Parken Zoo

Clouded Leopard Cubs Grow Behind the Scenes at Parken Zoo

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Exciting news: five Clouded Leopard cubs have been born at Parken Zoo in Sweden! They recently squeaked their way through their first veterinary checkup, when they were weighed, vaccinated, and examined for health. 

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4 leopardPhoto credit: Parken Zoo

See video of their veterinary exam: 


Clouded Leopards range from the foothills of Nepal through mainland Southeast Asia into China. These solitary cats live in remote areas, making it difficult to monitor their numbers and learn about their behavior. As a result of rapid deforestation and poaching, they are listed as a Threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Parken Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Programme for Clouded Leopards. The program recommends mate-pairings that will prevent inbreeding and produce healthy offspring, and allows zoos to coordinate in their conservation efforts. 

See more photos after the fold.

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Are Lion Cubs Ticklish?

We don't know if Lions are ticklish, but this mom seems to join in the fun with her three playful Asiatic Lion cubs, born at Sweden’s Parken Zoo on July 18.  But like all moms, she knows just when to discipline her growing cubs and when to play along.

Photo Credit:  Parken Zoo

Born to mother Ishara, age 6, and father Kaja, age 14, the cubs were recently examined by the zoo’s veterinarian, given vaccines, and had identifying microchips inserted.  Now, they are ready to meet their older siblings, Khana and Gir, age two.  Khana and Gir have been watched over by Sarla, a 16-year-old female in the zoo’s pride, while Ishara tended her new cubs.

Asiatic Lions once roamed much of southern Asia and the Middle East, but they now exist as a tiny population of only 350 animals in India’s Gir Forest area.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   Thanks to protection, the population has doubled in the last 40 years, but the Asiatic Lion is still vulnerable to poaching, disease, and natural disasters.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold.

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Fishing Cat Plays with Mom at Parken Zoo

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Parken Zoo in Sweden welcomed a new Fishing Cat on May 24. The little one, whose sex is not yet determined, is doing well and will nurse from its mother until it reaches about six months of age. The proud mother and father, Alaya and Narjol, are already an experienced pair. They have two adult offspring, Arya and Arun, born in September 2009. 

Fishing Cats mainly live in southern and southeast Asia, often in wetland areas such as marshes, lakes, rivers and coastal mangrove forests. Generally active at night, they are excellent swimmers. They can scoop fish out of the water with their paws, and even dive to catch them. Caretakers at Parken Zoo often feed the Fishing Cat family in the water so that they can engage in their natural behaviors when eating. However, these cats are also adept hunters and scavengers on land, taking a variety of animals ranging from frogs and snakes to larger prey like dogs and goats. 

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Photo credits: Parken Zoo

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Who Knew a Pudu was the Smallest Deer in the World?


This little Southern Pudu baby was born at Sweden's Parken Zoo to parents Odense and André. Keepers weighed the baby and the scale showed 2 pounds (1.36 kg).  In the wild, a baby usually remains hidden in the first days of life, only emerging to nurse when the mother visits. After a few weeks, it joins its mother in her normal range, staying with her for about eight to 12 months. This baby will lose its white spots once it's about 3 to 5 months old. At 8 months, males begin growing their first spike antlers, which eventually reach 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) high when they are 7 years old.

The Southern Pudu is an endangered species. Their future in the wild remains uncertain, as their natural habitat is diminished due to overpopulation, clearing of land for agriculture, logging, hunting and other human activities. Helping conserve the species through zoo efforts is therefore key.



Photo Credit: Parken Zoo

Southern Pudu are normally active at twilight and during the night. The live in dense underbrush and bamboo thickets. Considered the smallest species of deer in the world, their small stature aids them greatly in escaping their predators. With it's short legs and it's body mass so close to the ground, the Southern Pudu can easily zig zag through dense vegitation and rocks when pursued.Pudus tend to live alone or in pairs. These deer are almost never found in groups of more than three animals. 

Welcome to the World! Little Alpaca Born at Parken Zoo


Sweden's Parken Zoo has a new arrival. First-time mom Alpaca Sabrina delivered the baby with ease on Friday the 13th at 11:00 a.m. The baby is healthy and both are doing well. Babies tend to weigh between 10 and 17 pounds and will grow to a weight of anywhere between 100-190 pounds as adults.

Alpacas are a member of the camel (camelid) family, domesticated, and shorn for their valuable fleeces. Alpacas do not have a heat (estrus) cycle and so can be bred any time of the year. The average gestation period of 335 days produces a single baby which is usually delivered from a standing position during daylight hours. 




Photo Credits: Parken Zoo

There are about 3.5 million Alpacas in the Andean highlands, mostly in Peru. The North American herd has increased, after they were first imported in 1984, from a few Alpacas in zoos and private collections to about 20,000! Alpacas are in demand for their luxurious shorn fur and as pet, show, and investment animals in Canada, England, Poland, France, Israel, and Australia, New Zealand, as well as the USA.