Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo Provides Home for Third Mountain Lion

1_Kitten at Oakland Zoo vet hospital_Credit MonicaFox

In just over one month, three orphaned Mountain Lion cubs have been rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and all have found sanctuary at Oakland Zoo.

The most recent, and youngest, arrived the night of December 23 in severe critical condition, more so than the first two cubs.

This third cub, estimated to be approximately 6-8 weeks of age, arrived near death, unable to stand or walk from such severe dehydration and starvation. Zoo vets found her starvation was so advanced, her body was consuming its own muscle mass. After six days of continuous IV fluids containing essential electrolytes and minerals, and round-the-clock bottle-feedings by Zoo veterinary staff, she began walking and showing signs of life. Vet staff joyously reports she is now regularly eating solid foods, showing spunky personality, and even ‘playing’ with her enrichment.

ZooBorns featured the story of the first two rescued cubs in an article from mid-December: Oakland Zoo Cares for Mountain Lion Orphans”.

As determined by the CDFW, these three cubs cannot be released back in to the wild once their rehabilitation is complete, they would have no chance of survival. Unfortunately, they need their mothers to be effectively taught to hunt and survive. In the wild, even when the mother is present, the survival rate of Mountain Lion cubs is slim. Mountain Lions are becoming critically endangered in the California, often struck by cars or shot when seen as a threat in encroaching urban areas and developments. Oakland Zoo partners with the conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to try and help conserve the species in the wild.

“Mountain Lion cubs need up to two years with their mom in order to learn how to survive and thrive. Human survival training is not possible. The Bay Area Puma Project supports Oakland Zoo’s efforts to care for Pumas that cannot be released into the wild,” said Zara McDonald, Executive Director of the Bay Area Puma Project.

Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, an alliance with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help support the CDFW save Mountain Lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict.

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4_Being examined byDr. Parrott at Oakland Zoo vet hospitalPhoto Credits: Monica Fox (Images 1-3) / Oakland Zoo 

Yet unnamed, the newest kitten seems to be thriving in the past several days. Upon arrival, Zoo vet staff began treating her in the ICU with nine daily and overnight bottle-feedings of KMR (kitten milk replacer formula), grooming her with a soft cloth to mimic a mother’s tongue, and monitoring her progress constantly. She is now eating solid food. Her favorite stew is a combination of raw meat from Primal Pet Foods, chicken baby food, frozen mice that is warmed, and cod.

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Oakland Zoo Cares for Mountain Lion Orphans

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In cooperation with the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Feline Conservation Center, Oakland Zoo has taken in two orphaned Mountain Lion cubs. The cubs were found separately in Orange County, two weeks apart from each other. Due to their ages and geographic proximity to each other when rescued, Oakland Zoo veterinarians will conduct DNA testing to determine if they are, in fact, siblings.

An adult female Mountain Lion was struck and killed by a motorist in the area of the cubs’ rescues, leading to the conjecture that the cubs may have belonged to her and were separated as a result of her tragic death.

In response to a situation such as this, Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, in partnership with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help save Mountain Lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict with the CDFW.

"The Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas are the most at-risk in the nation, equal to the Florida Panther in terms of the uncertainty around their survival. Orphaned kittens represent the death of a mother lions, and this isolated Orange County population cannot afford the loss. It will take protection of habitat and wildlife corridors, depredation prevention efforts, and enhancements of Southern California freeways to allow the Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas and Orange County to survive. The two orphaned kittens at the Oakland Zoo are evidence of that need," said Lynn Cullens, Executive Director of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

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2_Mountain Lion Cub 20171211 -5Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo

Both cubs are male and estimated to be 3-4 months old and weigh close to 30 lbs. They were found approximately 15 miles apart in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita.

The first was discovered in a resident’s backyard, and the second, approximately two weeks later, on the roadside. Residents reported the cub sightings and CDFW was contacted. The cubs were initially cared for by the Feline Conservation Center in Lake Forest before being brought to Oakland Zoo where they are currently being quarantined, given medical attention and cared for by the Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.

The second male cub arrived at Oakland Zoo on Monday and is doing very well. Zookeepers describe him as ‘feisty’ compared to his counterpart, who is more shy and cautious. Mountain Lions are new to Oakland Zoo, and these two cubs and the events that led them to need a ‘forever home’ will serve as educational ambassadors at Oakland Zoo’s upcoming 56-acre California Trail expansion, opening in June 2018.

“It is an honor to provide a forever home for these young Mountain Lions, and honor their lives further by working to help conserve their wild counterparts. We have a lot of work to do to better protect and conserve pumas, from proper education to establishing wildlife crossings and proper enclosures for pets and livestock. Oakland Zoo will continue to work in our BACAT Alliance with CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bay Area Puma Project, Mountain Lion Foundation to inspire our community to both understand and take action for our precious local lion,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.

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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

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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.

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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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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

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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!

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10469068_10154419886380228_8583844285846561387_oPhoto credit: Dannielle Stith


Otter Pup Trio Makes a Splash at Oakland Zoo

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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). 

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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.

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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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Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo


New Giraffe Baby Debuts at Oakland Zoo

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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.

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Photo credit: Nancy Filippi/Oakland Zoo