Nashville Zoo

Red Panda Birth Announced at Nashville Zoo

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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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

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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.”

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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.


Update! Little Clouded Leopards Now Big Enough to Play

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Who's that peeking out from those stuffed animals? That's Nashville Zoo's Clouded Leopard cubs outside for the first time, playing in the sun and feeling the grass. They were born on March 26, which, if you missed it, you can read about HERE on ZooBorns. This past Sunday, Mother's Day, the zoo asked the public to donate new and gently used stuffed animals for the cubs to use for snuggling and cuddling. And they got right to it, as you can see!

Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National ZooPoint Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program and Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. 

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Photo Credit: Amiee Stubbs Photography


Nothing Says "It's Springtime" Like The Birth of Clouded Leopard Cubs

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the births of two litters of Clouded Leopard cubs. On March 26, Jing Jai gave birth to one female cub and Baylie gave birth to one male and one female. All three are doing well and are being hand-raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff.

“Nashville Zoo is a leader in Clouded Leopard conservation, with 18 Clouded Leopards born at our off-exhibit breeding facility since 2009,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “These cubs will remain a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Clouded Leopard population as breeding cats, education or exhibit animals. Whatever role they play, they will contribute to the ongoing conservation effort.” 

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Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs

 

Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program and Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. 

See more pictures and learn more below the fold...

Continue reading "Nothing Says "It's Springtime" Like The Birth of Clouded Leopard Cubs" »


Nashville Zoo Keepers Administer Emergency Mouth To Snout CPR To Save a Baby Tapir

Tapir calf - Amiee Stubbs

By January 12, Nashville Zoo Animal Care Staff had waited over 13 months for the arrival of the Zoo's second Baird's Tapir in two years. Soon after the calf's delivery it became clear that something was wrong.

The baby’s embryonic sac did not break, so he could not breathe and began to rapidly lose vitality. Zoo staff made the decision to intervene and moved mother Houston out of the stall. They then freed the baby from the sac, verified he still had a heart rate, and immediately cleared his airways and performed mouth-to-nose resuscitation until he was fully breathing on his own. Thanks to their heroic efforts and quick action, the calf is doing well.

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Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo

This is the second birth for mom Houston and her mate Romeo, who came to Nashville Zoo from Central America in 2008 to introduce a new genetic line into the United States Tapir population. Veteran ZooBorns readers may recall the 2010 birth of Noah, the pair's first-born.

“This birth is significant because it helps sustain a genetically diverse population of Tapirs in the United States,” said Lanny Brown, hoofstock supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “Tapirs have a gestation period of more than 13 months, so we have been looking forward to this baby for a long time.”

Read more and see the rest of the calf's baby pictures below the fold.

Continue reading "Nashville Zoo Keepers Administer Emergency Mouth To Snout CPR To Save a Baby Tapir" »


Nashville Zoo Makes History with First Captive Breeding of Eastern Hellbenders!

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the captive breeding of Eastern Hellbenders for the first time as well as the first controlled breeding of any Hellbenders using biotechnology. The two Hellbenders were successfully hatched from eggs produced and artificially fertilized from the Zoo’s long-term captive animals.

“The successful hatching of the two Hellbenders is a result of a long-term collaborative project with a group of international researchers dedicated to saving this species,” said Dale McGinnity, ectotherm curator at Nashville Zoo. “This is an important first step and is in line with the Zoo’s commitment to the conservation and propagation of rare species.”

 An adult Ozark Hellbender, one of the world's largest Salamanders...

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One of Nashville Zoo's adult Hellbenders...

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Learn more about Nashville Zoo's Hellbender breeding efforts in the video below.

The two offspring were produced from a group of four Hellbenders living in an off-exhibit facility at the Zoo. 

“It has taken five years to develop assisted reproductive technologies for captive hellbenders,” said McGinnity. “We hope that with further refinement over the next few years, this species can be reliably reproduced using these techniques. This technology may then be used with a gene bank of cryopreserved sperm for Eastern hellbenders housed at the Nashville Zoo, to produce genetically diverse and fit offspring to suit various conservation needs.”

Hellbender-young---Amiee-StubbsSo small... for now... Photo credit: 1 & 4; Aimee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo, 2; U.S. Fish & Wildlife, 3; Christian Sperka / Nashville Zoo.

Continue reading "Nashville Zoo Makes History with First Captive Breeding of Eastern Hellbenders!" »