Long-Awaited Anteater Pup at Nashville Zoo

1_Praim's Baby Girl - 2017 - Margarita Colburn4

A Giant Anteater pup was recently born at the Nashville Zoo. The female arrived on October 22, and she is the first of her kind born at the Zoo since 2011.

The pup, named Isabel, has been under the careful attention of mom, Praim. According to sources, Isabel weighed-in at three pounds and was around 26 inches at birth.

2_Praim's Baby Girl - 2017 - Margarita Colburn3

3_Praim's Baby Girl - 2017 - Margarita Colburn2Photo Credits: Nashville Zoo / Margarita Woc Colburn, DVM

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the ‘ant bear’, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is classified with Sloths in the order Pilosa.

The species is mostly terrestrial and is the largest of its family. It is especially recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, and long fore claws. Adults can grow to a total length of around 7 feet and a maximum weight of around 90 pounds.

The Giant Anteater can be found in grasslands and rainforests. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them.

They are mostly solitary, except during mother-offspring relationships. Giant anteaters can mate throughout the year. Gestation lasts around 190 days and ends with the birth of a single pup, which typically weighs around 1.4 kg (3.1 lb). Females give birth standing upright.

Pups are born with eyes closed and begin to open them after six days. The mother carries its pup on its back for the first few months. The pup's black and white band aligns with its mother's, camouflaging it. The young communicate with their mothers with sharp whistles and use their tongues during nursing. After three months, the pup begins to eat solid food and is fully weaned by ten months. The mother grooms her offspring during rest periods lasting up to an hour. Grooming peaks during the first three months and declines as the young reaches nine months of age. Young Anteaters usually become independent by nine or ten months.

The Giant Anteater is currently listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has been extirpated from many parts of its former range, including nearly all of Central America. Threats to its survival include: habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur and bush meat.


Endangered Ducklings Hatch at Auckland Zoo

1_20A6699

A paddling of Whio Ducks has hatched at Auckland Zoo! These special ducklings are the first Whio born at the New Zealand facility in five years, and as part of their breed-for-release programme, they are destined for life at a beautiful North Island river.

Over the next eight weeks, as they continue to grow, they will eventually head to a duckling ‘boot-camp’ at a Department of Conservation facility in Turangi. There they will build up their muscles and learn to fly, which will prepare them for a new life in the wild. In 2002 Auckland Zoo successfully released eleven Whio chicks.

3_20A6847
3_20A6847
3_20A6847Photo Credits: Auckland Zoo

This iconic native New Zealand bird features prominently on the countries $10 currency note, and it is nationally endangered. They require clean, fast flowing streams to swim in, and because of this, are a key indicator of the health of native rivers.

Once found in the North and South Island, of New Zealand, their numbers have reduced greatly due to pollution and predation.

Whio releases into the wild are a great example of the work that Auckland Zoo does behind-the-scenes with partners like DOC Whio Forever, in an effort to conserve native wildlife.

Although these new ducklings are off display, adult Whio can be seen by Zoo visitors swimming in the streams in The High Country aviary in Te Wao Nui.

Continue reading "Endangered Ducklings Hatch at Auckland Zoo" »


"Panda-monium" Grows Along With France's First Baby

22789109_1780344295323842_1115199196029292079_n
The “Panda-monium” continues as France’s first Giant Panda baby grows up at Zoo de Beauval.

Born on August 4, the little Panda is now three months old, has opened his eyes, and sports a fluffy black-and-white coat.

22789109_1780344295323842_1115199196029292079_n
22789109_1780344295323842_1115199196029292079_n
22789109_1780344295323842_1115199196029292079_n
Photo Credit: Zoo de Beauval

Temporarily named Mini Yuan Zi after his father, Yuan Zi, the little Panda has captured the hearts of fans around the world.  In keeping with Chinese tradition, the baby will receive his official name when he turns 100 days old. 

ZooBorns first reported on Mini Yuan Zi’s birth here, including a dramatic video of the cub’s delivery. The zoo shares weekly updates on the baby’s weight.  As of November 3, he weighed nearly 12 pounds – right on target for healthy development.

Mini Yuan Zi spends most of his time with his mother, Huan Huan. Keepers occasionally remove the baby from Huan Huan to weigh him and perform a health check.  These brief periods of “alone time” give Huan Huan a chance to eat and rest away from the demands of her baby. When mom and baby are together, Huan Huan holds Mini Yuan Zi close and keeps him warm.

