Topeka Zoo Receives Special Holiday Gift

Foley-2

A sweet Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, born at the Topeka Zoo on December 16, is clinging to mom and doing everything a baby Sloth should do.

When new mom Jacque showed her new baby to the Zoo’s Animal Care Staff, the baby was alert and clinging to mom in a good nursing position. According to keepers, both mom and baby appear to be bright and alert and doing great. A primary zookeeper at the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest exhibit has named the baby “Foley”.

There are currently four Sloths living in the Topeka Zoo’s ‘Tropical Rain Forest’. They include new mother, Jacque (age 27), father, Mocha (age 19), Newt (age 1) and the newborn, Foley. This is the 15th offspring for Jackie and the fourth for Mocha. Zoo staff monitored Jacque’s pregnancy closely but had high confidence that mom knew exactly what to do.  

The Topeka Zoo is proud of the long successful history with Sloth reproduction, and they attribute it, largely, to the rain forest environment the Sloths are provided at the Zoo.

Foley-1Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a species of sloth native to Central and South America.

It is a solitary, largely nocturnal and arboreal animal, found in mature and secondary rainforests and deciduous forests. The common name commemorates the German naturalist Karl Hoffmann.

Sloths are known for their slow moving, solitary arboreal behavior. They do everything upside down, including: eating, sleeping, mating and even giving birth.

Habitat destruction is causing a decrease in the wild Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth population, but sloths and humans have little contact with one another in the wild. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.


Two New Elephant Shrews at Zoo Antwerpen

Fotolink Steppeslurfhondje (1)

Until recently, two of Zoo Antwerpen’s newest arrivals were safely tucked away in an underground burrow with mom and dad.

Tiny, twin Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews were born around November 14 and can now be seen exploring outside their den. Although they are curious of their surroundings, they never stray far from mom, Guusje, or dad, Olli.

Keeper Natalie said, "It's a first for Zoo Antwerp because…with Blijdorp [Rotterdam Zoo], we are the only European zoo where Elephant Shrew have been born."

The twins are currently under the care of their parents. Keepers will allow the family to bond and will have little interaction with the young. When they are old enough to be weaned and away from their mom and dad, staff will examine them to determine their sex and give them names, as well.

Fotolink Steppeslurfhondje (2)

Fotolink Steppeslurfhondje (3)

Fotolink Steppeslurfhondje (4)Photo Credits: ZOO Antwerpen / Jonas Verhulst

The Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi) is a small insectivorous mammals native to Africa, belonging to the family Macroscelididae, in the order Macroscelidea.

They are widely distributed across the southern part of Africa, and although common nowhere, can be found in almost any type of habitat, from the Namib Desert to boulder-strewn outcrops in South Africa to thick forest. One species, the North African Elephant Shrew, remains in the semiarid, mountainous country in the far northwest of the continent.

The creature is one of the fastest small mammals. Despite their weight of just under half a kilogram, they have been recorded to reach speeds of 28.8 km/h.

Elephant Shrews mainly eat insects, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and earthworms. They use their nose to find prey and their tongue to flick small food into its mouth, much like an anteater. Some Elephant Shrews also feed on small amounts of plant matter, especially new leaves, seeds, and small fruits.

Female Elephant Shrews undergo a menstrual cycle similar to that of human females, and the species is one of the few non-primate mammals to do so.

After mating, a pair will return to their solitary habits. After a gestation period varying from 45 to 60 days, the female will bear litters of one to three young, several times a year. The young are born relatively well developed, but remain in the nest for several days before venturing outside.

After five days, the young's milk diet is supplemented with mashed insects, which are collected and transported in the cheek pouches of the female. The young then slowly start to explore their environment and hunt for insects. After about 15 days, the young will begin the migratory phase of their lives, which lessens their dependency on their mother. The young will then establish their own home ranges and will become sexually active within 41–46 days.

The Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. It was still listed as “Vulnerable” in 2008. However, its numbers are reportedly still under threat from severe forest fragmentation and degradation from human expansion.


