Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo’s New Tapir Calf Was a Long Time Coming


Prague Zoo is very excited to announce the birth of a new star in their tapir nursery. A Malayan Tapir was born October 15th to mom, Indah, and father, Niko.

The birth of the new calf is also being celebrated as a big success for the zoo’s keepers. It is the first Malayan Tapir to be born in Prague after nearly 40 years. Prague Zoo and the Zoo Zlín are the only facilities in the Czech Republic where the Malayan Tapirs are kept.


3_PrahaTapirPhoto Credits: Petr Hamerník / Prague Zoo

Visitors to the Prague Zoo can now see the small baby tapir on exhibit. In the past twelve months, there have been just six Malayan Tapirs born in Europe. The Prague Zoo has been keeping Malayan Tapirs since 1967.

Mom, Indah, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 26, 2008. As a near two-year-old calf, she came to Prague from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Sandwich, Kent, chaperoned by her older brother Vasan. It took no time for them to settle into their new home, within the Water World exhibit.

This new baby tapir is Indah’s first offspring, and she is proving herself to be a very good mother. In the coming weeks, keepers will be able to determine the sex, and then a proper name can be selected for the new baby.

The Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus), also known as the Asian Tapir, is the largest of the five species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. The scientific name refers to the East Indies, the species’ natural habitat. In the Malay language, the tapir is commonly referred to as cipan, tenuk or badak tampung.

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Second Guanaco Birth of the Year in Prague


Zoo Praha, in the Czech Republic, welcomed their second Guanaco birth of the year. The new baby was born September 10th and has been enjoying the zoo’s outdoor exhibit with mom. 


3_11947891_10152947098272581_2237233441214893911_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Praha

The Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid native to the mountainous regions of South America. Llamas are descendants of wild Guanacos that were domesticated 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. Andean peoples raise Guanacos for wool, meat, and skin and also utilize them as pack animals.

They are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America. They generally stand between 3 ft. 3 inches to 3 ft. 11 inches (1.0 and 1.2 m) at the shoulder and weigh about 200 pounds (90 kg).

Guanaco live in herds composed of females, their young, and a dominant male. Bachelor males form separate herds. When feeling threatened, Guanacos alert the herd to flee using a high-pitched, bleating call. The male usually runs behind the herd to defend them. They are known to run at 35 mph (56 km/per hour).

Gestation for the Guanaco is about 11.5 months, with offspring being able to walk immediately after birth. Young Guanaco are called ‘chulengos’. Male chulengos are chased away from the herd at around one year of age.

The Guanaco is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Aside from being occasionally hunted by man, their natural predators include: cougars, jaguars, and foxes.

Prague Zoo Celebrates Newest Tapir Calf


An incredibly cute…and incredibly stripy South American Tapir calf was born, May 19, at Prague Zoo. The little male is the offspring of 15-year-old ‘Ivana’ and 12-year-old ‘Tex’. 



4_11351239_836023563148242_5206025150772566683_nPhoto Credits: Prague Zoo

The delivery was smooth, and Ivana immediately stepped into her role as new mom. Ivana has successfully reared two other calves, and so far, the newest baby appears healthy and content.

Father, Tex, is very attached to his mate, Ivana, and keepers decided not to separate them during the pregnancy and birth. Tex has been a model father, and has been responding very well to his new son.

South American Tapirs were first bred in Prague Zoo between 1950 and 1957.  Then, for a period of almost 47 years, there was not another tapir birth until the arrival of Ivana’s first offspring in 2004.

The South American Tapir, or Brazilian Tapir, is one of five species in the tapir family, along with the Mountain Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Baird’s Tapir, and the Kabomani Tapir. It is the second-largest land mammal in South America, after the Baird’s Tapir.

The tapir is an herbivore. It uses its mobile snout to feed on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches it tears from trees. Tapirs also enjoy fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants.

The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Dwindling numbers are due to poaching for their meat and hides. Habitat destruction also plays a role in their endangerment. 

Grant’s Zebra Born at Prague Zoo

PragueZooZebra_byMiroslav Bobek

After 46 years of waiting, Prague Zoo is finally home to a brand new Grant’s Zebra foal! The young stallion is in excellent condition, and he is receiving the attentive care needed from his mother. 

PragueZooZebra_3_byJozef Sebíň

PragueZooZebra_4_byJozef Sebíň

PragueZooZebra_2_byJozef Sebíň

Photo Credits: Miroslav Bobek /Prague Zoo (Image 1); Jozef Sebíň /Prague Zoo (Images 2,3,4)

Grant’s Zebra is the smallest of six subspecies of plains zebra. They are native to Zambia west of the Luangwa River and west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north to the Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania, north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi, into southwestern Kenya as far as Sotik. The subspecies can also be found in eastern Kenya and east of the Great Rift Valley, into southernmost Ethiopia.

The Grant’s Zebra is vertically striped in front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and hind flanks. Shadow stripes are generally absent. Northerly specimens may lack a mane.

Grant’s Zebras eat the coarse grasses that grow on the African plains, and they are resistant to diseases that often kill cattle. Therefore, the zebras do well in the African savannas.

