Santa Barbara Zoo

Endangered Golden Lion Tamarin Clings to Mom

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A bright orange Golden Lion Tamarin has been born at the Santa Barbara Zoo. This is the second viable birth at the Zoo of this small endangered species of monkey from the Brazilian rainforests (called “GLTs” by keepers). Adult GLTs weigh about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds and are roughly ten inches tall, with tails up to 15 inches long. The infant is currently about the size of a C-battery and spends most of its time clinging to its mother’s back. It appears to be in good health and will be examined by the Zoo veterinarian when it is old enough, to determine its sex, weight and other medical details. The Zoo has exhibited GLTs since 1983.

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Golden lion tamarin baby profile credit Katie Clemons copy
Photo credits: Katie Clemons

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Santa Barbara's Surprise Giraffe!

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Zookeepers at the Santa Barbara Zoo were somewhat surprised but certainly delighted to discover that one of the Zoo’s new Masai Giraffes, Audrey, had given birth to a male calf on Sunday morning, January 9. The calf, named Daniel by donors, was measured at 5-feet 9-inches tall and 106 pounds. He will not be on view to the public for several weeks until he learns to come in from the Giraffe yard to the barn for feedings by keepers. “Unbeknownst to us, Audrey arrived in Santa Barbara in March 2010 approximately five months pregnant,” notes Sheri Horiszny, Director of Animal Programs. “Nothing in her records indicated that Los Angeles Zoo keepers had ever seen their male showing interest in her or attempting to breed her.”

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Photo credits: Sheri Horiszny / Santa Barbara Zoo


Santa Barbara's Otters about to Debut

The Santa Barbara Zoo's otter pups we featured in September are nearly ready to meet the public - a November debut will soon be announced. With their tiny claws emerging and fully-opened eyes, they now to look like miniature versions of their parents. At this stage, they stay close to their parents and spend a lot of time huddling together in the den. However, they also periodically emerge to take swimming lessons in shallow water with their parents. In the wild, this species is threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and pollution.

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Five Baby Otters, First Pups in 20 Years for Santa Barbara!

For the first time in over 20 years, the Santa Barbara Zoo is hearing the high pitched squeals of baby Asian Small-clawed Otter pups. Eventually these otters will be among the most playful and active of baby animals, but for now they are safe and cozy in the den with their parents. Over the next three months, their eyes will fully open, their claws will emerge and they will get swimming lessons in shallow water with their parents as instructors. This vulnerable species was bred at the Santa Barbara Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure healthy genetic diversity for this species in North American zoos.

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Asian small clawed otter pups santa barbara zoo 1b

Many more pics and much more info below the fold

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Super Fluffy Penguin Puff Explosion

Wild Humboldt penguins are vulnerable to extinction in the wild and institutions like the Santa Barbara Zoo are working diligently to ensure that captive populations represent the most genetic diversity possible. The parents of these little chicks were carefully selected for this purpose but they also must have been an exceptionally good looking penguin couple, since these are some of the best penguin chick pictures yet!

The first pictures feature Desi, born March 16th, as a young chick and a fluffy, waddling juvenile:

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ApresSwim

See pictures of Desi's younger sibling below the fold!

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All Aboard the Capybara Train

The Santa Barbara Zoo's four new 4-month-old capybaras are now out on exhibit near the courtyard as of Tuesday, March 2, 2010. This adorable litter, consisting of 3 males and 1 female, came to the Santa Barbara Zoo from the Alameda Park Zoo in New Mexico. Capybaras are the world's largest rodent from Central and South America, and can grow up to 4 feet long and 100-150 pounds! Nicknamed "swamp hogs," capybaras are dependent on water and well adapted to it - they even have webbed feet. Capybaras swim and dive freely and can stay submerged underwater for up to five minutes. They also wallow in water to protect skin from hot sun. Like all rodents, capybaras must chew and gnaw to wear down continually growing teeth. They tend to live in groups of about 20 adults.