Endangered Tree Kangaroo Joey Peeks Out of Pouch

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Perth Zoo welcomed an endangered Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo joey, the second to be born at the zoo since 1980.

Born the size of a jellybean in July 2016, the male joey, named Haroli, is just starting to become noticeable to zoo guests.  This successful birth follows the arrival of Mian, the first Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo joey born at the zoo in 36 years, whom you met on ZooBorns last summer.  Both joeys are important contributions to the World Zoo Association global breeding program for this rare species. 

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Haroli
Photo Credit:  Perth Zoo

Zoo keeper Kerry Pickles said, “Haroli and Mian are half-brothers, both fathered by Huli who came to Perth Zoo from Queensland in 2015 after being identified as the best genetic match for the breeding program.”

 “Mother Doba is a first-time mum and is very cautious with her joey who has been keeping his head out of the pouch more frequently,” said Kerry. “Tree Kangaroos remain in their mother’s pouches for approximately six to eight months before testing out their wobbly arboreal legs.”

Native to Papua New Guinea, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are so endangered that zoos around the world have been working together to coordinate breeding with the aim of reversing their decline.

“Young Haroli is only the 16th male Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo to be born as part of the global program,” said Kerry.

“Their genetics are vitally important once they reach sexual maturity. Mian is coming of age, so there are already plans in progress for him to go to the UK to be paired with a female and help provide an insurance against extinction for his wild counterparts.”

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Taronga Celebrates Birth from World's Smallest Fox

Fennec Fox Kit 4_Photo by Paul FahyTaronga Zoo is celebrating a birth from the world’s smallest Fox species, with keepers monitoring the progress of a tiny Fennec Fox kit.

The curious little kit was born on December 3, but has just started to venture outside its nest box.

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Fennec Fox Kit 5_Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credit:  Paul Fahy

“The little one is beginning to spend a lot more time outdoors. We’re seeing it playing, rolling around on its back and chasing after mum and dad,” said keeper Deb Price.

Keepers have not yet named or confirmed the sex of the kit, which is the first Fennec Fox born at Taronga since 2013. The infant is the seventh for experienced parents Kebili and Zinder, who have successfully raised two previous litters.

“The parents are doing a fantastic job again, with Zinder proving to be a particularly attentive dad. We’ve seen him filling up his mouth with food and then racing back to deliver it to the kit,” said Deb.

Born with its eyes closed and famously gigantic ears folded over, the kit has gone from being completely reliant on its parents to learning how to forage for food on its own.

The kit weighed in at just over one pound this week and has begun to sample solid foods such as crickets, mealworms, and mice.  Adults weigh up to 3.5 pounds.

The smallest of all the world’s Foxes, the Fennec Fox has enormous batlike ears that can grow to more than six inches in length.  These oversized ears help the Foxes to dissipate heat and keep cool in the blazing desert sun of northern Africa.  They also have hairy feet that enable them to run on hot, loose sand and dig tunnels where they live and rear their kits.   At this time, the wild Fennec Fox population is stable.

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Aardvark Arrives for Bioparc Valencia’s Anniversary

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On January 28, an Aardvark was born at BIOPARC Valencia in Spain. The birth increased the number of this particular family at the park to a total of five, which includes the parents and two other females (also born in the park).

The new mom is taking excellent care of the new cub, and staff reports that supplemental care and feeding are not required for the new Aardvark. However, keepers constantly monitor the cub’s weight and work to assure that the appropriate temperature and humidity are provided in the new families den. Every night a thorough review of the animal takes place and the cub is cleaned, weighed and its skin is moisturized.

If the cub continues the current healthy pattern of growth and development, he may be placed on-exhibit in time for the park’s 9th anniversary. (In February, BIOPARC Valencia celebrates 9 years of love for nature and will show their appreciation to the public by offering discounted admission rates.)

