Superstar Clouded Leopard Reaches Another Milestone

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‘Mowgli’, the Clouded Leopard cub born March 7th, at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, has reached the “terrible twos” (two-months, that is). Mowgli, named after the main character in The Jungle Book, is already established as a celebrity and has been featured several times on ZooBorns: “Tampa’s Clouded Leopard Kitten Is a Superstar” and “Superstar Clouded Leopard Meets His Fans”.

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4_asia clouded leopard mowgli play 2 may 7 2015Photo Credits: Dave Parkinson/Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Fans of Mowgli can keep up-to-date on his growth and antics by exploring his web page, through Lowry Park Zoo: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/leopard/

Now weighing in at 6 pounds with a full set of baby teeth, Mowgli has made the transition from a bottle to a meat-based baby food diet, which he enjoys making into a meal and a mess. His motor skills are progressing as well, and he is running, jumping, pouncing and starting to climb.

While the Zoo’s veterinary professionals will continue to provide round-the-clock care under industry protocols, Mowgli is ready for the next step in his care.

Starting Saturday, May 9th, Mowgli’s outdoor playtime was moved to a temporary enclosure to help keep him safe while he practices all of his new motor skills. The Zoo’s staff will continue to supervise his every move, but will work to scale back on handling, to promote greater independence. The enclosure will also help him make the adjustment to a permanent habitat in the future.

For the near term, public viewing will continue at 11 am, in the new location. A rotation through different environments provides essential sensory enrichment for continued development. Allowing guests to observe the cub at play provides an educational opportunity to communicate the needs and perils of this rare and vulnerable species.

Mowgli’s dad, ‘Yim’ and mom, ‘Malee’, live at the Zoo and are on exhibit in the Asian Gardens habitat area. The male cub is their first offspring.

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Two Baby Baboons Born at Oakland Zoo

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Two Hamadryas Baboons were born just 19 days apart at the Oakland Zoo. The babies, a male and a female, are half-siblings and share the same father but have different mothers.
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_F9A2601Photo Credit:  Oakland Zoo

The female baboon, who was born on March 14, is named “Kabili,” which means honest and brave in Swahili. The male baby was born on April 1 and has not yet been named.  

The Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons, and keepers report that the youngsters are being well-received by other group members. Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny said, “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”

Hamadryas baboons live in complex social groups. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities. 

Hamadryas baboons are native to Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. In ancient times, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of the god Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.


Dozens Of Babies Steal The Show At Cincinnati Zoo

2015-04-02 Lion Cubs 1 626The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating a baby bonanza – dozens of babies have been born at the zoo in the past few months.  In fact, there are so many babies that the zoo is celebrating “Zoo Babies” month in May.Kea

2015-03-16 MonaJeffMcCurryPhoto Credit:  Cassandre Crawford, Jeff McCurry, Cincinnati Zoo
 

All the little ones have kept their parents – and zoo keepers – busy.  The three female African Lion cubs are particularly feisty, testing their “grrrl” power on a daily basis with their father John and mother Imani. 

Other babies include three Bonobos, two Gorillas, a Bongo, a Serval, two Capybaras, a Rough Green Snake, Giant Spiny Leaf Insects, Thorny Devils, Little Penguin chicks and Kea chicks.  “This is the largest and most varied group of babies we’ve had. We’re particularly excited about the successes we’ve had with the endangered African Painted Dogs and the hard-to-breed Kea,” said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo Executive Director.

See more photos of Cincinnati's Zoo's babies below.

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Prairie Dog Count on the Rise at El Paso Zoo

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The baby Prairie Dog count, at the El Paso Zoo, is up to nine! The babies can be seen, outside the burrows in their exhibit, hanging with the rest of their family...keeping mom on her toes. 

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11119093_10153211886122622_259194640189101805_oPhoto Credits: El Paso Zoo

Prairie Dogs are mostly herbivorous burrowing rodents that are native to the grasslands of North America. There are five species: Black-Tailed, White-Tailed, Gunnison’s, Utah and Mexican. In Mexico, Prairie Dogs are found primarily in the northern states, which lie at the southern end of the Great Plains of the United States. This area of Mexico includes: northeastern Sonora, north and northeastern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila, northern Nuevo Leon, and northern Tamaulipas. In the United States, the Prairie Dog’s range is primarily to the west of the Mississippi river, though they have been introduced in a few eastern locales.

Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The name was in use as early as 1774. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition note that in September 1804, they “discovered a Village of an animal the French Call the Prairie Dog”. Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for “dog mouse”.

Prairie Dogs are stout-bodied rodents that grow to around 12 to 16 inches long (30 to 40 cm) and weigh between 1 and 3 lbs (0.5 and 1.5 kilograms).  They are mainly herbivorous, feeding on grasses and small seeds, but they will occasionally eat insects.

