Schoenbrunn Zoo

Lynx Kittens Play All Day

20150717_091006_02_Zoo_Vienna_DxOTwo Lynx kittens born June 5 at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo like to play all day!  The kittens scramble up tree trunks and explore their naturally wooded habitat.  But when they take too many chances, mom grabs them gently by the neck and carries them out of the way.20150716_085211_Zoo_Vienna_DxO

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Foto_42_idPhoto Credits: Norbert Potensky, Franz Wunsch

The kittens are still nursing but have started tasting small pieces of meat.  Finding them in their wooded enclosure requires patience – their brown spotted coats provide excellent camouflage for the youngsters, who are about the size of housecats right now.

Lynx are well adapted to live in temperate forests.  Their huge paws act like snowshoes to prevent the cats from sinking into deep snow.  Tufts of hair at the tips of the ears may contribute to their excellent sense of hearing.

Although not listed as threatened, Lynx are under pressure from legalized hunting and loss of habitat in some areas.

See more photos of the kittens below.

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New Emperor Tamarin at Schönbrunn Zoo

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Schönbrunn Zoo’s mustache collection increased by one this spring. A new Emperor Tamarin was born April 26, at the Vienna Zoo.

The infant is frequently seen, riding piggyback, on the father or older brother. “The male Emperor Tamarins take on the care and rearing of the young. If the baby gets hungry, however, it is returned quickly to mother,” said Zoo Director, Dagmar Schratter.

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4_pa_baertigeraffennachwuchs3_animal_detail_801Photo Credits: Georg Blaha (Image 1), Franz Wunsch (Image 2,4), Norbert Potensky (Image 3)

The Emperor Tamarin is a species allegedly named for its mustached resemblance to the German Emperor Wilhelm II.  Both male and female Emperor Tamarins are known to sport the distinctive facial hair.

This species of tamarin is native to the southwest Amazon Basin, eastern Peru, northern Bolivia, and the western Brazilian states of Acre and Amazonas.  They prefer Amazonian lowland and lower montane rain forests, as well as remnant, primary, and secondary forests.

They consume a wide range of specimens in their daily dietary routine, including: fruits, flowers, exude of plants (gums and saps), insects, frogs, and other animal prey.

The age of first reproduction in Emperor Tamarins is around 16 to 20 months old, with a gestation period of up to 6 months. Tamarins are seasonal breeders, and breeding is based around food availability, with most births occurring during the wet season when food resources are in abundance.

Tamarin species were once thought to be monogamous, but observations of Emperor Tamarins in the wild shot they often have a polyandrous mating system, with one dominant female mating with multiple males.

Due to the high rate of twins or multiples at birth, Emperor Tamarins rely on parental and paternal care to ensure infant survival. Helpers are either older female offspring of the dominant female that have remained a part of the group, or they are males that have frequent interaction with the dominant female. Infant carrying has a high energetic cost due to the relatively large fetal weight of infants to the weight of adults. Helpers provide the extra support needed for caring of multiple infants. Male Emperor Tamarins have been observed to spend the most time with infants, often carrying several while the mother forages for food. The males have also been observed to be more protective of the young and are known to react faster to distress calls.

Emperor Tamarins are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There are currently no conservation efforts aimed directly toward this species of primates. However, their populations have been in decline due to threats of deforestation and human encroachment.   

 


Arctic Wolf Pups Explore Exhibit at Schönbrunn Zoo

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Recently, at Schönbrunn Zoo, in Vienna, five Arctic Wolf pups were seen exploring their exhibit for the first time, with mom, ‘Inja’. The pups were born April 25, in a protective, low-lying burrow in their forest exhibit enclosure. 

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3_pa_wolfswelpen2_animal_detail_801Photo Credits: Norbert Potensky

The curious wolf pups are eager to explore, but zoo visitors will need patience if they want a glimpse of the juveniles.  “The pups are still very timid and only take very short trips from the building. For Inja, it is her fourth litter, and as an experienced mother, she takes very good care of her offspring, said Zoo Director, Dagmar Schratter.

