Orangutan at Henry Vilas Zoo Reaches Milestone

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The baby Bornean Orangutan, at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, has reached an important milestone in her growth and development. She recently turned 100 days old!

Henry Vilas Zoo excitedly announced the infant’s birth on April 9.  The healthy female was born to first-time parents Kawan and Datu, and she was named Keju (‘kay-joo’), Malay for “cheese”.

“We are excited to have Keju as part of our zoo family,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “No matter where she goes in life, her name is a reminder that she is a true Wisconsinite. We take great pride in the work we do to protect endangered species.” 

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4_Infant Bornean orangutan Keju_April 2015_Photo credit Henry Vilas ZooPhoto Credits: Beth Petersen/Henry Vilas Zoo (Image 1); Henry Vilas Zoo (Images 2-6)

Keju is important to the national effort to maintain a population of this endangered species, through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). Orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are the only great ape found in Asia. Bornean Orangutans are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and Sumatran Orangutans are considered “Critically Endangered”, with less than 6,000 individuals left in Sumatra.

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Baby Giraffe Drops In At ABQ Biopark

UnnamedThe latest addition to the Albuquerque BioPark zoo is a male Reticulated Giraffe, born overnight July 16-17. The baby's mother, June, is very experienced with newborns, as this is her tenth calf. 

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20065314755_8836605f19_kPhoto Credit:  Albuquerque BioPark

June is 21 years old and has been at the ABQBioPark Zoo since 1998. Buccaneer, the father, has been at the zoo since 2006. This is their fourth calf together. 

"The baby is doing great, and was up and moving very quickly," said Paul Huang, senior zoo keeper.  "June is a very calm and casual mother, she's an old pro at this."

Giraffes are pregnant for about 15 months. After dropping six feet to the ground during the birth process, baby Giraffes typically stand within an hour of birth.  They walk shortly thereafter and usually will hide for a few days before starting to follow their mother around.

June and Buccaneer are paired as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help maintain a healthy and genetically diverse animal population within the zoo community.

As part of the plan, after about two years,  the newest generation of Giraffes are often eventually located to other zoos. June has offspring all over the county, including San Francisco, Detroit and Topeka. 

Once plentiful, wild Giraffe populations in Africa are rapidly declining.  Of the nine subspecies of Giraffes, two are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Only about 1,100 Reticulated Giraffes remain in the wild.

 

 


Meet The First Lear's Macaw To Hatch In A Latin American Zoo

 

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The first Lear’s Macaw to hatch in captivity in Latin America popped out of its egg on April 13 at Brazil’s São Paulo Zoo.  These photos show the chick’s growth from hatching to age three months.

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Filhote de arara-azul-de-lear_Foto Paulo Gil - ZooSP 6Photo Credit:  Sao Paulo Zoo

This was not the first egg for parents Francisco and Maria Clara. They had laid some eggs in the past, but they were not successfully incubated and the eggs were broken.  This time, zoo keepers moved the egg to an incubator, where temperature and humidity could be carefully controlled.  When the little macaw hatched, it weighed only 22 grams and was fed by zoo keepers every two hours around the clock.  As you can see in the photos, the little chick grew rapidly and its feathers came in.

Zoo staff named the chick Teobaldo, or Téo for short, after a popular character in Brazilian folk literature.

At three months old, Téo weighed 750g and still received liquid food twice a day. Téo also nibbles on seeds and fruit and recently learned to fly short distances.

For more than 150 years, Lear’s macaws were known only from the pet trade until a wild population was found in eastern Brazil in 1978.  Today, about 1,100 Lear’s Macaws are known to live in only two locations in the wild.  Though their numbers are increasing thanks to intensive conservation efforts, these parrots are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to their restricted range and illegal hunting for food and wildlife products.  

See more photos of Téo below.

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Rare Little Giant Born at Longleat in the UK

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A rare, baby Giant Anteater has been born at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, in the UK! The endangered South American mammal, named Julie-Poppet, was born in early July. She is only the third Giant Anteater to be born at the Wiltshire safari park.

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4_11760212_1003863489654570_2895968901775459719_nPhoto Credits: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

The Giant Anteater is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and Julie-Poppet is now a significant part of the preservation of her species. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population of the species declined by 30%.

“To have a successful birth with our anteaters is fantastic, as the species is under increasing threat in the wild,” said keeper Catriona Carr. “It’s especially good to see mum and Julie-Poppet showing all the usual signs of a mother and baby relationship in the early stages.”