Highly social, Prairie Dogs live in large colonies called “towns” and in collections of families that can span hundreds of acres. A Prairie Dog town may contain 15 to 26 family groups, made up of a series of burrows with mounded entrances.

Mother Prairie Dogs provide most of the care for the young. In addition to nursing, the mother’s job is to provide protection for the nursery chamber and collect grass for the nest. Males participate by providing defense for the family territories and maintaining the burrows. The young spend their first six weeks below ground, being nursed. When weaned, they will begin to surface from the burrow. By five months, they are considered fully grown and can fend for themselves.

Ecologists consider them to be a keystone species. They are included in the primary diet of other prairie species, such as: Black-Footed Ferret, Swift Fox, Golden Eagle, American Badger and Ferruginous Hawk.

The Prairie Dog’s existence on the Great Plains is also valuable to the Burrowing Owl, who relies on Prairie Dog burrows for nesting. However, the rodent is, in general, considered a pest in its native area and are often eliminated or relocated. 


Dallas Zoo Home to Famous Giraffe Calf

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On April 10th, the birth of a female Giraffe calf, at the Dallas Zoo, caught the attention of animal-lovers worldwide after the Zoo and Animal Planet launched the joint project, GIRAFFE BIRTH LIVE CAM, to show the birth on the Animal Planet L!VE streaming video site. 

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Meet Kipenzi

Katie and baby with watermark CSPhoto Credits: Dallas Zoo

Online viewers have so far watched over 2 million video streams since the cameras launched. Many viewers tuned in after Animal Planet aired the birth live on-air, narrated by the Dallas Zoo’s Harrison Edell, the senior director of living collections. A Mother’s Day Special will air on Animal Planet, this Sunday May 10th, at 9am Eastern. You can also catch replay of highlights from the event on the Animal Planet L!VE webpage, at the following links: http://www.apl.tv/giraffe-birth-live.htm and at http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/giraffe-birth-live/videos/giraffe-birth-live-highlights/?_ga=1.38708640.2028738701.1431005825

Giraffe mom, ‘Katie’, went into labor just before 5 pm April 10 and delivered the healthy calf less than an hour later. During the live broadcast, Mr. Edell calmly took viewers through the drama of the live birth, describing the events, checking in with the zoo’s veterinary team and teaching about the threats the magnificent animals face in the wild. Mirroring viewers’ excitement, he captured the staff’s elation during milestones such as: when the calf opened its eyes, tried several times to stand, began to walk, and began to nurse. One of the most popular moments, during the live broadcast, was when the other members of the zoo’s Giraffe herd poked their heads over the wall of the maternity stall to check in on the birth.

“We love having this type of platform to share this incredible event,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and chief executive officer. “To be able to share this with so many people around the world is very special. We couldn’t be prouder of our staff and, of course, of Katie!”

The calf’s father is ‘Tebogo’, one of the most popular Giraffes at the Dallas Zoo. Katie has one previous calf, ‘Jamie’, who was born in 2011. Jamie remains with the 13-member Dallas Zoo herd, which roams the award-winning Giants of the Savanna habitat. The Dallas Zoo is the only zoo in the United States to allow Giraffes and Elephants to mingle with each other, alongside Zebra, Impala, Guinea Fowl and other African species.

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Rock Hyrax Siblings Enjoying the Scottish Sunshine

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The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo recently welcomed two baby Rock Hyraxes. They were born in the middle of February to mum, ‘Sarabi’.

The youngsters, one male and one female, have been staying in their burrow, but the two are now starting to jump out to explore their surroundings in the Scottish sun. These small creatures are probably most well known for their distant relation to the elephant, and they often look as if they are smiling happily for the camera. 

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15_4_29_Rock_Hyrax__Babies_1_GKCPhoto Credits: RZSS

This is the first time mum Sarabi has bred, and the babies are doing well. Hyrax babies are quite fully developed when they are born and normally start running and jumping within an hour after birth. The youngsters will suckle until they are three months old, but often begin to eat plants from their second day. Rock Hyrax litters normally consist of two to three young, but they can sometimes have as many as four babies in one litter. Unlike other small mammals, the Rock Hyrax has a much longer gestation period of seven and a half months.

Fossil remains show that there were once Hyraxes the size of cows, which could explain the longer gestation period. These rock-dwelling mammals are so unique that they have been placed in a separate order by themselves, Hyracoidea. Rock Hyraxes are normally grouped with elephants, dugongs and sea cows as ‘subungulates’ and it is believed they all may have descended from a common stock.

Lorna Hughes, Animal Team Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo said, “Our Rock Hyrax babies are doing really well, and they were up and running about, soon after they were born. We haven’t named them yet, as we normally wait a while before we name any new-born. People are always really fascinated and interested when we tell them the Hyraxes are distant relatives of the elephant.”

