Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo Celebrates Bush Dog Quadruplets

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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.


Tiny Parrot Parrot Hatches at Prague Zoo

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Photo credit: Thomas Adamec / Zoo Prague

Just four days ago, a Scarlet-cheeked Fig Parrot, also known as an Edwards' Fig Parrot, hatched at the Prague Zoo. Although they are rare to find in captivity and births are even rarer, these colorful parrots are doing well in the wild and are listed as "Least Concern" by the IUCN.

The Scarlet-cheeked Fig Parrot is native to a restricted range in northeastern New Guinea where they are commonly found. They are medium sized birds when full grown measuring around seven inches in height. They are predominately green with colorful plumage around their neck and chest. As their name would suggest, these parrots feed primarily on figs as well as other fruits found in their range.


Przewalski's Horse Colt Continues Zoo Praha's Success With Species

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Early on the morning of March 27, a Przewalski’s Horse was born at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha, the 219th member of this endangered species to be born at the zoo.   Przewalski’s Horses were once extinct in the wild and have since been reintroduced to their native central Asian habitat thanks to efforts of zoos and reserves around the world.

The colt, a male, was born to mother Jessica and father Len.  Despite chilly temperatures, the colt is nursing successfully and finding his way around the zoo’s enclosure.

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Photo Credits:  Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

Przewalski’s Horses, a subspecies of wild Horse, are thought to be the only remaining true wild Horses in the world.  After the last wild herds in Mongolia were wiped out in the 1960s, Zoo Praha and other European zoos held the only members of this species.  At one point, only 12 Przewalski's Horses were left in the entire world. 

Breeding programs in zoos and reserves successfully bred the few remaining horses, with individuals being exchanged among facilities to maintain as much genetic diversity as possible.  In 1992, 16 Przewalski’s Horses were released in the wild in Mongolia.  Additional releases in the decades since have increased the wild population, but they are still classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


UPDATE! Prague Zoo's Baby Elephant Learning to Use Trunk

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On February 11, Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic welcomed an Indian Elephant calf, which we originally covered a few weeks back. Now 23 days old, the calf continues to grow stronger and more independant under the watchful eye of mom, Donna.

While the calf builds relationships with the others in the herd and explores her habitat (sometimes on still-awkward legs), Donna is always close-by to provide help and encouragement with a little nudge from her trunk. Speaking of trunks, the baby has begun learning to use her own, following the lead of Mom and others. The calf is realizing it can be used to put things in her mouth, to communicate, and to act as a brace if she's unsteady or clamboring up from the ground. She gets exhausted running around with big sister Tonya; afterward she nurses and promptly curls up for a nap.

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Photo Credit: Tomas Adamec, Prague Zoo

Video of the birth and the calf's first days of life


Baby Elephant Birth the First in Prague Zoo's History!

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This baby Indian Elephant came into the world at 1:20 p.m. on February 11, at Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic. Very shortly after, the baby succeeded in getting to its feet. The next step was to nurse.  This is cause for extra celebration, as it is the first elephant born at the Zoo in their 82-year history. 

The birth follows on the heels of the growth of the Indian Elephant herd, when two female elephants arrived from Sri Lanka to join the male and three other females living at the zoo. This new calf's mom, Donna, was one of those females, and herself had arrived from Rotterdam, already pregnant! Jaroslav Simek, Prague Zoo's Deputy Director, said that this birth was very special as it is a great help in expanding the genetic base of European breeding of Indian elephants. 

The herd now lives in the newly completed large mammal pavillion and habitat created especially for them, which will open to the public on March 30. Zoo guests will then be able to see the baby for the first time.

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Photo Credit: Miroslav Bobek, Zoo Praha


Baby Gorilla's Arrival Celebrated at Prague Zoo

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The Prague Zoo received a very special Christmas present this year:  Western Lowland Gorilla Kijivu delivered a healthy baby boy on December 22, just a few months after another of her offspring died in a freak accident.

The baby’s delivery went smoothly with no problems, according to Prague Zoo staff.  Kijivu is an experienced mother, and this is her fourth baby with the zoo’s male Gorilla, Richard. 

In July, Kijivu’s second offspring, 5-year-old male Tatu, accidentally hanged himself with a climbing rope in the Gorilla enclosure.  This devastating event was called one of the worst tragedies in Prague Zoo’s history, and makes the new infant’s arrival even more significant for the zoo staff and the captive Gorilla population. 

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Western Lowland Gorillas are the most widespread of all Gorilla subspecies, inhabiting the dense rain forests of western and central Africa.  In some parts of their range, the population is decreasing by 5% each year as Gorillas are captured as pets or killed for bushmeat.  As timber and mining companies encroach on the area, valuable Gorilla habitat is destroyed.  The deadly Ebola virus is estimated to have killed up to one-third of wild Gorillas. 

Photo credit  Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo

Two Rare Tayras Born at Prague Zoo!

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These two little female Tayras were born on August 8 at the Prague Zoo and are being successfully raised by their parents. Tayra babies are very rare. There are only three zoos in Europe who can actually breed this species. These babies are the second in the CZ; in 2011 the Prague Zoo bred them for the very first time in the history of Czech zoos. 

Two to four babies are the norm in a litter. These girls should grow to be about 24 inches (60 cm) long, plus an 18 inch (45 cm) tail. Most Tayras have either dark brown or black fur with a lighter patch on its chest. The fur on its head changes to brown or gray as it ages. Tayras grow to weigh an average of 11 pounds (5 kgms).

The Tayra is an omnivorous animal, from the weasel family. The species as a whole is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, but the northernmost subspecies, Eira barbara senex, is listed as Vulnerable. They live in the tropical forests of Central America, South America and on the island of Trinidad. Wild Tayra populations are slowly shrinking, especially in Mexico, due to habitat destruction for agricultural purposes. 

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Photo Credit: Prague Zoo

Tayras travel both alone and in groups during both the day and the night. They are expert climbers, and can leap from treetop to treetop when pursued; they can also run fast and swim well. Tayras eat mainly rodents, but also consume carrion, other small mammals, reptiles, birds and fruits. They live in hollow trees, burrows in the ground, or terrestrial nests made of tall grass. Tayras are opportunistic eaters, hunting rodents and invertebrates, and climbing trees to get eggs and honey. In Central Brazil they are called "Papa Mel" (honey eater). They are attracted to fruit and can be found raiding orchards.