Nashville Zoo

Rare Banded Palm Civet Born at Nashville Zoo


A male Banded Palm Civet was born on September 1st at the Nashville Zoo. He is currently being raised, by his parents, in an off-exhibit holding area.

Nashville Zoo is the only facility, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, breeding this species. However, the zoo does not yet have plans to exhibit their Banded Palm Civets.

2_IMG_7509Photo Credits: Nashville Zoo

The Banded Palm Civet (Hemigalus derbyanus), also called a Banded Civet, is found in the Sundaic region and occurs in peninsular Myanmar, peninsular Malaysia, peninsular Thailand and in Indonesia on the islands of Sipura, Sumatra, and Borneo.

The species if roughly the size of a domestic cat; it measures 41 to 51 cm and weighs 1 to 3 kg (2.2 to 6.6 lbs). Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviors, they are more closely related to other small carnivores including weasels and mongooses.

Banded Palm Civets are generally solitary and have excellent hearing and vision. They prefer to come out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. They are primarily ground dwelling and highly territorial. They are carnivorous and survive on a meat-based diet, supplemented by the occasional plant or fruit.

The female Banded Palm Civet has a gestation period of about two months and usually gives birth to up to four young. The babies are weaned when strong enough to fend for themselves.

The Banded Palm Civet is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to an ongoing population decline. Threats include: overexploitation, decline in habitat quality, and habitat destruction and degradation.

Two Clouded Leopards Born at Nashville Zoo

Cub with keeper 2015 - Amiee Stubbs

Two Clouded Leopard cubs born at the Nashville Zoo will help build a sustainable population of these vulnerable cats.

The cubs, both female, were born on March 13 and March 18 and are being hand raised together.

Clouded Cubs March 2015 - Amiee Stubbs

Profile March 2015 - Amiee Stubbs
Single cub March 2015 - Amiee Stubbs
Photo Credit:  Amiee Stubbs

“Nashville Zoo is on the forefront of Clouded Leopard care and conservation,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “The birth of these two cubs aids in our conservation efforts and benefits the long-term plan to create a sustainable captive population.”

Clouded Leopards are notoriously reclusive, which makes introducing the cats to potential mates a dangerous proposition.  In fact, male Clouded Leopards have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce these fatal attacks, Clouded Leopard cubs are hand raised and introduced to their future mates at a young age. Since 2009, 26 Clouded Leopards have been raised at the Nashville Zoo and have gone on to live and reproduce at zoos worldwide.

Clouded Leopards are considered Vulnerable to extinction due to deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. As a founding member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, Nashville Zoo works with organizations around the world to improve husbandry, breeding, and genetic diversity for this species. 

Nashville Zoo’s Alpaca Makes out like a ‘Bandit’

Alpaca Calf sm - Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo is excited to share news of the birth of an Alpaca!

Alpaca Calf w adults sm - Kathleen Gregory

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IMG_0347 - Kathleen GregoryPhoto Credits: Amiee Stubbs (Image 1); Kathleen Gregory (Images 2,3,4)

Born December 13th, the male, named ‘Bandit’, is the first Alpaca to be born at the Zoo. The baby weighed in at 14 lbs. and stood about two feet tall. Bandit’s thick coat ensures he is all set for the cold weather, and he should be on exhibit throughout winter.

Even before birth, it seems Bandit was well suited for his rebel-style moniker. “Based on the mother’s weight gain, we had predicted the baby would be born in spring, so his arrival on a December Saturday morning was quite a surprise,” said Kacie Cummings, Contact Area Supervisor. “We are thrilled that baby Bandit is healthy and on exhibit with the rest of our Alpacas.”

With the addition of the baby, the Nashville Zoo is home to five Alpacas at Critter Encounters, their interactive area where guests can get up-close experiences with goats, camels, Galapagos tortoises and a variety of birds.

Alpacas are domesticated animals native to South America and a part of the camelid family. They thrive in high elevations and their thick wool coat is used to keep them warm in their native mountainous environment.

It’s All About that Pumpkin

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Pumpkins are everywhere, this time of year! They make great pies, Jack-O-Lanterns, and pretty awesome enrichment toys for zoo animals. Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

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Photo Credits: Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Image 1: African Lion Cub); Amiee Stubbs Photography (Image 2: "Charlie" the Porcupine at Nashville Zoo); Lincoln Children's Zoo (Image 3: "Lincoln" the Red Panda); ZooAmerica (Image 4: "Rainier" the Mountain Lion); Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn (Image 5: Elephants); Sue Ogrocki (Images 6-Gorilla,7-Red River Hogs,10-Galapagos Tortoise at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens); Minnesota Zoo (Image 8: Lynx); The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Image 9: Meerkats)

More great pumpkin pics below the fold!

Continue reading "It’s All About that Pumpkin" »

Red Panda Birth Announced at Nashville Zoo


The Nashville Zoo announced this week the birth of a female Red Panda cub on July 3.  The cub is doing well and bonding with her mother in their off-exhibit den. 


Photo Credit: Amiee Stubbs

Known for their teddy bear-like appearance and red fur, Red Pandas are native to the mountains of Central China, Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma). They are considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat destruction. In addition, slow rates of reproduction and high infant mortality rates make it very hard for this species to rebound from population declines.

“Red Panda mothers are very prone to stress and easily agitated, which could cause them to reject or unintentionally harm the cubs,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “Because of the high infant mortality rate, we took every precaution possible to ensure the baby was delivered and cared for safely.”  

The zoo staff worked to make the expectant mother comfortable by providing space for “denning” several months prior to her expected delivery date.

“We anticipated a late June/early July birth so we denned up our female in May. She was confined in the building that she is used to and provided with a choice of nest boxes and most importantly – air conditioning!” Rice said.

