Zoo Miami Welcomes New Litter of Warthogs


Zoo Miami is proud to announce the birth of four Warthogs!

The two males and two females were born on June 29, and they recently had their first neonatal exam. The exam confirmed their sex and helped to insure that they have an excellent start in life. The preliminary report was that all four piglets appeared to be healthy and are developing well.



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The four-year-old mother is from the Indianapolis Zoo, and the four-year-old father is from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This is the second litter of for both parents, but it is the third successful birth of Warthogs at Zoo Miami, with the first one occurring back in 1995.

The mother will remain off exhibit with her piglets for an undetermined amount of time to insure that they have bonded properly and are well acclimated to their surroundings prior to going on public display.

Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) are found through much of sub-Saharan Africa. Though not naturally aggressive, these wild pigs are quite capable of protecting themselves with large, powerful tusks, which they normally use to tear up the ground in search of roots and grubs and to establish dominance between them.

Males develop considerably larger tusks than the females. The name Warthog is a bit misleading because the protrusions that come out of the sides of the head are not actual warts but rather fatty, granular tissue.







Rare Visayan Spotted Deer Born at Edinburgh Zoo


A Visayan Spotted Deer, which is believed to be one of the rarest mammals in the world, has been born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.

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The latest arrival will join the conservation breeding program aimed at safeguarding this endangered species, which is thought to be extinct in over 95% of its native habitat.

The male fawn, which is yet to be named by keepers, was born in early June and has been delighting visitors as he enjoys exploring his enclosure. The youngster will stay close to his mother, Summer, for around six months before becoming more independent.

Karen Stiven, senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “It is very exciting to have a fawn born at the zoo. The Visayan Spotted Deer is facing severe threats from intensive hunting and land clearing for agriculture.”

Found only on the Visayan islands in the Philippines, the species is thought to be one of the most narrowly distributed mammals on the planet, with possibly just a few hundred remaining in the wild.

“This makes each addition to the breeding programme a positive step towards a genetically stable population, which may need to be introduced to the wild in the future,” said Stiven.

Rare Przewalski's Foal Adds to Breeding Success

The staff at Australia’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo is delighted by the birth of a male Przewalski’s Horse foal born on May 25.

This is the fourth foal for experienced mother Genghis, who is taking motherhood in her stride.

Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo


“The foal has been named Khan, as a tribute to his mother,” said keeper Jack Foley. “So far we couldn’t be happier with how both mother and foal are doing. Khan is staying close to his mother and is still finding his place in the herd. He can often be spotted sleeping in the sun during the day.”

“Khan is the second new arrival to the herd this year, with a filly named Dash born on January 1. As Khan grows he will interact more with Dash and no doubt we’ll see them galloping around the paddock together.”

“Genghis is a very relaxed, easy going mother and has been a pillar of the breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with two of her four foals having already bred, carrying on this important genetic line to another generation.”

“At the moment Khan has quite a woolly looking coat however, as winter passes and the weather starts to warm up he will start to shed this layer,” said Jack.

Khan was born just before the July 3 opening of the new Wild Herds exhibit. Wild Herds is a newly redeveloped area that will showcase the Przewalski’s Horse and Taronga’s successful breeding program for this species and its role in helping to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

The Przewalski’s Horse is classified as Endangered, but they were once extinct in the wild and lived only in zoos. Prior to reintroduction programs Przewalski’s Horses were last seen in the wild in the Gobi Desert, in south Mongolia. Their numbers dwindled as a result of human interference such as poaching and capture. Today, their main threats are habitat loss and low genetic diversity.

New Orangutan a First for Virginia Zoo

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The Virginia Zoo is celebrating their first Bornean Orangutan birth!

Mom, Dara, gave birth to her baby just before midnight on June 22, behind the scenes in her indoor den. This is the first offspring for both 18-year-old Dara and her 15-year-old mate, Solaris.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the news of our new orangutan baby,” said Greg Bockheim, the Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “I’m proud of our Zoo Keepers and Vet Team who have been prepping, training and waiting for this moment for months, and now their hard work has paid off. It’s a big success to contribute this significant birth to the Zoo community and the critically endangered species as a whole,” Bockheim added.

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Photo 3 Virginia Zoo Baby OrangutanPhoto Credits: Virginia Zoo

Since Dara had her baby in her den, staff has decided to keep them indoors to let mom and baby bond without interruption.

