Zebra Foal Has Eventful First Day on Earth

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On the afternoon of September 5, visitors of BIOPARC Valencia were fortunate enough to witness the birth of a Zebra foal.

Amazingly, just a few minutes after the birth, that moment of joy was replaced by one of anguish when the newborn colt accidentally fell into the small body of water in the Zebra exhibit. Keepers quickly entered the water and saved the baby. The newborn was delivered to the anxious mother, while the crowd of zoo patrons responded with applause.

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4_BIOPARC Valencia - septiembre 2018Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia 

The new foal and mom, La Niña, are doing well. Keepers report that the little Zebra instinctively follows his protective mother.

La Niña arrived at BIOPARC Valencia in 2007 from the Halle Zoo (Germany) and the new colt’s father, Zambé, was transferred from Safari de Peaugres (France) in 2012.

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Wallaby Joey Trio Moves Into Their New Home

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A Red-necked Wallaby joey was photographed out with her keeper on September 4, just before exploring her new home at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s newest exhibit: “Walkabout Australia”.

The almost 11-month-old Wallaby is one of three joeys—Laura, Thelma and Tatum—who’ve finally settled into their grassy habitat at Walkabout Australia after weeks of commuting back and forth from their previous home at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center, where they were hand raised.

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Wallaby_001_LGPhoto Credits: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Global

The joeys currently stand over 20 inches tall and weigh between 9 and 13 pounds each. When full grown, Wallaby females can weigh between 26 and 35 pounds and reach a length of up to 3 feet from head to tail.

Animal care staff continues to bottle-feed the trio three times a day, but they will be gradually reducing the amount until the joeys are completely weaned by the end of October.

Guests visiting the Safari Park can see the Wallaby joeys in Walkabout Australia—an immersive, interactive experience that allows guests to discover the wildlife and habitats of the Land Down Under, and learn how Australia’s one-of-a-kind species interact with humans who share their world.


Summer Baby Boom at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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There’s been a late summer baby boom at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, eliciting lots of “oohs and aahs” from visitors of all ages.

Among the new baby animals that can be seen at the Park, there’s a Greater One-horned Rhino calf, named Tio, who was born on July 9 to mom, Tanaya.

Also, a male Giraffe calf, named Kumi, was born August 6, and a handsome male African Elephant was born August 12 and has been named Umzula-zuli.

A young Scimitar Horned Oryx can be seen sticking close to his mom at the Park, and a one-month-old Grevy’s Zebra foal enjoys sunning with mom.

San Diego Safari Park visitors may see the baby animals and all the Safari Park has to offer from an African Tram Safari, a Caravan Safari or private Cart Safari.

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4_BabiesOryx_007_LGPhoto Credits: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Global

Since 1969, more than 37,600 animals have been born at the Safari Park, including 23,000 mammals, 12,800 birds, 1,500 amphibians and 40 reptiles. The Safari Park’s successful breeding programs help conserve numerous species, many of which are threatened or endangered, like the Scimitar Horned Oryx.

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Shy Okapi Calf Arrives at Zoo Tampa

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ZooTampa at Lowry Park welcomed a female Okapi calf on August 21. The calf was born to parents Betty and Zach who arrived at the zoo in 2006 and are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a program designed to create sustainable, genetically diverse populations of rare animals. The baby Okapi’s birth draws much-needed attention to this little-known, endangered species.

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Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 2Photo Credit: Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park



Betty’s prenatal care included regular ultrasounds, a high-calorie diet and, and for the first time in this species, a milk-testing method used in Horses and Rhinos to predict Betty’s calving date.

“By increasing Betty’s prenatal care, we saw physical changes that predicted calving,” Dr. Ray Ball, D.V.M., vice president of medical sciences and senior veterinarian at ZooTampa said. “This included a dramatic change in her mammary glands and her hindquarters getting softer in preparation for the birth. The milk sampling also allowed us to determine her milk was good quality and helped us evaluate Betty’s overall health.”

Although Okapi are shy by nature, Betty is quite comfortable with zookeepers and allowed them to collect milk samples used in the testing. Zookeepers often build strong bonds with the animals they care for which enables higher quality of care for each individual animal.

