Giraffe Herd Is ‘Two for Two’ at Cincinnati Zoo

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For the second time in less than two months, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden welcomed a new addition to their Masai Giraffe herd. Five-year-old mom, Jambo, delivered a calf on September 13, in her indoor stall after about two hours of labor.

“Jambo has been on 24-hour baby watch since August 22. Zoo Volunteer Observers (ZVO)’s reported restlessness and pacing starting a little before midnight, hooves out at 12:50, face at 1:20 [a.m.] and baby on the ground 25 minutes later. She stood and nursed within the first hour after birth,” said Christina Gorsuch, Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “Mom stood rock solid for nursing all night, which is exactly the behavior you hope to see.”

Visitors may get to see the baby as soon as this weekend! Vets will soon do a physical exam and, if all is well and weather cooperates, the females and babies could head outside in a few days.

The new father, Kimba, will be outside in the new bull yard at first but will be reunited with the full group in a week or two.

“Jambo must have been paying attention when Cece gave birth in July,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “First-time moms don’t always know what to do with their babies, but Jambo has been watching Cece and Cora and seems at ease around her calf.”

The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with Giraffe births dates back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to produce a baby Giraffe. This is the 15th Giraffe born in Cincinnati.

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4_sittingPhoto Credits: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

After nearly 15 months of gestation, a baby Giraffe drops to the ground headfirst! The fall and the landing do no hurt the calf, but they do cause it to take a big breath. To prepare for the birth, keepers added 6-8 inches of sawdust in Jambo’s indoor stall and placed hay on top of large rubber mats to cushion the calf’s fall and to provide excellent footing for the calf once it began to stand. The outside yard was also baby-proofed with canvas.

Jambo came to the Cincinnati Zoo in 2013 from the Louisville Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). Her mate, Kimba, came to Cincinnati in 2008, from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. He has sired five calves: three with Tessa, one with Cece, and one with Jambo.

The Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the largest subspecies and tallest land mammal. It is native to Kenya and Tanzania.

The Masai Giraffe is often darker than other subspecies. Its blotches are large, dark brown, leaf-shaped with jagged edges, and separated by irregular, creamy brown lines.

Unlike many species, there is no true breeding season for the Masai Giraffe and females can become pregnant beginning at just four years of age. In the wild up to 75% of the calves die in their first few months of life, mainly due to predation.

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the Masai may be the most populous of the Giraffe subspecies. There is an estimated fewer than 37,000 remaining in the wild, (though recent reports of significant poaching would suggest it likely to be significantly less) and approximately 100 individuals kept in zoos.

Habitat loss, poaching, disease and civil unrest pose the most significant threats to wild Giraffe.


Red Panda Cub Has First Checkup at Paradise Park

14222351_770555003047491_7428195131441096415_nPhoto and Video Credits: Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK, recently gave their new Red Panda cub his first vet check.

The cub’s keeper, Becky Waite, remarked, “This little cutie was quite a handful. The vet check went very well and I am happy to report that he’s a boy and is very healthy! He now has a microchip for lifelong identification.”

The cub, which has been named Koda (meaning 'little bear'), was born on July 10th to mum, Jai-Li, and dad, Lang Za. This is mum’s seventh cub; she has had three sets of twins in previous years, but this year she’s had just one.

Koda is now two months old, and in another month, he should achieve his full adult coloring. He will also start eating solid foods at that point, weaning at around six to eight months of age.

Director Alison Hales commented, “Paradise Park participates in the Red Panda European captive breeding programme, and this cub is a valuable addition. Swapping with other collections keeps the captive population healthy in case there might be a need for reintroductions in future years.

“One of our cubs from last year, Rusty, recently moved Krefeld Zoo in Germany to join a mate, and at the same time, we welcomed Suri who came from Port Lympne Reserve, the wildlife sanctuary in Kent.

“After a successful trial at the beginning of 2016, we plan to re-introduce Red Panda Experiences for 2017. These events raise money for the Red Panda Network, which is committed to the conservation of wild Red Pandas and their habitat, through the education and empowerment of local communities. So keep an eye on our website www.paradisepark.org.uk and Facebook/Twitter pages for more news.”

Fans can keep an eye on Koda and his Red Panda family via the Park’s live nest-webcam: http://paradisepark.org.uk/events-and-news/webcams/

 

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.

They live among bamboo forests and spend much of their time in trees. The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, and they only really ever come together to breed. As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

Cubs stay with their mother until the next litter is born the following summer. Males rarely help raise their young.

About two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods, so they have to eat a lot of it to survive. As bamboo is relatively low in calories, Red Pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping.

The species has been classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List since 2008. The global population is estimated at about 10,000 individuals, with a decreasing population trend.

