Monarto Zoo

Lion Cubs Get Their Pounce On at Monarto Zoo

945632_529097720483095_266799762_n

Monarto Zoo recently announced that it has one male and two female lion cubs, whose sex was confirmed during the cubs’ first vet check on the morning of June 5th. It was the first time Monarto Zoo staff had the opportunity to directly interact with the cubs, which were born on April 24th, to review their physical health, administer their first vaccines and determine their sex. The cubs have spent the majority of their time tucked away inside a den being cared for by their mum Tiombe with zookeepers initially keeping their distance to give the new family complete privacy during the important bonding period.

Acting Team Leader of Carnivores, Claire Geister, said the male and two female cubs have grown leaps and bounds thanks to Tiombe’s excellent care. “We’re thrilled to have three happy, healthy little cubs! All were given a clean bill of health and have the cutest little milk bellies,” Geister said. “The health checks went smoothly with both cubs and mum relaxed through the entire process. All three cubs were given a feline vaccine, the same as your domestic cat receives, a worming tablet, a micro-chip and were weighed, producing an average weight of seven kilograms."

_O5F7538

_O5F7641

_O5F7554

_O5F7697
Photo Credits: David Mattner / Monarto Zoo

“This is a really exciting time, we haven’t had such a large litter of cubs since the breeding program began in 2007. To see them prosper is a real coup for the zoo and the preservation of this beautiful species.”

The cubs are growing bigger and livelier by the day and are starting to venture outside the den on a regular basis. “The cubs are spending a lot more time outside of the den exploring their environment and practicing their pouncing moves. While they may not be old enough to get their rough and tumble on, they seem to be having a ball!” Geister said.

“The next adventure for the little ones is to get them properly acquainted with their aunties and the other females in the pride. The re-introductions between mum and the other lionesses have been positive so far, as new mums would naturally return to the pride when their cubs are around six weeks of age.”


Funny Faces from Zuri the Baby Chimpanzee

1855_493615460697988_170018625_n

Seven-month-old Chimpanzee Zuri, born at Australia’s Monarto Zoo on August 21, is growing up healthy and developing her personality.  And on a recent morning, she practiced making funny faces for the camera! 

Facial expressions are an important method of communication within Chimpanzee troops, and Zuri appears to be preparing for her role within the troop.  For example, “grinning” Chimpanzees are actually expressing fear.  Bared teeth, pursed lips, kisses, and other gestures express aggression, submission, and affection.

480316_493615517364649_512270712_n


577751_493615217364679_434497619_n

575257_493615490697985_921979819_n
Photo credits: Dave Mattner for Monarto Zoo

Zuri was born to first-time mother Zombi and her baby pictures were shared on ZooBorns here.  Infant Chimpanzees spend the first several months of life clinging to mom, then begin to cautiously explore their surroundings.  The birth of a baby is a significant event within the life of a Chimpanzee troop, enriching the lives of all members.  Though Zombi will care for Zuri for about five years, other females within the troop will gain mothering experience by helping care for the little one.

Wild Chimpanzee populations in equatorial Africa have declined by about 90% in the last two decades due to large-scale habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat and the pet trade.  Zoo births are important to the future of the species because they preserve the genetic diversity of the captive population.

Related articles

First C-Section Delivery of a Hyena Pup In Australia's History

Pin bite

Monarto Zoo's Spotted Hyena Mom Kigali and her daughter Forest both gave birth recently to healthy cubs. They are the only female Spotted Hyena in Australia. Kigali is the dominant female of the clan. Her cub, named Pinduli, was born back on June 12, shortly after 2:00 a.m.. She had him in a den on exhibit which meant no one had the opportunity to see him for around four months.  Keepers monitored Mom and baby via cameras set up in the den prior to the birth. Thanks to that,  you can watch Kigali giving birth on a video below his pictures.

Keepers chose the name Pinduli as it means 'brings a change of direction'.  This was fitting as he was the first cub to be born on exhibit with the clan. While keepers suspected Pinduli was male they had to wait until his six-month health check to confirm it, via a DNA sample. Pinduli has just made his public debut!

Pun side w mom

Pun solo
Photo Credit: Pinduli photos by David Mattner for Monarto Zoo

The second cub came into the world by the first ever Hyena caesarean performed in Australia on Kingali's daughter Forest. Hyena births are particularly complex, with first-time moms such as Forest having only a 20% chance of a successful outcome due to a quirk in their anatomy. Veterinarian Dr Jerome Kalvas said that with this in mind, when they saw no progress being made three hours into Forest's labor, it was clearly time to intervene.

