Zoológico de São Paulo Cares for Orphaned Opossums

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Zoológico de São Paulo recently became home to a pair of Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum joeys. The siblings were orphaned when their mother was attacked and killed, in their forest, by a domestic dog. The joeys were found, unharmed, clinging to their mother’s body.

Zoo technicians have been hand-rearing the brother and sister. Initially they required milk, but they have now progressed to solids and are now feeding themselves pureed fruit with insects.

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4_12711313_1109650209069365_5662784713940919874_oPhoto Credits:Paulo Gil - Zoo / SP

The Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum (Caluromys philander), also called the White-eared Opossum, is a species from South America. Its range includes Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is a species restricted only to moist forests.

Like other members of the genus Caluromys, the Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum is a strongly arboreal species of marsupial, differing from other didelphid opossums in having a comparatively large encephalization quotient and smaller litter size. Its name comes from its naked, prehensile tail.

It feeds on fruits, nectar, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Bare-tailed Woolly Opossums actively climb through the upper canopy of trees as they look for fruit and insects.

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Chattanooga Zoo Hatches Hellbender Eggs

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The Chattanooga Zoo is pleased to announce the successful hatching of a group of Hellbender eggs collected from the wild in East Tennessee. This is the first Hellbender hatching on Chattanooga Zoo grounds.

The Chattanooga Zoo has been working on Hellbender conservation on-site and infield since 2009. Due to catastrophic population collapse across the state, the Chattanooga Zoo teamed up with the Nashville Zoo’s Ectotherm department to collect eggs and begin setting up a head start program for east and middle Tennessee.

Working in partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, the Nashville Zoo, The University of Tennessee, and Lee University, the Zoo will rear this group of juvenile Hellbenders for several years, until they are mature enough to monitor in the wild. Once they reach maturity, they will be released into a suitable stream in East Tennessee where species sightings no longer occur.

Creating head start programs for this species will give each individual animal a better chance of survival. Because they will be larger when released into the wild, they are easier to study, either by traditional methods or radio transmitters, which is essential for gathering data.

“Without human intervention of field research, head start programs, habitat protect and restoration, and animal reintroductions, we will lose the species to extinction. Our Ectotherm department and partners work diligently to better understand these animals in efforts to save and protect them for years to come,” David Hedrick, Chattanooga Zoo Ectotherm Keeper III.

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4_12764396_10153257841245764_2773365435553700467_oPhoto Credits: Chattanooga Zoo

Formerly found in streams throughout middle and east Tennessee, Hellbenders have experienced a steep decline throughout the state over the past thirty years. Declining populations are due to degraded water quality, sedimentation, pollution, and habitat loss from dams and other developments. A decade of field research has recently verified only six remaining streams that have healthy, self-sustaining populations in Tennessee. The Chattanooga Zoo hopes, through conservation efforts, public education, and partnerships, to be able to help reverse this trend of population decline in Tennessee Hellbenders.

The Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), also known as the Hellbender Salamander, is a species of Giant Salamander endemic to eastern North America. A member of the Cryptobranchidae family, Hellbenders are the only members of the Cryptobranchus genus, and are joined only by one other genus of salamanders (Andrias, which contains the Japanese and Chinese Giant Salamanders) at the family level.

The Hellbender is the largest aquatic salamander in the United States and grows to an average size of 12-15 inches, but they can be as long as 29 inches. They are nocturnal and exist on a diet of: crayfish, small fish, tadpoles, toads, and water snakes. They absorb oxygen from the water through their skin and can be found slowly crawling across the bottoms of clear, silt-free mountain streams.

The species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Ozark Hellbender is particularly imperiled; drastic population declines were documented in the late 1980s and 1990s. It is listed as “Endangered” in Missouri and may soon be listed as Endangered federally.

Hellbenders are present in a number of Eastern US states, from southern New York to northern Georgia, including parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and even a small bit of Oklahoma and Kansas.

Vernacular names for the Hellbender include: snot otter, devil dog, mud-devil, grampus, Allegheny alligator, mud dog, water dog, and leverian water newt.

*The Chattanooga Zoo would like to express their gratitude for the financial assistance of local conservation partners in the effort to save the Hellbender: Terminal Brewhouse, and Mohawk Canoes.


The Living Desert Debuts Bighorn Lamb

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The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is excited to announce the birth of a Bighorn lamb. The female was born February 18 and weighed in at 3.9 kilograms at her newborn wellness check. Zoo officials say both mother and baby are doing well.

