The Pueblo Zoo recently announced the arrival of three “precocious, bundles of joy”. African Lioness, Mashavu, gave birth to the two females and one male on October 25. The trio was sired by Taz Jahari (father of Pueblo Zoo’s ‘Mumford’).
The cubs have been under the watch and care of their mother. At their first checkup, in November, the male and two females weighed 9.5 lbs., 9.3 lbs., and 7.9 pounds, respectively.
Photo Credits: Ashley Bowen
The Zoo is excited to be able to share video and photos of the cubs as they grow and will be posting regular updates to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Once they are vaccinated and ready to brave the outdoors, the cubs will be given access (weather permitting) to the outdoor Lion enclosure in late December.
The Pueblo Zoo is excited to share news of the birth of two North American River Otters. The pups were born to mom Freyja on March 8.
This is the second litter for Freyja, and the newest arrivals will stay with their mom, in the nest box, for at least eight weeks.
Freyja will have her hands full for the next few months. The pups will need to master their swimming skills before they can be visible to the public in the Zoo’s Otter Exhibit.
Photo Credits: Pueblo Zoo
The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is native to much of Canada and the United States (except for portions of the Southwest), and in Mexico-- in the Rio Grande and Colorado River delta areas.
They can thrive in any water habitat---as long as the habitat provides adequate food: ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, estuaries and marshes (cold, warm or even high elevation).
They have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. A long, strong tail helps propels them through the water.
The River Otter can stay underwater for as much as eight minutes. They have long whiskers, which they use to detect prey in dark or cloudy water and clawed feet for grasping onto slippery prey. They are very flexible and can make sharp, sudden turns that help them catch fish. Their fur is dark brown over much of the body, and lighter brown on the belly and face. On land they can run at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.
Their diet consists of a variety of aquatic wildlife: fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and other reptiles such as turtles. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. They are known to have a very high metabolism and need to eat frequently.
In the wild, River Otters breed in late winter or early spring and generally give birth to one to three pups. The young are blind and helpless when born and first learn to swim after about two months. River Otters generally live alone or in small social groups.
The North American River Otter is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, habitat degradation and pollution are major threats to their conservation. They are said to be highly sensitive to pollution, and the species is often used as a bio indicator because of its position at the top of the food chain in aquatic ecosystems.
When a Kirk’s Dik Dik was born in mid-October at thePueblo Zoo, keepers were thrilled. But when his mother did not feed the male calf, keepers stepped in to provide daily care.
Photo Credit: Pueblo Zoo
Though they look like miniature deer, Dik Diks are small antelope that stand just over a foot high at the shoulder. Found on eastern Africa’s savannahs, Dik Diks may appear small and vulnerable. But their excellent eyesight and ability to run up to 26 miles per hour enable them to escape predatory lions, hyenas, and wild dogs.
In addition, Dik Diks run in zig-zags as they escape, further confounding their pursuers. As they flee, females emit an alarm call that sounds like “dik dik,” hence their name.
Dik Diks are widespread in Kenya and Tanzania, and populations are considered stable.
Three North American River Otter pups were born Monday, March 3, 2014 at the Pueblo Zoo. Keepers were able to get close enough on March 6 to weigh and sex the pups. The zoo confirms there are two females and one male! Judging by their healthy initial weights, the pups seem to be nursing well - 145g (boy), 135g (girl), 155g (big girl!).
The pups are currently off exhibit and zookeepers and staff are giving the new family their space. It may be several weeks to more than a month before they are ready to make a public appearance. Their first official wellness exam was Monday. Stay tuned for more updates!
Three Maned Wolf puppies were born at Pueblo Zoo in Colorado. The new arrivals were born on February 23rd to first-time parents Cayenne (the female) and Meek (the male). The puppies were delivered in the same den where their grandfather, Cayenne’s father, was born.
Born in the wild or in captivity, survival rate is low for Maned Wolf puppies, and the first few weeks are critical. However, the Pueblo Zoo Staff are cautiously optimistic about the survival of these puppies.
Photo credits: Pueblo Zoo
Native to central South America, Maned Wolves are ranked by the IUCN as near threatened, due to habitat loss and degradation. Maned Wolves are the only known living member of their genus, making them very unique canines. The are named for the dark mane of hair along the neck and shoulders that can be raised in agression or fear. Standing nearly a meter tall, adult Maned Wolves look similar to Red Foxes, but are easily identified by their exceptionally long and thin legs. Instead of ranging in packs, Maned Wolves are solitary, or may live in monogamous pairs. They eat fruits as well as small animals.
The species is managed across the country though the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. The Species Survival Plan ensures that there is genetic diversity among animals in AZA accredited institutions to ensure the best possible pairings for breeding. In the US, there are ninety-two wolves known to the SSP, and overall, there are only fourteen breeding pairs of maned wolves in AZA institutions. The Pueblo Zoo puppies are the only surviving Maned Wolf pups born so far this season.
On October 24, the Pueblo Zoo welcomed a baby Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth.
For the first few weeks of life, the baby, whose gender is not yet known, will remain off-exhibit with its mother, Chewie. Pueblo Zoo officials are seeking help to name the baby via the zoo’s Facebook page. The staff’s favorite name? They’d like to continue the “Star Wars” theme started with the mother’s name and call the baby Han.
Because they subsist on leaves, which provide little energy, Sloths conserve their resources by moving slowly. Their shaggy, algae-covered fur blends expertly with the treetops, making them nearly impossible to see unless they move – which is not often, although sloths will descend to the ground to relocate to a new tree or to defecate, which occurs about once a week. Sloths digest their food very slowly, so slow that up to two-thirds of their body weight may come from leaves in their digestive tract.
Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloths are found in two separate areas of South America: southern Central America, extending into Colombia and Ecuador, and a separate population in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. In both areas, they live an arboreal life in the rain forest canopy. Although forest destruction is likely affecting Sloth populations, not enough is known about this species in the wild to evaluate its status.