After three months, the pups will be weaned and begin to eat meat. Their current coloring is in stark contrast to the gleaming white fur of adult Arctic Wolves. “The white coat is an adaptation to their many months in their snow and ice-covered native habitat. Even the coat of young animals is every day brighter,” Schratter continued.

The Arctic Wolf is a sub-species of the Grey Wolf and is native to the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland.  Because of the isolation of their native habitat, they are not threatened by hunting or habitat destruction like their southern relatives. However, industrial development (mines, roads and pipeline construction) is gradually encroaching on their native territory, and will most likely interfere with food supplies, in the future. The Arctic Wolf is the only sub-species of wolf that is not classified as threatened.

They are smaller than Grey Wolves and typically grow to a length of 3 to 5.9 feet (including tail) and a max weight of 99 to 154 pounds.  In the wild, the Arctic Wolf survives mainly on muskox, arctic hares and caribou.


Baby Cheetahs Frolic at Schönbrunn Zoo

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Three Cheetahs born on April 16 are frolicking, playing with each other, and cuddling up with mom now that they are on exhibit at Austria’s Schönbrunn Zoo.

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Gepard_06_TGS_ZupancPhoto Credit: Daniel Zupanc

At five weeks old, the Cheetah cubs, whose sex has not yet been determined, are already the size of domestic cats and tip the scales at around nine pounds (4 kg). The triplets also have roly-poly milk tummies.

“All three young animals are developing splendidly.  Two of the babies come out several times a day, the third one is a bit more timid and prefers to wait in the litter cave until his mother and siblings come back,” explains the zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.

Baby Cheetahs grow very quickly. Schratter says, “Cheetahs are pure carnivores, but up to now the young are being suckled, although they have already broken their milk teeth. Before long, the little feline predators will be enjoying their first meal of meat.”

Once hunted for their fur, Cheetahs are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction and the lack of prey. Only around 10,000 of these animals still live in Africa. The Schönbrunn Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), despite the difficulty of breeding Cheetahs in a zoo setting.  The new triplets are the first Cheetahs born at the zoo in 13 years.

See more photos of frolicking Cheetah cubs below.

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Schönbrunn Zoo Welcomes Capybara Pups

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Introduced last April, Capybaras Nancy and Sam hit it off immediately at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria. After a gestation period of about six months, Nancy gave birth to three healthy pups on November 29!

Capybaras are born well-developed and grow quickly. Pups are able to follow behind their mother almost immediately after they are born. Excellent swimmers, these rodents even have webbing between their toes. The three little ones have already ventured into their pool with mom. 

Capybaras are found throughout South America and eat mainly plants. The world's largest rodents, Capybaras can reach a shoulder height of about 1.6 feet (50 cm), and are most closely related to Guinea Pigs.

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Photo credits: Schönbrunn Zoo / Friedrich Mader (1); Daniel Zupanc (2-8)


Six New Baby Meerkats Make Their Own Little Mob at Schönbrunn Zoo

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Making their own little mob, no less than six baby Meerkats were born on June 2 at Vienna's Schönbrunn Zoo! Last year, Meerkats were voted to be the favorite animals there by zoo guests, so this big addition is exciting news.

“We are of course thrilled that all six are doing great at the moment,” says the zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter. “At birth, Meerkats are blind and naked. They spent the first few weeks in the safety of their burrow but to the delight of the visitors, they are now already exploring their surroundings, running the rest of the clan off their feet.”

Meerkats belong to the mongoose family and live in the savannas in the south of Africa. Typically, these small predators get up on their hind legs to watch out for possible danger. In a Meerkat colony, tasks are carefully distributed by a matriarch in the group (also called a mob). They also work together in raising their young whereby one of the animals always acts as “babysitter”. For the first few weeks, the six mini-Meerkats were suckled by their mother but since then, insects have been added to their diet.