Okapi (pronounced oh-COP-ee) are the only living relatives of Giraffes and are found only in the remote Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Studying Okapi is a challenge due to their remote location and ongoing conflict in the region.

Their zebra-striped legs provide camouflage within the forest’s dense greenery.  “As a natural defense against predators, Okapi mothers hide their calves away in nests. The calf will spend its time in the nest leaving only to nurse,” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

Conservationists estimate that 10,000 – 35,000 Okapi live within protected reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Due to human encroachment and hunting, Okapi numbers are declining. The International Union for the Conservation of nature (IUCN) lists Okapi as Endangered.

ZooTampa participates in the Okapi Conservation Project, an international effort to protect the species from extinction, as part of its mission to protect and conserve endangered and threatened wildlife.






Rub-a-dub-dub, A Pygmy Hippo In The Tub

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A Pygmy Hippo calf born at The Toronto Zoo on August 10 is already hugely popular thanks to videos shared by her care team that show her climbing, snuggling, taking a bath, and being generally adorable.

Born to mom Kindia and dad Harvey, the female calf is the first to be born at the zoo in more than 20 years. Pygmy Hippos are pregnant for 180-210 days. So far, Kindia is being an excellent mom and the calf nurses from her regularly. Pygmy Hippo calves nurse for six to eight months, and they begin eating solid foods around two to four months of age.

The calf has not yet been named.

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At birth, Pygmy Hippos weigh about 10 – 14 pounds. This little calf is gaining weight steadily, and already weighed more than 25 pounds at three weeks of age. Adults weigh 400-600 pounds.

Each morning, the baby gets a bath so she can get clean and become acclimated to water, which is where adult hippos spend much of their time. Her care team notes that she rolls over in the tub and even blows bubbles. Even when it’s not officially bathtime, the calf sneaks in a little soak by climbing into her water dish for a quick dip.

Kindia and her calf are currently living in a private maternity habitat and are not visible to the public. This allows mother and baby time to bond and for the care team to maintain a close eye on the new arrival.

This birth is very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Only 2,000-3,000 remain in West Africa’s forests, with most of that population in Liberia. Small numbers are also found in Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. 

Over the past 100 years, Pygmy Hippo habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming, and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

Kindia arrived at the Toronto Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Fleche in Sarthe, France in 2016 as part of a global breeding program. The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and to support conservation efforts to save this incredible species.

“Partnering with our colleagues by bringing Kindia over from France to mate with our male Hippo has allowed us to strengthen the genetics of the global population,” said Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo.  


Lucky Zebra Born on Friday the 13th

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Keepers at Cotswold Wildlife Park are thankful for a fortunate event that occurred on a traditionally unlucky day-- Friday the 13th! They discovered that their Chapman’s Zebra mare, Stella, had given birth to a foal. This is her fourth baby with stallion, SpongeBob, and it is the breeding pairs’ first female foal.

Keepers enlisted the help of fans and supporters to select a name for the energetic new filly, and the name ‘Luna’ was chosen!

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, commented, “For once, Friday the 13th proved very lucky. The foal was up and about very quickly and despite a distinct lack of coordination, was soon dashing around the paddock. Luckily for her, she was able to enjoy the benefits of a rare hot British summer and continues to go from strength to strength.”

Visitors to the Park can now see the youngster in the Zebra enclosure, opposite the Rhino paddock.

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4_Zebra foal 2018 Cotswold Wildlife Park (photo credit Jackie Thomas) (10)Photo Credits: Jackie Thomas/Cotswold Wildlife Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park has been home to these iconic African animals since 1976. Their first Chapman’s Zebra (Equus quagga chapmani) arrived at the Burford collection in 1978, eight years after the Park first opened to the public on Good Friday, 27th March 1970. This latest arrival marks the forty-fifth Chapman’s Zebra birth - a testament to the Park’s successful breeding programme.

The gestation period for a Zebra is approximately twelve months. Females give birth to a single foal. Soon after birth, they are able to stand up and walk. During the first few weeks of life, the mother is very protective. The foal recognizes its mother by her call, her scent and her stripe pattern. The mare’s protectiveness ensures that the foal will not imprint on another animal. The mare will suckle her foal throughout and beyond his first year and their bond is an incredibly strong one.

