Munster Zoo

Doubly Adorable Capuchin Monkeys at Münster Zoo

1_NL I_2016_09 Gelbbrustkapuziner-Familie

The Golden-bellied Capuchin is highly threatened with extinction. Münster Zoo houses the largest breeding group in Germany and the second largest in Europe!

On August 6th and 11th, the Zoo welcomed two new infants to their troop. This is an encouraging breeding success because Golden-bellied Capuchin are considered, by some, to be the most intelligent monkeys in South America, and they are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A mere 194 Golden-bellied Capuchin live in 21 facilities throughout Europe. The Münster Zoo is home to 16 of the monkeys, making it the largest breeding group of Germany. The Zoo’s Capuchin troop is the second largest in Europe, behind La Vallée de Singes in France, which is home to 17 of the monkeys.

2_14258078_10157386050200263_5820483777519632409_o

3_NL I_2016_09_Gelbbrustkapuziner nahPhoto Credits: Münster Zoo

The Golden-bellied Capuchin (Sapajus xanthosternos), also known as the Yellow-breasted or Buffy-headed Capuchin, is a species of New World monkey.

Although there are differences between individuals, as well as between the sexes and across age groups, S. xanthosternos is described as having a distinctive yellow to golden red chest, belly and upper arms. Its face is a light brown, and its cap, for which the capuchins were first named, is a dark brown/black or light brown.

Capuchins are diurnal and arboreal. With the exception of a midday nap, they spend their entire day searching for food. At night, they sleep in the trees, wedged between branches.

They feed on a vast range of food types and are more varied than other monkeys in the family Cebidae. They are omnivores, and consume a variety of plant parts such as leaves, flower and fruit, seeds, pith, woody tissue, sugarcane, bulb, and exudates, as well as arthropods, mollusks, a variety of vertebrates, and even primates.

Capuchin monkeys often live in large groups of 10 to 35 individuals within the forest, although they can easily adapt to places colonized by humans. Usually, a single male will dominate the group and have primary rights to mate with the females of their group. The stabilization of group dynamics is served through mutual grooming, and communication occurs between the monkeys through various calls.

Capuchins can jump up to nine feet (3 m), and they use this mode of transport to get from one tree to another. They remain hidden among forest vegetation for most of the day, sleeping on tree branches and descending to the ground to find drinking water.

Females generally bear young every two years, following a 160- to 180-day gestation. The young cling to their mother's chest until they are larger, when they move to her back. Adult male Capuchins rarely take part in caring for the young. Juveniles become fully mature within four years for females and eight years for males. In captivity, individuals have reached an age of 45 years, although natural life expectancy is only 15 to 25 years.

Populations of Golden-bellied Capuchin are restricted to the Atlantic forest of Southeastern Bahia, Brazil, due possibly to high degrees of interference from humans. Historically they probably would have inhabited the entire area east of, and north to, the Rio São Francisco.

The largest continuous area of forest in its known range, the Una Biological Reserve in Bahia, is estimated to contain a population of 185 individuals.

The main reason for the threat to this subspecies is the large-scale destruction of their habitat in eastern Brazil. The local coastal forests were cleared to a great extent and exist only in the form of small remnants. Another danger is the hunting. Within the last 50 years the total population of Golden-bellied Capuchin has gone back more than 80 percent. There are some groups in protected areas, but many of these deposits are too small. Therefore, a breeding program by the Brazilian government, in collaboration with the World of Zoos (WAZA), has been launched.


Rare Litter of Cheetahs Born at Allwetterzoo Münster

1_Namoja + 1,6 Jungtiere_presse

Allwetterzoo Münster’s resident Cheetah, Namoja, gave birth to a remarkable litter of seven cubs on April 28. Affectionately known by zoo staff as “The Magnificent Seven” and the “Seven Dwarfs”, Namoja’s large litter is somewhat rare. Cheetahs typically give birth to three to five cubs. 

2_Namoja + Jungtier_presse

3_Namoja trägt Jungtier_presse

4_11536513_10155689525985263_3091912715508834970_oPhoto Credits: Allwetterzoo Münster

This is the second litter for Namoja and her mate, Jabari. Their first group of offspring was a litter of five male cubs, and all of the boys are now at home in other zoos, throughout Europe, as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).  Since the 1970s, Alwetterzoo has welcomed forty Cheetah births.

