Zoo Wroclaw Waits Ten Years for Banteng Calf

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On February 19, Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a charming new Banteng. The calf is the first of its kind born at Wroclaw in almost ten years!

The little Banteng is also a member of a species that is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. According to estimates, wild populations have decreased by 80% in the last few decades, and there are believed to be only 4,000 to 8,000 individuals remaining in Asia.

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4_DSC00002-001Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as “tembadau”, is a species of wild cattle native to Southeastern Asia.

The Banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, measuring 1.55 to 1.65 m (5 ft 1 in to 5 ft 5 in) tall at the shoulder and 2.45–3.5 m (8 ft 0 in–11 ft 6 in) in length.

In males, the coat is often dark chestnut in color, while females and the young exhibit a lighter chestnut with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, while the horns of males arc up.

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Two New Tamarins for Zoo de Beauval

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Zoo de Beauval is incredibly proud of two little Golden Lion Tamarins that were born on February 3rd. The infants are under the care of experienced mother, Maya, and their father, Maceio.

Dad, Maceio, is a survivor of an incredible incident that occurred at the French zoo in 2015. Organized thieves evaded security cameras and stole seven Golden Lion Tamarins and ten Slivery Marmosets. Unfortunately, the endangered animals were never recovered. According to Zoo de Beauval, Maya was introduced to Maceio after the 2015 incident and the two have parented several offspring.

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4_28336959_1915710771787193_6076582640766452426_oPhoto Credits: Zoo de Beauval

The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), also known as the Golden Marmoset, is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. The species is native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil. It is currently classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, as there are only around 1,000 left in the whole world.

The Golden Lion Tamarin has an omnivorous diet consisting of fruits, flowers, nectar, bird eggs, insects and small vertebrates. The monkey uses fingers to extract prey from crevices, under leaves, and in dense growth; a behavior known as micromanipulation, which is made possible by elongated hands and fingers.

The Golden Lion Tamarin is largely monogamous. In the wild, reproduction is seasonal and depends on rainfall. Mating is at its highest at the end of the rainy season between late March to mid-June. Tamarins have a four-month gestation period. Groups exhibit cooperative rearing of the infants, due to the fact that tamarins commonly give birth to twins and, to a lesser extent, triplets and quadruplets. In their first four weeks, the infants are completely dependent on their mother for nursing and carrying. By week five, the infants spend less time on their mother’s back and begin to explore their surroundings. Young reach their juvenile stage at 17 weeks and will socialize other group members. A tamarin first displays adult behaviors at 14 months of age.

Threats to the Golden Lion Tamarin population in the wild include: illegal logging, poaching, mining, urbanization and infrastructure development and the introduction of alien species. In captivity, the greatest threat to the species is organized crime. According to some experts, a breeding pair can fetch more than $30,000 on the “black market”.

The species was first listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN in 1982. By 1984, the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and the World Wide Fund for Nature, through the Golden Lion Tamarin Association, began a reintroduction programme from 140 zoos worldwide. Despite the success of the project, the IUCN classification was changed to “Critically Endangered” in 1996. By 2003 the successful establishment of a new population at União Biological Reserve enabled the classification of the species, once again, to “Endangered”. The IUCN warns that extreme habitat fragmentation from deforestation means the wild population has little potential for any further expansion.

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Koala Joey Hitches a Ride at Riverbanks Zoo

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A little Koala joey has started hitching a ride on mom Lottie’s back at Riverbanks Zoo.

The baby is about six months old, but has only recently emerged from Lottie’s pouch and started experiencing the outside world.

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28379527_10155460042705292_2100787867180373063_nPhoto Credit: Riverbanks Zoo

Koalas are marsupials (pouched mammals), and their joeys are only the size of a jellybean at birth. Shortly after birth, the tiny, underdeveloped joey crawls from the birth canal into the pouch, where it latches onto a teat. The joey grows and develops inside the pouch for months. Once it becomes mobile and is covered in fur at about six months of age, the joey peeks out of the pouch and takes tiny excursions away from mom. The joey will cling to mom’s back for transportation until it is about 12 months old.

