Three Maned Wolf pups are the newest additions at the Little Rock Zoo. The trio was born December 21 to parents Gabby and Diego. The two females and their brother currently weigh around two pounds each.
Zoo visitors to the Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost may have recently noticed “Quiet Please” signs on one of the observation decks. Gabby’s den is beneath the deck, and keepers want to help the new family enjoy their bonding time.
“We don’t want to stress her out,” said Debbie Thompson, Carnivores Curator at the Zoo. “For example, if there were too much noise on the deck, we wouldn’t want her to bring the pups out in the cold.”
Thompson said it would likely be six more weeks before Zoo guests can hope to see the pups in the exhibit. However, she notes that a lucky few may catch a glimpse of them before then.
“Gabby has already moved all three out into one of the huts. She stayed there all day then moved them all back to the den,” Thompson said.
Those who catch sight of the pups now might think they look like a different species from the parents. At birth they’re covered in black fur with white-tipped tails, while their parents resemble foxes on stilts.
The Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf, as it is not closely related to other canids. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon (meaning "golden dog").
Adults have the thick red coat, tall erect ears, pointed muzzle and white-tipped tails of foxes, but long slender black legs.
Native to South America’s forests, grasslands, savannas, marshes and wetlands, these omnivorous animals eat fruits*, vegetables, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as birds and insects.
*(According to Little Rock Zoo keepers, Gabby and Diego’s favorite fruit is bananas!)
The sisters were born November 19. Unfortunately, their mother wasn’t caring for them after their birth, so the Zoo’s animal care staff had to intervene.
Although the girls are yet-to-be-named, keepers have been calling them “Yellow” and “Purple” (due to the colors of the temporary ID markings put on their tails).
Nursery staff reports that the cubs are very active and playing almost constantly, with only short catnaps during the day. They are eating ground meat, with some formula supplement, but keepers say they will be weaned very soon.
The two growing Cheetahs have also been given more play area. Previously, the sisters were cared for in the nursery’s large playpen. However, now that they are bigger, they have been given access to their entire nursery room.
To prepare the nursery for the cubs, animal care staff had to “kitten-proof” the room, much the same way that parents would prepare a house for a toddler: electrical sockets were blocked, electrical cords were taken away, and any small spaces or sharp corners were filled or covered with towels and blankets.
Photo Credits: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Guests visiting the Safari Park can see the Cheetahs, currently known as Purple and Yellow, in their nursery at Nairobi Station between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. However, the cubs will eventually be transferred to the San Diego Zoo to serve as animal ambassadors for their species. To prepare the cubs for this, animal care staff at the Park are working with Zoo staff to crate train the cubs, as crate travel will be the primary way the Cheetahs will be transported for their animal ambassador appearances. Keepers attempt to make the crates comfortable and a rewarding place for the cubs to relax, and they encourage the young Cheetahs to retreat to their crates for naps and sleeping.
A recent survey shows that Cheetah populations in their historic range are much lower than previously thought. According to a study published in December 2016, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there are only 7,100 Cheetahs remaining within the species’ native habitat. The last comprehensive survey of African cheetah populations was conducted in 1975, when it was estimated there were 14,000 Cheetahs.
San Diego Zoo Global, which has been breeding Cheetahs for more than 40 years, is working to create an assurance population of Cheetahs by participating in the national Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (BCC). By building a sustainable cheetah population, San Diego Zoo Global and the other eight members of the Cheetah BCC are working to prevent extinction of the world’s fastest land animal. The Cheetah BCC was formed in late 2012 as part of the Cheetah Sustainability Program, a partnership between the Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program.
An extremely rare Philippine Spotted Deer was born on December 26 at Chester Zoo. The tiny male fawn, which keepers say appears healthy and strong, was shown off for the first time by its proud parents this week.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo
Philippine Spotted Deer are one of the world’s most threatened Deer species. Zookeepers have hailed the arrival as “a big boost for the species” with fewer than 2,500 of the animals – listed as endangered on Internal Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species - now estimated to remain in the wild.
Experts say a combination of factors including illegal hunting and large-scale habitat loss have contributed to the demise of the species.