The exact weight and sex of the baby have not yet been determined. Staff will not intervene or separate the baby from Dara unless an issue arises where the baby needs assistance and veterinary attention.

“Dara is doing a great job caring for her newborn,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “The pair spend their time nursing, resting and snuggling in their den,” Clabbers added.

An Orangutan infant is completely dependent on the mother until at least two years old, typically nursing for several more years beyond that age. Offspring tend to stay close to their mothers for up to 10 years or more.

With the newborn, the Zoo now has five Orangutans: Dara and her baby, Solaris, 38-year-old female Pepper and 36-year-old male Schnitz.

Tune into the Zoo’s social media accounts for updates and information regarding its name in the coming weeks.

The species originates in tropical and swamp forests in Asia, specifically on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The origin of the word “Orangutan” is from Malay and Indonesian words, meaning “Person of the Forest.” These arboreal primates are relatively large and stand between 3 and 4.5 feet tall, and can weigh up to 220 pounds. They are widely known for their vibrant, orange-colored hair. Both Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans are classified by the IUCN as “Critically Endangered”.

L.A. Zoo Welcomes Lovely Masai Giraffe Calf

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The Los Angeles Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe calf!  Born on May 15 to mother, Hasina, and father, Phillip, the currently unnamed calf weighed in at 176 pounds and stood at around six feet tall.

This is the nine-year-old mother’s fourth calf and the six-year-old father’s third offspring. Hasina and Phillip were paired together through a Species Survival Plan (SSP) program that breeds Masai Giraffes in order to ensure the survival of a species that is threatened in the wild.

“She is one of the largest calves we’ve had born at the L.A. Zoo since I started working here in 2005,” said Mike Bona, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “It is great timing that she was born before World Giraffe Day [June 21]. Not only does her birth help continue the Zoo’s efforts in its giraffe breeding program, but it also gives us an opportunity to educate guests on giraffe conservation and the current threats that the species faces in the wild.”

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4_Female Giraffe Calf Photo by Jamie Pham 3Photo Credits: Los Angeles Zoo/Jamie Pham

Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, and Masai Giraffes can grow up to 17 feet tall and weigh 2,700 pounds. The largest of the nine subspecies of giraffe, Masai Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchii) are found in East Africa, namely southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Giraffes are currently categorized as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. Their populations are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal hunting, and disease.

Guests to the L.A. Zoo can visit the calf and her giraffe herd during Zoo hours, weather permitting. When observing the calf bonding with the herd, be sure to check out the Zoo’s giraffe feedings. This interactive experience allows guests to get up close and personal with the adult Masai Giraffes while feeding them their favorite greens and learning fun facts about the herd from Zoo education staff.

*Giraffe feedings take place twice daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are $5 per person with paid Zoo admission. Tickets can be purchased (cash only) at the giraffe exhibit. Giraffe feedings are subject to weather-related changes, especially on rainy days.

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Cotswold Celebrates Birth of Wolverine Kits


Cotswold Wildlife Park is now home to three new Wolverine kits. After spending approximately nine weeks hidden away in their underground den, the triplets are beginning to venture out and explore their new woodland enclosure under the watchful eye of parents, Sarka and Sharapova.

The Park made history in 2012 as the first collection in the UK to successfully breed Wolverines (Gulo gulo) in captivity. These new arrivals are Sarka and Sharapova’s third litter and are testament to the Park’s excellent European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

Breeding is notoriously difficult with this species, so the youngsters are encouraging news for future generations. The triplets are the only Wolverine births in the UK this year - with just five other European zoological collections having successfully bred this species in 2018 (the breeding season is now over).


3_35694831_10160610994715014_2143958497757233152_oPhoto Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park/ Jackie Thomas (Image 2)

Keepers were unsure exactly how many kits had been born until mother, Sharapova, started bringing the youngsters out of the den.

Jamie Craig, Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park and member of the EEP committee for Wolverines, commented, “Once the female enters her den, we are pretty confident that the kits have arrived. She is an excellent mother, only leaving the kits for very brief periods to eat and drink. Once the kits are old enough, she will allow them out to investigate their surroundings but always under her vigilant eye. We were delighted to be the first UK collection to breed this species and, in many ways, it is even more rewarding to repeat our success for a third time.”