Zoo guests can look for Lottie and her joey in their habitat. Koalas are sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours per day.

Koalas are native only to mainland Australia, where they inhabit forested areas and feed exclusively on the leaves of eucalyptus trees. Because many of Australia’s forests are being converted to agriculture use or swallowed by spreading urban areas, Koalas were listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List in 2016.

 


Endangered Penguin Chicks Hatch at Lowry Park Zoo

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A baby boom continues at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo with the hatching of three African Penguin chicks. The Zoo’s “clutch mate” chicks hatched on January 7 and January 9 (weighing in at 54 grams and 48 grams) to experienced parents Tinkerbell and Loki.

“Clutch mates,” means that Tinkerbell’s two chicks hatched from eggs that she laid a few days apart. The third African Penguin chick at the Zoo hatched on January 12 (weighing in at 53 grams) to first time parents Tyke and Tyra.

“Both pairs of parents are doing a great job taking care of their chicks,” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “The addition of these chicks is a great win for the species and an exciting time for our community to learn more about these beautiful birds.”

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4_TLPZ - African penguins (2)Photo Credits: TLPZ

The Zoo, currently home to a colony of twelve African Penguins, participates in the African Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP). The program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) protects wildlife species at risk of extinction. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo (TLPZ) also participates in the AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program which focuses on having animal experts identify threats, develop action plans, raise new resources and educate visitors on animal conservation. At the same time, SAFE will build capacity to increase direct conservation spending, as well as our members’ impact on saving species through work in the field, in our zoos and aquariums, and through public engagement. We have done it before. Some species exist only because of the efforts of aquariums and zoos and their contributing partners. The three chicks will be the first additions to the Zoo’s colony since June 2014.

According to keepers, it is very difficult to tell a penguin chick’s sex. A DNA blood test will be used to determine the sex of the chicks when they are old enough. The Zoo uses bands on the adult penguins’ flippers to differentiate: right flippers for males and left flippers for females. TLPZ plans to publicly reveal the sex of the chicks in the near future.

Native to the coastlines of South Africa and Namibia, the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is one of five true warm weather species. The species is classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN due to food shortages from commercial fishing, oil spills, egg collection and fishing nets. The population declined more than 50 percent during the last 40 years.

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Maryland Zoo Welcomes 1,000th Penguin Chick

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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is thrilled to announce the hatching of their 1,000th African Penguin chick!

This historic milestone marks the first time that any zoo or aquarium in North America has hatched 1,000 African Penguin chicks! The newest chick hatched on February 13th and is the thirteenth to have hatched at the Zoo during the 2017-2018 breeding season. The little one is being parent-reared, behind-the-scenes, in the Zoo’s Penguin Coast Conservation Center.

“I am sure the people who started this penguin colony in 1967 had no idea where it would take the Zoo over time,” stated Don Hutchinson, President/CEO of The Maryland Zoo. “But they had the foresight to manage the penguin colony strategically, applying new scientific techniques as they emerged, while creating one of the most historically memorable Zoo exhibits at Rock Island. Today, we welcome the 1,000th chick at the award-winning Penguin Coast exhibit. This is truly a momentous achievement.”

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4_DSC_1165Photo Credits: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The Maryland Zoo has been a leader in African Penguins for 50 years, hatching their first chick in 1969 and winning the prestigious Edward H. Bean Award for the “African Penguin Long-term Propagation Program” from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) in 1996. The Zoo currently has the largest colony of African penguins in North America.

“This chick is not only the 1,000th to hatch, it also becomes the 94th in our Penguin Coast colony,” said Jen Kottyan, Avian Collection & Conservation Manager. “Our penguins are bred according to recommendations from the AZA African Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) which helps maintain their genetic diversity. Many of the penguins previously bred at the Zoo have helped establish new colonies at zoos and aquariums around the world.”

Penguins from the Zoo have moved to zoos and aquariums in thirty-five states and six countries including: Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Hungary and South Africa.

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Otter Family Welcomes Pups at Potter Park Zoo

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Potter Park Zoo is overjoyed to announce the February 6th birth of two North American River Otters to mother, Nkeke, and father, Miles.