They mature to a size of around 3.9 to 4.6 feet (120 to 140cm) tall, and generally reach a max weight of about 660 lbs (300 kilograms). The Grant’s Zebra live in family groups of up to 17 or 18 individuals, and they are led by a single stallion. They live an average of 20 years.

Recent civil wars in its native area have caused dramatic declines in the Zebra’s wild population. However, they are still classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Playful Giraffe Calf Meets the Herd at Zoo Praha

10496192_10152172955692581_3537528698723972847_oBorn on August 9 at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha, this baby Giraffe is already integrated into daily life among the herd.

10580934_10152172955022581_8755031019253461923_oPhoto Credit:  Petr Hamernik

The male calf took his first steps within hours of birth to Fary, his mother.  When he was introduced to the rest of the herd, the other Giraffes reacted with great curiosity to the newcomer.  The calf ran, frolicked, and explored the Giraffes’ automatic waterers with interest.  He also got up close to zoo guests through the exhibit window.

Moving among the herd can be intimidating for a little Giraffe, so he still spends much of his time very close to his mother. 

Giraffes were once plentiful on Africa’s savannahs, but recent studies show that Giraffe populations are declining at an alarming rate.  

See more photos of the Giraffe calf below.

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Zoo Praha Breeds an Endangered Philippine Scops Owl


Zoo Praha has managed to parent-rear a Philippine Scops Owl chick. The endangered species of owl lives only in the northern part of the Philippines. Prague Zoo actively contributes to its protection in cooperation with the rescue station for owls on the Philippine island of Negros. So far, the sex of the chick is unknown. Currently Zoo Praha has one breeding pair of Philippine Scops Owls. The female came from Luzon Island and the male was reared at Wroclaw Zoo.




Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Brand-new Baby Takin at Prague Zoo

A rare Takin calf was born on May 6 at the Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic, and these photos show the baby just hours after its birth.1948040_10151988799492581_6453082175353355828_n

165928_10151988799477581_1534481335975659852_nPhoto Credit:  Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

The male baby is genetically valuable to the European Takin breeding program because his grandfather was born in the wild.  Zoo Praha has exhibited Takin since 1998, when a small herd arrived from the Berlin Zoo.

Native to the eastern Himalayas, Takin are in the same family as goats and sheep.  Stocky and sure-footed, these goat-antelopes easily navigate high mountain terrain.They tavel in herds of 20-30 individuals, and graze on vegetation.

Takin are unqiue in that they secrete an oily, strong-smelling substance all over their entire body.  As adults, males Takin can weigh up to 770 pounds (350 kg).  Females are slightly smaller.

Due to overhunting and habitat destruction, Takin are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   

UPDATE! Prague Zoo's Amur Leopard Kittens are Hard at Play

1 amur

Prague Zoo's three Amur Leopard kittens are growing like weeds! They are busy climbing, playing, and learning by imitating their mom, three-year-old Khanka, who has proven to be an excellent mother. Khanka and her litter are behind the scenes for now, but they will soon move to a habitat where visitors can see the family. 

One of the kittens is melanistic, having a mutation that results in dark fur. 

2 amur

3 amur

4 amur

5 amurPhoto credit: Tomáš Adamec / Prague Zoo

For more photos, see our first post about the litter here.

Critically Endangered Amur Leopards Born at Prague Zoo


Prague Zoo has shared with us some great news: for the first time in 13 years, the zoo is celebrating the birth of Amur Leopards, a Critically Endangered species. The three-year-old mother, Khanka, gave birth to three cubs. One of the cubs, a male, is melanistic, having a mutation that results in dark fur.  

The cubs are doing well behind-the-scenes with mom. Dad, four-year-old Kirin, is on display, as males don't help to raise their offspring.

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1 leopard

3 leopardPhoto credits: Prague Zoo

The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that only about 30 Amur Leopards remain in the wild. Found only in the Russian Far East, they are threatened by poaching and habitat degradation. The captive population is managed by the European Endangered Species Program for Amur Leopards, which aims to breed healthy leopards by avoiding inbreeding across zoos. With numbers in the wild at a dangerous low, introducing captive-born individuals will be critical for the species' survival.

Learn more about conservation efforts by the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance

Cockatoo Chick is a First for Prague Zoo


It’s been three years since a European zoo successfully hatched a Pam Cockatoo chick, but the Czech Republic’s Prague Zoo achieved this rare feat for the first time this fall.  A single chick hatched, weighing only 20 grams (less than 1 ounce).  When fully frown, this ungainly chick will be covered in glossy black feathers with bright red cheek patches and a large black crest.

Photo Credit:  Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha
Prague Zoo first began caring for this species in 2008, when they took possession of several Palm Cockatoos confiscated from smugglers. 

Palm Cockatoos are native to the northernmost tip of Australia and the island of New Guinea, where they inhabit forested areas.  Their powerful bill enables them to crack hard nuts and seeds, such as those found on palm trees.  Palm Cockatoos are not considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of nature, but trade of these birds is restricted under Appendix I of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

See more photos below the fold.

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