Ostrava Zoo

Dedicated Keepers Help Elephant Calf at Ostrava Zoo

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Keepers at Ostrava Zoo in the Czech Republic are working hard to help care for an Indian Elephant calf born on February 4. The male calf, the second offspring born to 17 year-old mother Vishesh, should have started nursing within the first 24 hours of his birth, but he does not seem to have developed the sucking reflex he needs.  Keepers at the zoo are working to keep the calf nourished and to encourage him to nurse from his mother. 

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Photo credit: Zoo Ostrava

See a video of mother and calf:

Zoo keepers managed to carefully separate the calf from his mother for a short period of time to feed him a daily dose of elephant milk substitute through tubing. Then the calf was returned to his mother. The process is risky for caregivers because the mother elephant is very protective. The tubing must be inserted and removed with great care and skill. Zoo staff hope to do the best for the calf, but must also take their own safety into consideration. They have also tried to encourage the calf to nurse on his own. 

The elephants are being monitored by cameras as well as by two overnight caretakers, who stay on hand to keep an eye on the calf's progress. 

See more photos after the fold.

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It's a Boy! Baby Hippo Born at Zoo Ostrava

Hippo hero

This healthy baby Hippo was born at the Czech Republic's Ostrava Zoo on June 3. The first weeks of a little Hippo's life is mostly spent in the water but then it takes its first trips on the shore. This is mostly done with mom to look for food, but it is also a chance to explore its surroundings. During one of these kinds of on-land trips, zoo staff had a chance to determine the baby's sex -- and it's a boy! Since then, he has gotten stronger and much heavier. 

Hippo bums

Hippo side

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Photo Credit: Zoo Ostrava

His mother, 36-year-old Katka, is quite experienced, having already raised 10 babies. His father is Honza, a 46-year-old who is the oldest hippo father in Europe! In total, Ostrava Zoo has reared 18 Hippo offspring throughout its history -- this newest baby boy is the nineteenth. 

This little piggy is one of 17 born at Ostrava Zoo


Two Mangalitza sows at the Czech Republic’s Ostrava Zoo gave birth to their first litters of piglets in late June.  Because the Ostrava Zoo only maintains female Mangalitza Pigs, the sows had been sent to the Vyskov Zoo in January, where they spent three months with a boar.  The result:  17 piglets!  One sow delivered ten piglets; the other seven.  These were the first litters for each sow.

Mangalitza Pigs, which originated in Hungary, are also known as curly-haired hogs due to their long, fleecy coat.  Once widely bred for their lard, Mangalitza pigs are now regarded as a rare breed. 



Photo Credits:  Ostrava Zoo

She Likes Pink: First Baby Elephant in Czech and Slovak Zoos


An Asian Elephant female named Rashmi was born on April 12, 2011 in Ostrava Zoo in the Czech Republic. She is the first ever elephant baby reared in Czech and Slovak zoos! Mom Joht is 44 years old and Calvin, the father, is 25 years old.

Baby Rashmi - which means "ray of light“- is very curious and self-confident, as proven by her recent efforts to start exploring the world around her. She even occasionally dares to leave her mother to go short distances when in the outdoor enclosure. Her first attempts to to hold and carry objects with her trunk is improving.



Photo Credit: Pavel Vlcek/Ostrava Zoo

One of Rashmi's favorite activities is bathing and chasing a ball. Both these toys bring Rashmi a lot of joy. She especially seems to like her pink baby pool.


"The fact, that the elephant rearing in Ostrava Zoo is succesful after almost 80 years of elephant breeding in former Czechoslovakia, is obviously a great success. It is the result of the long time effort and work of whole team of enthusiastic people, hundreds of negotiations, consultations and longlasting preparations.“ says Petr Čolas, director of Ostrava Zoo. Rashmi is the best known and most popular baby in the Czech Republicat the moment.