Frogmouth Chicks Hatch at Paradise Park

Tawny Frogmouth Chicks 2 - Paradise Park CornwallTwo Tawny Frogmouth chicks that hatched in early April are being hand-reared at Paradise Park in the United Kingdom.

“The parents have sadly not been very successful in the past at raising their own chicks. So the decision was made to hand-rear these two to give them the best chance of survival,” explains zoo keeper Sarah-Jayne Cooke. The chicks are weighed regularly and are thriving on a diet of tasty worms.

Tawny Frogmouth Chick - Paradise Park Cornwall
Tawny Frogmouth Chick eating worms - Paradise Park Cornwall
Tawny Frogmouth Chick - Paradise Park Cornwall
Tawny Frogmouth Chicks - Paradise Park CornwallPhoto Credit:  Paradise Park

Tawny Frogmouths are native to Australia and are known for their ability to sit nearly undetected in the trees during the day. Their cryptic coloration allows them to blend in against tree trunks, and their habit of sitting immobile with head pointed upward gives the appearance of a broken branch.

Frogmouths are considered one of Australia’s most important pest-controlling birds. They feed at night on spiders, worms, slugs, wasps, ants, and other invertebrates.  

These birds mate for life and typically raise one to three chicks in loose grass-and-stick nest.

At present, Tawny Frogmouths are not threatened with extinction, but human activity is having an impact on the wild population. House cats prey on these birds, and Frogmouths are often struck by cars as they pursue flying insects illuminated by vehicle headlights.  Because Frogmouths tend to remain in the same home area for up to a decade, they become vulnerable when forests are cut for development. 

 


Zoo’s New Lion Cub Bonds With Foster Mom

DSC_0052

Idaho Falls Zoo is thrilled to announce the extraordinary birth of a male African Lion cub! The cub was born February 17 to first-time parents, Kimani and Dahoma.

“Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, the cub had to be removed from his mom to be treated for a medical issue. We are pleased to report that he has completely recovered and is almost ready to be returned to his mother,” states Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Rhonda Aliah.

Because of the advanced age of the parents and the unique genetics of the couple, this adorable little guy is extremely important to the captive African Lion population in North American zoos. Although reintroducing this genetically valuable cub to his parents is essential for his development, the process is not simple or straightforward.

To lessen any risk, the cub will be returned to his mother when he is bigger and more mobile. The AZA and other zoo professionals explored all possible options for the cub. “Everyone agreed that the only option available was to keep the cub at the Idaho Falls Zoo and eventually reintroduce him to his parents,” states Aliah.

When the time comes for the cub to re-join his family, a Lion manager from the Denver Zoo, who has experience with conducting these types of reintroductions and who serves as an advisor to the AZA’s Lion SSP, will be onsite during the reintroduction. The Lion manager will help interpret behaviors and guide zoo staff during what will be a very stressful and potentially dangerous, yet important, time in the cub’s life.

In the meantime, the cub needs to be socialized. Lions are the most social of the big cat species, and sociability is incredibly important for behavioral and psychological reasons. Young cubs rely on other members of their pride to teach them how to be adults. A cub that has been away from his parents is at risk for not being easily accepted back into the pride and could be injured or killed when reintroduced.

So, how do you keep a Lion cub social without being around other Lions? ...meet Justice, another new member of the zoo family.

Idaho lion cub 3

Idaho lion cub 4

20170419_083024_resizedPhoto Credits: Idaho Falls Zoo (Images 1 & 4) / City of Idaho Falls News (Images 2,3,5)

Justice is a not a lion, but a Great Pyrenees with wonderful mothering instincts. Two-year-old Justice is a rescue dog that has had at least one litter of puppies. When rescued, representatives with the Humane Society of the Upper Valley found her alone caring for her puppies, as well as a weak sheep. Her puppies have all been rehomed, and now Justice has a new role: nursemaid to a rambunctious two-month old African Lion cub!

Zoo Curator, Darrell Markum, explains, “An important aspect of animal development, particularly with baby carnivores, is having an adult animal teach ‘animal etiquette.’ This includes not biting other animals hard enough to injure them and not using your claws to climb on your elders. Justice is a very patient teacher.”

Given the unique situation, the use of domestic dogs to raise young carnivores is an accepted practice in modern zoos.

Continue reading "Zoo’s New Lion Cub Bonds With Foster Mom" »


Oregon Zoo Fosters Orphaned Cougar Cub

1_6I0B7043

A tiny, orphaned Cougar cub has briefly taken up residence behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo’s veterinary medical center.