Breeding Giant Pandas is a complex endeavor, and timing is crucial. Adults are solitary, and females come into heat only once per year for 24-48 hours.  After three unsuccessful breeding seasons, staff at Zoo de Beauval opted to use artificial insemination. The process worked, and Mini Yuan Zi was born.

See more photos of Mini Yuan Zi below.

Continue reading ""Panda-monium" Grows Along With France's First Baby" »


Help Name This Endangered Brown Kiwi Chick

1_kiwi_chick_fp9a4875

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and the Embassy of New Zealand in the United States are asking animal lovers to help name an endangered female Brown Kiwi chick.

Members of the public can submit name suggestions, until November 5, via the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s website: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/name-kiwi-chick . The top suggestions will be put up for a worldwide public vote via the Zoo’s Twitter account (@NationalZoo) on November 13.

Keepers describe the Brown Kiwi chick as fairly calm and laid-back, though she could become more cautious as she matures. She readily eats all of her food, but mealworms appear to be her favorite food. In the past three months, she has tripled her weight and now weighs about 2 pounds (908 grams), which is normal for a young Kiwi. Since Kiwi are nocturnal, she spends most of her day sleeping and only interacts with keepers during routine health checks and weigh-ins.

2_kiwi_chick_fp9a4882Photo & Video Credits: Roshan Patel/ Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The chick hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) earlier this summer between July 29 and July 30. She is the fifth chick for her parents “Ngati Hine Tahi” and “Ngati Hine Rua”, and she is their first female offspring.

Ngati Hine Tahi and Ngati Hine Rua were both gifts from New Zealand in 2010. Their three older male offspring who hatched at SCBI in 2016 are named Kaha, Hari and Kake. New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States, Tim Groser, named Kaha (“strong” from Maori). The name Hari translates as “joy”, and Kake translates as “to overcome.”

Kiwi are sacred to the Maori people in New Zealand. SCBI repatriates feathers molted from its Kiwi to New Zealand.

SCBI’s Kiwi participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Brown Kiwi. The chicks born there enter a breeding program when they are fully mature. The SSP makes breeding recommendations to match the birds with mates that will increase the genetic diversity of the population living in human care.

Brown Kiwi are monogamous and usually mate for life. Kathy Brader, bird keeper at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, serves as the SSP coordinator for Brown Kiwi living outside of New Zealand.

Brown Kiwis (Apteryx mantelli) are flightless nocturnal birds that are native to New Zealand. They are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, due to non-native predators introduced by humans. They lay the second-largest eggs for body size of any bird—an average 20 percent of the female’s body weight.

In 1975, the Zoo became the first facility to hatch a Brown Kiwi outside of New Zealand. SCBI* has hatched six Kiwi eggs since 2012.

*SCBI plays a leading role in the Smithsonian’s global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. SCBI spearheads research programs at its headquarters in Front Royal, Va., the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.


Mystic Aquarium Releases Rescued Harbor Seal Pups

Mystic Aquarium Harbor Seal Release Lavendar Blue Bell 1

From the shores of Rhode Island to North Carolina and Alaska, Mystic Aquarium, in Mystic, Connecticut, works to care for marine animals in need.

On the morning of October 5, Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program staff and volunteers released two Harbor Seal pups, Lavender and Bluebell, at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, RI.

Both pups were abandoned, shortly after birth, and were rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine. Lavender, a female Harbor Seal, was rescued in Waldoboro, ME and was transferred to Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation on May 18. Bluebell, a male Harbor Seal, was rescued in Scarborough, ME and arrived at Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic on August 3.

Following months of rehabilitation, the dynamic duo, at approximately 4–5 months old, were deemed healthy and prepared for their release into the wild and a life at sea.

Mystic Aquarium Harbor Seal Release Lavendar Blue Bell 2

Mystic Aquarium Harbor Seal Release Lavendar Blue Bell Group Shot 3Photo & Video Credits: Mystic Aquarium (Images 1-3: Release day for Lavendar and Blue Bell on Oct 5 / Video: Release day for four seal pups on Oct 20)

Just three-weeks-later, on October 20, Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program released four more Harbor Seal pups. The four Harbor Seals (Flax, Larkspur, Sunflower and Buttercup) were rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine before being transferred to Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic.

Flax was rescued from Bustin’s Island, Freeport, ME, and was considered abandoned shortly after birth, arriving at Mystic Aquarium on May 28. Larkspur was rescued in Harpswell, ME, and Sunflower was rescued from Isle of Springs, ME. Both pups were also considered abandoned shortly after birth and arrived at Mystic Aquarium on June 1. Buttercup was rescued in Little Diamond Island, Portland, ME, and was found malnourished and suffering from pneumonia, arriving at Mystic Aquarium on July 15.