The Cheetah is a large member of the family Felidae and is native to Africa and parts of Iran. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. Aside from its distinctive coat pattern, the Cheetah is well known for its athletic prowess. It can run faster than any other land animal and has been clocked at speeds of 68 to 75 mph (110 to 120 km/h). The Cheetah also has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in three seconds.

Female Cheetahs reach sexual maturity in twenty to twenty-four months. Males reach maturity at around twelve months, but they do not usually mate until at least three years old. Females are not monogamous and are known to have cubs with many different mates.

Litters, of up to nine cubs, result after a gestation period of ninety to ninety-eight days, although the average litter size is four. Cubs are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle, extending to mid-back. The mantle gives them a mane or Mohawk-type appearance, but this fur is shed as the Cheetah matures.

Females are solitary, except when raising cubs, and tend to avoid each other, though some mother/daughter pairs have been known to remain together for small periods of time. When cubs reach about 18 months of age, the mother leaves them, and they form a sibling group that will stay together for another six months. At about two years, the female siblings leave the group, and the young males remain together for life. Life span, in the wild, is up to twelve years, and they have lived up to twenty years, in captivity.

The Cheetah is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They face various threats, in the wild, including: loss of habitat and prey, conflict with humans, illegal pet trade, competition with/predation by other carnivores, and a gene pool with low variability.

More pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Rare Litter of Cheetahs Born at Allwetterzoo Münster" »


New Cheetah Mom Namoja Has Her Paws Full With Quintuplets!

Cheetah 1

Namoja, Munster Zoo's female Cheetah, has her paws full with five cubs. Now nearly two months old, Namoja's quintet has been exploring Munster's outdoor exhibit since day nine. Father Jabari met Namoja in early January and the five cubs arrived just 92 days later! While First-time mom Namoja has shown excellent cub-rearing skills and a steady paw, she'll have to remain vigilant. The cubs are already adept crawlers and it won't be long before they're scampering around the entire 7,500 sq. ft. exhibit!

Cheetah 2

Cheetah 3

Cheetah 4

Cheetah 5

Cheetah 6

Cheetah 7
Photo credits: Allwetterzoo Munster


Little Lorikeets at Your Feet

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks with mom 2

Two little Rainbow Lorikeets hatched last week at the Münster Zoo in the free-flying lorikeet aviary where visitors can feed the small birds cups of nectar. What makes the birth particularly interesting is where the parrot parents chose to build their nest - right by the walkway within parrot-seed-spitting distance from peoples' feet! While there were plenty of secluded treetop nesting options, the whole parrot family seems to enjoy the hustle and bustle of visitors and the increased attention. The Rainbow Lorikeet is native to much of Australia and Asia. They often fly in flocks but spend most of their time together in pairs.

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks with mom 2

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks at Allwetterzoo Münster 2

Family Portrait

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks at Allwetterzoo Münster 2


Mongolian Horse Foal Standing Tall

On April 25th, Germany's Allwetter Zoo in Munster welcomed a Mongolian horse foal weighing 35 kg (77 lbs). Small and stocky, Mongolian horses have remained largely unchanged genetically since the time of Ghengis Kahn. They also have the largest genetic diversity among all horse breeds, suggesting that humans have not guided their breeding habits nearly as closely as other horses.

Mongolian horse foal 2

Mongolian horse foal 3

Mongolian horse foal 4


Germany's Road-Tripping Gorilla Infant Rides Shotgun!

In breaking baby gorilla news, 6-month-old Claudia has moved from Germany's Allwetter Zoo to the Wilhelma Zoo. The change comes as the baby's mother Gana passed away in January, leaving behind no suitable surrogate. Representatives from the Allwetter Zoo assured us that, despite their sadness over losing Claudia, they couldn't hope for a better home than the Wilhelma Zoo nursery.

Bärbel Uphoff + Claudia_klein Claudia clearly called "shotgun" for her first ever roadtrip cross-country!

Dgorillakind_claudia_im_allwetterzooClaudia in her element at the Allwetter Zoo, shortly before departing for Wilhelma.

Gorillababy-claudia,templateId=renderScaled,property=Bild,height=349