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.

2 leopard

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.

Continue reading "Cockatoo Chick is a First for Prague Zoo" »

Giraffe Calf is a Record-Setter at Zoo Praha

Kleopatra the Giraffe has tied a record at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha:  she delivered her 11th calf on the evening of October 9.

Zoo Praha has an impressive history of breeding these gentle giants:  The female calf is the 79th Giraffe calf to be born at the zoo.

Photo Credit: Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

According to the zoo staff, the baby stood soon after the delivery, which is an important milestone in the development of a newborn calf.  Giraffe calves typically stand within an hour of birth, and they nurse shortly afterward.  This survival skill is important to a calf born on the African savannah.  If they can’t follow the herd, they could fall prey to hungry lions or hyenas. 

After the exertion of learning to stand, calves often curl up and rest, with mom standing watch close by. 


Cub is Third Generation of Zoo Praha's Tiger "Dynasty"

A Sumatran Tiger cub born at Zoo Praha is getting supplemental feedings from zoo keepers because his mother is not fully caring for him, possibly a result of her tranquilization and evacuation during catastrophic flooding in the Czech Republic in June.

Photo Credit: Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo

Despite the cub’s rocky start, he is thriving.  Construction crews have halted repair work on the Tigers’ exhibit, which was damaged in the flood, to allow the mother, Surami, to bond peacefully with her cub.

The baby boy is the third generation of a Sumatran Tiger “dynasty” at Zoo Praha:  his father, Falco, was born at the zoo in 2007, and his grandfather, Dustin, was born there in 1994.

Sumatran Tigers are in peril in their native home in Sumatra, Indonesia.  Fewer than 400 of these cats are thought to remain in the wild, clinging to isolated patches of intact rain forest.   



Prague Zoo Celebrates Bush Dog Quadruplets


Prague Zoo is celebrating a quadruple success in their 10-year efforts to breed Bush Dogs. The litter of 4 is made up of 3 females and 1 male. The puppies have already started leaving the breeding box to explore their exhibit. These quadruplets are a genetically important addition to Europe's Bush Dog population. Their father arrived at the Prague Zoo from Japan after two years of negotiations, making him unrelated to any other dog in Europe. The zoo is the only Czech zoo with these carnivorous canines.


Photo Credit Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo

Two Giraffes Born in One Week at Zoo Praha

Male by Tomas Adamec (1)

Two Rothschild’s Giraffe calves were born in a single week at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha.  Nora delivered a male calf on June 30, and Elizabeth gave birth to a female calf, named Amelia, on July 7.  The two are the 77th and 78th giraffes born at Zoo Praha.  Both calves were sired by bull Giraffe Johan.

Male by Tomas Adamec (2)

Male by Tomas Adamec (3)

Female by Martin PEkarek, Flash (3)
Photo Credits: Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo (male calf 1, 2, 3); Martin Pekarak, Flash (female calf 4, 5, 6, 7)

Nora is a calm and experienced mother and is taking excellent care of her energetic calf.  Zoo keepers describe the calf as extremely confident.

Little Amelia is the seventh calf for Elizabeth.  According to zoo keepers, the birth went quickly and Elizabeth immediately began cleaning her baby and tried to help her stand.  They say that Amelia is calm and curious like her mother.

Rothschild’s Giraffes are one of the most endangered of the nine Giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred individuals remaining in the wilds of Kenya and Uganda. 

See more photos below the fold.

Continue reading "Two Giraffes Born in One Week at Zoo Praha" »

Sea Lion Pup Thriving at Prague Zoo

Prague Sea Lion 1

The Prague Zoo's Sea Lion collection recently grew by one with the birth of a little baby girl. The female, who is not yet named was born to mother Ababa. Weighing just 11 and a half pounds at birth, the pup is growing rapidly. She has put on two pounds to bring her weight up to a little under 13 and a half pounds. Just yesterday, Prague Zoo experienced major flooding which incapacitated the lower section of the institution. Zoo officials scrambled to relocate the affected animals. You can learn more about the flooding and find out how to help here and here.

Prague Sea Lion 2
Photo Credits: Anthony Vaidl / Prague Zoo

Sea Lions, a type of marine mammal, are found through much of the world's oceans through both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Sea Lions have an interesting reproductive cycle which lasts 12 months. After mating, there is 3-month delayed implantation followed by a 9-month gestation. Communication between mother and offspring is vital in this species. Large groups of female Sea Lions beach together to give birth. Females return to the sea to feed for extended periods of time leaving their pups to socialize with other infants. When they come back to land mother and offspring must be able to distinguish each other's calls from the rest of the pairs on the beach in order to reunite.


Prague Zoo is the First to Hatch Rare Turtles


Eleven tiny Brown Roofed Turtles hatched at the Czech Republic's Prague Zoo this month, the first of the species to hatch in any zoo in the world. 



Photo Credit: Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

Brown Roofed Turtles are native to South Asia, including Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.  They are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Many Turtle species in this region of the world are in decline.  They are often collected illegally for the pet trade and for use in traditional Asian medicine.  The Turtles' shells are ground up, mixed with herbs, and marketed as remedies for a wide variety of ailments, but there is scant evidence that these potions are effective.