One way to help is by joining the www.redpandanetwork.org to spread the word, adopting a Red Panda or sponsoring a Forest Guardian. These guardians conduct awareness-building workshops in local villages and schools, do research for the Red Panda Network and establish community-based protected areas.


First Flamingo Hatchlings of Season at Edinburgh Zoo

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Keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to welcome their first fluffy Flamingo hatchlings of 2016.

Two Chilean Flamingo chicks have recently hatched, with the first peaking its beak out of its shell on August 31 and the other following a few days later, on September 5. There are still a number of eggs on the nests, so more chicks are expected to start hatching in the next couple of weeks and join the Zoo’s Flamingo flock (also known as a “flamboyance”).

Some visitors have even been lucky enough to witness the tiny grey chicks slowly hatching out of their shells. Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) member, Margaret Mollon, managed to capture the hatching of a chick in a series of stunning photographs (seen in the YouTube video link below).

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4_16_9_5_Flamingo chick_2_Mike_gilburtPhoto Credits: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo & (Images 1,3,5: Maria Dorrian/ Images 2,4: Mike Gilburt) Video Credit: Margaret Mollon

 

Colin Oulton, Bird Team Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said, “We are delighted to have flamingo chicks at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo again, as the last time we had bred the species was in 2014. Chilean Flamingos are listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List, so these chicks will play an important role as ambassadors, in the conservation of this beautiful, yet increasingly threatened, water bird. RZSS Edinburgh Zoo has been home to Chilean Flamingos for more than 40 years, so it is wonderful to see this well-established flock grow.”

Continue reading "First Flamingo Hatchlings of Season at Edinburgh Zoo " »


Endangered Cockatoo Hatches at Paradise Park

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Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK has a new Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick. Park Keeper, Leanne, was more than happy to give the chubby little bird a clean bill of health at his nest check. She reported, “The parents are very attentive, so the chick has grown well, and it’s good to see feathers appearing now.”

Paradise Park Director, Alison Hales, explained further, “Yellow-crested Cockatoos are ‘Critically Endangered’ in the wild – this species and its sub-species now only remain in small, scattered populations through the islands of Indonesia. In an ongoing project with the World Parrot Trust, a recent survey indicated that the species is in much greater peril than previously thought, so this little chick is very important and will play a key role in the breeding program. Previous youngsters have been placed on breeding loan with other bird collections and zoos; they will be available if needed for a reintroduction scheme in the future.”

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3_Keeper Leanne with the Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick Paradise Park Cornwall

4_Ywllow-crested Cockatoo chick crest emerging Paradise ParkPhoto Credits: Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary Cornwall

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), also known as the ‘Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo’, is medium-sized (approximately 34 cm long) with white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill, and a retractile yellow or orange crest.

The species is found in wooded and cultivated areas of East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas.

The bird's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants.

Continue reading "Endangered Cockatoo Hatches at Paradise Park " »


Red Panda Double-Trouble at Longleat

1_Baby red pandas at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

A rare set of Red Panda twins has been born at Longleat. It’s only the second time the species has bred successfully at the Wiltshire, UK wildlife attraction.

Twin Red Panda births are extremely rare and keepers are delighted with the pair’s progress. The new arrivals are doubly welcome, as their parents are a key factor in the ongoing success of the European Endangered Species Programme for the Red Panda, due to their diverse genetics.

Dad Ajenda (which means ‘King of the mountain’) arrived at Longleat from Germany in 2012, and mum Rufina (meaning ‘Red-haired’) arrived from Italy just over a year later.

“We’re delighted with how well Rufina is looking after the young cubs, and both mother and babies are doing brilliantly,” said Keeper Sam Allworthy.

“Cubs don’t tend to start venturing out on their own for the first three months, and Rufina, like all Red Panda mums, regularly moves the cubs to different nesting areas. This is perfectly natural behavior but makes keeping track of the babies, or even confirming what sex they are, somewhat problematic for us, although we are pretty sure both babies are female,” she added.

The species has been recently re-classified as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); meaning populations are continuing to decline. An ‘Endangered’ species is one which faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

2_Close up of one of the red panda twins at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

3_Red panda cub twins at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

4_Mother and baby red pandas at Longleat PIC Ian TurnerPhoto Credits: Ian Turner/Longleat

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.

They live among bamboo forests and spend much of their time in trees. The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, and they only really ever come together to breed. As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

About two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods, so they have to eat a lot of it to survive. As bamboo is relatively low in calories, Red Pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping. Keepers at Longleat supplement the diet with a mix of fruits, eggs and the occasional insects, along with a special type of bamboo cake, which the Pandas are especially fond of.

Red Panda Mum, Rufina:

5_Red panda mum Rufina at Longleat PIC Ian Turner


A Cheetah and His Dog

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The Columbus Zoo’s ten-week-old Cheetah cub, Emmett, recently met his new companion puppy, seven-week-old Cullen!