Rare Okapi Calf Nursed to Health at Denver Zoo

24993421_10156129150082122_2531310785619923557_n

Denver Zoo welcomed a rare baby Okapi on December 4. The male calf, named Forest, was born to mother Kalispell and weighs just under 40 pounds. The calf is only the seventh birth of this species at the Zoo.

“Shortly after he was born, Zoo staff noticed that Forest was unable to stand and was therefore unable to nurse,” said Brian Aucone, Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences. Forest’s blood work showed that had not received vital antibodies from his mother and that he needed a plasma transfusion. The team asked the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to overnight plasma for the new calf.

25299286_10156129149852122_9081585546053964722_n
25299286_10156129149852122_9081585546053964722_n
25299286_10156129149852122_9081585546053964722_nPhoto Credit: Denver Zoo

“We are very proud of the training that allows us to do voluntary blood draws with our Okapi and other species,” said Patty Peters, Vice President Community Relations at Columbus Zoo. “We all want to see Forest healthy and are thankful we could give aid in this way.”

Forest’s plasma transfusion was successful, and he is now strong enough to nurse on his own. He will remain behind the scenes for several weeks as he continues to develop and is prepared to step outside on warm winter days.

Forest is the second calf for both of his parents. Sekele, Forest’s father, was born in June 2009 at San Diego Zoo and arrived at Denver Zoo in November 2010. Kalispell (Kali, for short) was born at Denver Zoo in June 2009. Sekele and Kali were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Their first calf, Jabari, was born at Denver Zoo in February 2014. In 2016, he moved to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo by recommendation of SSP.

Okapis are the only living relative of Giraffes. In addition to a long neck, Okapis have a reddish coat, black-and-white striped legs and a 12-inch-long, purple prehensile tongue. Adult Okapis weigh 500 to 700 pounds and stand about five feet tall at the shoulder. Females are generally larger than males. Okapis’ gestation period is 14 to 15 months.

Native only to the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Okapis are seriously threatened by political unrest in their native range. Population estimates are difficult to determine because the forest is so dense, but experts believe there are between 10,000 and 50,000 individuals, and their numbers are declining. Okapis are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Additional threats come from habitat loss and hunting.

This rare species was first discovered only about 100 years ago. Very little is known about the behavior of the Okapi in its native land due to its shy, elusive nature. Much of what is known has been learned in zoos during the past 45 years.

 

 


Ten Little Nutrias Nibble at Zoo Basel

Square biberratte_ZOB6902

Ten baby Nutrias are frolicking through the foliage in the Nutria enclosure at the Basel Zoo. With so many busy babies, visitors will always find something to watch at this popular exhibit.

Basel Zoo has kept Nutrias since 1943, and more than 400 youngsters have been born at the zoo since then. Baby Nutrias are born fully furred and with their eyes open. They begin eating plant material within hours of birth, but they also nurse for seven to eight weeks. These diurnal rodents are semiaquatic, so they divide their time between land and water. Adults weigh 10-20 pounds.

Biberratte_jungtiere_ZO56213
Biberratte_jungtiere_ZO56213
Biberratte_jungtiere_ZO56213
Biberratte_jungtiere_ZO56213Photo Credit: Zoo Basel

Nutrias, also known as Coypu, are native to South America, where they live near rivers and lakes. They feed on plants and live in large groups, which also have smaller subgroups within them. The subgroups are made up of breeding pairs and their offspring.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Nutrias were hunted for their beautiful red-brown fur, and were later bred in farms in Europe, North America, and Africa. As animals occasionally escaped from the farms, populations of these highly adaptable animals became established all over the world. 

The feeding and burrowing behaviors of Nutrias can be destructive to wetlands where they have been introduced, so in some areas they are seen as a nuisance. Each animal may eat up to 25% of its body weight in vegetation every day. They are often mistaken for Beavers (which are much larger than Nutrias) and Muskrats (which are smaller than Nutrias).