Following months of rehabilitation, the four pups, now approximately 4–5 months old, were deemed healthy and prepared for life at sea.

Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need and educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants. The public is encouraged to call the Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at 860.572.5955 ext. 107 if they encounter a marine mammal or sea turtle in Conn., R.I. or Fishers Island, N.Y. Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. This network in comprised of organizations along the eastern seacoast, which have facilities and trained staff to care for sick and injured animals. Marine Mammals are protected species, so only groups and facilities authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service are permitted to handle these animals.


Two New Sitatunga Calves at The Maryland Zoo

1_Peggy DSC_7931

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has welcomed two female Sitatunga calves to its’ growing herd. The calves were born on October 9 and October 16.

Ruby was born October 9 to three-year-old Remy and sired by one-year-old Chopper, while Peggy, born on October 16, is the offspring of seven-year-old Lela and nine-year-old Hurley.

“Ruby is a healthy 14-pound calf,” stated Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo. “Remy has been very attentive to her calf. The two are sharing space with others in the herd and have just begun exploring the outdoor behind-the-scenes area together with our month-old male calf Marcus and his mother Mousse.”

“Peggy, on the other hand, has had a bit of a rough start,” continued Cantwell. “Lela had a difficult delivery, and we decided it was best for both dam and calf that we hand-raise Peggy in close proximity to the herd. Animal care staff are bottle-feeding her a specialized milk formula six times a day. She has been steadily gaining weight and we are keeping a very close eye on her to ensure she thrives.”

2_Peggy DSC_7912

3_Ruby DSC_8337

4_Ruby DSC_8346Photo Credits: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) ​is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They live in semi-aquatic swamps, marshes and flood plains. Outside of protected areas, Sitatunga are vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss, as people drain and develop swampland. Currently, Sitatunga are not classified as threatened or endangered.

The Maryland Zoo’s Sitatunga herd is made up of 12 animals, including the new calves, and can be found in two exhibit spaces along the boardwalk in the African Journey section of the Zoo.

“We hope that Zoo visitors will able to spot Remy and Ruby in the Sitatunga yard, next to the tortoises…weather permitting. Because of her specialized care, Peggy will need additional time behind-the-scenes to ensure her continued health and integration into the herd.”

The calves’ births were the result of a recommendation from the Sitatunga Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring health of the individual animal, as well as the long-term survival of the species population to help save animals from extinction.

6_Peggy DSC_7889
6_Peggy DSC_7889
6_Peggy DSC_7889


Rare Baby Wombat Emerges From the Pouch

DSC_4562-(10-17)-wombat2

A baby Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, born on February 4, 2017 at the Brookfield Zoo and one of only nine living in North America, is out of the pouch and exploring her surroundings along with her mom, 17-year-old Kambora. 

At birth, a Wombat joey (that’s what a baby marsupial, or pouched mammal, is called) is tiny and hairless, and is about the size of a bumblebee. It climbs into its mom’s pouch where it attaches to a teat and remains there for the first few months of life. While in the pouch the young joey sleeps and nurses, getting all the necessary nutrients it needs to fully develop. Though she was born in February, the joey didn't peek out of Kambora’s pouch until the end of August. Gradually, she went from poking her head for a few seconds to climbing completely out of the pouch. Now weighing just over 10 pounds, the joey is very inquisitive and becoming more independent.

22780663_10156005823044170_7832309798256986397_n
22688420_10156005823034170_3338021262524645997_nPhoto Credit: Brookfield Zoo

The not-yet-named joey is Kambora’s sixth offspring and the first for the sire, 5-year-old Darryl, who arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 2016 from Australia. Several years ago, Brookfield Zoo staff worked with the five other North American zoos that have southern hairy-nosed Wombats, along with Zoos South Australia and their government, to form and develop a breeding program to ensure a genetically sustainable population for the species in professional care.

In 1969, Brookfield Zoo received three Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, and, in 1974, became the first zoo outside of Australia to successfully breed the species in professional care. Since then, there have been 21 Wombat births at Brookfield Zoo. There are only nine southern hairy-nosed Wombats in five North American institutions, including at Brookfield Zoo.

Continue reading "Rare Baby Wombat Emerges From the Pouch" »


Attack of the Snow Leopard Cub!

TALL_Julie Larsen Maher_7482_Snow Leopard and Cub_HIM BZ_10 10 17
A Snow Leopard cub born this summer at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo has made its public debut.

The female cub, who has not yet been named, plays and wrestles with her mother, K2, in the photos and video below. Baby animals develop important skills through play, and K2 is proving to be a patient teacher even when her cub is in “attack mode.”