Females have a reproductive strategy known as embryonic diapause, or delayed implantation. The embryo does not immediately implant in the uterus, but is maintained in a state of dormancy which allows pregnant females to fine-tune births and wait for the best possible conditions. Reproduction is hugely energetically expensive for any animal. If the environmental conditions aren’t able to support a female through the intense periods of pregnancy and nursing, it makes little sense to put energy into giving birth to young that may not survive. Diapause can last up to ten months in Wolverines. In the wild, when females are ready to give birth, they excavate long, complex snow tunnels for reproduction dens. They give birth to kits and shelter them from predation and harsh weather until weaning time. Newborns are altricial and covered in white fur with a pungent waxy substance on their pelage. This acts as a great defense against predators while the kits are vulnerable. Males do not assist in the rearing of young.

Recent studies have yielded important new insights into the nature of the Wolverine’s ecological niche. Unfortunately, these findings don’t bode well for the species’ future as the planet – and particularly the Arctic – continues to warm. Wolverine researcher, K. B. Aubry, warned: “The Wolverine may be second only to the Polar Bear in its sensitivity to global warming”.

In America, this species once roamed across the northern tier of the United States and as far south as New Mexico in the Rockies. They are facing local extinction due to climate change and habitat loss. Approximately 300 individuals are believed to exist in the lower 48 states of America. In 2016, after a 20-year battle to protect these reclusive animals, the United States District Court for Montana finally granted the Wolverine the designation of a threatened species.

Meet Daisy the Baby Mountain Goat


A 2-year-old Mountain Goat, Bluebelle, gave birth Saturday, June 16, to a female kid at Woodland Park Zoo. The last birth of a Mountain Goat at the zoo was in 1995.
The zoo’s animal health staff performed a neonatal exam Sunday on the new Goat, which was named Daisy by the zoo staff. According to Dr. Tim Storms, associate veterinarian at Woodland Park Zoo, Daisy weighed 10 pounds and appears healthy, with good body condition and a strong suckling reflex. Lab tests indicate that she has been successfully nursing and received colostrum from Bluebelle.
“So far we’re seeing attentive maternal care by first-time mom Bluebelle. Nursing sessions are regular and mom and her newborn are bonding,” said Deanna DeBo, an animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo.

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The new kid is the first offspring for Bluebelle and dad Albert. Albert moved in April to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs to help increase genetic representation of the species in accredited zoos.

Bluebelle and Daisy’s zoo habitat replicates the rocky crags and ledges that these animals would encounter in their native range in the mountainous northwestern United States and Canada.  The zoo’s award-winning Northern Trail exhibit features other animals that have adapted to the cold, rugged regions of the north including Grizzlies, Snowy Owls, Wolves, Elk and Steller’s Sea Eagles.

Rocky Mountain Goats naturally range from southern Alaska, Canada, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Transplanted populations now live in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota and Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Remarkably adapted for life on steep mountain ledges, Mountain Goats live, sleep, and eat at elevations of 10,000 feet and up. They are well-adapted to extremely harsh conditions such as snowy slopes with pitches above 60 degrees, winds up to 100 mph, snow drifts of 30–60 feet high and temperatures reaching minus 50 degrees F.
A Mountain Goat’s incredible adaptations allow it to live high above potential predators such as Mountain Lions, Bears or Wolverines. The only predator that lives above the timberline is the Golden Eagle which might attack a newborn or very young Goat.
Woodland Park Zoo supports the conservation of Mountain Goats and other Cascadia wildlife through the Living Northwest suite.

Critically Endangered Wild Ass Born at Zoo Miami


Zoo Miami celebrated the birth of a critically endangered Somali Wild Ass on June 16. The foal was born to 10-year-old dad Hakim and 13-year-old mom Stella. 

The unnamed foal, the 8th born at Zoo Miami, is now in the zoo’s exhibit habitat with Stella and seems to be integrating well into the small herd.  A neonatal exam determined that the foal is a male and appears healthy, weighing 46 pounds.

18Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

Somali Wild Asses are the world’s most critically endangered Asses with less than 1,000 believed to still exist in the rugged, rocky deserts of eastern Africa.  This species is the last remaining ancestor of the modern Donkey and is the smallest of the wild Equids. Adults weigh approximately 500 pounds and mares typically give birth to a single foal after an 11-month gestation. 

Somali Wild Asses are characterized by a smooth gray coat and striped legs, which are a clue to their close relationship to zebras.

Zoo Miami began exhibiting the highly endangered Somali Wild Ass in 2011.  All the adult animals are on loan from the San Diego Wild Animal Park and arrived here as part of a carefully planned breeding program designed to maintain healthy populations of these extremely rare animals for generations to come.  

