Peoria Zoo

Nice "Tooth" Meet You, Little Mole-rat

Mole rat Second best

A Giant Zambian Mole-rat pup born on June 22 is the first surviving second generation of this species at the Peoria Zoo.

The most notable feature of Mole-rats is a pair of large incisors that lie outside the mouth.  Giant Mole-rats excavate their burrows by biting at the soil with their incisors, pushing it under their bodies with their forefeet and kicking it backward with their hind feet.

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Photo Credit:  Peoria Zoo

Peoria Zoo was the first recorded institution in the United States to exhibit this species.  Peoria Zoo and its partners imported Giant Zambian Mole-rats from South Africa for exhibition and research in the United States in 2006.   Since their arrival zoo staff has been working to find a management technique to ensure breeding success. 

Ashley, the pup’s mother, born in 2008, was the first offspring ever to survive at the Peoria Zoo.   

At six weeks of age the Mole-rat pup weighs less than one ounce (24g), but will grow to weigh more than 1.3 pounds (600g).  Pups have dark brown fur, while adults are buff -colored. 

See more about Mole-rats below the fold.

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Amur Tiger Cubs Play in the Sun at Peoria Zoo

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The Peoria Zoo welcomed their first Amur Tiger cubs in more than 30 years! The mother, Kyra, had the babies at the end of June. The cubs' father, Vaska, was brought in from the Minnesota Zoo last December to breed with Kyra. Neither of the parents had reproduced before but Kyra has proven to be an excellent first-time mother. 

Once Kyra’s weight gain indicated that birth was imminent, a camera was repositioned to film the birthing platform. You can watch a video of the birth as captured here. Their first wellness check showed that all four cubs were healthy and that they ranged in size from 3.5 - 5.5 pounds (1.6 - 2.5 kgs). Vaska did not have access to mom or the babies, but was out in the habitat as Kyra and cubs spent their time bonding in the house.

Then, on August 23, the cubs were big enough to venture into the Tiger Yard for the first time under mom's watchful eye. Catch the video below to see them peek their paws into the sunshine for the first time.  

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Photo Credit: Peoria Zoo

You can vote to name the cubs now through September 22 by visiting the Peoria Zoo's voting link. You can pick for two male and two female names from choices provided by the Zoo. The winning names will be announced at 11:00 a.m. on September 29! You can revisit their website or Facebook page to find out if the names you picked won.

 

 

More photos of the cubs at play after the jump:

Continue reading "Amur Tiger Cubs Play in the Sun at Peoria Zoo" »