Reid Park Zoo

Girl Power at Reid Park Zoo

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Reid Park Zoo, in Tucson, Arizona, had a special birth announcement last week. The zoo’s first baby African Elephant was born August 20th

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Semba's calf_RPZ_9Photo Credits: Reid Park Zoo

 

The female calf was delivered at 10:55pm on August 20, 2014 to mother, Semba, and father, Mabu. Although tiny in comparison to her parents, the yet-to-be-named calf weighed in at 245 pounds.

The new African Elephant calf is a first for Reid Park Zoo, but mother, Semba, has two older sons who were born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Seven-year-old, Punga, and three-year-old, Sundzu, arrived at Reid Park with the rest of their herd in 2012. 

Mother, Semba, had been preparing for the birth of the new calf by gradually pushing away her youngest son, Sundzu, to feed on his own and encouraging his independent play.  As the matriarch in the zoo’s exhibit, Semba has also continued to strengthen bonds with the rest of the herd through play and interaction. Her positive involvement with the herd has ensured support from Lungile, the other mature female, and strengthens the support system she will need for her new baby.

African Elephants are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.  This is a step-up from almost 20 years ago, when the species was still considered endangered. The support provided by accredited zoos and wildlife refuges, and the conservation measures involving habitat management and law protection, have helped provide for the future survival of the African Elephant.

**Special thanks to ZooBorns reader, Liz Davis, for providing links and info about the new baby!

See more photos of the new baby below the fold.

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UPDATE! Reid Park Zoo's Lion Cubs are Growing Strong

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Lioness Kaya and her four cubs are doing well at Reid Park Zoo in Arizona. The cubs, three males and one female, are being cared for by their mom as well as keepers and veterinary staff. The cubs are gaining weight and had their most recent checkup on February 3. At six weeks old, they're still not quite big enough to come out on exhibit...but soon!

See our first post here.

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4 lionPhoto credit: Reid Park Zoo

See a video from the cubs' checkup at three weeks old:


Keepers Step In to Care for Baby Tapir

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Reid Park Zoo’s first baby of the year is a very special little one:  a Baird’s Tapir that was rejected by his mother and is now under the care of zoo keepers.

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Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo 

After a 13-month gestation, female Tapir Contessa delivered the male calf on January 4.  While both mom and calf are healthy, Contessa did not nurse her calf and became aggressive toward him, prompting keepers to remove the baby for hand-rearing.

Zoo officials stress that hand-rearing baby animals is very rare at the zoo, but this calf’s importance to captive breeding efforts made him an exception.  

The Reid Park Zoo participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan®, a managed breeding program designed to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically stable group of animals.

Baird’s Tapirs are nocturnal creatures native to Mexico and Central America. Their flexible snouts are used to grab vegetation.  Baird’s Tapirs are endangered, due primarily to deforestation and illegal hunting.


Four Lion Cubs Born at Reid Park Zoo

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Tiny vocalizations coming from the Lion cubbing den alerted a Reid Park Zoo keeper that Kaya, the zoo’s Lioness, had given birth on December 23.  Of the five cubs delivered, only four survived, which is not unusual for such a large litter.

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Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo

Of the four remaining cubs, three are males and one is a female. All four cubs are gaining weight, but the veterinary staff remains concerned about one male who is gaining weight slowly and appears weaker than the others. “A litter of five cubs is unusual,” says Zoo Veterinarian Alexis Moreno. “It would be a challenge for five cubs to thrive – and we are monitoring the health of the remaining four offspring closely – it is still a large litter. I am cautiously optimistic at this point.” The mortality rate for cubs up to one year old is close to 30% in zoos, and significantly higher in the wild.

The cubs and mother are behind the scenes and are receiving the best care possible. Kaya and her cubs have access to two “bedrooms” and a cubbing den (a cave-like room with minimal lighting and temperature regulation to reduce stress and limit human intrusion). Kaya is eating well, nurses her cubs, and is protective of her young. Shombay, the father, is separated from the rest of the pride for safety. He has access to the exhibit and adjacent behind-the-scenes holding. Shombay vocalizes to Kaya and the young and appears very curious about the cubs.