Although it is still very early in their life, keepers report that the babies seem strong and are nursing on a regular basis. To keep mother and pups comfortable, the Zoo’s staff monitors the new family through a camera in the nest box.

“The Zoo staff’s excitement of their birth has to be tempered with the realization that it’s still very early in the life of the Otter pups. While Nkeke seems to be doing an excellent job as a mother, she is a first-time mom and is learning as she goes. For most wild mammal babies, the critical period is usually the first month or so of life. This is where ‘failure to thrive’ is most likely to occur. Careful monitoring of Nkeke and the pups will continue for quite some time,” said Sarah Pechtel, Potter Park Zoo General Curator.

Nkeke arrived at Potter Park Zoo in the fall of 2016 from Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island, and breeding was first observed between she and Miles the following February. The North American River Otter Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommended the pairs introduction and breeding. This SSP, one of many in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), is responsible for developing an annual breeding and transfer plan for the species. This plan identifies population management goals and makes recommendations that help ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied population.

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4_New Otter Mom NkekePhoto Credits: Potter Park Zoo (Image 4 = New mom, Nkeke / Image 5 = New dad, Miles)

The birth of the pups marks a milestone for Potter Park Zoo staff, being the second successful River Otter litter in the Zoo’s history. Miles, the father of the new pups, was the first Otter pup born at Potter Park Zoo in 2013.

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A Tiny New Addition at Hamilton Zoo

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There's a tiny new addition at the Hamilton Zoo - a Pygmy Marmoset!

The baby was born to mom Picchu and dad Salvador. Both are providing attentive care to their newborn. Marmoset parents share the responsibility of looking after their young, and the zoo staff is glad to see Salvador helping out.

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Photo Credit: Lisa Ridley

Pygmy Marmosets are the smallest Monkeys in the world, and one of the smallest Primates. They inhabit rain forests in the western Amazon Basin, which includes Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. These Monkeys gnaw holes in tree trunks using specialized teeth, then lick up the flowing sap with their tongue. They also eat the insects that fly in to feed on the sap, as well as fruits and nectar.

Parents carry their babies on their backs. Babies vocalize early and often, and entire Marmoset troops use a complex system of calls to maintain contact when foraging or traveling. Marmoset troops are small, usually made up of a breeding pair and a few generations of offspring.

The current population of Pygmy Marmosets is widespread and not under serious threat. They are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. However, habitat loss and illegal capture for the pet trade could pose a threat in the future.

 

 

 


Cheetah Siblings Get Extra Care in San Diego

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Visitors hoping to glimpse three Cheetah cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park weren’t disappointed when the trio debuted on February 22.  The three siblings – one male and two females – watched the people, explored their surroundings, played with each other and, typical of any infant, after one of their five daily feedings, settled in for a long nap.

The 7-week-old Cheetahs were born January 6 at San Diego Zoo Global’s off-site Cheetah Breeding Center to an inexperienced mom named Malana. In an effort to care for her cubs, Malana inadvertently caused minor injuries to them. After being with their mother for five weeks, the cubs were taken to the Animal Care Center to be monitored for medical issues. Keepers will keep close watch over them, feeding them a special diet of soft carnivore food and formula, and weighing them to monitor their health. After they turn 12 weeks old and receive their three-month immunization, they will be returned to their home at the Cheetah Breeding Center.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn

The Cheetah siblings don’t have names yet, but keepers call them “Purple,” “Yellow,” and “Blue” because of the colors of temporary ID markings placed on their tails. Purple is the smallest of the two sisters, and keepers describe her as feisty and very playful—and she has a big appetite. Yellow is also very playful and loves cuddling with her siblings; and Blue, the only male, loves to play and take extra-long naps.

Cheetahs are native to Africa and a small part of Iran. They are classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that the worldwide population of Cheetahs has dropped from 100,000 in 1900 to just 7,000 today, with about 10 percent living in zoos or wildlife parks.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of nine breeding facilities that are part of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (CBCC). The goal of the coalition is to create a sustainable Cheetah population that will prevent extinction of the world’s fastest land animal. San Diego Zoo Global has been breeding Cheetahs for more than 40 years, with more than 160 cubs born to date.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. Their work includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.

