Celebrate ‘World Giraffe Day’ With This New Calf

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Today is ‘World Giraffe Day’, and what better way to celebrate than by announcing a new Giraffe birth!

On June 8, the Fort Worth Zoo welcomed a male Reticulated Giraffe to the herd. At birth, the soon-to-be named calf weighed 185 pounds and stood roughly 6 feet tall. When fully grown, he will weigh up to 3,000 pounds and measure about 18 feet from head to hoof.

The Fort Worth Zoo houses Reticulated Giraffes, and their name describes the mammal’s chestnut-brown rectangular markings. Like human fingerprints, each Giraffe pattern is different. Native to the African savannas, a Giraffe’s most distinguishing feature is its long neck, which can account for 7 feet of its height.

The new calf, along with the rest of the herd, will soon join several other species in the Zoo’s new African Savanna exhibit, scheduled to open next year. Guests will not only see mixed species interacting and sharing the space, but will also have an opportunity to stand eye-to-eye and feed these gentle giants.

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According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF): “World Giraffe Day is an exciting annual event initiated by GCF to celebrate the longest-necked animal on the longest day or night (depending on which hemisphere you live!) of the year – 21 June – every year!

Not only is it a worldwide celebration of these amazing and much loved animals, but an annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild. By supporting World Giraffe Day (WGD) you directly help save giraffe in Africa. With only 100,000 giraffe remaining in the wild, the time is right to act NOW!

Zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations around the world are hosting events on 21 June every year to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild.”

For more information on ‘World Giraffe Day’, please see GCF’s website: https://giraffeconservation.org/

More great pics below the fold!

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SeaWorld Orlando Welcomes First Walrus Calf

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Kaboodle, a 14 year-old Walrus at SeaWorld Orlando, welcomed her first calf in early June. This is a first for the SeaWorld Orlando family, and they are justifiably excited!

According to SeaWorld’s animal care ambassadors, who kept a close watch on Kaboodle throughout her pregnancy, mom and calf immediately bonded and have been inseparable ever since.

Guests won’t be able to see Kaboodle and her calf, just yet. The adorable pair is currently under 24-hour care with their husbandry team to make sure than mom and calf are growing and thriving together.

Check with SeaWorld’s social channels and website for updates: https://seaworld.com/

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The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. It is the only living species in the family Odobenidae and genus Odobenus. This species is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic Walrus (O. r. rosmarus) which lives in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Walrus (O. r. divergens) which lives in the Pacific Ocean, and O. r. laptevi, which lives in the Laptev Sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Adult Walruses are recognized by their prominent tusks, whiskers, and bulkiness. Adult males in the Pacific can weigh more than 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) and are exceeded in size only by the two species of Elephant Seals.

Walruses live mostly in shallow waters above the continental shelves, spending significant amounts of their lives on the sea ice looking for benthic bivalve mollusks to eat. Walruses are relatively long-lived, social animals, and they are considered to be a "keystone species" in the Arctic marine regions.

Gestation lasts 15 to 16 months. The first three to four months are spent with the blastula in suspended development before it implants itself in the uterus. This strategy of delayed implantation, common among pinnipeds, presumably evolved to optimize both the mating season and the birthing season, determined by ecological conditions that promote newborn survival. Calves are born during the spring migration, from April to June. They weigh about 45 to 75 kg (99 to 165 lb) at birth and are able to swim.

Mothers nurse for over a year before weaning, but the young can spend up to five years with the mothers. Calves are born with robust whiskers, which help identify the shellfish they can eat. Because ovulation is suppressed until the calf is weaned, females give birth at most every two years, leaving the Walrus with the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.

Walruses live about 20-30 years in the wild.

While Walruses are not yet classified as a threatened species by the IUCN, they have been adversely affected by global climate change. That’s where SeaWorld Orlando has stepped in to help. With the permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the park has been able to aid and care for orphaned Walrus calves.


Meet Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Canada Lynx Kittens

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo recently introduced their newest litter of Canada Lynx kittens! The litter of four was born May 6 to mom, Migina, and dad, Kajika.

Both mom and dad are ten-years-old. This is Migina’s third litter, and keepers say she is a protective and caring mom.

Zookeepers say the new litter is venturing out more and more. They can be seen in the Lynx’s Off-exhibit Area, which is viewable from the Grizzly Boardwalk.

Mom, Migina, always keeps a close eye on her four kits as they explore their area, but it will still be a while before they are all in the main Lynx Exhibit. Until they make their way to the main exhibit, fans of the kittens can check with the zoo’s social media channels for updates.

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4_IMG_2528Photo Credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. It ranges across Canada and into Alaska as well as some parts of the northern United States and extending down the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, where they were reintroduced in the 1990s.