“For the first six months Maroni will carry the baby on her back virtually all the time. The baby takes milk by moving around underneath mum and only very rarely lets go.”

“The baby aligns itself to the pattern on mum’s back to provide camouflage from any predators who might prey on the young. It’s so effective that it’s almost as if the baby becomes invisible,” she added.

Mum Maroni, who was born in France, and German dad Bonito arrived at Longleat five years ago as part of a coordinated European Breeding Programme for the species.

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Endangered Somali Wild Ass Born at Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Somali Wild Ass. The male foal arrived July 23 and is the 5th of his kind born at Zoo Miami. New mom is 17-year-old Lisha. The new baby is healthy and seems to be integrating well into their small herd. 

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Somali Wild Asses are the world’s most endangered Asses. They are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, and less than 1,000 are believed to still exist in the wild.

A subspecies of the African Wild Ass, they are the smallest of the wild equids and are found in isolated areas of Somalia, the Southern Red Sea region of Eritrea, and the Afar Region of Ethiopia.

They are shorter than zebras or horses but have larger ears. Adults weigh approximately 500 pounds. Their smooth gray coat and their striped legs, which are indicative of their close relation to zebras, characterize them.

Mares usually give birth to a single foal after a gestation of 11 months. Though small herds, usually made up of mares and their offspring, do exist, the Somali Wild Ass often lives alone because of the scarcity of food. Solitary stallions protect their territory, which often includes a water source. Larger groups may form when more food and water is available (usually during the rainy season). 

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

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Masai Giraffe Calf ‘Smiles for the Camera’

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The Virginia Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a baby Masai Giraffe on July 23.  The yet-to-be-named male calf was born to five-time mother Imara and father Billy.  At birth, the calf weighed in at 152 pounds and measured in at 75 inches tall. 

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Giraffes give birth standing up, so newborns get an abrupt introduction to the world by dropping up to 6 feet to the ground. The baby could stand and walk within the first few hours after birth.

Zoo staff are monitoring the baby’s health and will keep the public posted on the baby’s well being. “We are keeping a close watch on mom and baby,” said Dr. Amanda Guthrie. “So far the baby looks healthy, Imara is an experienced and attentive mother and we’re optimistic that she’ll do a great job.” 

Under the watchful eye of mother Imara, the baby giraffe will begin to explore his surroundings in the upcoming weeks. Visitors to the indoor giraffe exhibit might catch a glimpse of mom and baby. For those who can’t make a trip to the Virginia Zoo, a “Giraffe Cam” has been set-up in their living quarters.

Check out the Giraffe Cam on the Zoo’s website and see what the new calf is up to: http://virginiazoo.org/animals-plants/animals/mammals/animal-cams/giraffe-cam/

This birth is a significant contribution to the North American population of Masai Giraffe, as there are only a little over 100 in North America.  “This birth is important to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) as Billy, the father, is a genetically important male for the species,” commented Joseph Svoke, Zoological Manager. The Virginia Zoo is committed to these large and charismatic species, from captive management to field conservation.

Masai Giraffe are the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest land mammal on Earth. They are native to Kenya and Tanzania and are characterized by their jagged spots. Males reach heights of up to 18 feet tall and females grow to 14 feet tall. Giraffes may bear one offspring, after a 15-month gestation period. When a giraffe baby is born, it comes into the world front feet first, followed by the head, neck, and shoulders. Newborn giraffes can stand and walk within one hour of birth. They can also eat leaves at the age of four months, but they will continue to nurse until they are 6 to 9 months old.


Three New Boys for Zoo Basel’s Lion Pride

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The pride of African Lions, at Zoo Basel, has increased by three this summer. On May 28, Okoa gave birth to two male cubs, and on June 15, Uma delivered another male cub. The two lionesses’ gave birth to their young in the same area and are raising them together. Mbali is father to all three boys and has proven a playful participant in their upbringing. 

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4_11411892_892164597487948_7789860505042479653_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Basel

African Lions are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There has been an estimated population decline of 30-50%, in the last 20 years. Noted causes for the decline include disease and human interference. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are considered the most significant threats to the species. The remaining populations are often geographically isolated from one another, which can lead to inbreeding, and consequently, reduced genetic diversity.