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4_Bebé oricteropo - cerdo hormiguero - recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia bjPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

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Woodland Park Zoo's Otter Pups Pass First Vet Exam

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The four Asian Small-clawed Otters born at Woodland Park Zoo received their first veterinary examination last week. The zoo’s animal health team assessed their overall health, measured and weighed the pups, and administered vaccinations.

The wellness exam is a part of Woodland Park Zoo’s exemplary animal care program. The exam revealed the pups to be three males and one female. They currently weigh between 0.6 to 0.7 kilograms (1.3 to 1.5 pounds).

Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health, gave the pups a clean bill of health. “We’re pleased to report all four pups are robust and healthy. They have fully round bellies and are within normal growth range at this age,” said Collins. “All pups have healthy appetites, are gaining increased mobility and are socializing with their family members, all good signs they’re thriving.”

ZooBorns introduced readers to the quad of cuteness in a recent article (found here), and we are more than happy to provide updates on their progress. The pups were born December 9 at Woodland Park Zoo to 7-year-old mother Teratai and 11-year-old father Guntur. The birth represents the third litter for the parents.

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3_ASCO pup exam-1_Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren_2.3.17Photo credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The new pups currently live off view in a maternity den with their parents and three older sisters. Raising Otter pups is a family affair—the whole family plays a role in raising the pups. Mom nurses the newborns, and dad and older siblings provide supportive care. Occasionally, the adults go outdoors for short periods in the public exhibit but primarily spend their time indoors to focus on caring for the pups.

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Elmwood Park Zoo’s Jaguar Cubs Are a Nice Surprise

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Elmwood Park Zoo is excited to announce that their female Jaguar, Inka, has given birth to two cubs. The brother and sister were born in the early morning hours of January 24, and the zoo's animal care team has done everything in their power to make sure mom and cubs are safe and comfortable.

Inka and the cubs have been under constant observation since their discovery on the morning of the 24th. The cubs look great, are actively nursing for long periods of time, and are very vocal. Inka is a very attentive mother; she's so attentive that it took nearly a week before the staff was able to separate her in order to examine the cubs.

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The Pennsylvania zoo's male Jaguar, Zean, is the father of the cubs. Inka and Zean were directly introduced for the first time in October 2016; previously they had only been able to view each other between the fencing that separates their exhibit spaces.

The zoo is currently wrapping up construction on a brand new exhibit facility that will be home to the Jaguars. "Trail of the Jaguar," is slated to open in the spring. The decision was made to first introduce Inka and Zean in their older exhibit rather than the new facility so that their exciting first encounter would be on comfortable, familiar ground rather than a new and foreign area.

The first day of their introduction was October 12, 2016, which coincided with Inka's heat cycle. Staff witnessed the Jaguars exhibiting breeding behavior on the 12th, and then again on the 13th and 14th. Inka and Zean began to exhibit signs of aggression toward each other on the 14th (which also coincided with the end of Inka's cycle), so they were separated once again. The chances for a successful conception were slim for a couple of "first-timers," which is why the birth came as somewhat of a surprise.

The cubs are the first Jaguars born in 2017 within an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. Their birth was recommended and planned by the AZA’s Species Survival Program (SSP).

Jaguars are classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, due to the continued loss of their natural habitat. The Jaguar SSP manages a genetically diverse population of 84 Jaguars in over 40 AZA accredited zoos all across the country.

Of the 3 SSP-managed cubs born in 2016, the two born in October at the San Antonio Zoo came from the pairing of Zean’s brother and Inka’s sister. The other cub, a female, was born at the Tulsa Zoo in March.

Inka and her cubs will be off exhibit and out of sight from the public for the next few months. They will be transferred into the new "Trail of the Jaguar" facility when the animal care staff determines that they are ready for the move.

Until they make their debut, the public can find periodic updates about the cub’s progress via the zoo’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EPZoo


Zoo Announces Birth of Critically Endangered Primate

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Cameron Park Zoo, in Waco, Texas, is proud to announce that Mei, the Zoo’s Bornean Orangutan, gave birth to a baby boy on January 12.