Gestation lasts around 64 days. Young are usually born in May or early June. Before birth, the female prepares a maternal den, usually in very thick brush, and typically inside thickets of shrubs or trees or woody debris.

Litters contain one to four kittens, and tend to be much larger when the food supply is abundant.

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Bat-eared Fox Kits Stealing Hearts at Zoo Krefeld

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A trio of month-old Bat-eared Fox kits are stealing hearts at Germany’s Zoo Krefeld since they emerged from their den in early June.

It’s been ten years since Bat-eared Foxes were born at Zoo Krefeld, and the arrival of a new female in February revived the breeding program.

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Csm_ZooKR_Loeffelhundnachwuchs_Vera_Gorissen_de12e412d1Photo Credits: Hella Hallmann (1, 2, 4), Stjepan Ivekovic (3), Zoo Krefeld (5) 

Very few European zoos hold these charismatic African foxes. Bat-eared Foxes differ from other members of the Canid family in many ways. Instead of 34 differentiated teeth, they have nearly 50 needle-sharp teeth, which are used to chew their favorite food – insects (mainly termites). Their large ears help them locate insects hiding below ground and help cool the body as blood passes through the ears’ thin skin.  

Bat-eared Foxes live on the grasslands and savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. They are not under significant threat at this time, though changing land use patterns could pose a threat in the future.

 


Cheetah Quintuplets Born at Prague Zoo

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The Czech Republic’s Prague Zoo welcomed a litter of five Cheetah cubs on May 15.

Mother Savannah, age 6, is caring for her quintuplets behind the scenes. The litter includes three male and two female cubs. The family is expected to move into their viewing habitat later this summer.

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19059119_10154393842407581_6141597325846852336_nPhoto Credit: Prague Zoo

Well known as the world’s fastest land animals, Cheetahs are skilled hunters. Their bodies are built for efficient sprinting. Reaching speeds of up to 70 mph, Cheetahs can run down even the fastest of prey. However, they maintain these high speeds for only a minute or two, then give up the chase. Cheetahs are successful in about half of their hunts.

Depending on where they live, Cheetahs target small Gazelles or the young of larger Antelope species when hunting. Prey is taken down with a swat of the dewclaw or a bite to the neck.

Cheetahs are in steep decline in the wild. Found only in Africa and a small part of Iran, fewer than 7,000 wild Cheetahs remain.  As farms and cities expand, Cheetahs’ home ranges are reduced. Due to a genetic bottleneck in the population during the Ice Age, all Cheetahs exhibit genetic similarity. This can lead to reproductive problems and low birth rates, especially when Cheetahs are under human care. Some zoos have found success breeding these Cats by keeping them in large groups, rather than individual pairs.

Currently, Cheetahs are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but conservationists have called for reclassifying Cheetahs as Endangered. Most of the African countries where Cheetahs live have created action plans for protecting these majestic Cats.

 


Five Adorable Arctic Wolf Pups Born at Zoo Brno

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Zoo Brno is home to five incredibly adorable Arctic Wolf pups. A male pup and four females were born just two-months-ago. The siblings can now be seen on-exhibit with their parents.

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4_Zoo Brno Arctic Wolf pupsPhoto Credits: Zoo Brno

The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the Melville Island wolf, is a subspecies of Gray Wolf native to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island.

The Arctic Wolf’s medium-size distinguishes it from the Northwestern Wolf, which is smaller in comparison.

They are carnivorous hunters, and by nature they help to control the populations of other animals in the region like the Musk Ox, Caribou and Arctic Hares.

Unlike other species of Wolf, the Arctic Wolf rarely comes into contact with humans and is not threatened by hunting or persecution. However, industrial development is a threat as an increasing number of mines, roads, and pipelines encroach on its territory and interrupt its food supply.

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Debrecen Zoo Welcomes First Amur Tiger Cub

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A forty-year-old dream has come true with the birth of the first Amur Tiger cub at Debrecen Zoo & Amusement Park. The handsome cub is now more than 7-weeks-old and has remained in healthy condition.

There are only around 3,600 tigers in the World, and half of them are living in Zoos and Wildlife sanctuaries. Debrecen Zoo & Amusement Park has been keeping the Amur Tiger subspecies since 1973.

This subspecies, along with the Sumatran Tiger subspecies, is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (EAZA) European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

The parents of the new tiger cub are: Mishka, who arrived from Zoo African Safari, and first-time mother, Rose, who was born at Port Lympne Reserve. The pair arrived at Debrecen in 2014 and, according to keepers, quickly “fell in love”.

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Unfortunately, new mother Rose’s maternal instincts did not kick in after the cub was born. Zookeepers made the important decision to hand-raise the cub in an effort to ensure his proper care. Debrecen staff relates that it’s not uncommon for first-time tiger moms not to know what to do. They want to communicate that their colleagues are doing their best to help him grow strong and healthy.