Animal care staff monitored the female for signs of stress and added video cameras to the nest boxes. These precautions allowed staff to observe the cub’s arrival, nursing, and other important milestones with disturbing mother and cub.

“After our female gave birth we made the decision to continue our hands-off approach since all was going so well. At one month of age, we did our first neonate exam and determined the cub to be female, in good health and weighing just under two pounds. The cub and mom both did well and were happily reunited right after.”

The Zoo’s two Red Panda adults are a part of AZA’s Species Survival Program, which manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. If the cub continues to thrive, the zoo will debut the cub this fall.  At about a year old, she will most likely leave Nashville Zoo to be paired with a mate for breeding. 

If all continues to progress, the Zoo hopes to debut the cub this fall.  

Giraffe Mom and Calf Bond at Nashville Zoo

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Nashville Zoo in Tennessee has announced the birth of a female Masai giraffe. The calf was born in the early morning hours of December 13, weighing 180 pounds (81.65 kg) and standing 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall. She and mom Margarita are doing well in the zoo’s Giraffe barn. 

“We’ve been tracking Margarita’s pregnancy for about a year and estimated her due date to be in early December,” said Kate Cortelyou, lead Giraffe keeper. “I arrived at the Giraffe barn around 7:30 a.m. [on Dec. 13] to find a dry, healthy, standing baby Giraffe, which is the perfect way to find them. We are so thrilled about the latest addition to our herd.”

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Photo credit: Nashville Zoo / Amiee Stubbs

This is nine-year-old Margarita’s third calf. Her first was born in 2010, and the second, a female named Camilla, was born in 2012 and recently left Nashville to join her permanent herd at the Columbus Zoo. With the addition of the calf, Nashville Zoo is home to two subspecies: three Masai Giraffe and one Reticulated Giraffe. Zoo officials will carefully monitor the baby’s development inside the Giraffe barn for the next two months. After that, keepers will make a decision on her public debut depending on climatic conditions. 

Masai Giraffe are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania.

Giant Anteater Baby Boom Continues at Nashville Zoo

Anteater Pup - Heather Robertson

Gabana the baby Giant Anteater is part of an exciting baby boom at the Nashville Zoo:  He is the fifth Giant Anteater to be born at the zoo in the last 13 months.

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Photo Credit: Margarita WocCoburn

Nashville Zoo has been involved in Giant Anteater conservation for 15 years and has the largest collection of Anteaters in the country.  Gabana, who was born on November 16, is the first birth for mother Dolce, who was born at Nashville Zoo in 2011. Both mother and baby are doing well and living together in the off-exhibit Giant Anteater barn.

Giant Anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Giant Anteaters as Vulnerable, although they are Extirpated (locally Extinct) in parts of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.  


Nashville Zoo’s Giant Anteater Collection Continues To Grow

Anteater Pup - Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a male Giant Anteater on July 17. For the Zoo, the newest addition is the fourth pup born in the past 10 months. Both mother and baby are doing well and living together in the off-exhibit Giant Anteater barn.

“We now have 15 Giant Anteaters at Nashville Zoo which is the largest collection in North America,” says Rick Schwartz, Zoo President. “While they are not currently on public display, we do hope to change than in the future. In the meantime, we will continue to learn more about this little known and threatened species both in captivity and in the wild.”

Anteater Pup w Mother - Amiee Stubbs

Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs

Giant Anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Giant Anteater as vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting. Giant Anteaters are considered extinct in areas of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.

It's Two More Baby Clouded Leopards for Nashville Zoo

Cloud pile Amiee Stubbs

Just six weeks after the birth of a trio of Clouded Leopard cubs reported HERE on ZooBorns, the Nashville Zoo proudly announced that another two cubs were born on April 30! The babies are doing well and are being hand raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff. 

“Since 2009, 20 Leopards have been born at Nashville Zoo, and in the last year alone, Nashville Zoo welcomed the births of more Clouded Leopards than at all the world’s zoos combined,” said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo President. “We are proud to be on the forefront of Clouded Leopard conservation.”

Due to deforestation, pet trade and poaching, Clouded Leopards are considered endangered in their native range of Southeast Asia and China, and recently listed as extinct in Taiwan. For the past 11 years, Nashville Zoo has been a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program and Zoological Park Organization in Thailand. 

Cloud solo Aimee Stubbs

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Photo Credit: Amiee Stubbs

The breeding parents to these recent cubs are Lom Choy and Luk. Introducing Clouded Leopards to potential mates is difficult due to the cat’s reclusive disposition. Males are often aggressive and have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce fatal attacks, cubs are hand-raised and introduced to mates at a young age.  


Nashville Zoo Welcomes Eurasian Lynx

Lynx Cub 13 - Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a Eurasian Lynx. The female cub was born to the Zoo’s on-exhibit pair on Saturday, May 4.

“We suspected that our Lynx might be pregnant due to a slight weight gain but never had confirmation,” said Connie Philipp, mammal curator. “The cub arrived on its estimated due date based on the data the keepers collected, and she’s now being hand-raised by our animal care staff. She will eventually join an educational outreach program at another zoo.”

Lynx cub feeding - Amiee Stubbs



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Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs Photography

Nashville Zoo is home to three Eurasian Lynx, a male and female on exhibit, and a male, known as Blitz, that is a part of our “Wildlife on Wheels” program. The Eurasian Lynx exhibit was generously sponsored by David and Kathryn Brown.

Eurasian Lynx are the largest of the lynx species and are native to Central Asian, European and Siberian forests. While not listed as endangered, Eurasian Lynx are rarely seen in some parts of its home range.