The Zoo’s primate staff, veterinarian, a local ob/gyn, and NICU nurses from Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest Hospital were all present for the birth. The new baby began nursing with minutes of being born. The Zoo reports that both mom and baby are doing well.

This is the second baby for Mei, who is 18-years-old, and her partner Kerajaan (also known as KJ) who is 27-years-old.

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Cameron Park Zoo recently held a naming contest for the little male orangutan. The primate staff presented three names for the public to choose from: Bawana which means “earth” or “world”; Jaka which means “young man”; and Razak which means “protector”.

The proceeds raised through the naming contest are going directly to caring for his wild baby cousins in Kalimantan.

In late 2015, fires raged across Kalimantan causing widespread forest loss and devastating impacts to wildlife populations. Tragically, many baby orangutans were left orphaned after losing their mothers and forest homes to the fires. Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) teams rescued 44 baby orangutans and the Baby House facilities at both Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari rescue centers filled quickly, above and beyond capacity. Urgent plans were made to build bigger Baby Houses that could shelter the orphaned infants being cared for at these centers.

Late last year BOS began construction of new Baby Houses at both Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng centers and construction of both projects is expected to be finished in April 2017.

The winning name was announced late January, and the new male is now known as Razak!

The baby and Mei will remain in the Zoo’s night house to give mother and baby time to bond. Beginning Sunday, January 22 the nursery window at the orangutan night house will be left open to give Zoo visitors a chance to see the new family.

The Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. The species is classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, with deforestation, palm oil plantations and hunting posing a serious threat to its continued existence.

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Giant Anteater Loves Cuddles With Her Teddy Bear

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A female Giant Anteater was born on December 28, at ZSL London Zoo, weighing just 1.2kg.

Keepers soon realized first-time mum Inca was unable to care for her infant and that the pup would need a helping hand. Staff recruited a special teddy bear to help take on the role of surrogate mum to the tiny new arrival.

Young Anteaters get around by clinging to their mother’s backs, so the newborn has been keeping a firm grip on zookeeper Amy Heath’s shoulder, before going to sleep cuddling her giant teddy bear.

Nicknamed “Beanie” by her keepers, the young grey and black colored female already has impressive curved claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and will eventually be used to dig around in the ground to find tasty ants and termites.

Zookeeper Amy Heath said, “ZSL London Zoo is home to a group of Giant Anteaters: male Bonito and his female mates, Inca and Sauna. We were delighted when we discovered Inca was pregnant; but unfortunately she rejected the infant so we’ve stepped in to help until the baby is big enough to go back in with her parents.

“Hand-rearing an animal is an amazing privilege, but it’s hard work too; we’ve been bottle-feeding Beanie every two to three hours with special replacement milk and making sure she’s kept warm at night with a temperature-controlled incubator.

“Giant Anteaters are an incredible species. They’re unique to look at, and their iconic snouts are perfectly designed to sniff out their food. While they’ve got no teeth, their claws are the perfect tools for digging an opening into ants’ nests, and Beanie has been practicing her digging skills on her teddy bear…or even sometimes my shoulder!

“We’re very pleased with how well Beanie is developing. At 1.6kg, she’s gained about half a kilo in a month, and is the ideal weight for her age. She’s a very strong youngster with a sweet personality; she loves to burrow her long snout into my neck for a cuddle!”

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Although Beanie may be small now, eventually she’ll grow to be around 7ft in length and weigh as much as 45kg. In the meantime, Amy has been keeping detailed records on everything the infant does, from eating and sleeping to even her toilet habits.

Though she’ll continue to be hand-fed until she’s around six-months-old, the stripy baby will soon be introduced to the rest of the Giant Anteater family at ZSL London Zoo, where keepers hope that more experienced female, Sauna, will take over other mothering duties, such as carrying Beanie around and socializing her, so she can grow up part of the group.

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the Ant Bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. The mostly terrestrial species is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa.

The Giant Anteater is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Threats include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur and bush meat. However, some anteaters inhabit protected areas.