Emmett was born at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. Due to a bout of pneumonia, he was hand-reared, for several weeks, while receiving treatments. After his recovery, he was moved to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Emmett picked Cullen to be his companion dog, and the two have become quite the pair! Cullen will help Emmett to be more confident and calm. Emmett will soon begin his travels with Jungle Jack Hanna’s team and be an ambassador for his cousins in the wild. Cullen will be with him every step of the way!

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4_14188436_10153934649177106_4843894163779890520_oPhoto Credits: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a big cat that is native to eastern and southern Africa and a few parts of Iran.

The Cheetah is characterized by a slender body, deep chest, spotted coat, a small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, long thin legs and a long spotted tail. It reaches nearly 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg (46–159 lb). Though taller than the leopard, it is notably smaller than the lion.

Cheetahs are active mainly during the day, with hunting its major activity. Adult males are sociable despite their territoriality, forming groups called "coalitions". Females are not territorial; they may be solitary or live with their offspring in home ranges. Cheetahs mainly prey upon antelopes and gazelles.

The speed of a hunting Cheetah averages 64 km/h (40 mph) during a sprint; the chase is interspersed with a few short bursts of speed, when the animal can clock 112 km/h (70 mph). Cheetahs are induced ovulators, breeding throughout the year. Gestation is nearly three months long, resulting in a litter of typically three to five cubs (the number can vary from one to eight). Weaning occurs at six months; siblings tend to stay together for some time. Cheetah cubs face higher mortality than most other mammals, especially in the Serengeti region. Cheetahs also inhabit a variety of habitats: dry forests, scrub forests and savannahs.

The Cheetah is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. The species has suffered a substantial decline in its historic range due to rampant hunting in the 20th century. Several African countries have taken steps to improve the standards of conservation.


Baby Tapir Shows Off His Snout

ASX_5910-Amiee-Stubbs-web TWLike all baby Tapirs, a newborn Baird’s Tapir born August 28 at the Nashville Zoo looks suspiciously like a brown watermelon with a snout.  But rest assured, this little male will eventually sport a smooth, dark brown coat and weigh up to 800 pounds.

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ASX_5920-Amiee-Stubbs-webPhoto Credit:  Amiee Stubbs

The calf’s parents, Romeo and Juliet, were brought to the Nashville Zoo from Central America to introduce a new genetic line to the zoo-dwelling Tapir population. 

Because this calf was Juliet’s first baby, the zoo staff set up a remote camera system and monitored her around the clock as her delivery date approached.  Juliet went into labor at 4:00 PM on August 28 and delivered her healthy calf just 20 minutes later.  Tapirs are pregnant for about 400 days.

Tapirs’ snouts are elongated and very flexible.  These snouts are used to grab leaves and other vegetation and pass it to the mouth.    

Baird’s Tapirs are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, where they are the largest land mammals.  They have very few natural predators, but are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mainly due to habitat destruction and poaching.  Tapirs are legally protected in most of their range, but lack of enforcement results in significant losses.

 


Meet Baby Babette, the Jaguar Cub

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A female Jaguar cub born June 29 at the Tulsa Zoo has been named Babette by zoo staff.

Babette is still behind the scenes in a private den with her mother, Ixchel, where keepers observe the pair via remote cameras to ensure that the cub is nursing and developing properly. 

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14107831_10150676483779996_5236588206761736691_oPhoto Credit:  Jenna Schmidt/Tulsa Zoo
 
In the wild, Jaguar cubs remain in the den for several months and begin accompanying their mothers out of the den when they are about six months old.  So far, Ixchel is proving to be an attentive mother, which is no surprise given that this is her third litter.

Babette is named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April. 

Jaguars’ predatory prowess is well known.  These big cats have extremely powerful jaws, and typically kill their prey by biting through the skull into the brain. 

Despite their formidable physical abilities, Jaguars are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in their native range of Mexico, Central America, and South America.  Jaguars prefer tropical rain forests, which are shrinking due to human activity.  Experts estimate that only about 10,000 Jaguars remain in the wild.

There are about 100 Jaguars in North American zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  The AZA oversees the Species Survival Plan, which manages the Jaguar population for optimum genetic diversity. Babette will be an important part of the breeding program when she reaches adulthood.

 


Omaha Zoo Announces Names of Tiger Trio

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Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium recently held a contest to find names for their new Amur Tiger cubs. The endangered cubs were born July 7 to mom, Isabella, and ZooBorns shared their birth-story just a few days ago: Tiger Trio Debuts at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

Today, it was announced that keepers have made a decision, based on the names submitted by excited zoo visitors. The female cub has been named Aurora (a name suggested by Mackenzie Haake of Bellevue, Nebraska). One of Aurora’s brothers has been named Finn (submitted by Mary Vedder of Bellevue, Nebraska). The biggest boy in the trio has been given the name, Titan (suggested by 3 year-old Linden DeVard of Omaha, Nebraska).

