On January 28, an Aardvark was born at BIOPARC Valencia in Spain. The birth increased the number of this particular family at the park to a total of five, which includes the parents and two other females (also born in the park).
The new mom is taking excellent care of the new cub, and staff reports that supplemental care and feeding are not required for the new Aardvark. However, keepers constantly monitor the cub’s weight and work to assure that the appropriate temperature and humidity are provided in the new families den. Every night a thorough review of the animal takes place and the cub is cleaned, weighed and its skin is moisturized.
If the cub continues the current healthy pattern of growth and development, he may be placed on-exhibit in time for the park’s 9th anniversary. (In February, BIOPARC Valencia celebrates 9 years of love for nature and will show their appreciation to the public by offering discounted admission rates.)
The four Asian Small-clawed Otters born at Woodland Park Zoo received their first veterinary examination last week. The zoo’s animal health team assessed their overall health, measured and weighed the pups, and administered vaccinations.
The wellness exam is a part of Woodland Park Zoo’s exemplary animal care program. The exam revealed the pups to be three males and one female. They currently weigh between 0.6 to 0.7 kilograms (1.3 to 1.5 pounds).
Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health, gave the pups a clean bill of health. “We’re pleased to report all four pups are robust and healthy. They have fully round bellies and are within normal growth range at this age,” said Collins. “All pups have healthy appetites, are gaining increased mobility and are socializing with their family members, all good signs they’re thriving.”
ZooBorns introduced readers to the quad of cuteness in a recent article (found here), and we are more than happy to provide updates on their progress. The pups were born December 9 at Woodland Park Zoo to 7-year-old mother Teratai and 11-year-old father Guntur. The birth represents the third litter for the parents.
Photo credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo
The new pups currently live off view in a maternity den with their parents and three older sisters. Raising Otter pups is a family affair—the whole family plays a role in raising the pups. Mom nurses the newborns, and dad and older siblings provide supportive care. Occasionally, the adults go outdoors for short periods in the public exhibit but primarily spend their time indoors to focus on caring for the pups.
Elmwood Park Zoo is excited to announce that their female Jaguar, Inka, has given birth to two cubs. The brother and sister were born in the early morning hours of January 24, and the zoo's animal care team has done everything in their power to make sure mom and cubs are safe and comfortable.
Inka and the cubs have been under constant observation since their discovery on the morning of the 24th. The cubs look great, are actively nursing for long periods of time, and are very vocal. Inka is a very attentive mother; she's so attentive that it took nearly a week before the staff was able to separate her in order to examine the cubs.
Photo Credits: Elmwood Park Zoo
The Pennsylvania zoo's male Jaguar, Zean, is the father of the cubs. Inka and Zean were directly introduced for the first time in October 2016; previously they had only been able to view each other between the fencing that separates their exhibit spaces.
The zoo is currently wrapping up construction on a brand new exhibit facility that will be home to the Jaguars. "Trail of the Jaguar," is slated to open in the spring. The decision was made to first introduce Inka and Zean in their older exhibit rather than the new facility so that their exciting first encounter would be on comfortable, familiar ground rather than a new and foreign area.
The first day of their introduction was October 12, 2016, which coincided with Inka's heat cycle. Staff witnessed the Jaguars exhibiting breeding behavior on the 12th, and then again on the 13th and 14th. Inka and Zean began to exhibit signs of aggression toward each other on the 14th (which also coincided with the end of Inka's cycle), so they were separated once again. The chances for a successful conception were slim for a couple of "first-timers," which is why the birth came as somewhat of a surprise.
The cubs are the first Jaguars born in 2017 within an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. Their birth was recommended and planned by the AZA’s Species Survival Program (SSP).
Jaguars are classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, due to the continued loss of their natural habitat. The Jaguar SSP manages a genetically diverse population of 84 Jaguars in over 40 AZA accredited zoos all across the country.
Of the 3 SSP-managed cubs born in 2016, the two born in October at the San Antonio Zoo came from the pairing of Zean’s brother and Inka’s sister. The other cub, a female, was born at the Tulsa Zoo in March.
Inka and her cubs will be off exhibit and out of sight from the public for the next few months. They will be transferred into the new "Trail of the Jaguar" facility when the animal care staff determines that they are ready for the move.
Until they make their debut, the public can find periodic updates about the cub’s progress via the zoo’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EPZoo
Cameron Park Zoo, in Waco, Texas, is proud to announce that Mei, the Zoo’s Bornean Orangutan, gave birth to a baby boy on January 12.
The Zoo’s primate staff, veterinarian, a local ob/gyn, and NICU nurses from Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest Hospital were all present for the birth. The new baby began nursing with minutes of being born. The Zoo reports that both mom and baby are doing well.
This is the second baby for Mei, who is 18-years-old, and her partner Kerajaan (also known as KJ) who is 27-years-old.