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Little, ‘Fierce’ Wildcat Kittens Help Their Species

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Two rare Scottish Wildcats, born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo, may help provide a lifeline for the iconic species.

The kittens will join a conservation breeding programme, which it is hoped will save the species from extinction in the wild through future reintroductions.

David Barclay, RZSS cat conservation project officer, said, “Scottish Wildcats are facing severe threats due to cross-breeding with domestic and feral cats, disease transfer and accidental persecution.”

“Wildcat populations have suffered a sharp decline in Scotland in recent decades with studies suggesting there may be as few as 115 Scottish Wildcats left in the wild, making them one of the UK’s most endangered mammals. Our conservation breeding programme and work with partners in Scottish Wildcat Action, the national conservation project, is therefore vital.”

David continued, “Every birth is a potential lifeline and improves the chances of a genetically healthy population that can act as a source for future wildcat release.”

Born in April, the kittens have recently started to emerge from their den and explore their habitat.

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4_Wildcatkitten_rzss 8Photo Credits: RZSS/Siân Addison

Although some similarities with domestic tabby cats exist, the two are not to be confused. The Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris) is the same species of wildcat found in continental Europe, but it has been separate since the end of the last ice age, around 9,000 years ago.

Males of the species are around 3.77–7.26 kg (8.3–16.0 lb), while females are smaller at 2.35–4.68 kg (5.2–10.3 lb). Scottish Wildcats have heavier skulls than domestic cats. They also have a larger body size. Their coats are distinctive, solid-striped tabby patterning without white feet. The tail is thick with a black, blunt tip and thick black stripes.

RZSS is a key partner in Scottish Wildcat Action, the first national project to save the highly threatened species from extinction. Scottish Wildcat Action brings together more than 20 other organisations in the conservation, scientific and land management communities, supported by Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Learn more at: http://www.scottishwildcataction.org/about-us/#overview

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Female Elephant Calf Celebrated as Breeding Success

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Taronga is thrilled to announce the birth of an Asian Elephant calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

The healthy female calf was born in the zoo’s elephant barn on June 14 to mother Porntip, and was sired by Perth Zoo’s bull, Putra Mas, via artificial insemination in late 2016. The birth sees a new genetic bloodline created in the Australasian region’s Asian Elephant population.

“The fact that this calf is a female, and heralds the beginning of a new genetic blood line for the wider Asian Elephant conservation and breeding program, is a great achievement,” said Taronga Director and CEO, Cameron Kerr.

“I’m delighted to report that mother and calf are doing well and veterinarians are happy with the calf’s progress at this early stage.”

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4_elephant calf dubbo 2Photo Credits: Taronga Conservation Society Australia

The calf was standing on its own within the first hour and is now suckling from mother Porntip.

“We are absolutely delighted by the arrival of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s second Asian Elephant calf. Experienced mother Porntip is doing a wonderful job and the keepers and veterinary staff are to be commended for their dedication and hard work, ensuring such a successful outcome. Every birth is so important for this endangered species and helps to secure their future,” said Zoo Director, Steve Hinks.

Keepers and vets monitored Porntip throughout the labor and birth of the calf, with staff staying overnight at the elephant barn for the past week to keep a close eye on her.

“Everything went to plan with the birthing process. Porntip and the calf are doing well and are spending time together in the elephant barn and behind the scenes paddock. Porntip is a very maternal elephant and already we are pleased with the attentive and nurturing behavior we are observing,” said Elephant Keeper, Bradd Johnston.

“Porntip gave birth to her first calf, Pathi Harn at Taronga Zoo in 2010 and has since been a very supportive and caring aunty to Sabai here in Dubbo,” said Bradd.

Taronga has now welcomed six elephant calves, across both Zoos, since the breeding program commenced 12 years ago, with four calves born in Sydney and two at Dubbo.

This successful breeding program is just one aspect of Taronga’s work in conserving this species. Taronga is working in the field with governments and conservation agencies in Asia to turn around the decline of Asian Elephants. Taronga also funds wildlife protection units and ranger stations in Thailand and Sumatra to help suppress elephant poaching.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is now home to nine Asian Elephants, following the arrival of bull Gung in early 2018 and now Porntip’s calf in June 2018.

Mother and calf will be given further time to bond behind-the-scenes before making their public debut, and the Zoo will soon be announcing a competition to help choose a name for the calf.

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