Nutrias are currently listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

 


Oakland Zoo Cares for Mountain Lion Orphans

4_unnamed

In cooperation with the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Feline Conservation Center, Oakland Zoo has taken in two orphaned Mountain Lion cubs. The cubs were found separately in Orange County, two weeks apart from each other. Due to their ages and geographic proximity to each other when rescued, Oakland Zoo veterinarians will conduct DNA testing to determine if they are, in fact, siblings.

An adult female Mountain Lion was struck and killed by a motorist in the area of the cubs’ rescues, leading to the conjecture that the cubs may have belonged to her and were separated as a result of her tragic death.

In response to a situation such as this, Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, in partnership with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help save Mountain Lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict with the CDFW.

"The Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas are the most at-risk in the nation, equal to the Florida Panther in terms of the uncertainty around their survival. Orphaned kittens represent the death of a mother lions, and this isolated Orange County population cannot afford the loss. It will take protection of habitat and wildlife corridors, depredation prevention efforts, and enhancements of Southern California freeways to allow the Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas and Orange County to survive. The two orphaned kittens at the Oakland Zoo are evidence of that need," said Lynn Cullens, Executive Director of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

1_Mountain Lion Cub 20171211 -3

2_Mountain Lion Cub 20171211 -5
2_Mountain Lion Cub 20171211 -5Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo

Both cubs are male and estimated to be 3-4 months old and weigh close to 30 lbs. They were found approximately 15 miles apart in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita.

The first was discovered in a resident’s backyard, and the second, approximately two weeks later, on the roadside. Residents reported the cub sightings and CDFW was contacted. The cubs were initially cared for by the Feline Conservation Center in Lake Forest before being brought to Oakland Zoo where they are currently being quarantined, given medical attention and cared for by the Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.

The second male cub arrived at Oakland Zoo on Monday and is doing very well. Zookeepers describe him as ‘feisty’ compared to his counterpart, who is more shy and cautious. Mountain Lions are new to Oakland Zoo, and these two cubs and the events that led them to need a ‘forever home’ will serve as educational ambassadors at Oakland Zoo’s upcoming 56-acre California Trail expansion, opening in June 2018.

“It is an honor to provide a forever home for these young Mountain Lions, and honor their lives further by working to help conserve their wild counterparts. We have a lot of work to do to better protect and conserve pumas, from proper education to establishing wildlife crossings and proper enclosures for pets and livestock. Oakland Zoo will continue to work in our BACAT Alliance with CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bay Area Puma Project, Mountain Lion Foundation to inspire our community to both understand and take action for our precious local lion,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.

Continue reading "Oakland Zoo Cares for Mountain Lion Orphans" »


Red Panda Cubs Are Ready for Adventure

On August 12, 2017, Lee Richardson Zoo happily announced the birth of Red Panda cubs. The Zoo is now excited to announce that the cub’s seven-year-old mom, Ember, is allowing her little ones to venture outside of their den, where visitors can catch a glimpse of their antics.

Since their birth in late summer, the little family has been tucked away spending the necessary time to bond. Ember has been taking great care of her cubs, and they are now ready to pursue more milestones.

Charlie, the four-year-old father of the cubs, arrived at Lee Richardson Zoo in 2014. According to staff, he and Ember hit it off “almost from the first glance”. Staff attests to their solid relationship by saying that Charlie is at his most relaxed when Ember is near.

However, at this point in their lives, the cubs are Ember’s primary focus. Dad currently doesn’t have full contact with Ember or the cubs. Keepers say that will come a bit later. In the meantime, Charlie has access inside on warm days but can be seen by visitors venturing outside for a stroll.

Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are native to Asia and are most commonly found in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. As their name suggests, the animals are red and have off-white markings, large puffy tails and pointed ears. Red Pandas, like Giant Pandas, have very specialized diet requirements and eat a large amount of bamboo daily.

Superb climbers, Red Pandas can descend trees head first like a squirrel thanks to a special rotating ankle joint.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies Red Pandas as “Endangered”. According to the IUCN, their biggest threats come from habitat loss and fragmentation, habitat degradation and physical threats. There has also been an increase in poaching and trafficking for the pet trade.

Red Pandas are part of the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) in zoos around the world. GSMP is allied with field conservation efforts for animals around the world.