“We are thrilled with the birth of this Bighorn lamb, as they are native to our area and play an important, iconic role in our desert habitat,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “The Living Desert participates with other zoos from around the country in the Bighorn Sheep Species Survival Plan (SSP) and we are proud of our participation in the efforts to preserve this endangered species.”

The lamb’s father is five-years-old Dante who sired seven lambs at the San Diego Wild Animal Park prior to arriving at The Living Desert in the summer of 2014. The mother, Margo, is almost eight-years-old and also came to The Living Desert from the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 2009.

Bighorn lambs are born with soft, woolly, light-colored coats and small horn buds. Within a day, a lamb can walk and climb as well as its mother. A lamb will stay with its mother for the first year of its life.

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3_Bighorn Lamb Feb 2016 - 2Photo Credits: The Living Desert

Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) are one of two species of mountain sheep in North America. They range in color from light brown to grayish or dark brown, and have a white rump and lining on the backs of all four legs. Bighorn Sheep get their name from the large, curved horns on the males, or rams. They are legendary for their ability to climb high, steep, rocky mountain areas.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were between 1.5 million to two million Bighorn Sheep in North America. Today, there are less than 70,000.

The SSP Programs significantly contribute to field conservation efforts, species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease issues, establishment of assurance populations, and many other species-focused conservation efforts.

“As the national SSP Coordinator for the Bighorn Sheep, I am so excited to welcome this lamb. She will help provide genetic diversity to our managed populations,” said Maureen McCarty, The Living Desert’s Special Projects Coordinator and the Bighorn Sheep SSP Coordinator.

The new lamb is currently on exhibit with the herd at The Living Desert.

The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens, located in Palm Desert, California, that is dedicated to conservation and education. It is a family-friendly place to explore nature and create meaningful experiences for visitors that are remembered for a lifetime. For more information visit: www.LivingDesert.org.


Toronto Zoo Announces Birth of Vulnerable Rhino

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The Toronto Zoo would like to announce that Ashakiran, an 11-year-old female Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), gave birth to a male calf on Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

The recent birth is very important for Indian Rhinoceros conservation, as the species is currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and there are only approximately 2,000 left in the wild.

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Reaching near extinction in the early 1900’s, the Indian Rhino (also known as the Greater One-Horned Rhino or Great Indian Rhinoceros) was once listed as Endangered. However, with conservation efforts and strict protection, its status changed in the 90s. This is considered a conservation success story, but they are not out of the woods. Habitat degradation, human-rhino conflict, and poaching continue to be threats.

The Indian Rhinoceros exists in a few small subpopulations in Nepal and India (West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam), inhabiting the riverine grasslands of the Terai and Brahmaputra Basins. With 70 % of the wild population occurring in one area in Kaziranga National Park, any catastrophic event could have a huge impact on conservation efforts for this species.

An Indian Rhinoceros' gestation lasts 425 - 496 days (approximately 16 months), and a single young is born between the end of February and the end of April. Subsequently, Ashakiran, affectionately known to her keepers as "Asha", was moved from public viewing into a maternity area within the Indian Rhino habitat mid-January, where video cameras were set in place for Wildlife Care to monitor her closely. While the calf appears healthy, and feeding well, the first thirty days will be critical for both mom and calf. Toronto Zoo Wildlife Care staff will continue to closely monitor Asha and her calf in the maternity area, which is not visible to the public at this time.

This is the first surviving calf for Asha and father, Vishnu (12-years-old). Asha gave birth to a stillborn calf back in 2011, and since then, was able to get pregnant but could not maintain pregnancy. The Toronto Zoo partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo and proceeded to follow their developed protocol of giving oral progesterone to Asha to help her maintain pregnancy. This collaborative research resulted in the birth of this healthy calf and will strengthen conservation breeding efforts in the future. This is the fourth birth of an Indian Rhinoceros in Toronto Zoo's history. The last Indian Rhinoceros to be born at the Toronto Zoo was a female named Sanya (born August 14, 1999), who now resides at The Wilds in Ohio, USA.

"Asha is on a breeding loan from Los Angeles Zoo and it is these partnerships that will bring us one step closer to overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species," says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo. "I would also like to thank the amazing team at the Toronto Zoo for all of the hard work and dedication that has resulted in this significant birth."