_Julie Larsen Maher_7903_Snow Leopard and Cub_HIM_BZ_10 12 17
Julie Larsen Maher_8053_Snow Leopard Cub_HIM_BZ_09 07 17 Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Mayer/WCS

The cub is the second-generation offspring of Leo – a Snow Leopard who was rescued as a young orphaned cub after being found in the high mountains of northern Pakistan in 2005. Leo was brought to the Bronx Zoo in 2006 as part of a historic collaboration between WCS and the U.S. and Pakistani governments.

The cub’s father, Naltar, was sired by Leo in 2013.

“This Snow Leopard cub is special not only because it is an ambassador for its species, but because of its lineage," said Dr. Patrick Thomas, WCS Vice President and General Curator, and Bronx Zoo Associate Director who was part of the delegation who brought Leo from Pakistan. “Leo and his descendants, including this cub, will help bolster the health and genetics of the Snow Leopard population in AZA-accredited zoos.”

More than 70 cubs have been born at the Bronx Zoo – more the than any other zoo in North America – and the Bronx was the first zoo in the United States to exhibit the species in 1903. The Bronx Zoo breeds Snow Leopards as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). 

Snow Leopards are native to remote mountains of Central Asia and parts of China, Mongolia, Russia, India and Bhutan. WCS has worked for decades on Snow Leopard conservation programs in the field with current projects in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and western China. Past projects have also included work with Snow Leopards in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

In Pakistan, WCS has been implementing a community-based conservation program since 1997 to help protect the Snow Leopard and other wildlife. The program includes education, training, and institution building for community resource management. WCS has helped create over 60 natural resource committees and trained over 100 community rangers to monitor Snow Leopards and other wildlife and stop deforestation and poaching that threatens these species and local livelihoods.

As a result of ongoing conservation efforts, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently reclassified Snow Leopards from Endangered to Threatened. The species’ survival is still at risk and continues to face threats that stem from human activities such as habitat loss and illegal killings.

See more photos of the playful cub below.

Continue reading "Attack of the Snow Leopard Cub!" »


Red Panda Brothers Debut at Philadelphia Zoo

1_RedPandaCubs_YerenAnd#56B42

The Philadelphia Zoo’s two new adorable Red Panda cubs recently made their public debut.

Brothers, Yeren and Ping Jing, were born to mom, Spark, and dad, Khumbie, in June. This is the second successful Red Panda litter at Philadelphia Zoo. Twins, Benjamin and Betsey, were born in June of 2015.

Spark is a wonderful mom and is doing a great job caring for her new babies, and the Zoo says all are doing very well.

2_RedPanda_CubYeren_5675

3_RedPanda_CubPingjing_5622Photo Credits: Philadelphia Zoo

The birth of this litter is important, as Red Pandas are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. The main threats to the species in the wild are habitat destruction, poaching and climate change.

Known for their cinnamon colored fur and bushy, ringed-tail, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the mountains of Central China, Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma).

Yeren and Ping Jing are now on exhibit with their mom Spark each day at Philadelphia Zoo.


Newborn Lemur Is a First for Altina Wildlife Park

1_Ring-tailed Lemur Altina WP DP 3

Staff members at Altina Wildlife Park are very excited to announce their very first baby Ring-tailed Lemur!

Altina Wildlife Park, in NSW, Australia, is one of the few privately own zoos to exhibit this remarkable endangered species and is proud to be a member of the Australasian breeding program.

In December 2015, Altina acquired two females, Allina and Ipollo. Both girls settled in immediately, and in July 2016, Stan (referred to as the park’s very own “King Julian”) arrived from Australia Zoo.

In early 2017, Ipollo left the Altina family for Hunter Valley Zoo to start her very own family. It wasn’t long before Stan and Allina became quite the couple!

Staff isn’t yet sure if the newborn is male or female, but first time mum, Allina, and her baby are said to be doing extremely well.

2_Ring-tailed Lemur Altina WP DP 31

3_Ring-tailed Lemur Altina WP DP 1Photo Credits: Vince Bucello /Altina Wildlife Park

 

The Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized Lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to the family Lemuridae, and is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all Lemurs, it is endemic to the island of Madagascar.

Despite reproducing readily in captivity, and being the most populous Lemur in zoos worldwide, numbering more than 2,000 individuals, the Ring-tailed Lemur is currently listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction and hunting for bush meat and the exotic pet trade. As of early 2017, the population in the wild is believed to have dropped as low as 2,000 individuals due to habitat loss, poaching, and hunting.