Oakland Zoo

Otter Trio Debuts in Time for Mother’s Day

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A lively trio of North American River Otter pups recently made their debut at Oakland Zoo. A male and two females were born February 9, and they were introduced to the public prior to Mother’s Day weekend. According to keepers, their mom, Rose, has been doing a great job taking care of her new litter.

Zookeepers have also given names to the active pups. The boy has been named Si’ahl (“see-all”), and his sisters have been named Imnaha (“em-na-ha”) and Talulah (“ta-lou-la”).

The arrival of the pups brings the total number of North American River Otters, at Oakland Zoo, to six: their mom, dad Wyatt, and grandma, Ginger (Ginger is mother to Rose).

The pups are still nursing, but have begun eating solid foods consisting of fish and some meat.

Dad, Wyatt, is Oakland Zoo’s only adult male and was relocated to Oakland three years ago from the Abilene Zoo, in Texas, where the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) gave him a breeding recommendation.

“We are pleased to have our sixth healthy litter of Otter pups since 2011. This is Rose’s second litter, and we are happy that she is once again being a great mother to her pups. You can see Rose and her three pups daily at the Oakland Zoo, in the Children’s Zoo,” said Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.

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4_Two and a half months old_3Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo

Zookeepers have been tracking the baby Otters’ growth and health with bi-weekly checkups, referred to as "pupdates" to Zoo staff. Rose has only very recently been venturing into the exhibit with her pups. Swimming is not instinctual; therefore, pups do not go on exhibit until they are strong enough swimmers and a certain size.

Zoo guests are now able to watch the new pups in their exhibit daily. The River Otter exhibit is located in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo.

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Oakland Zoo Cares for Orphaned Wallaroo


A Wallaroo joey is currently being hand-raised by zookeepers at Oakland Zoo. The joey was orphaned when his mother passed away, earlier this month, from an infection.

The male joey is approximately 5 months old. He will be receiving round-the-clock nurturing and care until he is about 8 months of age, when a joey normally emerges from a mother’s pouch. At that age, he will be housed with other Wallaroos in the Zoo’s “Wild Australia” exhibit and learn to be independent.

The joey, yet to be named by his keepers, is bottle fed seven times per day with a high-grade baby formula manufactured in Australia called ‘wombaroo’. Bundled inside a makeshift pouch in a temperature-controlled room, he is also given water twice per day for hydration, as the inside of a mother’s pouch provides moisture and warmth.

The joey’s mother, named Maloo, was three years of age and a first-time mother. On March 1, while on exhibit, she had removed the joey from her pouch, an indication to zookeepers of a problem. Oakland Zoo veterinarians examined her, discovering that she was in need of antibiotics due to an infection. She was treated, but sadly died the following day.

“While staff is very sad about the passing of Maloo, we are working with other AZA facilities to be best prepared for the intense care required to successfully hand-raise a Wallaroo. We are keen to get to know the little joey and prepare him for life with the rest of the mob,” said Andrea Dougall, Assistant Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.



4_DSC_0060Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo

Keepers are taking the joey outside for sun twice per day, and zoo veterinarians are also closely monitoring the infant’s progress. In addition to weight monitoring, tail length, feet, and head size are measured during daily physical exams to ensure health and proper growth. This hands-on infant care will continue for the next three months, until he has grown enough to live independently.

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Two Baby Baboons Born at Oakland Zoo

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Two Hamadryas Baboons were born just 19 days apart at the Oakland Zoo. The babies, a male and a female, are half-siblings and share the same father but have different mothers.
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_F9A2601Photo Credit:  Oakland Zoo

The female baboon, who was born on March 14, is named “Kabili,” which means honest and brave in Swahili. The male baby was born on April 1 and has not yet been named.  

The Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons, and keepers report that the youngsters are being well-received by other group members. Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny said, “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”

Hamadryas baboons live in complex social groups. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities. 

Hamadryas baboons are native to Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. In ancient times, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of the god Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.

Baby Baboon Mimi Is Teething At Oakland Zoo


Oakland Zoo has so many adorable pictures of their new baby Hamadryas Baboon, Mimi, that they decided to post one every day this week on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OakZoo

Oakland Zoo gives the baby Baboons baby toys like stuffed animals and baby teething toys and also baby rubber toys to give them something to chew on when they are teething. The infants teeth start to appear within 5 days of birth!



10469068_10154419886380228_8583844285846561387_oPhoto credit: Dannielle Stith

Otter Pup Trio Makes a Splash at Oakland Zoo


After successful swimming lessons and healthy checkups, three male River Otter pups are now on exhibit at Oakland Zoo. They were born to Ginger, on the morning of February 24, 2013. Each baby weighed approximately 0.3 pounds at birth or about 136 grams. They now weigh around 4.5 pounds. The pups are named Kohana (swift), Hinto (blue), and Shilah (brother). 




North American River Otters are found in most of the United States and Canada. They enjoy a diet of fish, crayfish, frogs, turtles, and aquatic invertebrates. Spending most of their time on land, they are nursed by their mom for one month and are weaned at about 3-4 months. They then begin to venture out of the burrow/den to play and learn how to swim.