The Toronto Zoo is part of the Indian Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo's mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet. The Toronto Zoo is in a great position to bring forward the plight of the Indian Rhinoceros and supports rhinoceros conservation efforts in the wild, through the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.

*Please note, Asha and her calf are not currently visible to the public.


A Little Prince Debuts in Australia

RajahThe first Greater One-horned Rhino to be born in Australia made his public debut last week at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

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Rajah on his own Rick Stevens  (33)Photo Credit:  Rick Stevens
 
You first read about the calf on ZooBorns here after his October 25, 2015 birth was announced.  The calf was named Rajah, which means ‘prince,’ reflecting his significance to the species’ breeding program.

“Rajah’s birth is the result of over 15 years of hard work and dedication from keepers and zoo staff,” said New South Wales Deputy Premier, Troy Grant.

The stage was set for Rajah’s birth when the zoo constructed a new Rhino facility in 2002.  Shortly after that, the zoo obtained a bull Rhino named Dora from Japan and Amala, a female Rhino, from the United States.  As Amala matured, keepers fine-tuned their husbandry techniques to better understand the species’ breeding habits, including travelling to India to participate in Rhino conservation projects. 

Zoo Director Matthew Fuller said, “In 2012 introductions began with keepers spending months getting the pair ready to meet each other. Finally, in 2014 the pair was introduced and a mating took place and in October, our little prince was born.”

Rajah and his mother have spent the past four months bonding behind the scenes while keepers helped Rajah learn new routines for his debut.  They have learned that Rajah is a little fussy, especially about bananas, his favorite treat:  if the skin is too tough or too brown, he won’t eat it!

Also known as Indian Rhinos, Greater One-horned Rhinos are found only on the Indian sub-continent.

Zoo breeding programs may hold the key to survival for creatures like the Greater One-horned Rhino.  In the early 1900s, Rhinos were nearly wiped out due to excessive sport hunting, but the establishment of reserves and anti-poaching laws helped to stabilize the species.  Some animals were translocated from existing reserves to establish new populations in protected areas of India.   Poaching for Rhino horns continues to be a threat.  Only about 2,700 Greater One-horned Rhinos remain in the wild.


Ringed Seal is a Rare Zoo Birth

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A rare zoo birth happened in February – a Ringed Seal was born at Burgers’ Zoo, the only zoo in the world to breed this species.  This is the second Ringed Seal birth at the zoo, which is in the Netherlands.

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Early in the morning on February 17, zoo keepers arrived at work and discovered the pup in the Seal exhibit.  Mom tucked the baby in a sandy hollow in a corner of the exhibit and visits the pup to nurse it several times a day.  Seal milk is rich and nutritious, and pups typically double their body weight in the first week. 

Ringed Seals are the most common Seals in the Arctic and are often preyed upon by Polar Bears.  They are the smallest member of the earless Seal family, weighing up to 300 pounds as adults.  These Seals are rarely found far from ice, and often hunt for fish along the edges of sea ice. 

Ringed Seals are currently listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but scientists are worried that the Seals could be affected by climate change. As sea ice melts, the Seals could lose their breeding and feeding grounds.

See more photos of the Seal pup below.

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Introducing Edgar the Elephant From Tierpark Berlin

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Tierpark Berlin’s smallest pachyderm was born on New Year’s Day to mom, Kewa. He has become a popular resident, and with the help of the public, the little bull calf was recently given a name. More than 4,000 proposals were made, and the new calf’s name is---Edgar!

Edgar is one of seven Asian Elephants at Tierpark Berlin and spends his days under the care and supervision of his 32-year-old mother and older sisters. Ankhor (also 32-years-old) is the father of the little elephant, and has lived at the Prague Zoo since August 2014.

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3_12747357_10153865928925149_8896928712326566046_oPhoto Credits: Tierpark Berlin

The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized: E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian Elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.

Since 1986, the Asian Elephant has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. Asian Elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching.

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Slow Down for a Look at This New Baby

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Amazon World Zoo Park excitedly announced the birth of their 14th baby Sloth! The listless little one was born December 27, 2015 to mum, Inti, and dad, Maya, and is the pair’s seventh offspring.

The new family can be seen in the Zoo’s ‘Twilight’ exhibit.

