Minnesota Snow


Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day (and the upcoming Farm Babies event beginning April 1), a male Bactrian Camel calf is now on exhibit on the Northern Trail at the Minnesota Zoo. Born March 7 weighing a whopping 125 pounds, the calf – who hasn’t been named yet – has been kept offexhibit with his mother to ensure that he was healthy and gaining weight. Camels usually gain approximately two pounds per day, and will reach adult size (1600–1800 pounds and eight feet tall) in 3-4 years. The gestation period for Bactrian camels is just over one year. This is the fifth calf for mom “Sanya” and the eighteenth for dad “Turk.” The calf will nurse for a full year, will be independent at age four, and fully mature at age five.




Photo credits: Minnesota Zoo

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Wobbling Wood Partridge Babies!


The Minnesota Zoo welcomed its first babies of 2011 when two Crested Wood Partridge chicks or “roul roul” hatched on January 5. The Zoo is one of the most successful zoos in the United States for breeding/raising crested Wood Partridges. To ensure their health and safety, the tiny chicks are being cared for behind-the-scenes by the Zoo’s aviary staff. The chicks, which weighed approximately 12 grams at hatching, are continually gaining weight. Zoo keepers do not yet know the sex of the chicks. Since 1978 when the Minnesota Zoo opened, it has welcomed 234 chicks.

Photo credits: Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo's Dolphin Calf Is Ready for Visitors!

Born July 17 to mom “Allie” and dad “Semo,” Minnesota Zoo's newest calf has spent the past few months bonding with mom, meeting grandma “April,” growing rapidly, and exhibiting her own independence (as mom allows). Weighing approximately 30 pounds and measuring 2-3 feet long at birth, she is now approximately four feet long weighing 60 pounds. Marine mammal staff have closely monitored her since birth and so far, the calf is doing very well. Because she is exploring her new environment, she may not be visible at all times.



Photo credits: Bob Cole

"Now that the calf is three months old and being well cared for by her mom Allie and grandma April, its time to take the next step and give all three females access to the main exhibit pool," said Marine Mammal Supervisor Diane Fusco. "It will be under Allie's watchful eye that the calf explores her new surroundings. We look forward to seeing her more and more, and we know our guests will enjoy watching her antics as she explores her new home." Male dolphins play no role in the rearing of their calves, and because the father could become aggressive toward the mother and/or calf or possibly interfere with the mother/calf bonding process, Semo will be introduced to the calf once the calf is strong and well-bonded with Allie. Semo, 45, is believed to be one of the oldest reproducing male dolphins in human care.

Canada Lynx Kittens Debut at Minnesota Zoo

Two female Lynx kittens – the first born at the Minnesota Zoo since 1993 – are now on exhibit between 9-noon daily. Born May 13, the kittens have been bonding with their mom off exhibit since that time. Their mother, who came to the Zoo in 2007, is a great first time mom and very protective of her kittens. The Minnesota Zoo had nine litters born at the zoo between 1981–1993, totaling 22 kittens.




Photo Credits: Minnesota Zoo

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Special Dolphin Delivery

The Minnesota Zoo welcomed a healthy Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin calf on Saturday night to mom Allie. Weighing about 30lbs. and measuring around 2.5 feet long, the sex has yet to be determined. Happily swimming alongside mom, the baby dolphin is exhibiting all the right signs, although the first few weeks are always precarious for new dolphins. The calf's father, Semo, is 45 years old!

Baby dolphin calf minnesota zoo 1 rs

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Baby dolphin calf minnesota zoo 2 rsPhoto credits: Bob Cole

Minnesota Zoo Hand-Rears a Baby Gibbon

The Minnesota Zoo’s three week old White-Cheeked Gibbon infant is doing well despite being rejected by her mom. The Zoo is celebrating her progress by releasing behind-the-scenes footage from a recent feeding session. Just like human babies, baby gibbons are completely dependent on mom in the early months of life so zoo staff are working around the clock to hand-rear the little girl. The new baby gibbon will not be on exhibit for several months to ensure proper feeding, rest, and care.

GibbonInfant2010_MNZoo (Small)

Baby gibbon minnesota zoo 1

Apparently baby gibbons sound like R2D2!

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Big Baby Camels at the Minnesota Zoo

actrian camel calves Sarah and Samara both weighed 98 lbs at birth. While they might sound like big babies, the little girls will continue to gain 3-5 lbs per day until they reach their adult size of 2,200-2,400 lbs.

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Bactrian camel calves mn zoo pic 5b

Bactrian camel calves mn zoo pic 1

Critically endangered, there are fewer than 1,000 Bactrian Camels left in the wild. Born April 2nd and March 13th respectively, check out Sarah and Samara at the Minnesota Zoo now while they are still (relatively) little tikes!

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