To learn more about how to help Red Pandas, visit: https://redpandanetwork.org/


Manatee Calf Charms Visitors at Beauval Zoo

1_24837444_1827833990574872_8539890474010420125_o

Visitors to Zoo de Beauval have been enamored of a six-week-old West Indian Manatee, named Kali’na. The calf was born October 28 to her six-year-old mother, Lolita.

First-time mom, Lolita, originally gave birth to twin females. Typically, a Manatee calf will weigh around 20 kg at birth. Lolita’s calves weighed-in at 10 and 15 kg. Although veterinarians and keepers worked to save the smaller of the two females, she did not survive the first day.

Since that time, the remaining twin has been meticulously cared for by Lolita and keepers say they are both doing very well. Keepers named the new calf Kali’na in reference to a tribe native to Guyana.

2_24831306_1827833867241551_7625735601941147475_o
2_24831306_1827833867241551_7625735601941147475_o
2_24831306_1827833867241551_7625735601941147475_oPhoto Credits: Zoo de Beauval

The West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), or "Sea Cow", is the largest surviving member of the aquatic mammal order Sirenia (which also includes the Dugong and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow). As its name implies, the West Indian manatee lives in the West Indies, or Caribbean, generally in shallow coastal areas.

The gestation period for a Manatee is 12 to 14 months. Normally, one calf is born, although on rare occasions two have been recorded. The young are born with molars, allowing them to consume sea grass within the first three weeks of birth. The family unit consists of mother and calf, which remain together for up to two years. Males contribute no parental care to the calf.

The West Indian Manatee was placed on the Endangered Species List in the 1970s, when there were only several hundred left. The species has been of great conservation concern to federal, state, private, and nonprofit organizations to protect these species from natural and human-induced threats like collisions with boats. On March 30, 2017, the United States Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, announced the federal reclassification of the Manatee from “endangered” to “threatened”, as the number of Sea Cows had increased to over 6,000. On a global scale, the species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

5_25073148_1827833953908209_3271918509727755983_o
5_25073148_1827833953908209_3271918509727755983_o


Help Lion Conservation by Voting for New Cub’s Name

1_DSC_0467

The Virginia Zoo’s new African Lion cub needs a name, and the Zoo is asking for your help! By submitting and voting on potential names, you’ll also be helping to save Lions in their native Africa.

The naming contest began Monday, December 11 at 9 am and will conclude on Friday, December 22 at Noon. Participants can submit a name to the contest by paying $1. Each subsequent vote for a name is $1. The name with the most votes wins and will be announced on Christmas morning.

The Virginia Zoo will donate 100-percent of the naming contest proceeds to the Pride Lion Conservation Alliance (pridelionalliance.org), which leads efforts in four key Lion ranges, researching and protecting 20-percent of Africa’s existing wild Lion population.

“Now is your chance to name the cub and help to secure a future for all Lions!” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo.

To cast a vote, visit: www.virginiazoo.org/lion-cub-naming.

2_DSC_0856
2_DSC_0856

4_IMG_2131Photo Credits: Virginia Zoo 

The male cub was born on October 28 to experienced mom, Zola, and dad, Mramba. The cub weighed just three pounds-five ounces at birth and was an immediate joy to all his keepers.

The cub now weighs approximately 12 pounds. According to keepers, he climbs in and out of his nest box, chases mom’s tail, and has been exploring his enclosure.

“The birth of any animal is always exciting,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “The birth of this Lion cub specifically is a significant contribution to its genetic population and also provides a fun educational opportunity to our community.”

Thirteen-year-old Zola gave birth in her indoor den in the Zoo’s Africa-Okavango Delta exhibit. According to keepers, she immediately displayed natural instincts of nursing and grooming the cub. Routine physical exams will be performed as the cub grows, and he will receive vaccinations to strengthen his immune system before going out on exhibit.

For more information, visit: www.virginiazoo.org .

