Visitors to Taronga's Backyard to Bush got a surprise last Friday when the zoo's MacArthur Merino Sheep, Berry, gave birth on exhibit! The healthy female lamb, who keepers’ have named Button, can now be seen alongside mum at Taronga’s farmyard.
Zoo Praha has managed to parent-rear a Philippine Scops Owl chick. The endangered species of owl lives only in the northern part of the Philippines. Prague Zoo actively contributes to its protection in cooperation with the rescue station for owls on the Philippine island of Negros. So far, the sex of the chick is unknown. Currently Zoo Praha has one breeding pair of Philippine Scops Owls. The female came from Luzon Island and the male was reared at Wroclaw Zoo.
ZSL London Zoo has welcomed its first ever baby Sloth, after a very surprise pregnancy.
Zookeepers were dealt a huge surprise in the Rainforest Life exhibit when female Sloth Marilyn was found to be pregnant – as they didn’t even know the male and female had mated.
Photo credit: Paul Boyd
Male Leander arrived from Germany at the end of 2012 to be paired with ZSL London Zoo’s resident female Marilyn, but despite their ploys to get the pair together, keepers had no idea that the sloths had even acknowledged one another, let alone successfully mated.
Two Snowy Owls have hatched at Drusillas Park and have been turning heads at the award winning zoo in East Sussex.
The little hoots were discovered by keepers on June 12th and 14th and are making excellent progress. The chicks are the first to be successfully reared at the zoo in over 15 years and staff are delighted.
Fluffy and grey, the tiny snow-balls currently bear a greater resemblance to ugly ducklings. However, as new feathers replace the down, the birds will gradually turn lighter and eventually develop the stunning white plumage of their parents.
In the wild, these beautiful birds inhabit the chilly skies above the Arctic, where temperatures are incredibly low and snow is common. Pairs generally mate for life and build nests at ground level, laying up to 11 eggs at a time.
Proud parents, Zapper and Zephyr were introduced at Drusillas Park in 2008, after winging their way from Drayton Manor and Linton Zoo respectively. Both of them have been looking after the chicks, who are dependent on them for food and care for approximately 7 weeks.
Lily, a one-and-a-half-year-old Asian Elephant, enjoyed some splash time with the entire herd this week at the Oregon Zoo.
Photo Credit: Shervin Hess
The Oregon Zoo’s Elephant herd includes Lily, her mother Rose-Tu, her father Tusko, brother Samudra, adult males Rama and Packy, and adult females Chendra and Sung-Surin.
Elephants regularly enter lakes and rivers to drink, bathe, and play. Elephants are also good swimmers! They paddle with their legs and use their trunks as snorkels. Elephants are rarely far from fresh water, and drink up to 50 gallons of water a day.
Asian Elephants are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Once ranging across Southeast Asia, their habitat is now fragmented due to extensive development for agriculture and a growing human population.
There’s much excitement at the United Kingdom’s Dudley Zoo! Three Carpathian Lynx cubs – the first ever born at the zoo – arrived on May 23.
Photo Credit: Dudley Zoological Gardens
The triplets have been tucked in their den with mother Daisy since birth, but they started to explore the great outdoors this week.
Assistant Curator Richard Brown said of first-time mother Daisy, “We’re all absolutely delighted with the cubs’ progress. We've got a few more weeks to wait until we find out what sex they are, when we'll also be giving them their first vaccinations."
Dad is three-year-old Dave, who remains in the enclosure with Daisy and their offspring.
Carpathian Lynx are a subspecies of Eurasian Lynx found in the Carpathian mountains of Romania. Scientists believe that about 2,500 Lynx live in these forests, the densest population in all of Europe.
Lynx are secretive cats, and are most active early in the morning and late at night. They feed on hares, birds, and other small prey.
In some parts of Europe, these cats are locally extinct due to loss of habitat.
All four Red Panda pairs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., successfully bred and had cubs this year. Of the 10 cubs, more born at SCBI than any other year, seven have survived.
The latest pair to have cubs was Shama and Rusty, who are best known to the public. Rusty gained national attention in June 2013 after he escaped from his enclosure on Asia Trail at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Shama, an experienced mother, gave birth to three cubs June 26. This is the first litter Rusty has sired. Keepers had been monitoring Shama closely the past few weeks since her behavior indicated she might be pregnant. Keepers are observing the cubs via a closed-circuit camera, and the cubs appear healthy.
Rusty and Shama’s three cubs join three other litters born within the past five weeks. Two cubs were born May 27 to female Yanhua and male Sherman. It was their first litter.
Two more cubs were born June 16 to female Regan and male Rocco. One cub was stillborn; the other is being hand-reared to increase chances of survival. The surviving cub is currently in critical condition and receiving round-the-clock care. Keepers took extra steps to prepare for the birth of Regan’s cubs. She has given birth before, but has neglected cubs in the past. As a result, keepers trained her to voluntarily participate in ultrasounds, and they moved her to the veterinary hospital before the birth and monitored her 24 hours a day when she began showing signs consistent with an impending birth. Regan is very genetically valuable to the red panda population in human care, and keepers took every precaution to increase the likelihood of a successful birth.
Mum, Karin, who was born in the Czech Republic in 2002, gave birth to the male calf on June 2, 2014. This is a major event for the Park as Muskox are difficult to breed due to high neonatal mortality rates. The last Muskox calf to survive until adulthood in the UK was born in 1992.
Last year, Belle the Muskox calf sadly passed away at Highland Wildlife Park at around five months old due to an injury inflicted by one of her parents. Musk-ox calves are notoriously difficult to rear in captivity as their weak immune systems means that they are highly susceptible to disease and infection, and the inherent aggressiveness of the adults further complicates the situation. This year keepers are working hard to make sure this new arrival has a successful outcome.
Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections at Highland Wildlife Park, said:
“Although we are very pleased with our latest Muskox calf, we are certainly not out of the woods yet and have a long way to go before we can confidently say that we have been successful. He is growing well and is being closely monitored by his keepers, but the young of the species are extremely fragile and in light of losing last year’s calf, we have altered our husbandry protocol to hopefully avoid a similar problem. He will remain off show with his mother for some time yet and will be named at a later date.”
On June 10, Wroclaw Zoo welcomed a female South African Fur Seal. This is the first offspring for the zoo's Seal group and keepers are pleased to report that the pups mother is taking great care of her newborn. Mother and child have been behind the scenes to allow the pair space and time to bond. After two weeks, keepers checked the sex of the pup and administered a medical examination. The female pup is healthy and curious about her surroundings, including her keepers.
Five Golden Jackal pups were born this spring at Germany’s NaturZoo Rheine. Though not rare in the wild, this species is seldom found in zoos.
Photo Credit: NaturZoo Rheine
The Golden Jackal pack at NaturZoo Rheine lives “semi-wild” in an enclosure with Sloth Bears. The Jackals dig burrows, where they sleep and raise their young.
Zoo keepers become aware of new pups not by seeing the pups themselves – instead, they see the adult female’s enlarged teats, indicating that she is nursing pups. The young Jackals remain in the den for several weeks. Then, the first sightings of pups begin to take place. Until keepers see all of the pups outside at once, it is difficult to tell the size of the litter. But they now know for sure that they have five pups!
Golden Jackals live in eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. They travel in family units and adapt readily to changes in the food supply, feeding on anything from rodents, birds, fruits, and fish, to tubers and nuts. Jackals figure prominently in European and Middle Eastern folklore, where they often play the role of a sly trickster.