The curious cub is now welcoming visitors every day at 10AM and 2PM, in the Zoo’s Tiger Exhibit.

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Sweet Pack of Red Ruffed Lemurs Born in Nashville

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of four Red Ruffed Lemurs on May 30. A little male, who has been named Emilio, and his three demure sisters (named Demi, Ally, and Andie) are the second group of Lemurs to be born at Nashville Zoo since the Zoo moved to their Grassmere property in 1996. This is also the second litter for their nine-year-old mom, Lyra.

The new babies weighed roughly 75 to 90 grams each at birth, and were approximately 8-10 inches long.

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4_NashvilleZooRedRuffedLemur_AndiePhoto Credits: Nashville Zoo (Image 1: Emilio/ 2: Demi/ 3: Ally/ 4: Andie)

With the addition of the four babies, Nashville Zoo is now home to a total of nine Red Ruffed Lemurs.

Unlike other primate species, Red Ruffed Lemurs do not carry their young. Instead, they keep their young in a nest, nursing and caring for them until they are more independent and mobile.

Zoo guests can see the new litter’s three older siblings and dad, Dino, on exhibit along ‘Bamboo Trail’. The four newest additions will remain indoors with mom until they are old enough to venture outside, which zookeepers estimate to be in about a month.

Red Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia rubra) are one of more than 100 species of Lemurs on the island of Madagascar. The IUCN has classified the species as “Critically Endangered” in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and pet trade.

Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population. The Zoo also contributes financially to SAVA Conservation, which works on saving the Lemur species in the wild. More information can be found at: http://lemur.duke.edu/protect/conservation/sava-conservation/ .


Pittsburgh Zoo Cares for Preemie Elephant Calf

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Seeni, one of three African Elephants rescued from Botswana in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, delivered her calf one month early. The premature little female was born on May 31 at the International Conservation Center’s Maternal Care Barn.

“To say that we were shocked when we walked into the barn that morning is understatement,” says Willie Theison, Elephant Manager at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and International Conservation Center. “Seeni wasn’t expected to calve until the end of June, so to walk in in the morning and see this tiny little elephant attempting to stand on wobbly legs was a total surprise.”

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Keepers immediately began using towels to warm the calf. “Our first concern was to ensure that the calf was ok,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “Being born one month early, she weighted only 184 pounds, which is 52 pounds below the median birth weight of a calf born full-term.” Normal elephant calf weighs between 207-290 pounds at birth.

After a physical exam of both mother and calf, it was determined that Seeni had not begun producing the milk needed to feed the little calf, so Theison immediately began teaching the calf to bottle feed, using cow calf bottles.

It is very important in the first 48 hours that the elephant calf receives colostrum through milk to stimulate its immune system. Normally the calf would nurse and mom would pass along the important antibodies. Cow colostrum was used initially to feed the calf, and then the switch was made to African Elephant milk that was shipped in for the daily feedings.

Theison knew that there was a possibility that Seeni might not bond with her calf. “Seeni was orphaned at an early age due to the culling of her parents in South Africa,” says Theison. “Her only companions were Thandi and Sukuri, so she never had a bonding relationship with her mother. She doesn’t understand how to care for a young calf.”

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Here Is the Latest on Memphis Zoo’s Sassy Hippo!

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Back in the spring, ZooBorns was happy to announce the arrival of a Nile Hippopotamus at the Memphis Zoo. (“Memphis Zoo’s Beautiful Bundle of Joy Needs a Name”)

Mom, Binti, gave birth to the healthy 76-pound girl on March 23, and the sassy little Hippo soon became a Zoo favorite.

“This is one of our most significant births in a long, long time,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs at the Memphis Zoo, after the calf’s debut. “It’s also incredibly special – as Binti and her baby are carrying on our legacy of Hippos in their brand new home, Zambezi River Hippo Camp.”

The new Hippo made her public debut April 8, and the Zoo immediately organized a naming contest for the new girl. After almost 23,000 votes were cast, the Zoo announced the winning name was “Winnie”.

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This infant is the second for mother, Binti, and first for father, Uzazi. Nineteen-year-old Binti was born at the Denver Zoo. She arrived at Memphis in 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Her name means “daughter,” or “young lady,” in Swahili. Uzazi, the 16-year-old father, arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2016 in preparation for the opening of Zambezi River Hippo Camp. His name is derived from a Swahili word meaning “good parent.”

Memphis Zoo plans to have little Winnie and her mom, Binti, on exhibit everyday. However, they will rotate on exhibit with the Zoo’s other two adult Hippos, Splish and Uzazi.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Zoo provides video updates on Winnie. Check their website: www.memphiszoo.org/hippo or Facebook page for news on Winnie.

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