Zebras are the only wild horses that remain plentiful in their natural range in the African plains. They are related to the now extinct Quagga (a cross between a Zebra and a horse) of which millions were killed, many simply for sport. Some were transported to zoos where breeding was thought unnecessary, as it was believed numbers weren’t a concern in the wild. Sadly, the last Quagga died in Amsterdam Zoo on 12th August 1883.

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Greater Rhea Chicks First of Kind to Hatch

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The Calgary Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of two Greater Rhea chicks. The yet unnamed chicks emerged August 3 and 5 and are the first of their kind to hatch at the Zoo.

“Within Greater Rhea flocks, the males take on the dominant parenting role, by building nests, incubating eggs and caring for the newly hatched chicks,” says Colleen Baird, General Curator, Calgary Zoo. “Our male, Jekyll has been doing an amazing job and we are so pleased to be able to contribute to this threatened bird species.”

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The Greater Rhea is flightless and the largest bird in South America. Related to the Ostrich and Emu, they are classified as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN and are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to ensure genetic diversity and safeguard a species-at-risk population.

In the wild, Rhea populations are declining due to hunting, habitat loss and fragmentation. Conservation efforts are focusing on illegal trade and protecting the birds’ remaining natural habitat.


Sumatran Tiger Quad Born at Tierpark Berlin

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Since August 4, Tierpark Berlin gained some stripes. Sumatran Tiger parents, Mayang and Harfan, welcomed four cubs. Seven-year-old Mayang gave birth to two females and two males. The Zoo expects them to be spending most of their time with mom for the next few months, but keepers anticipate the new family will be on exhibit in late October.

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The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) population in the Indonesian island of Sumatra was listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List in 2008. The population was estimated at 441 to 679 individuals, with no subpopulation larger than 50 individuals and a declining trend.

"For animal species which are so threatened or endangered like the Sumatran Tiger, of course, every young a special gift," said Zoo Director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem. "We are delighted to be able to make such an important contribution to the preservation of an entire way."

Harfan and Mayang arrived at Tierpark Berlin on loan from the Republic of Indonesia. Sumatran Tigers have made their home at Tierpark Berlin since 1956.


Woodland Park Zoo's Red Panda Sisters Given Names

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The results are in! Names have been chosen for Woodland Park Zoo’s Red Panda sisters.

The first fuzzy cub is now known as Zeya (ZAY-uh), meaning “success” in Burmese, and the second cub has been named Ila (EE-la), meaning “earth” in Sanskrit.

Zeya’s name was chosen by more than 1,600 participants in online voting between three names selected by the zookeepers. Ila’s name was chosen by the Rosauer family (longtime friends and of the zoo).

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Unnamed (2)Photo Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The Red Panda cubs, like many of the zoo’s other animals, were named to honor the land that they are native to. Red Pandas are indigenous to the Himalayan mountain region that includes parts of Nepal, Myanmar, China and northern regions of India. “Zeya” is derived from the Burmese language, which is the official language of Myanmar. “Ila” can be translated as “earth” and comes from the ancient Sanskrit language from which many modern languages spoken in India are derived.

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Rhino Calf is Cleveland's Seventh

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed a its second Eastern Black Rhino calf of the year on Ausut 20. The calf joins 25-year-old mom Inge, dad Forrest, aunt Kibibbi and 7-month-old calf Lulu.

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Unnamed (4)Photo Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Both Inge and her calf are doing well and have been under constant watch by the Zoo's animal care team. In order to stimulate the mother-calf bond, Inge and the calf will not be visible to the public for a period of time. This is the fifth calf for Inge, who is also the mother to Kibibbi and the grandmother to Lulu.
 
“We’re very excited to welcome our second Eastern Black Rhino calf born here at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo this year,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Christopher Kuhar, PhD. “We hope these significant births inspire guests to learn more about this critically endangered species and how they can help protect Eastern Black Rhinos in the wild.”
 
Alongside the birth, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will soon debut a new Rhino Cam, allowing viewers to peek into the Rhino yard 24/7. Inge and her calf are not yet in the Rhino yard, but should move into the habitat in a few weeks when the calf is strong enough.

This calf is the seventh Eastern Black Rhino born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and is an important one for the species. Less than 750 Eastern Black Rhinos remain in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $7.5 million to wildlife conservation efforts around the world.