“The Rock Hyraxes, here at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, love basking in the sun, and can often be seen lazing about on the rocks; this is because Rock Hyraxes have poorly developed thermoregulation. When it’s cold and rainy, as is often typical of Scottish weather, they prefer to stay in their burrows to try keep warm, but now with summer approaching they are often seen outside enjoying the sun,” Lorna continued.

The Rock Hyrax can be found across Africa and some parts of the Middle East. They love to hang out on rocky areas and prefer to hide in the nooks of cliff faces. They have black rubbery pads under their feet which help them to grip onto rocky and slippery surfaces.  Hyraxes are very adaptable creatures; in East Africa they can be found living at sea level and at altitudes of more than 14,000 feet. Their habitats also range from dry savannah to dense rainforest.

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is currently home to six adult rock hyraxes and the two babies. The herd lives in a large rocky enclosure with plenty of rocks and crevices for them to jump and run about. 

More great pics, below the fold!

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Turtle Back Zoo Welcomes Baby Porcupine Just in Time for Mother’s Day

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The Turtle Back Zoo, in West Orange, NJ has some exciting news to announce! Mommy Porcupine Becky has given birth to a baby Porcupine- otherwise known as a porcupette! Born on April 16, 2015 both mother and baby are now officially on exhibit, just in time for Mother's Day.
 
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Photo credits: 1 & 3 Jeff Stiefbold, 2 The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
 
While their Latin name technically means “quill pig,” Porcupines are actually rodents. These sharp dressed mammals are covered with soft hair as well as quills, which are really modified hairs that stand up when a Porcupine feels threatened. Not only does this make the Porcupine look larger, but it also delivers a prickly poke to a predator who gets too close. Sharp, strong teeth allow these herbivores to crack open nuts and eat barks, roots, fruits and leaves. There are about 12 different porcupine species, and they can be found in North, Central and South America; Southern Europe; Asia; and regions of Africa.

Honolulu Zoo Welcomes First Newborn Sloth

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The Honolulu Zoo recently celebrated their first newborn Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth!

The new baby was born April 21st, to mom ‘Harriet’. Mother and baby are doing well, and they are both on exhibit. However, Harriet is quite protective of her new offspring, and visitors will need to have patience if they want to catch a glimpse of the new family.

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11157554_10153707800881531_7978785755043660712_oPhoto Credits: "Keeper 2 Susan"/ Honolulu Zoo ; Video Credits: "Bird Lady"

Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth (also known as the Southern Two-Toed Sloth or Unau) is a species of sloth from South America. They are found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil north of the Amazon River.

It is a solitary, nocturnal and arboreal animal, found predominately in rainforests. Linnie’s Two-Toed Sloth is able to swim, which enables their travel across rivers and creeks, but they are seemingly built for life in treetops. They spend nearly all of their lifetime hanging from branches. Sloths will often sleep 15 to 20 hours, in trees. At night, they will search for food, generally leaves, shoots and fruits.

Two-Toed Sloth’s mate and give birth while hanging from branches. Gestation length is approximately 10 months. Newborns will cling, solely, to their mother for about five weeks after birth.

Modern Sloths are divided into two families, based on the number of toes on their front feet. Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth and Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth are larger than their three-toed counterparts. They also possess longer hair, bigger eyes and their back and front legs are more equal in length.

The Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Their main threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation of the South American rainforests for farming, residential areas and ranching. 


Eight Fuzzy Penguin Chicks Hatch At Chester Zoo

PenguinChicks-19The first Humboldt Penguin chicks of 2015 have emerged from their eggs at Chester Zoo.

Weighing only two ounces, baby chick Panay – named after an exotic island in the Philippines – was the first of eight to hatch at the zoo.  The next seven hatchlings were named after other islands: Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Sumba, Java, and Tuma.

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PenguinChicks-18Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo
 
Since the chicks hatched, zookeepers have been carefully observing their nutrition, weight, and development in the nest.  The chicks are weighed daily, and their parents receive extra fish so they can feed their new babies.  It’s working – some of the chicks weigh seven times their hatch weight after only a few weeks.

Each pair of the South American species, which come from the coastal areas of Peru and Chile, lays two eggs and incubates them for 40 days. Both parents help rear the young until they are fully fledged, before making their tentative first splash in the pool with the rest of the colony.  Humboldt Penguins are named after the chilly Humboldt current that parallels South America's west coast and carries abundant marine life.

Of the world’s 17 Penguin species, Humboldt Penguins are among the most at risk, being classified as Vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  Their decline is due in part to extensive mining of guano beds.  The guano beds, consisting of hundreds of years of accumulated bird droppings, make excellent fertilizer.  But the Penguins need the guano beds as nesting grounds, so when the guano is removed, the Penguins have nowhere to nest.  Overfishing of the Penguins’ prey species, climate change, and rising acidity levels in the ocean also contribute to their decline.

See more photos of the chicks below.

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