Zoo Basel supports the Big Life Foundation, which works in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya to protect the Lions. The Zoo is also a participant in the EAZA Endangered Species Breeding Programme for African Lions.

More incredible pics, below the fold!

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Meet the New Rookie Chicago Cubs

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Kovler Lion House, at Lincoln Park Zoo, is home to an important pair of siblings. Born June 26, the Red Panda cubs are the first of their kind born at Lincoln Park Zoo. The male and female are the offspring of first-time dad, Phoenix, and experienced mom, Leafa. 

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4_Red panda cub exam (1)Photo Credits: Lincoln Park Zoo

The endangered duo currently isn’t visible to the public, nor will they be for some time. Instead, they’re cuddled up in a behind-the-scenes den with mom Leafa, as is typical for the species. They can remain in this cozy space for up to three months, with mom periodically leaving to feed or tend to other needs.

Thanks to a special camera in the den, though, staff can keep an eye on the tiny new arrivals. Red Panda cubs weigh 4-5 ounces at birth and are fully furred, although their coat is yellow as opposed to the bright red of adults. The little ones’ eyes are closed for the first 18 days of life, meaning they’re totally dependent on mom in the crucial early weeks.

The tiny Red Pandas were recently given names in honor of their hometown, Chicago. Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise, is located at the iconic intersection of the streets Clark and Addison. It seemed fitting to name Chicago's other cubs (Red Panda- that is) in honor of the legendary American team. Lincoln Park Zoo's new male cub has been named Clark, and his sister is now known as Addison.

Sharon Zackfia, a committed supporter of Chicago’s free zoo, selected the city-centric names. “As a longtime lover of Red Pandas, I could not be more excited to have the honor of naming Lincoln Park Zoo’s first-ever Red Panda cubs,” she notes. “I am so proud to be a supporter of an institution that has brought so much joy and knowledge to the families of Chicago.”

The cubs themselves continue to do well in their behind-the-scenes den. Curator of Mammals, Mark Kamhout, reports that Clark and Addison are receiving great care from mom Leafa and continuing to hit new milestones. “Their eyes are open now, which is a big development for Red Panda cubs, and it looks like they’ve doubled in size since their physical last week.”

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Lynx Kittens Play All Day

20150717_091006_02_Zoo_Vienna_DxOTwo Lynx kittens born June 5 at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo like to play all day!  The kittens scramble up tree trunks and explore their naturally wooded habitat.  But when they take too many chances, mom grabs them gently by the neck and carries them out of the way.20150716_085211_Zoo_Vienna_DxO

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Foto_42_idPhoto Credits: Norbert Potensky, Franz Wunsch

The kittens are still nursing but have started tasting small pieces of meat.  Finding them in their wooded enclosure requires patience – their brown spotted coats provide excellent camouflage for the youngsters, who are about the size of housecats right now.

Lynx are well adapted to live in temperate forests.  Their huge paws act like snowshoes to prevent the cats from sinking into deep snow.  Tufts of hair at the tips of the ears may contribute to their excellent sense of hearing.

Although not listed as threatened, Lynx are under pressure from legalized hunting and loss of habitat in some areas.

See more photos of the kittens below.

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Little Giants Come Out Of Their Shells

Baby Malaysian Giant Pond Turtle-0005-6886Four rare Turtles have come out of their shells at the Houston Zoo!  These Malaysian Giant Pond Turtles are not often seen in zoos due to their large size and low rate of reproduction in captivity.

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Baby Malaysian Giant Pond Turtle-0004-6878Photo Credit:  Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Getting out of a shell can be tough work but baby turtles have a special adaptation on their snout: an egg tooth. Also called a caruncle, the egg tooth is a temporary structure that is used to cut through the egg membrane and break through the shell.  Once there is a hole in the egg, the turtle can break out.

The zoo’s journey to this remarkable hatching began when they acquired a group of juvenile Malaysian Giant Pond Turtles in 2002.  The Turtles have reached maturity, and these hatchlings are the result.

At the Houston Zoo, this species inhabits the moat surrounding the Orangutan exhibit, but the Turtles are very secretive and not often seen.  They feed on fish, plants, and fruits.

Malaysian Giant Pond Turtles are found in rivers and lakes on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra.  Adults can reach almost three feet in length and can weigh over 100 pounds. Listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Malaysian Giant Pond Turtles are heavily exploited for their meat, and populations are in decline throughout their native range.

See more photos of the Turtles below.

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