Aurora currently weighs in at 15.5 pounds, Finn is a healthy 17 pounds, and Titan is just at 18 pounds.

The naming contest was held from August 18 though August 25. Guests to the Zoo were invited to submit the name ideas into a box at the Cat Complex exhibit. The cat’s keepers selected the winning names. According to the Zoo, there were 2,576 names submitted. The entrants of the winning names will receive a unique gift basket.

The cubs remain on display with their mom in the Cat Complex. While they are still nursing, the trio is showing an interest in their mom’s food and they will start eating meat at around three months old.

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Photo Credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (Image 1: Aurora; Image 2: Finn; Image 3: Titan; Image 4: mom, Isabella)

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian Tiger, is a subspecies inhabiting mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region, with a small population in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East.

The Amur Tiger once ranged throughout all of Korea, northeastern China, Russian Far East, and Eastern Mongolia. In 2005, there were reported to be 331–393 adults and sub adult Amur Tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals.

The Amur Tiger and Bengal Tiger subspecies rank among the biggest living cats. An average adult male Siberian Tiger outweighs an average adult male Lion by around 45.5 kg (100 lb.).

The Amur Tiger is reddish-rusty, or rusty-yellow in color, with narrow black transverse stripes. It is typically 5–10 cm (2–4 in) taller than the Bengal Tiger, which is about 107–110 cm (42–43 in) tall.

Amur Tigers mate at any time of the year. Gestation lasts from 3 to 3½ months. Litter size is normally two or four cubs but there can be as many as six. The cubs are born blind, in a sheltered den, and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food. The female cubs remain with their mothers longer, and later, they establish territories close to their original ranges. Male cubs, on the other hand, travel unaccompanied and range farther, earlier in their lives, making them more vulnerable to poachers and other tigers.

At 35 months of age, Tigers are sub-adults. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 48 to 60 months.

The Amur Tiger is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN’s report: “…despite a bounce back in tiger numbers in 2010 after a very cold and snowy winter in 2009 (Miquelle et al. 2010). Poaching of Tigers as well as their wild prey species is considered to be driving the decline (Schwirtz 2009). Moreover, a broad genetic sampling of 95 wild Russian tigers found markedly low genetic diversity, with the effective population size (Ne) extraordinarily low in comparison to the census population size (N), with the population behaving as if it were just 27–35 individuals (Henry et al. 2009). This reflects the recent population bottleneck of the 1940s, and concords with the low documented cub survivorship to independence in the Russian Far East (Kerley et al. 2003). Further exacerbating the problem is that more than 90% of the population occurs in the Sikhote Alin mountain region, and there is little genetic exchange (movement of Tigers) across the development corridor, which separates this sub-population from the much smaller subpopulation, found in southwest Primorye province (Henry et al. 2009).

In China, the small population is not independently viable and dependent on movement of animals across the border with Russia.”

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Nest Full of Endangered Conure Chicks at UK Park

1_Two Grey-breasted Conure chicks Paradise Park Cornwall

Five critically endangered Grey-breasted Conure chicks recently hatched at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall, UK.

Park Director, Alison Hales, remarked, “We first received this species at Paradise Park in 2015. We were keen to co-operate in the breeding scheme for these pretty Conures, because the status of the species in the wild is ‘Critically Endangered’. Sadly, surveys show that they are declining rapidly, owing to heavy trapping and ongoing habitat loss within their range.”

“Our pair came from Chester Zoo and produced five chicks in their first season here.”

Seven eggs were produced this season, and five chicks hatched. Eggs hatch in the order they are laid, so one is several days older and larger than the youngest. At their nest check, all had full crops and are competing successfully for food. Their parents are doing a great job.

Curator David Woolcock has already been working with other bird collections and has set up two further unrelated pairs at Paradise Park. This latest brood is a valuable addition to the captive population.

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3_Adult Grey-breasted Conure Paradise Park, Cornwall

4_Grey-breasted Conure group at Paradise Park in CornwallPhoto Credits: Paradise Park

 

The Grey-breasted Conure (Pyrrhura griseipectus), also known as Grey-breasted Parakeet, is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Ceará in northeastern Brazil and restricted to a few mountains, with relatively humid forest and woodland in a region otherwise dominated by arid Caatinga.

Until recently, it was considered a subspecies of the White-eared Parakeet, as Pyrrhura leucotis griseipectus. The split was based on their widely disjunct distributions, differences in measurement of bill, and subtle differences in color of crown, ear-coverts and chest.

The Grey-breasted Conure is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It has an extremely small wild population and occupies a very small known range. The population is estimated to be less than 250 adult birds.

Find out more about the species on the World Parrot Trust website: https://www.parrots.org/encyclopedia/grey-breasted-conure