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Photo Credits: Photo 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14: Daniel Zupanc, Photo 1, 8, 13: Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Norbert Potensky, Photo 4, 11: Walter Wodal,  

The plethora of pictures continues, after the fold:

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And Babies (Meerkats) Make Three for Schönbrunn Zoo

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Crowds of visitors can be found jostling for space in front of the meerkat enclosure in Viennas' Schönbrunn Zoo. The reason for this is the three baby Meerkats with their black button eyes and snub noses that are beginning to discover their surroundings.

“The lively triplets were born on February 20th, but as Meerkats are blind and naked at birth they spend their first few weeks in the safety of their burrow” says Dagmar Schratter, the Zoo’s director, who is delighted about the offspring of this popular species. “With ten animals we now have a really extended meerkat family”

The three mini-meerkats are still being suckled by their mother but in a few weeks time the first insects will be added to their diet. The mother is not the only caregiver for the young animals. Meerkats live in social groups and each animal has clearly defined duties. Only a few days after their birth, a member of the clan assumes the role of “babysitter” and keeps an eye on the little ones while they play with each other, dig around in the sandpit or get up on their hind legs like tin soldiers. Meerkats belong to the mongoose family and live in the savannahs in the south of Africa.

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Photo Credits: Schönbrunn Zoo/ Norbert Potensky


Baby Sloth! Baby Sloth! At Schönbrunn Zoo

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On February 2, a brand new baby Two-toed Sloth came into the world at Schönbrunn Zoo. This is the third offspring of parents Alberta and Einstein, who have lived together in the zoo since 2006. After more than two weeks, the first pictures of the Austrian Zoo’s new addition have finally been revealed.

"Newborn two-toed sloths use the stomach of the mother as a cradle and climb, well camouflaged, into the cuddly fur. As a consequence the baby was very difficult to photograph," explained Zoo director Dagmar Schratter. 

As described by keepers, the little one has tousled hair, big black eyes and a nose like a wall socket. The little animal measures just under 8 inches (20 cm) and weighs less than a pound (400 grams). Its gender is not yet known. 

The slow moving animals originate from the South American rainforest where they feed off leaves, flower buds and fruit. The creatures get their name from their two toes with which they hang upside down, almost completely motionless, from the rainforest branches. They sleep in this position for a minimum of 14 hours every day! The development of the baby is almost as slow as their everyday lives, with the offspring only attempting to hang by themselves after six months.

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Photo Credit: Zoo Vienna


UPDATE! First Snow for Baby Panda

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You first read about Fu Hu, the baby panda born at Viennas' Schönbrunn Zoo, in our ZooBorns.com article back in November of 2010. 

Though born last year, he is experiencing the joy of romping in the first snow of his life because he spent all last winter in his birthing box. He pads through the snow-covered enclosure, climbs up the icy tree trunks and nosily sniffs the blanket of white. Neither he nor his parents, Yang Yang and Long Hui, have any fear of contact with the chilly and damp elements. Pandas live in the foggy and humid mountain forests of Southwest China and are very well adapted to cold and snow.

“Even the sole of their paws is covered in fur. This not only protects them against the cold it also prevents them from slipping on the snow and ice” explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.

Watching the Pandas play in the snow is bound to warm the heart of the Zoo’s visitors.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Zupanc

More photos after the jump!

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Ever Heard of Food Flagging Frogs?

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These tiny tadpoles are a huge sensation at Schönbrunn Zoo, the first zoo to have succeeded in the breeding these food flagging frogs native to Borneo. Congratulations come from Professor Walter Hödl of the University of Vienna, one of the most renowned international amphibian specialists, saying: “This is the first breeding program world-wide!”

Food flagging frogs owe their name to the fact that they communicate by waving to each other. This habit comes from their adapting to their natural surroundings, as they live by roaring streams and waterfalls. In order to attract their fellows’ attention, they not only call but they also wave their hind legs. By doing this, they spread the coloured webs between their toes to emphasise their signals.

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Photo Credit: Photo 1 and 3 Schönbrunn Zoo/Norbert Potensky, Photo 2: Doris Preininger

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