St. Louis Zoo

Tree Kangaroo Joey Ready to Rocket from Mother’s Pouch

TreeKangaroo_St Louis_1

A Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo joey is now peeking out of its mom’s pouch at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Emerson Children’s Zoo!

TreeKangaroo_St Louis_3

TreeKangaroo_St Louis_2

TreeKangaroo_St Louis_4Photo Credits: Robin Winkelman


On February 1, the little male, named Rocket, was born the size of a lima bean. He immediately moved into his mother’s pouch to be nurtured and has since grown to be the size of a small cat.

Visitors who are patient may see Rocket climbing all the way out of the pouch, reaching for his mom’s food and beginning to explore his world. At about 10 months old, he will officially move out of the pouch, but will continue to nurse until he is at least 16 months old.

This is the fifth offspring for mother, Kasbeth, and father, Iri. The new baby is the fifth Tree Kangaroo ever to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo. Kasbeth and Iri were paired under the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and AquariumsSpecies Survival Plan for Tree Kangaroos.

Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo is a small marsupial found only in the thick, mountainous forests of Papua New Guinea, an island just south of the equator, north of Australia. A relative of terrestrial kangaroos, the reddish-brown and cream colored Tree Kangaroo also retains the legendary ability to jump. The Tree Kangaroo can leap as far as 30 feet from a tree to the ground.

The Tree ‘Roo’ is currently listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Numbers in the wild have declined significantly. Twenty years ago, the species was only classified as “Vulnerable”. Today, not only is their habitat facing destruction because of logging and exploration for minerals and oil, but the animals are also hunted by local people. 

Watch another video of the joey below the fold.

Continue reading "Tree Kangaroo Joey Ready to Rocket from Mother’s Pouch" »

Watch a Tawny Frogmouth Grow at St. Louis Zoo

1 tawny

On November 2, a fluffy Tawny Frogmouth chick hatched at St. Louis Zoo! This strange and wonderful bird has grown a lot over the course of its first month, and is doing well under the care of keepers and its parents. 

Says Matt Schamberger, keeper of birds at the zoo, "Our goal is to always have the parents rear their own birds, but this pair is a pair of first-time parents and often times the learning curve is pretty steep, so we try to help out the parents if we can."

The Saint Louis Zoo received the chick's parents as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for this species. An SSP coordinates breeding and conservation of a species between AZA accredited zoos, with the goal of maintaining healthy genetic diversity. 

"The tawny frogmouth population in the United States is about 125 birds in zoos around the United States," Michael Macek, curator of birds explains. "And what we're trying to do is maintain genetic diversity in the population." 

2 tawny

3 tawny

4 tawnyPhoto credits: St. Louis Zoo / Michael Macek (2, 3); