Prague Zoo

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.

Continue reading "Playful Giraffe Calf Meets the Herd at Zoo Praha" »

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

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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. 

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3 amur

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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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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.