The cub, described as “loud and rambunctious” by zoo vet staff, was recently rescued by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, after a landslide separated the young Cougar from its mother. After a short stopover in Portland, the cub will be headed to a new permanent home at the Minnesota Zoo.

“It was the victim of a landslide that occurred on Sunday [April 23] in Pend Oreille County,” said Rich Beausoleil, WDFW Bear and Cougar specialist. “A member of the public found it the day after in the mud and called WDFW.”

2_6I0B7048

3_6I0B7052

4_6I0B7060Photo Credits: Oregon Zoo

The cub, a five-week-old male weighing around four pounds, wouldn’t stand a chance alone in the wild, so Beausoleil contacted Oregon Zoo keeper, Michelle Schireman, who serves as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ species coordinator for Cougars.

“Without a mother, young Cougars can’t survive on their own in the wild, so I work to find them good homes,” Schireman said. “We would rather they grow up with their moms, but when that’s not an option we want them to have the best lives possible.”

Continue reading "Oregon Zoo Fosters Orphaned Cougar Cub" »


Red Wolves Have Keepers Howling With Excitement

1_6 Pup group shot  VERT. Museum of Life and Science 2017

The Museum of Life and Science, at Durham, North Carolina, is howling with excitement!

On April 28 the Museum's 6-year-old Red Wolf gave birth to a litter of three male and three female pups. This is the first litter for the Museum, since 2002. All pups and their mother were found to be in good health by the animal care team and are currently on exhibit in the Museum's Explore the Wild exhibit.

Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, and one of only two apex predators native to North Carolina, the Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is classified as “Critically Endangered”, with captive and wild populations totaling less than 300 individuals.

2_1 pup closeup HORIZONTAL  health check

3_1 pup health check  Sherry Samuels holding  Museum of Life and Science 2017

4_6 Pup group assessment with Sherry Samuels  Museum of Life and Science 2017Photo Credits: Museum of Life and Science

The Red Wolves living at the Museum are a part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Recovery Program as well as the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), a collaborative breeding and management program developed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to ensure the sustainability of endangered animal populations.

Continue reading "Red Wolves Have Keepers Howling With Excitement " »


Reptile Hatchlings at Zoo Atlanta Are ‘Lucky 13’

1_guatemalanbeadedlizard_hatchlings2017_hatchling_egg_ZA_9370

Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for one of the planet’s rarest reptile species! Zoo Atlanta has had their most successful season ever for hatching Guatemalan Beaded Lizards. The Zoo welcomed a total of 13 hatchlings this spring, which is a record for Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta is one of only four zoos in the U.S. housing Guatemalan Beaded Lizards. Since the arrival of the Zoo’s first hatchling in 2012, a total of 35 have successfully hatched in subsequent years.

Guatemalan Beaded Lizards lay their eggs in fall and early winter. The 13 new hatchlings began emerging from their eggs on March 31, 2017.

“Every animal birth at Zoo Atlanta is important, but it is especially so when we consider that there are so few Guatemalan Beaded Lizards in the wild. This species is not only exceptionally rare but challenging to reproduce,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, Vice President of Animal Divisions. “We are very proud to see Zoo Atlanta leading the way in helping to ensure a future for this species and in sharing what we have learned with our partners in the U.S. and Guatemala.”

2_guatemalanbeadedlizard_hatchlings2017_hatchling_egg_ZA_9376

3_guatemalanbeadedlizard_hatchlings2017_egg_ZA_9371

4_guatemalanbeadedlizard_hatchlings2017_egg_ZA_9372Photo Credits: Zoo Atlanta

The Guatemalan Beaded Lizard (Heloderma charlesborgeti) is an example of an animal most Americans would have no awareness of were it not for zoological populations.

As reclusive as they are rare, the lizards are found only in the Motagua Valley in Guatemala, where they are believed to number fewer than 200 in the wild. The species and its close relatives, which include the Gila Monster of the southwestern United States, are the only known venomous lizards.

The Beaded Lizard is a specialized vertebrate nest predator, feeding primarily on bird and reptile eggs. It is semi-arboreal and can be found climbing deciduous trees in search of prey when encountered above ground. It occasionally preys upon small birds, mammals, frogs, lizards, and insects.

The lizard species becomes sexually mature at six to eight years and mates between September and October. The female will lay her clutch of two to 30 eggs between October and December, and the clutch will hatch the following June or July.

Young lizards are seldom seen, emerging from underground at two to three years of age after gaining considerable size.

Although Guatemalan Beaded Lizards spend most of their lives below ground and rarely encounter humans, wild populations face serious challenges because of habitat loss and illegal trade. The species faces additional pressures from fear-based killing resulting from long-held myths that the lizards have supernatural powers.