As they breed a back-up population in Europe at the request of the Philippine government, Chester Zoo staff support efforts to protect and restore Deer habitat in the Philippines and build breeding centers for the species.
Like many island nations, the Philippines are home to many unique species. But a rapidly expanding human population, along with the loss of 90% of the islands’ original forest cover, has brought many species under threat.
In the wild, the Deer can be found in the rainforests of the Philippines’ Visayan islands of Panay and Negros. It once roamed across other Visayan islands such as Cebu, Guimaras, Leyte, Masbate and Samar – but is now regionally extinct on those islands.
When Quetta the Indian Rhinoceros, who is normally calm and relaxed, began nervously pacing at the Basel Zoo on Saturday, January 7, keepers suspected that she might be in labor. Quetta remained in her stall all night, alternately standing and lying down. Around 11:45 PM, she delivered a healthy male calf after a 492-day pregnancy.
Born while his mother was standing up, the calf, named Orys, landed on his back but soon rolled onto his stomach. Within an hour he was standing on wobbly legs. Though he is tiny compared to his mother, Orys weighed an impressive 150 pounds a few days after birth.
Photo Credit: Basel Zoo
Basel Zoo has a long history of breeding Rhinos. Orys is Quetta’s fourth calf and the 35th Indian Rhinoceros to be reared at Basel Zoo. The first Indian Rhino birth in a European Zoo occurred at Basel Zoo in 1956.
Every Rhino birth is significant. Once ranging across Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, Indian Rhinos are now found only in a few protected areas in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Indian Rhinos are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with about 3,500 individuals remaining in the wild. Indian Rhinos are one of five Rhino species in the world, and all are under threat.
Basel Zoo coordinates the International Studbook and the European Endangered Species Programme for Indian Rhinos and is active in the ‘Indian Rhino Vision 2020’ project to conserve wild Rhinos in India. Globally, about 220 Indian Rhinos live in zoos.
Adventure Aquarium welcomed its own “Baby New Year” for 2017. Last week, the New Jersey facility announced the arrival of their new Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatchling.
The young turtle hatched in August and will call Adventure Aquarium home for most of the year. This coming fall, it will be released into the Gulf Stream, off the coast of North Carolina, along with other yearlings from aquariums all over the country.
Staff says they won’t know the gender of the little one, as that can’t be identified until a Loggerhead Sea Turtle reaches sexual maturity at the approximate age of 21.
Each year, Adventure Aquarium welcomes a hatchling from North Carolina Aquarium, at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Program, to rehabilitate for one year. Biologists will help guide and train the hatchling to do activities it would normally do in the wild as a sort of “survival school” for Sea Turtles.
“The hatchling came to us weighing 86 grams [a little over 3 oz.] and is now over 226 grams, or just under eight ounces,” said Nikki Grandinetti, Curator of Fish and Invertebrates at Adventure Aquarium. “He loves jellies and shrimp. He’s also very active and investigates anything with his mouth.”
Photo Credits: Adventure Aquarium
During the month of January, Adventure Aquarium is also asking guests to help select the name of the young turtle at a voting station located in the Main Lobby of the Aquarium. The name options are: Darwin, Griswold, Groot and Tina. Using spare change, guests visiting Adventure Aquarium will be able to vote for their favorite name choice. The winning name will be announced this coming February.
Check Adventure Aquarium’s website and social accounts for the latest news about their Loggerhead hatchling, as well as the other Aquarium animals, events and more: http://www.adventureaquarium.com
At the beginning of November, two Llamas were born the same day at Zoo Basel.
The half-brothers, who look like night and day, were both sired by Salvajo. Darkly hued Novio was born to mom, Nala, and his lighter colored brother, Nabo, was welcomed by mom Saphira.
Zoo Basel keepers discovered newborn Novio, early on the morning of November 2, in the stable. Saphira gave birth to her boy Nabo on the evening of the same day.
The half-brothers enjoy playing together and have already begun to measure their strength with playful battles.
Photo Credits: Zoo Basel
The Llama (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.
At birth, a baby Llama (called a cria) can weigh between 9 and 14 kg (20 and 31 lb). Llamas typically live for 15 to 25 years, with some individuals surviving 30 years or more.