This is the second litter for Kaya and Shombay at Reid Park Zoo. She delivered three cubs in July 2011 and all three offspring are now living at other accredited zoos.  Reid Park Zoo partners with other zoos to make responsible breeding decisions for the protection of the species.


How does a Giant Anteater pup yawn? Like this!

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Early in the morning on September 27, female Giant Anteater Zoe delivered a healthy baby at the Reid Park Zoo.  After allowing the first-time mom and her new baby to spend some quiet time together, the two are now delighting crowds while they are on exhibit every afternoon.

A naming contest among zoo fans resulted in the winning name of Zola for the female baby. Her father’s name is Xander.

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Baby Giant Anteaters, called pups, are carried on their mothers’ backs for the first several months of life.  They become independent at around 10 months.

Giant Anteaters are native to South America, where they live in a variety of habitats from grasslands to rain forests.  After breaking open ant and termite mounds with their huge, curved claws, they collect the insects with their long, sticky tongues. 

In parts of their South American range, Giant Anteaters are abundant, while in other areas they have been completely eradicated.  Because of these regional extirpations, Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. 

Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo


Tamandua Baby Body Slams His Teddy Bear Buddy

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No, Quito the baby Lesser Anteater (Tamandua) isn't training for Wrestlemania, he's actually just gripping his stuffed bear for stability while Reid Park Zoo vets give him a routine check up. The rest of the time, Quito attaches firmly to mom Lety. Born August 30, little Quito is the newest of 51 Southern Tamanduas in captivity across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions.

Tamandua are a species of Anteater native to much of South America. It has been reported that Amazonian Indians keep them in their homes for Ant and Termite control! While their diet is the same as their relative the Giant Anteater, Tamandua are able to search for their food high in the trees, so there are plenty of Ants and Termites to go around.

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Photo credit: Reid Park Zoo


Little Grevy's Zebra Greeted Visitors Wednesday at Reid Park Zoo

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Reid Park Zoo announced the birth of an endangered Grevy’s Zebra on August 31. Female Zebra “Amira” gave birth on exhibit in the afternoon, and it's a boy! Keepers maintained a close watch on the baby to make sure he was healthy and nursing successfully because the baby had a low birth weight; he is indeed gaining and soon became ready to explore the larger habitat. He went out on exhibit just Wednesday for the first time and will now be there most mornings. Amira, who is a first-time mom, and her offspring will continue to be monitored for the next several critical months as the baby gains strength. 

Now he needs a name! Until now he's been called "baby Z". You can post your suggestion on Reid Park's Facebook page or e-mail them at reidzoo@tucsonaz.gov.The zoo would like his name to reflect his heritage. The Grevy's Zebra is an endangered species, and in the wild is found in Kenya. 

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Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo


Who Let the Cubs Out?!

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Reid Park Zoo in Tuscon, Arizona is proud to announce the debut of its African Lion Cubs, born July 28th. Mom "Kaya" and her three cubs,  will have access to their exhibit in the mornings (usually until 12:00 or 1:00pm) until further notice. The cubs do get tired, and will rest periodically behind the scenes, so getting to the zoo early is your best bet. African Lions are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan which seeks to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered species population with the cooperation of accredited zoos and aquariums.

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Photo credits: Reid Park Zoo


Three Little Lion Cubs in a Tub

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Three African Lion cubs were born to mom Kaya and father Shombay on July 28, at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ. Kaya’s Keeper arrived at work that morning and was surprised to hear them vocalizing!

Mom and the three cubs have been left largely undisturbed so that she can focus on taking good care of them, but vets gave the babies their first medical check this morning. The three cubs (two boys and a girl) seem healthy and strong. They won’t be on exhibit for a while, so they can have the time to bond with their mother and each other before starting to explore their world. 

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Photo Credit:Reid Park Zoo

 


It’s a Boy! And a Boy! And a Girl!

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Three African lion cubs were born to female “Kaya” late last week at Tuscon's Reid Park Zoo–Kaya’s Keeper heard them vocalizing when she arrived on the morning of July 28, 2011. Mom and the three cubs have been left largely undisturbed so that she can focus on taking good care of them, but vets gave the babies their first medical check yesterday morning.  The three cubs (two boys and a girl) seem healthy and strong. They won’t be on exhibit for a while, but we’ll keep you posted on their growth!

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Photo credits: Reid Park Zoo