5_new mom Zola
6_new dad Mramba


Perth Zoo Releases Numbats at Wildlife Sanctuary

1_AlexAsbury_numbatjoey_1

On December 6, ten of the nineteen Numbats, born this year at Perth Zoo, were fitted with radio collars and released into the wild of Australia’s second largest feral cat-free area.

The eleven-month-old Numbats, born under a collaborative breeding program between Perth Zoo and Parks and Wildlife Service, were released at Mt. Gibson Sanctuary managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy in WA’s mid-west.

2_22339445_10155240101006715_5301662608072619652_o
2_22339445_10155240101006715_5301662608072619652_o
2_22339445_10155240101006715_5301662608072619652_oPhoto Credits: Alex Asbury "The Photo Poet" (Images: 1-3,5) / Perth Zoo (Image: 4) 

Prior to the release, Perth Zoo Keeper, Jessica Morrison, said, “The release of our Numbats to the wild is the culmination of a lot of hard work, but the ultimate goal of our breeding program, the only one in the world for this endangered species.”

“It is particularly exciting to release them at Mt Gibson Sanctuary as Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action fundraising program helped fund the predator proof fence, and the removal of feral cats and foxes is key to the survival of the Numbat which have been decimated by introduced predators.”

“We released our first Zoo-born Numbats to the same area last year, and they’ve since had offspring! We hope this year’s wild recruits will follow in their footsteps and help build a robust insurance population against extinction.”

Perth Zoo and Parks and Wildlife Service established the Numbat breeding program in 1987, studying and perfecting the species’ reproductive biology over the next five years. The first successful breeding at Perth Zoo was in 1993. Since then more than 200 individuals have been released to the wild which has helped re-establish four populations within their former range.

In preparation for their life in the wild, the Numbats were fitted with radio collars by Dr. Tony Friend from Parks and Wildlife Service. “Radio tracking will enable researchers to learn more about the Numbats’ movements and enable field staff to determine if female Numbats have reproduced at the completion of the mating season,” he said.

Funding for the radio collars was generously provided by the community group, “Project Numbat”.

The Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) is a marsupial native to Western Australia and recently re-introduced to South Australia. Its diet consists almost exclusively of termites.

The Numbat is Western Australia’s mammal emblem and is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Approximately 1,000 Numbats remain in the wild.

Perth Zoo is committed to native species conservation, with dedicated breeding facilities located behind the scenes at the Zoo. This year, the 4,000th animal bred or reared at the Zoo was released into the wild. Species currently being bred for release at the Zoo to fight extinction include: Numbat, Dibbler, Western Swamp Tortoise and rare frogs found only in the Margaret River region.

5_21552097_10155164895521715_2897338203685037213_o


Two Baby Lemurs Are Twice the Fun

_AT_042720151016Taronga Western Plains Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of not one, but two Ring-tailed Lemur babies!

A male baby was born on September 1 to mother Rakitra. He was joined eight weeks later on October 28 by a female, born to mother Cleopatra. Both Rakitra and Cleopatra came to the Zoo from Italy in 2012 to boost the Ring-tailed Lemur breeding program.

_AT_042720151016
_AT_042720151016
Photo Credit: Rick Stevens

“It’s very exciting to welcome two healthy Ring-tailed Lemur babies this year, and particularly special to have one of each sex,” Keeper Sasha Brook said. “Both babies are being well cared for by their experienced mothers, and can be spotted riding on their mothers’ backs at the Ring-tailed Lemur breeding facility,” Sasha said.

“At three months of age, Rakitra’s male baby is already spending more time away from his mother and interacting with the two sets of twins born last year. He spends lots of time wrestling with them, and it’s great to see the twins playing gently with the baby,” Sasha said.

“At nearly five weeks of age, Cleopatra’s female baby is still developing her coordination skills, but we have noticed her also start to bounce away from her mother for short periods of time. Cleopatra is particularly relaxed around her keepers, so she doesn’t mind her baby exploring. “We’ll start to see the female baby play with others soon, including her older brother, but for now it’s very positive that she’s bonding with her mother,” Sasha said.

Continue reading "Two Baby Lemurs Are Twice the Fun" »