Zoo Atlanta has worked with the Foundation for the Endangered Species of Guatemala on Conservation Heloderma, which works to purchase and protect Guatemalan Beaded Lizard habitat; combat black-market trade; promote local education; and improve the lives of people living in communities that share the lizards’ native range.

The properties of the Guatemalan Beaded Lizard’s venom, which is used only in self-defense and is not used to capture prey, have only recently become known to science. Unlike most lizard species, the Guatemalan Beaded Lizard has a high aerobic capacity and is able to stabilize its blood sugar levels during contrasting periods of eating and fasting, thanks to a unique hormone. This hormone has been synthesized by pharmaceutical companies in the treatment of human diabetes.

For more information on conservation programs at Zoo Atlanta, visit: www.zooatlanta.org/conservation

5_Guatemalan beaded lizard_adult_Zoo Atlanta


London Zoo Celebrates Arrival of ‘Easter' Chicks

1_Easter penguin chicks (ZSL London Zoo) (5)

The first of two Penguin chicks timed its arrival perfectly, at ZSL London Zoo, by hatching on Easter Monday (April 17).

Followed two days later by its feathery sibling, both Humboldt Penguin chicks are now being hand-reared by keepers in the Zoo’s custom-built incubation room, after their parents were unable to care for them.

Covered in soft grey feathers, the tiny birds are weighed every morning and hand-fed three times a day by their keepers, and can be seen by visitors cozying up to a cuddly toy Penguin under the warming glow of a heat lamp.

ZSL’s Head of Birds, Adrian Walls, said, “While everyone was tucking into chocolate eggs over Easter, the first Penguin chick of the year was hatching at ZSL London Zoo. It was great timing!”

Keepers at ZSL London Zoo are taking turns looking after the youngsters, who aren’t shy about letting them know when they’re “peck-ish”.

“The chicks’ bodyweight increases by around 20 per cent every day, so they grow extremely quickly and are always eager for their next meal,” said Adrian. “They make sure we know it’s feeding time…they may be only weeks old but they’ve definitely perfected their squawks already.”

The feisty fish-lovers are being fed a special diet of blended fish, vitamins and minerals, referred to by ZSL London Zoo’s bird keepers as ‘penguin milkshake’. But as they grow bigger, they’ll also be given small portions of fresh fish to support their development.

The chicks are expected to stay in the incubation room until they reach 10-weeks-old, by which time they should have grown from around 70g at hatch to 3kg in weight.

They’ll then move into the Zoo’s specially-designed ‘penguin nursery’, which includes a shallow pool for their swimming lessons, before eventually being introduced to the other 70 Humboldt Penguins in the colony.

2_Easter penguin chicks (ZSL London Zoo) (1)

3_Easter penguin chicks (ZSL London Zoo) (4)

4_Easter penguin chicks (ZSL London Zoo) (3)Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo

The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), also known as the Chilean Penguin, Peruvian Penguin, or Patranca, is a South American species that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the Galápagos Penguin. The Penguin is named after the cold water current it swims in, which is named after Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer.

Continue reading "London Zoo Celebrates Arrival of ‘Easter' Chicks" »


Monkeys and Keepers Team Up to Care for Endangered Baby

BabyLangur_001_Med-860x450Animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo are getting some unique helpers as they assist an endangered 7-week-old François’ Langur Monkey: The entire Langur troop pitches in to socialize the baby, while keepers make sure he gets enough food and care.

After the baby, named Chi, was born in February to mother Mei Li, keepers noticed that she rejected her baby and failed to nurse him.  The staff hoped that other members of this troop might decide to raise the baby, because Langurs practice alloparetning, where all members of the group participate in rearing young – but the other Langurs also rejected the infant. 

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.29.25 AM
Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.30.08 AMPhoto Credit: San Diego Zoo

“Infants need to nurse every few hours in order to stay healthy,” said Mindy Settles, primate keeper at the San Diego Zoo, adding that keepers intervened right away to feed the baby before his condition deteriorated. “Every day, we did introductions trying to pair him back with mom; and it wasn’t actually until he was over a week old—almost a week and a half old—that mom picked him up and actually held him for the first time.”

Rather than remove Chi from the troop and hand-rear the baby in the nursery away from his family, keepers decided to use assisted-rearing techniques. Because the animal care staff has established a bond of trust with the Langurs, the troop allows keepers to remove Chi for feedings, then accepts him when he returns to the troop. This allows Chi to develop normal social behaviors and understand that he is a Monkey, not a human, and hopefully breed one day with a female.