They are very social animals and live with other Llamas as a herd. The wool they produce is very soft and lanolin-free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions.
The gestation period of a Llama is 11.5 months (350 days). Dams (female llamas) do not lick off their babies, as they have an attached tongue that does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch. They are said to nuzzle and hum to their newborns.
As inhabitants of the highlands, Llamas are accustomed to great temperature differences and are highly adaptable, with their woolly dress protecting them from cold.
The Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) is a species of mammal in the family Tayassuidae found in North, Central, and South America. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as quenk.
Although somewhat related to the pigs and frequently referred to as one, this species and the other peccaries are no longer classified in the pig family, Suidae.
The Collared Peccary stands around 510–610 millimeters (20–24 in) tall at the shoulder and is about 1.0–1.5 m (3 ft 3 in–4 ft 11 in) long. It weighs between 16 and 27 kg (35 and 60 lb).
The species has small tusks that point toward the ground when the animal is upright. It also has slender legs with a robust or stocky body. The tail is often hidden in the coarse fur of the peccary.
Collared Peccaries normally feed on cactus, mesquite beans, fruits, roots, tubers, palm nuts, grasses, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. In areas inhabited by humans, they will also consume cultivated crops and ornamental plants, such as tulip bulbs.
They are diurnal creatures that live in groups of up to 50 individuals, averaging between six and 9 members. They frequently sleep at night in burrows, often under the roots of trees, but sometimes they can be found in caves or under logs. However, the species is not completely diurnal. In central Arizona they are often active at night but less so during daytime.
Although they usually ignore humans, they will react if they feel threatened. They defend themselves with their long tusks, which can sharpen themselves whenever their mouths open or close.
A Collared Peccary will release a strong musk or give a sharp bark if it is alarmed. They also make clacking and barking sounds to warn their enemy, before finally charging to bite.
Collared Peccaries can live for up to 10-15 years in the wild. Females attain sexual maturity between 8-14 months while males are mature at 11 to 12 months.
After mating, the female undergoes a gestation period for up to 150 days. The pregnant females generally move away from the rest of the herd before giving birth, as the herd can be a threat to the newborns. On average, they give birth to a litter of one to five babies that are capable of following their mother soon after birth.
The day after giving birth, the female reunites with the herd. The babies stay close to mother and follow her until they are mature at the age of 11-12 months. During this period, only the older females of the herd are tolerated and allowed to groom the baby. Weaning occurs when the baby is approximately 2-3 months old.
It was a “White Christmas” at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. A Black-and-white Colobus Monkey was born December 25, and the snowy-white infant is now on exhibit at the zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.
The Colobus baby not only joins its 12-year-old mother Kutaka (koo-tah-kah) and 23-year-old father Keanjaha (key-an-ja-ha), it also shares home with 15-month-old female infant Nairobi and two other adult females.
The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined, as the baby is clinging tight to mom and a health check isn’t possible just yet.
The zoo’s Colobus infant is a part of the Black-and-White Colobus Species Survival Plan ® (SSP), which cooperatively manages the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited-zoo population.
The baby is the second successful offspring for this breeding pair. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology carefully monitored the progesterone levels in Kutaka’s urine samples to estimate a due date window and ensure that the mother and baby were healthy for the entire duration of the expected pregnancy.
“Kutaka is an extremely attentive mother,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We’re excited for the newest member of the multi-generational Colobus troop to interact with the entire family from juvenile to geriatric members. In fact, we’ve already observed the infant’s aunt and older sister briefly carrying the new infant, a species-typical behavior called alloparenting or ‘aunting behavior.’”
Photo Credits: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo
One of five species of Colobus Monkeys, the Black-and-white Colobus is an arboreal species native to equatorial Africa.
Lincoln Park Zoo Animal Keeper, Jade Price, recently traveled to Diani Beach, Kenya with Colobus Conservation Limited to participate in conservation efforts focused on the nationally threatened Angolan Colobus Monkey.
At birth, Colobus Monkeys have white hair and pink skin in stark contrast to the black-and-white adults. Around 3-weeks-old, the face and ears start to darken until the infant is almost completely black-and-white at around 3 to 4 months old.