Photo Credits: Cameron Park Zoo
Cameron Park Zoo recently held a naming contest for the little male orangutan. The primate staff presented three names for the public to choose from: Bawana which means “earth” or “world”; Jaka which means “young man”; and Razak which means “protector”.
The proceeds raised through the naming contest are going directly to caring for his wild baby cousins in Kalimantan.
In late 2015, fires raged across Kalimantan causing widespread forest loss and devastating impacts to wildlife populations. Tragically, many baby orangutans were left orphaned after losing their mothers and forest homes to the fires. Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) teams rescued 44 baby orangutans and the Baby House facilities at both Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari rescue centers filled quickly, above and beyond capacity. Urgent plans were made to build bigger Baby Houses that could shelter the orphaned infants being cared for at these centers.
Late last year BOS began construction of new Baby Houses at both Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng centers and construction of both projects is expected to be finished in April 2017.
The winning name was announced late January, and the new male is now known as Razak!
The baby and Mei will remain in the Zoo’s night house to give mother and baby time to bond. Beginning Sunday, January 22 the nursery window at the orangutan night house will be left open to give Zoo visitors a chance to see the new family.
The Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. The species is classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, with deforestation, palm oil plantations and hunting posing a serious threat to its continued existence.
A female Giant Anteater was born on December 28, at ZSL London Zoo, weighing just 1.2kg.
Keepers soon realized first-time mum Inca was unable to care for her infant and that the pup would need a helping hand. Staff recruited a special teddy bear to help take on the role of surrogate mum to the tiny new arrival.
Young Anteaters get around by clinging to their mother’s backs, so the newborn has been keeping a firm grip on zookeeper Amy Heath’s shoulder, before going to sleep cuddling her giant teddy bear.
Nicknamed “Beanie” by her keepers, the young grey and black colored female already has impressive curved claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and will eventually be used to dig around in the ground to find tasty ants and termites.
Zookeeper Amy Heath said, “ZSL London Zoo is home to a group of Giant Anteaters: male Bonito and his female mates, Inca and Sauna. We were delighted when we discovered Inca was pregnant; but unfortunately she rejected the infant so we’ve stepped in to help until the baby is big enough to go back in with her parents.
“Hand-rearing an animal is an amazing privilege, but it’s hard work too; we’ve been bottle-feeding Beanie every two to three hours with special replacement milk and making sure she’s kept warm at night with a temperature-controlled incubator.
“Giant Anteaters are an incredible species. They’re unique to look at, and their iconic snouts are perfectly designed to sniff out their food. While they’ve got no teeth, their claws are the perfect tools for digging an opening into ants’ nests, and Beanie has been practicing her digging skills on her teddy bear…or even sometimes my shoulder!
“We’re very pleased with how well Beanie is developing. At 1.6kg, she’s gained about half a kilo in a month, and is the ideal weight for her age. She’s a very strong youngster with a sweet personality; she loves to burrow her long snout into my neck for a cuddle!”
Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo
Although Beanie may be small now, eventually she’ll grow to be around 7ft in length and weigh as much as 45kg. In the meantime, Amy has been keeping detailed records on everything the infant does, from eating and sleeping to even her toilet habits.
Though she’ll continue to be hand-fed until she’s around six-months-old, the stripy baby will soon be introduced to the rest of the Giant Anteater family at ZSL London Zoo, where keepers hope that more experienced female, Sauna, will take over other mothering duties, such as carrying Beanie around and socializing her, so she can grow up part of the group.
The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the Ant Bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. The mostly terrestrial species is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa.
The Giant Anteater is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Threats include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur and bush meat. However, some anteaters inhabit protected areas.
To find out more about Beanie and the 18,000 other incredible residents at ZSL London Zoo visit: www.zsl.org
A tiny Red Kangaroo abandoned by her mother has another shot at life thanks to the dedication of Brevard Zoo’s animal care team.
The as-yet-unnamed female, who is approximately five months old, was discovered out of her mother's pouch on Monday, January 23. She was likely ejected from the pouch due to stress from a storm the night prior. After several unsuccessful attempts to reunite the joey with her mother Jacie, animal care managers made the decision to raise the joey by hand. This joey is Jacie’s fifth baby.
Photo Credit: Brevard Zoo
“Red Kangaroos don’t start emerging from the pouch until they’re about seven months old,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “We think this joey is five months old, so the situation is still very precarious.”
Keepers feed the joey every four hours, day and night, and weigh her once per day.
Joeys are born after a 33-day gestation and complete their development in the pouch, fully emerging for the first time at seven months. At that time, the joey begins to nibble grass and leaves, but returns to the pouch to nurse until it is about a year old.
Red Kangaroos are found only in Australia and are the largest of all the world’s marsupials (pouched mammals). They inhabit Australia’s arid interior and can survive on very small amounts of water. Red Kangaroos stand more than six feet tall and weigh well over 150 pounds. The species is not currently under threat.