“I can’t stress enough how amazing this opportunity is for us,” said Jill Andrews, animal care manager for primates at the San Diego Zoo. “The amount of cooperation between the Monkeys and the keepers for the care of this 7-week-old infant is, frankly, astonishing. He is way ahead of the curve.”

Francois’ langurs are a species of Old World Monkey native to Asia—ranging from southwestern China to northeastern Vietnam. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to a 50 percent decline in their population over the past 30 years. Hunting to supply body parts for traditional folk medicines is a primary reason for their diminished numbers. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to agricultural development has also had a negative effect on the population.


Baby Sloth Slooowly Stealing Hearts at Memphis Zoo

Photo Apr 18  9 09 34 AM Courtesy of Adrienne Saunders
A baby Linné’s Two-toed Sloth at the Memphis Zoo is slooowly stealing the hearts of her keepers and fans, and she’s already made a special friend: a stuffed elephant that she clings to at naptime.

Baby-Sloth-1
Baby-Sloth-4Photo Credit:  Adrienne Saunders (1,6,7,8); Memphis Zoo (2,3,4,5)

Named Lua, which means “moon” in Portuguese, the female baby was born on March 17 to parents Marilyn and Sparky. Marilyn had delivered other infants in previous years, but her babies did not survive infancy, so the staff decided to hand-rear Lua to ensure her survival.

When the staff is not holding Lua, she clings to the stuffed elephant, which strengthens her limbs and mimics the way baby sloths hold on to their mothers. Sloths spend most of their time upside down, hanging from tree branches in South American rain forests north of the Amazon River. 

Baby Lua is bottle-fed every two hours, which will continue for at least a month. Sloths grow slowly and Lua will require help from zoo keepers for about a year. She is currently being cared for behind the scenes.

Both Marilyn and Sparky came into the zoo population from the wild, making Lua genetically valuable.

Linné’s Two-toed sloths, also known as Southern Two-toed Sloths, feed on leaves and other vegetation.  They rarely descend to the ground.

See more photos of Lua below.

Continue reading "Baby Sloth Slooowly Stealing Hearts at Memphis Zoo" »


You ‘Otter’ See Brookfield Zoo’s New Pups

1_North American river otter pups (18 days old)-2

The Chicago Zoological Society is thrilled to announce the birth of twin North American River Otter pups at Brookfield Zoo. The male and female pups, born on February 23, are the first successful births of this species in the Zoo’s history.

The adorable siblings are currently behind the scenes, bonding with their mom, learning how to swim. They are scheduled to make their public debut later this month.

The pups’ mother, Charlotte, arrived at Brookfield Zoo in June 2012 from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. The father, Benny, joined the Zoo family from Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, in August 2004.

Otter mating typically occurs between December and April, with most births occurring between February and April of the following year. Pups are born with their eyes closed, fully furred, and weighing about 4 ounces.

2_North American river otter pups (33 days old)

3_North American river otter pups (38 days old)Photo credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society (Image 1: 18 days old / Image 2: 33 days old / Image 3: 38 days old)

The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) North American River Otter Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative population management and conservation program for the species. The program manages the breeding of Otters in zoos to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. It is a member of the subfamily Lutrinae in the weasel family (Mustelidae).

An adult River Otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). The River Otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur.

North American River Otters, like most predators, prey upon the most readily accessible species. Fish is a favored food, but they also consume various amphibians (such as salamanders and frogs), freshwater clams, mussels, snails, small turtles and crayfish.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists these Otters as “Least Concern”, meaning that the populations are very stable. However, habitat degradation and pollution are major threats to their conservation.


Wroclaw Welcomes Litter of Red River Hogs

1_DSC_1603

Zoo Wrocław is excited to announce the birth of a litter of Red River Hogs. Three piglets were born on April 3rd. The matriarch of the herd, and new mother, is Petunia. Petunia arrived at Zoo Wroclaw from Brooklyn, NYC, and her partner, Jumbo, arrived from France.

The Zoo is eager to find names for the new youngsters and is willing to accept any and all suggestions for names! Suggestions can be made to their social media page: https://www.facebook.com/wroclawskiezoo/ and their website: http://www.zoo.wroclaw.pl/  

2_DSC_1612

3_DSC_1635

4_17796774_10155198544934719_2576291454719781431_nPhoto Credits: Zoo Wroclaw/Pawlik

The Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus) is a wild member of the pig family native to the Guinean and Congolian forests of Africa. It is rarely seen away from rainforests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.

Continue reading "Wroclaw Welcomes Litter of Red River Hogs" »