Ramat Gan Safari Park

White Rhino 'Warrior' Born at Ramat Gan Safari

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The Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan recently shared their excitement about the birth of their 28th Rhinoceros calf!

On August 24th, Tanda, a 23-year old White Rhino, gave birth to a healthy male calf. The Safari also recently announced the name chosen for the new boy. He has been named Tupak (meaning “warrior”).

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4_DSC_5547 copyPhoto Credits: Shai Ben Naftali (Images 1-8); Eren Habani (Image 9)

A few days before giving birth, keepers noted that Tanda's udders had filled out, and she began to distance herself from her two-year old daughter, Tashi. Zookeepers realized that the birth was close and took her to an open area of the Rhino’s yard, nicknamed the "nursery". This yard is shaded and pleasant, surrounded by thick shrubbery. This semi-private area enables all the Rhinos and other animals to see Tanda and smell her, but it also allows her some distance and privacy.

The birth passed uneventfully and a healthy Rhino calf entered the world, with all vital signs looking good. Tanda has been in the nursery with her baby, carefully tending to him and feeding him. Keepers put the other animals' food close to the nursery yard, so that they'll gradually get used to the new addition to the group.

This is Tanda’s fourth offspring since arriving at the Safari 13 years ago, and she is always a devoted mother. The new baby has been getting used to frequent interaction with Zookeepers, as Tanda receives routine eye treatments (necessary due to the chronic eye infection from which she suffers).

In another week or two, Tupak and mom, Tanda, will leave the nursery and join the rest of their herd in the open area of their exhibit.

During the last few years, the Safari Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan has become one of the leading facilities for breeding Rhinos, thanks to the weather and excellent conditions similar to those of their native habitat in Africa. The success is also due to smart decisions, taken in the last few years, regarding the management of the Safari's Rhino population.

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Baby Mandrill Is Zoo's First In 17 Years

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After 17 years without a newborn in the Mandrill troop, the staff at Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari Park is celebrating the arrival of a male infant.

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0953_2015_10_17_027Photo Credit:  Tibor Jager / Ramat Gan Safari Park

Born to 12-year-old Tinkerbell, the baby is strong and healthy.  Tinkerbell is proving to be a devoted mother to the baby, who was named Tuvia (a new baby’s name always begins with the first letter of the mother’s name).

Native to tropical forests in western central Africa, Mandrills are the largest of all monkey species.  Sexual dimorphism is extremely pronounced in Mandrills.  Males are about twice as large as females and feature red, purple, and light blue skin patches on their faces and rumps.  As Tuvia grows, he will gain the bright colors of an adult male, but for now he is more drably colored like his mother.

Mandrills are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Major threats include deforestation and hunting for bushmeat.  Some zoo-born Mandrills have been successfully reintroduced into the wild.

See more pictures of Tuvia below.

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Israel's Sand Cat Kittens Back by Popular Demand

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Since so many of you loved our story about Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan's Sand Cat kittens yesterday, we couldn't resist sharing new pictures we received this morning.  The more recent images show the kittens a bit older and with their eyes fully open! Enjoy!

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Photos by Tibor Jager

See more below the fold!

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Ramat Gan Safari Park Welcomes a Second Asian Elephant Calf

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Two female Asian Elephant calves have been born at Ramat Gan Safari Park in Israel. The first female to give birth was 7.5 year-old La-Belle, on August 2. As she is a very young mother, her own mother La-Petite, heavily pregnant herself, took over and nursed the calf. After a few nerve-wracking days of 24-hour monitoring, keepers could rest assured that the calf was getting enough milk, suckling from both her mother and her grandmother alternately. The calf, born a bit small, was named Latangi which means ‘slim girl’ in the Sanskrit language. (See our first story about Latangi here.)  

After exactly two months of anticipation, a second female calf was born to 28-year-old La-Petite. This time the calf was bigger and stronger and received the Hindi name ‘Lalana’ meaning ‘a girl’. Both mothers and calves are doing great. They are spending their days in the exhibit happily, together with the father Motek. The birth of the two calves is wonderful news, especially as Asian Elephants are a unique and endangered species. 

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Photo credits: Tibor Jager / Ramat Gan Safari Park

See video of the calves and mothers together:

 

See more photos after the fold!

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At Ramat Gan Safari, Mother and Grandmother Asian Elephants Raise Calf Together

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When the elephant keepers at Ramat Gan Safari Park in Israel arrived on the morning of August 2, they found a newborn Asian Elephant calf. After 22 months of anticipation, it finally happened- the 7 year-old cow, La Belle, had given birth to a beautiful female. The calf has been given the Sanskrit name Latangi, meaning 'thin girl', because she was born weighing 70-80 kg, far less than the 100 kg that is usual for an Asian Elephant calf. 

For now it seems that the young calf is doing well, despite her low weight at birth. She nurses from both her mother and her grandmother. 25 year-old La Petite, La Belle's mother, is very active in the life of the newborn, and is also pregnant herself. This is La Belle's first time to give birth, and it may be that her mother is trying to show her the ropes. The pleased father is a 53 year-old male, Motek. This birth is an important occasion as Asian Elephants are an endangered species. Every calf born contributes to the conservation efforts of these animals. 

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Photo credits: Ramat Gan Safari / Tibor Jager. Last picture: Yael Hermon. Clip 1: Tibor Jager. Clip 2: Yael Hermon.

See videos of the newborn calf with her family:

 

 

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Israeli Zoos Cooperate to Foster Rare Vulture Chick

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A tiny chick hatched at Israel’s Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and raised at the Ramat Gan Safari Park is part of an effort to restore native Griffon Vultures to Israel.

With only 100 Vultures remaining in the wild in Israel, scientists don’t want to take any chances with the precious eggs breaking or being preyed upon.  So when a pair of wild Vultures in an Israeli nature reserve laid an egg, scientists collected the egg and brought it to the Jerusalem Zoo, where it was placed in the safety of an incubator. 

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Photo Credits: Sagit Horowitz (1), Michal Erez (2, 3, 4)

Meanwhile, at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, Vultures Donky and Kosta were sitting on a dummy egg, because the two eggs that they had laid earlier were removed from the nest.  Once the wild-collected egg began to hatch in the incubator at the Jerusalem Zoo, it was rushed to Ramat Gan Safari Park.

Vultures are unable to tell if a chick is theirs or not, so a brave zoo keeper entered Donky and Kosta’s enclosure, climbed up to the nesting shelf, removed the dummy egg, and replaced it with a newly hatched chick, which was still in its shell. Not an easy task when you have two protective Vultures nearby!

Father Kosta immediately returned to the nest to make sure the egg was still there after the "intruder's" visit. To his surprise, he found that a tiny chick waiting for him in the nest, begging for food. Kosta did not think twice and rushed to feed the chick

Kosta and Donkey have successfully fostered several chicks over the years.

By the age of 6 months, the chick will be taken to a nature reserve, where it will spend three years with other young Vultures until it is old enough to be released to the wild and join the wild population.