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4_12744314_10153823240831113_1793888096338314384_nPhoto Credits: Amazon World Zoo Park

Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is also known as the Southern Two-toed Sloth, Unau, or Linne's Two-toed Sloth. It is a species from South America and is found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil--north of the Amazon River.

Sloths belong to the order Pilosa, which also includes Anteaters. They belong to they super order Xenarthra, which includes the Cingulata. Xenarthra are edentate (toothless). They lack incisors and have a large reduction in the number of teeth, with only four to five sets remaining, including canines.

Modern Sloths are divided into two families based on the number of toes on their front feet: Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae. Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth and Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) belong to the family Megalonychidae, which included extinct ground Sloths.

Linne's Two-toed Sloth has a ten-month gestation period, and their inter-birth rate extends past sixteen months (so there is not an overlap of young to care for). There is typically only one offspring per litter, and the young becomes independent at about a year old.

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Belfast Zoo Unveils a New ‘Giant’

1_(1)  BIG news at Belfast Zoo with ‘GIANT’ arrival!

Belfast Zoo welcomed a baby Giant Anteater on December 22, 2015! This endangered South American mammal was born to parents, Pancho and Kara, and the Zoo is asking for your help to name the special arrival.

Pancho arrived in Belfast from Duisburg Zoo (Germany), in 2012, and was joined by Kara from Olomouc Zoo, in February 2015, as part of the European breeding programme. There are only 200 Giant Anteaters living in zoos around the world and Pancho and Kara are the only breeding pair in Ireland!

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, said, “We are all delighted to welcome a new member to the zoo family. Kara is a fantastic mum and for the first six months she will carry the pup on her back nearly all the time. While this is great camouflage from predators, it also makes it extremely difficult for the keepers to get a good look at the infant to find out whether it is male or female and we don’t want to disrupt the pair at this stage. Even though we don’t know what sex the pup is, the team have come up with some names and we would love your help to pick one!"

You can help to name the Zoo’s latest arrival by voting for one of the names pre-selected by Keepers. Place your vote at: http://woobox.com/vrr9jp.

2_(5)  Kara is a fantastic mum and for the first six months she will carry the pup on her back nearly all the time.

3_(2)  Belfast Zoo welcomed a baby giant anteater on 22 December 2016!

4_(3)  You can help name the zoo's latest arrival.  Visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk for more information.Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

As the name suggests, the Giant Anteater is the world’s biggest anteater species and can grow up to seven feet in length.   In Central and South America, they live in the grasslands and rainforests. While this species was once widespread, today their numbers vary drastically between countries. They are considered one of the most threatened mammals in Central America. In fact, in Brazil, there are serious concerns because, in some areas where they once roamed, there are now none left.

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, continued, “Giant Anteater populations have declined by 30% between 2000 and 2010, showing how vulnerable the species is. Our latest arrival is not only cause for celebration for Belfast Zoo and the breeding programme but also for Giant Anteater conservation as a whole. Giant Anteaters are unquestionably one of the most unusual looking species. They have a long snout, long hair, a large bushy tail and a long tongue, which is approximately 50 centimeters in length! They use their tongue to mop up insects and can eat up to 30,000 insects in a single day! We have no doubt that the newest arrival is going to be a popular addition with both staff and visitors.”

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Kids Play At Franklin Park Zoo

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There’s a new kid at Franklin Park Zoo… a Nigerian Dwarf Goat kid, that is.

The new kid was born February 16 inside the barn at Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm. Shortly after birth, the little female was standing, and within hours she was observed nursing. This is the second offspring for mom, Leia, and dad, Lucky.

The kid recently underwent a medical exam, and she appears bright, alert and active. The goat kid, who has been named Chewbacca, weighed about four pounds at birth.

“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and we hope people will stop by during this school vacation week to see this adorable new addition,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.

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4_Senior Zookeeper Melissa Durham holds the kid during her exam on February 17, 2016Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo

 

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are noted for their wide range of color patterns, which include combinations of black, brown or gold mixed with white, as well as for their easy-going temperaments.

Adult males can reach a maximum size of 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm), and females can grow to about 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm).

These herbivorous miniature goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) are of West African descent. They have been domesticated as dairy goats and can be found all over the world. Highly adaptable, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can live in climates ranging from cold to hot and dry.

Despite their size, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for expressing a high quantity of milk. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, making Nigerian Dwarf Goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are gentle, friendly, and can easily be trained to walk on a leash. Their size and temperament enable them to be excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals.

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