Photo Credit Oakland Zoo

Meet the New Kids at Oakland Zoo - Goat Kids, That is!

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For the first time in fifteen years, there are baby Goats at the Oakland Zoo. Mom Annie gave birth to four healthy babies, or kids -- two males and two females, all weighing between 3-4 pounds (1.3-1.8 kg) at birth. This is the first time the Oakland Zoo has had kids in about fifteen years, so it ‘s very special.

The gestation period of a doe is approximately 150 days long. Twins are the most common and quadruplets are much less common.  The kids will nurse for a few months, but the weaning process is slow. They will likely be eating some solid foods in addition to nursing for quite some time. A goat's digestive system will break down just about any organic substance, but their diet consists of mostly plant-based materials.

Annie was dropped off at the Oakland Zoo last October in need of a home. Zoo staff agreed to take her in as a rescue. The Oakland Zoo does not breed their Goats. "Like many companion animals, there are plenty of Goats out there that need good homes. Annie was one such Goat, but she was already pregnant when she arrived, so this is a rare opportunity for us to enjoy kids!" explained Zoological Manager Margaret Rousser. "Annie has been a fantastic mom so far and we are very proud of her."

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Goat Annie and Maggie
Photo Credit:Oakland Zoo, Photo 1: Elizabeth Abrams, Photo 2, Adam Fink,  Photo 4: Emily Denes, Photo 5: Margil Haight

Watch below as the kids wag their tails and practice their natural climbing skills:

Read more after the jump:

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Two Boys and a Girl! It's River Otter Babies for Oakland Zoo

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Three baby River Otters - two males and one female - were born in the afternoon at California's Oakland Zoo on February 18 to mom Ginger. Each weighed approximately 5.3 oz (150 gms) at birth. The pups are nursing, starting to open their eyes and growing each day. Within a few weeks they will begin eating fish and meat. Keepers say the babies are very vocal, especially the female. 

"It is very important for baby otters to learn appropriate social behavior from their mothers, so we are happy that Ginger has been such a great mom and is raising such well-adjusted pups," said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager. 

The baby otters will not go out on exhibit until May as they need to reach a certain size and learn how to swim (it's not instinctual) before leaving the night house. 

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Pup trio


Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo

New Giraffe Baby Debuts at Oakland Zoo


There's a new giraffe calf at the Oakland Zoo in California and it's a little girl! Born in January 12, to mom Twiga and dad Mabusu, she's been named Maggie and weighed 80 pounds and was seventy-two inches tall at birth. This is the first female giraffe born at the Zoo in nearly a decade. On February 2 Maggie made make her grand debut to the public.

The Oakland Zoo is thrilled to be a partner and supporter of the Reticulated Giraffe Research Project based in the Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. John Doherty, principal researcher for the project, joined the Oakland Zoo giraffe keepers at the Zoo on February 2nd to speak about some of the crucial conservation issues facing this majestic species.  

Maggie is on exhibit every day between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with the rest of the herd.



Photo credit: Nancy Filippi/Oakland Zoo

Baby Wallaroo Peeks Out of the Pouch

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This doe-eyed Eastern Wallaroo was born in mid-August 2010 at the Oakland Zoo, but he's just now coming into the world. Why? 

Wallaroo babies, called Joeys, are technically born after only one month's gestational period - fur-less, blind, and about the size of a kidney bean (1’’long). This tiny newborn will crawl unaided from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch where it begins to nurse. There it will continue to develop, not making an appearance until it is six to eight months old.

Typically, a Joey will not start coming and going from the safety of its pouch with any regularity until approximately ten months of age... but can be seen for short periods between eight and nine months.  It will feed from mother's milk for 18 months, though on warm days during that time it may go out of the pouch to have a little bite of grass.

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Related to the kangaroo, there are four types of Wallaroos: Eastern Wallaroos, the Northern, the Barrow Island Wallaroo and the Euro. The Eastern Wallaroo, like this one, is found throughout Australia.They seek refuge from the sun in caves and under ledges by day and feed at night, finding water by digging in dry creek beds. The dingo and the Wedge Tail eagle are predators of young Wallaroos. Once fully grown though, they can remain completely still to avoid being seen by predators, but are also capable of escaping at quite high speeds.

Dropping the Otter Bomb at Oakland Zoo


On February 15th, Ginger, the Oakland Zoo's four-year-old female North American River Otter, gave birth to her first litter; one male named Ahanu and one female named Tallulah. Each pup weighed approximately 100 grams at birth, and were about the size of a stick of butter.

River Otters are one of the few species that exhibit a phenomenon called delayed implantation. This means otters breed in the spring but the fertilized egg doesn’t actually implant until fall. Since North American River otters are not very prolific breeders, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums makes annual breeding recommendations. When Ginger arrived at the Oakland Zoo in 2008, she was just one year old and too young to breed, but the Association of Zoo and Aquariums eventually wanted her to breed with our twelve year old male Heath.




Photo credits: Oakland Zoo

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