“While the anesthetic and surgery went smoothly the cub was initially not breathing after delivery. We administered a respiratory stimulant and our veterinary nurses vigorously rubbed the cub until a small squeal and a strengthening heartbeat told us we were out of the woods,” Dr Kalvas said. “Then when the cub gave one of the vet nurses a little nip - Spotted Hyena cubs are born with a full set of teeth and open their eyes shortly after birth – we knew things were looking good!"

IMG_7166

IMG_7149

IMG_7130

Forest and cub
Photo Credit: Forest and baby by Claire Geister

See more pictures of both cubs and learn the rest of the story below the fold:

Continue reading "First C-Section Delivery of a Hyena Pup In Australia's History" »


Five Spotted Cheetah Cubs Spotted at Monatro Zoo

Cubs all 5

On October 8, Monarto Zoo's Cheetah Nakula gave birth to five cubs - two males and three females, all healthy. The babies were allowed to bond with mom in the den, where they could only be seen via a closed circuit TV camera. Nakula proved to be a very good mother; the cubs developed well and grew big enough to venture outdoors - though it was still in an area that was off-limits to visitors (as seen on the video below).

On January 15, when the cubs were about 14 weeks old, they spent their first day in the zoo's habitat, where guests could finally enjoy seeing the spectacle of Nakula and her five furry cubs running in the high grasses. Carnivore Keeper, Michelle Lloyd said, "It's been nine years since we last had a Cheetah litter at Monarto and, amazingly, Nakula was one of the cubs born in the last litter all those years ago. It's a lot of fun to watch the cubs running around on exhibit; they're very energetic and definitely love the space. Nakula has a big job keeping up with them all but she's doing great."

Monarto Zoo Curator Beth Pohl said the litter is an important addition to the regional population, with the cubs serving to educate Australians about the plight of the Cheetah in the wild. “In the last 35 years we’ve lost almost half of the wild Cheetah population," Beth added. "Currently there’s approximately 12,000 Cheetah left -- however, in the mid 1970's, the population was estimated to be almost double that." The decline is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the killing and capture of Cheetah to protect livestock against predation.

Cub lick

Cubs look

Cub 1 lick 

Cubs side

Photo Credit: David Mattner for Monarto Zoo

Watch the cubs play with each other and their rather patient mother below.

Read more about the unusual circumstances of these cubs birth, and see more pictures and video, after the fold:

Continue reading "Five Spotted Cheetah Cubs Spotted at Monatro Zoo" »


After Rigorous Training, Monarto's Cheetah Cub Debuts!

Monarto Cheetah 4

Just last week, Monarto Zoo introduced its 4-month-old Cheetah cub to the public for the first time. Until that time, the cub remained off exhibit in quarantine. In order to ensure a successful debut, keepers implemented a rigorous training plan. Team Leader of Carnivores, Anna Bennett, said, “this included introducing her to an outdoor exhibit, training her to happily travel in a pet pack, organizing visits by large groups of people as well as visits to other areas of the zoo and listening to the radio daily to get her used a variety of different sounds. She took all these activities in her stride, looking intently at everything and purring happily.”

Monarto Cheetah 5

Monarto Cheetah 3

Monarto Cheetah 1

Monarto Cheetah 7

Monarto Cheetah 6

Photo credit: David Mattner for Monarto Zoo

According to Monarto Zoo Curator, Beth Pohl, the little cub is as an ambassador for its species educating Australians on the plight of Cheetah in the wild. “In the last 35 years we’ve lost almost half of the wild Cheetah population. Currently there are approximately 7,500 Cheetah left in the wild whereas in the mid 1970s the population was estimated to be around 15,000,” Pohl said. “The decline is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the killing and capture of Cheetah to protect livestock against predation.”


First-ever Baby Chimp Born at Monarto Zoo

Chimp3

Australia's Monarto Zoo welcomed the first Chimpanzee baby to be born at the zoo in its 29-year history.  The yet to be named and sexed baby was born in the early hours of Tuesday, August 21, to first-time mother Zombi.

Acting Senior Keeper of Primates, Laura Hanley, said, “It’s extremely enriching for great apes to have infants and it adds to the social wellbeing of the group to have a range of ages amongst the troop.  Having an infant in the group also allows Monarto’s other females to learn vital mothering skills.”

The baby will cling tightly to Zombi for the first three to four months of its life, spending its time feeding and sleeping. As the little one starts to gain strength and confidence it will begin to explore its environment with Zombi taking care of it exclusively for the first five years of its life.

Zoos South Australia Head of Life Sciences, Peter Clark, said the birth is not only a wonderful achievement for Monarto Zoo; it’s also an important birth for the regional Chimpanzee breeding program.  “This birth represents a first for the region and provides a completely unique set of genetics to the Australasian breeding program,” Peter said.