To find out more about Beanie and the 18,000 other incredible residents at ZSL London Zoo visit: www.zsl.org


Abandoned Kangaroo Joey Receives Care at Brevard Zoo

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A tiny Red Kangaroo abandoned by her mother has another shot at life thanks to the dedication of Brevard Zoo’s animal care team. 

The as-yet-unnamed female, who is approximately five months old, was discovered out of her mother's pouch on Monday, January 23. She was likely ejected from the pouch due to stress from a storm the night prior. After several unsuccessful attempts to reunite the joey with her mother Jacie, animal care managers made the decision to raise the joey by hand.  This joey is Jacie’s fifth baby.

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Photo Credit:  Brevard Zoo

“Red Kangaroos don’t start emerging from the pouch until they’re about seven months old,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “We think this joey is five months old, so the situation is still very precarious.”

Keepers feed the joey every four hours, day and night, and weigh her once per day.

Joeys are born after a 33-day gestation and complete their development in the pouch, fully emerging for the first time at seven months.  At that time, the joey begins to nibble grass and leaves, but returns to the pouch to nurse until it is about a year old.

Red Kangaroos are found only in Australia and are the largest of all the world’s marsupials (pouched mammals).  They inhabit Australia’s arid interior and can survive on very small amounts of water.  Red Kangaroos stand more than six feet tall and weigh well over 150 pounds.   The species is not currently under threat.

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One, Two Three, Four Little Lion Cubs

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A litter of four male African Lion cubs born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on November 19 is out of the den and playing outside. 

The yet-to-be-named cubs are doing very well under the watchful eye of their mother Maya and are developing on schedule.  This is the second litter of cubs for Maya and her mate Lazarus.  Their last litter was born in February 2015. 

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Photo Credit:  Rick Stevens



Though the family has been secluded in their den for the last two months, keepers monitored them via a video camera link.  By staying hands-off, keepers gave Maya and her babies time to bond.  Because Maya is an experienced mother, keepers had confidence in her ability to care for four cubs. 

The cubs recently had their first health check and received their first vaccinations.  All four had a clean bill of health.  At birth, each cub weighed about three pounds; they now weigh about 18 pounds each. 

The cubs have just started sampling solid foods and exploring outside their den behind the scenes. 

African Lions are classified as Vulnerable in the wild with populations decreasing due to human-animal conflict, depleted prey base, and habitat loss.

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Fourteen Thorny Devils Hatch at Alice Springs

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The Alice Springs Desert Park, in the Northern Territory, Australia, has successfully produced fourteen new resident Thorny Devil Lizards.

The recent hatching of the fourteen healthy Thorny Devils (Moloch horridus), also known as Thorny Dragon, adds to the Desert Park’s diverse range of wildlife currently available for viewing.

Specialist Keeper, Invertebrates and Reptiles, Pete Nunn said that the Desert Park is thrilled to have such an extensive collection of Thorny Devils in captivity. “Thorny Devils are not normally kept, let alone bred at most zoos and wildlife parks around Australia,” he said. “The Thorny Devil usually lives in the arid scrub land and desert that covers most of Central Australia. For example, it inhabits the Tanami and Simpson Desert in the deep interior.”

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Over time the Thorny Devils have evolved and adapted to the environment they live in.

“Thorny Devils live on a diet of nothing but small black ants. They feed in the cooler mornings and late afternoon,” Mr. Nunn continued. “When they locate a trail of ants they lick them up with their short, sticky tongue. Thorny Devils might eat a thousand or more ants in a single meal.”

When it comes to hydration, Thorny Devils collect moisture in the dry desert by the condensation of dew on their bodies at night.

“This dew forms on its skin, and then it is channeled to its mouth in microscopic grooves between its spines,” said Mr. Nunn.

The hatchlings took 98 days to incubate and weighed in at a tiny two grams.

From the fourteen total Thorny Devils that hatched, four are on display at the Alice Springs Desert Park’s nocturnal house, sand country exhibit.

For further details and park information visit: www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au