The Colobus infant and parents, Kutaka and Keanjaha, can all be seen on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.
For more information on Lincoln Park Zoo or new arrivals, visit www.lpzoo.org .
The popular brother and sister were born to mom, Yang Yang, on August 7, 2016. In early November, around 12,000 fans of Tiergarten Schönbrunn’s Panda twins cast online votes for names for the wiggly duo.
The male cub was given the name Fu Ban, which translates to “Happy Companion, Happy Half”. The name Fu Feng was given to the female and stands for “phoenix” (which together with the dragon forms the imperial couple in Chinese mythology).
Currently, the Panda House is the Zoo’s number one attraction. Visitors can’t seem to get enough of the fuzzy siblings, and the most asked question at the facility is: “What is the best time to see the Panda twins?”
The answer is however not simple. “Typical for all kinds of young animals, the little ones don’t yet have a daily rhythm. Their day consists of playing, being fed, exploring their surroundings and of course lots of sleeping. When they want to sleep, they both withdraw into their cozy tree hollow, where they can`t be seen,” says zoo director Dagmar Schratter.
Mother Yang Yang always keeps a close eye on her young ones. This is very necessary, as Fu Feng and Fu Ban are full of curiosity as they explore their surroundings.
The siblings are now making their first attempts at climbing, playing with balls, and gnawing on bamboo canes. If they get too boisterous, or when it’s time to be fed, Yan Yan keeps them in-check and carries them by the scruff of the neck to a suitable place.
The zoo is extremely pleased by their development: Fu Ban, the young male currently weighs seven kilos (15.4 lbs.), and his sister Fu Feng weighs more than nine kilos (20 lbs.), which well above average for this age.
Photo Credits: Daniel Zupanc
The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) also known as “panda bear” or simply “panda, is a bear native to south central China. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the Giant Panda's diet is over 99% bamboo. Giant Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.
The Giant Panda is native to a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in neighboring provinces (Shaanxi and Gansu). As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, the Giant Panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. It is classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.
Giant Pandas give birth to twins in about half of pregnancies, and generally, only one twin will survive. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker will die. Experts believe that the mother is unable to produce enough milk for two cubs, since she does not store fat. (The father has no part in helping raise the cub.)
When the cub is first born, it is pink, blind, and toothless, weighing only 90 to 130 grams (3.2 to 4.6 ounces). It nurses from its mother's breast six to 14 times a day for up to 30 minutes at a time. For three to four hours, the mother may leave the den to feed, which leaves the cub defenseless. One to two weeks after birth, the cub's skin turns gray where its hair will eventually become black. A slight pink color may appear on cub's fur, as a result of a chemical reaction between the fur and its mother's saliva. A month after birth, the color pattern of the cub's fur is fully developed. Its fur is very soft and coarsens with age.
The cub begins to crawl at 75 to 80 days of age. The cubs can eat small quantities of bamboo after six months, though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year. Giant Panda cubs weigh 45 kg (100 pounds) at one year, and live with their mothers until they are 18 months to two years old. The interval between births in the wild is generally two years.
A Cheetah mom at Burgers’ Zoo in the Netherlands has her paws full with a litter of six frisky cubs.
Born September 14, the cubs have spent the last few months behind the scenes in their den, just as they would in the wild. They recently explored outdoors for the first time.
Photo Credit: Burgers' Zoo
This is the second litter of six cubs for the mother. The coordinator of the European breeding program for Cheetahs notes that only about 5% of Cheetah litters contain six cubs – most have three to four cubs at a time.
The cubs are still nursing but have started to eat meat. They sport the typical gray “mantle” seen in young cubs, which may offer camouflage. The mantle is shed as the cubs grow older.
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land mammal, able to reach speeds of 70 mph for short intervals. But due to poaching for wildlife trafficking, loss of habitat, and human interference, Cheetah numbers have fallen drastically in the past decades, with fewer than 8,000 remaining in Africa. These cats are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and as a Species of Priority in efforts to curb wildlife trafficking in northeastern Africa.
Zoo breeding programs like that at Burgers' Zoo are key to protecting Cheetahs for future generations.