Chimp1

Chimp2

Females Chimpanzees only give birth every five to six years after an eight and a half month gestation period.  Chimpanzees are found in moist and dry forests and savannah woodlands in Equatorial Africa; It’s estimated that wild populations of the endangered Chimpanzee have decreased by approximately 90% in the past 20 years due to habitat destruction and degradation, poaching for the bush meat trade and the pet trade.

Monarto Zoo is the largest open-range zoo in the world, developed over 1,000 hectares of fauna and flora and the only zoological park to be completely power neutral.

Photo Credits:  Dave Mattner for Monarto Zoo


It's Winter In Australia, But Spring Is In The Air

Cheetah Cub - face

It may be winter in Australia, but Monarto Zoo got a taste of Spring on June 2 when it welcomed its first Cheetah cub in several years. Keepers were surprised by the birth because recent pregnancy tests on mother Nakula came up negative. Anna Bennet, Team Leader of Carnivores, said the cub stayed with Mom until keepers decided it was best to hand raise her.

“Normally it’s very rare for Cheetah to raise a single cub as mum tends to not produce enough milk to feed just one,” Anna said.

“It’s hard to say why this happens, however the recommendations we’ve had from other institutions indicate that a single cub has the best chance of survival if it is hand-raised.

“Most importantly she’s strong, healthy and very cute! Our only problem now is deciding who gets to take care of the little fluff ball as she needs feeding every few hours.”

Cheetah Cub - full body

_O5F2395 resize

Zoos South Australia Head of Life Sciences, Peter Clark, said the little cub will act as an ambassador for its species educating Australians on the plight of Cheetahs in the wild.

“In the last 35 years we’ve lost almost half of the wild Cheetah population. Currently there are approximately 7,500 Cheetah left in the wild whereas in the mid 1970s the population was estimated to be around 15,000,” Peter said.

“The decline is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the killing and capture of Cheetahs to protect livestock against predation.”

Monarto’s little cub is not yet on public display, however it’s hoped visitors will get the chance to meet her in the not to distant future. Mum Nakula was born at Monarto Zoo in 2003. Dad Jala was born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in 2000 and arrived at Monarto Zoo in 2010.


Spunky Zebra Foal Springs Into The World

Foal 2

This striking zebra foal was born at South Australia’s Monarto Zoo on August 7 in the early hours of the morning. It’s a little girl and her keepers say they are pleased with her progress. She is nursing well, looking strong and has lots of confidence.

On August 7, in the early hours of the morning, the foal’s mum, Kenya, gave birth in the night yard with plenty of company -- she was surrounded by the rest of the dazzle (a collective noun for zebras). This is Kenya’s second foal.

She has quickly become a favorite at Monarto Zoo, and she needs a name! All who wish to make a name suggestion can enter it by clicking HERE.

Foal 1

Foal 4

Foal 3
Photo Credit David Mattner/Monarto Zoo

 


Monarto Zoo's Brand New Lion Cub Needs a Name!

Monarto Zoo Lion Cub

On May 3rd, Monarto Zoo welcomed a beautiful African Lion cub to its fold. The cub appears healthy and strong and mother, Kiamba, is an excellent caretaker for the new arrival.  Monarto zoo is offering the public the opportunity to name the cub through the auction website eBay. African lions in the wild are in decline as a result of habitat loss, human conflict and disease from domestic animals. Wild populations have gone from nearly 250,00 individuals in the 1960's to less than 20,000 today. Professor Christopher West, CEO of Zoos South Australia said, “We are celebrating the arrival of a single lion cub who will act as an ambassador of its species to people in Australia. We want people to help us secure a future for wild lions in Africa.”

Monarto Zoo Lion Cub

Monarto Zoo Lion Cub

Monarto Zoo Lion Cub
Photo credits: Sunday Mail

More photos below the fold...

Continue reading "Monarto Zoo's Brand New Lion Cub Needs a Name!" »


Australia's Newest Bundle of Baby Rhino Joy!

Monarto-Rhino-3

For some time now staff at Monarto Zoo in South Australia have been eagerly waiting for the birth of a southern White Rhino calf. Monday April 25 put an end to the waiting game with the arrival of a wrinkly, big footed baby Rhino. Staff arrived early to find mum resting inside her night area, which is unusual for that time of morning, and upon hearing staff Umqali promptly greeted them to reveal a tiny baby hiding behind her. So far this year, on average one rhino a day has been killed by poachers in Southern Africa. This is an appalling statistic. AND it is all for compressed hair-keratin, the same substance that forms our toenails! It is so important that zoo’s like Monarto and others make people aware of how fragile nature is and provide them with a way for people to act in the best interest of the natural world.

Monarto-Rhino-2

Monarto-Rhino-4

Monarto-Rhino-8

Monarto-Rhino-6
Photo and video credits: Monarto Zoo

Continue reading "Australia's Newest Bundle of Baby Rhino Joy!" »