The yet-to-be-named cubs are doing very well under the watchful eye of their mother Maya and are developing on schedule. This is the second litter of cubs for Maya and her mate Lazarus. Their last litter was born in February 2015.
Photo Credit: Rick Stevens
Though the family has been secluded in their den for the last two months, keepers monitored them via a video camera link. By staying hands-off, keepers gave Maya and her babies time to bond. Because Maya is an experienced mother, keepers had confidence in her ability to care for four cubs.
The cubs recently had their first health check and received their first vaccinations. All four had a clean bill of health. At birth, each cub weighed about three pounds; they now weigh about 18 pounds each.
The cubs have just started sampling solid foods and exploring outside their den behind the scenes.
African Lions are classified as Vulnerable in the wild with populations decreasing due to human-animal conflict, depleted prey base, and habitat loss.
The Alice Springs Desert Park, in the Northern Territory, Australia, has successfully produced fourteen new resident Thorny Devil Lizards.
The recent hatching of the fourteen healthy Thorny Devils (Moloch horridus), also known as Thorny Dragon, adds to the Desert Park’s diverse range of wildlife currently available for viewing.
Specialist Keeper, Invertebrates and Reptiles, Pete Nunn said that the Desert Park is thrilled to have such an extensive collection of Thorny Devils in captivity. “Thorny Devils are not normally kept, let alone bred at most zoos and wildlife parks around Australia,” he said. “The Thorny Devil usually lives in the arid scrub land and desert that covers most of Central Australia. For example, it inhabits the Tanami and Simpson Desert in the deep interior.”
Photo Credits: Alice Springs Desert Park
Over time the Thorny Devils have evolved and adapted to the environment they live in.
“Thorny Devils live on a diet of nothing but small black ants. They feed in the cooler mornings and late afternoon,” Mr. Nunn continued. “When they locate a trail of ants they lick them up with their short, sticky tongue. Thorny Devils might eat a thousand or more ants in a single meal.”
When it comes to hydration, Thorny Devils collect moisture in the dry desert by the condensation of dew on their bodies at night.
“This dew forms on its skin, and then it is channeled to its mouth in microscopic grooves between its spines,” said Mr. Nunn.
The hatchlings took 98 days to incubate and weighed in at a tiny two grams.
From the fourteen total Thorny Devils that hatched, four are on display at the Alice Springs Desert Park’s nocturnal house, sand country exhibit.
A lively trio of Prevost’s Squirrels has emerged from their nest at Chester Zoo. It is the first time the colorful climbers, which are native to the forests of South East Asia, have been born at the U.K. zoo.
The three youngsters arrived to mum André and dad Pierre following a 48-day gestation. Dave White, team manager, reported last week, “The new triplets are 11 weeks old but have only recently started to leave their nest. Prevost’s squirrel parents are very protective of their new kittens and will carefully guard them for the first month of their lives before encouraging them to start venturing out.
“The youngsters have already developed striking, colorful coats and are gaining more and more confidence by the day. They’re the first Prevost’s Squirrels to ever be born here and it’s great to see them doing well, climbing and leaping between branches under the watchful eyes of mum and dad.”
Photo Credits: Chester Zoo
Prevost’s Squirrels (Callosciurus prevostii), which are also known as the Asian Tri-colored Squirrel, have thick fur, which is black from the nose to tail and red on the belly and legs, separated by a white stripe.
They occur across the mainland and islands of South East Asia, with the squirrels from each area having subtly different markings. More research may even show that these represent many different isolated species.
The squirrels are vital to the survival of the forests in which they live, redistributing seeds from the fruit that they eat, giving rise to new generations of plants.
Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a tiny, boiled egg-loving Cotton-top Tamarin.
The baby was born on December 10, but has just started to explore on its own and sample solid foods, to the delight of keepers and keen-eyed visitors.
“We’re beginning to see the baby climbing off mum or dad’s back to explore. It’s started to run along tree branches and it’s grabbing food out of mum’s hands. It really seems to enjoy eggs, along with little pieces of carrot and sweet potato,” said Primate Keeper, Alex Wright.
Keepers are yet to name or determine the sex of the baby, which is the first Cotton-top Tamarin born at Taronga in 10 years. The baby is also the first for mum and dad, Esmeralda and Diego, who are proving to be particularly attentive parents.
“Diego is playing a very active role in caring for the baby. We usually see the baby on his back during the day, so mum must be doing the night shift,” said Alex.
Native to the forests of northwest Colombia, Cotton-top Tamarins usually weigh less than 500 grams as adults and are sometimes likened to tiny punks due to their distinctive crest of white hair.
“The baby does have an impressive mohawk, but it’s quite flat at this early stage. Once it gets a bit older we’d expect that little mo’ to really grow,” said Alex.
Classed as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, with less than 6,000 remaining in the wild, Cotton-top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) have lost more than 75% of their original habitat in northwestern Colombia to deforestation. They are also threatened by capture for the illegal pet trade.