St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

Prehensile-tailed Porcupette Born at St. Augustine Alligator Farm

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The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park announced their first ever birth of a Prehensile-tailed Porcupine (Coendou prehensilis). She's been named Pollie. Olivier, the Porcupette’s father, has been at the zoo since 1998 and is a star education animal. His mate, Miss Piggy, arrived in 2010 as a breeding companion and to ease Ollie’s show schedule.

In late 2011, Miss Piggy’s weight began to steadily increase. The zoo’s veterinary staff attempted to perform a couple of voluntary ultrasounds during her pregnancy, but due to normal gas pockets within a porcupine’s abdomen, they were unsuccessful in viewing the growing baby. After a gestation of roughly 203 days, the uncomfortable mother finally gave birth on August 2to a baby weighing just about 12 ounces (396 grams). She was covered with long, soft, reddish quills at birth, but the thicker, sharper adult quills quickly began to appear.

Prehensile-tailed Porcupines are listed as a species of Least Concern due to their wide distribution across northern South America and a presumed large population. Just over 100 individuals live within AZA zoos.  Ollie and Miss Piggy were one of twenty-two pairs recommended to breed by the Species Coordinator.

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Photo Credit: St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park


Snappy Baby Crocs!

This past Sunday, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park welcomed 10 snappy little Saltwater Crocodiles. Interesting coincidence that 10 little crocs hatched on 10-10-10! Many people don't know that baby crocodiles cry to get their mother's attention while inside the shell. When she hears the high pitched noises, which sound similar to a dog's squeaky toy, she will dutifully pick the noisy egg up and gently crack it inside her powerful jaws.

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Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1

Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1

Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1Photo credits: John Brueggen, Director of St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

One more gooey egg pic below the fold. It's extra gooey. You've been warned.

Continue reading "Snappy Baby Crocs!" »


Rare Crocodile Breeding Success in St. Augustine!

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has 3 brand new Slender-snouted Crocodiles and 13 more are on the way! Two of the babies (seen below) hatched on exhibit, and the third (also below) in an incubator. African Slender-snouted Crocodiles are rarely bred in captivity and little is known about their habits in the wild. Director John Brueggen says, "we have already learned that the parents opened the nest and carried the eggs to the water to free their young from the eggs.  They are both fantastic parents, defending their babies very aggressively." This is a very important pairing as both of these animals are wild caught and have never bred in captivity prior to this.  Their genes are an important part of the population of M. cataphractus in captivity.

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Photo Credits: St. Augustine Crocodile Farm


Yellow Footed Tortoises Hatch in Florida

Throughout February and March, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park welcomed a small army of new yellow footed tortoise hatchlings. Also known as the Brazilian giant tortoise, these reptiles live in pockets throughout much of South America but are vulnerable to extinction. As adults, these tortoises make a raspy cooing sound. We here at ZooBorns would love to hear a tortoise talk!

Baby yellow-foot tortoise st. augustine alligator farm 1

Baby yellow-foot tortoise st. augustine alligator farm 2 up close and personalUp close and personal

Baby yellow-foot tortoise st. augustine alligator farm 3A salad fit for a giant tortoise!

Baby yellow-foot tortoise st. augustine alligator farm 4Humans need more meals they can literally climb into!

Photo credits: Kristy Staudenmaier, Reptile Keeper