 


Sweet New Tamandua Born at Staten Island Zoo

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The Staten Island Zoo recently announced the birth of its fourth baby Southern Tamandua.

Named “NJ” by keepers, the female was born on January 2 to mom, DJ, and dad, EJ. She weighed in at a mere 402 grams (about the same weight as a football). NJ is the fourth birth for the breeding Tamandua pair. Mom and baby will be off exhibit for bonding and to ensure the new little girl is growing big and strong.

To date, NJ weighs 1100 grams (about the weight of a large college textbook). She is currently drinking milk produced by mom but will soon move on to bugs that she will “slurp up” with her 16-inch long tongue.

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4_NJ Tamandua 1Photo Credits: Staten Island Zoo

The Southern Tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) is often called a ‘Lesser Anteater’ because it is much smaller than its relative, the Giant Anteater. This interesting animal is at home both in trees and on the ground in the rainforests of South America. In the wild, the Tamandua is most active at night, often nesting during the day in hollow tree trunks. It has small eyes and poor vision but can hear and smell quite well. They also have sharp claws and powerful forearms.

According to Kenneth C. Mitchell, the Zoo’s executive director, “Tamandua births are rare in zoos, as the species requires specialized care and has specific nutritional needs. We have had substantial success here, participating in the Species Survival Program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In fact, MJ, one of the males produced by our couple, fathered a baby Tamandua last year at the Dallas Zoo.”

Gestation for the Southern Tamandua ranges from 130 to 190 days, with usually one young born. At birth, a young Anteater does not resemble the parents; its coat varies from white to black. The baby will ride on the mother's back, sometimes being deposited on a safe branch while the mother forages.

The Southern Tamandua is currently classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. However, there are threats their existence in the wild. Hunters, who claim the creatures kill domestic dogs, often kill them. They are also killed for the thick tendons in their tails, from which rope is made.


Meerkat Siblings Join the Troop at Taronga

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Keepers at Taronga Zoo Sydney are excited by the arrival of two Meerkat pups, born on January 20.

This is the sixth litter of pups for mother, Narobi, who has been keeping a close eye on her offspring as they emerge from the den and explore their surroundings. The pair was fathered by Maputo.

The sex of the duo is yet-to-be-determined, so they are currently without names. However, when the time is right, their names will likely be taken from the Swahili language to reflect their African heritage.

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4_Photo 8-2-18  2 25 38 pmPhoto Credits: Taronga Zoo Sydney

As with all Meerkat young, the pups are developing very quickly. Carnivore Keeper, Maz Boz, said, “The infants are starting to eat bits of fruits, veggies and fly pupae. They learn to eat solids by mimicking their parents and siblings, which is a natural behaviour in the wild.”

“The pups are now standing on their hind legs, which will play an important role during sentry duty watches when they become adults,” Maz added. “The pups are now starting to emerge outside after a few weeks being in their dens, visitors can see the pups for short periods each day as they start to grow in confidence and explore their home.”

“Mum, Nairobi, is a very experienced mother having her sixth litter, two daughters, Serati and Xolani, also learning from her and being very tentative and assisting their mother in babysitting the pups whilst mum has a break,” said Maz.

Both Narobi and father, Maputo, play an important role in rearing the pups. The other members of the troop will also assist with caring for and protecting the pups as they grow and develop.

According to the Keepers at Taronga Zoo, they are quite hands-off with the Meerkats. They choose to allow the “politics” to be sorted out by the animals within their own hierarchy.

“They may be young, but they’re already showing signs of their own little personalities. They are both quite outgoing, adventurous and inquisitive jumping on the other Meerkats to play,” Maz concluded.

The Meerkat pups can be seen on exhibit with the rest of their troop, which is now comprised of eighteen in total. According to Maz, the best time to catch a glimpse of the pups is during the daily Keeper Talk and feeding at 11:30am daily.

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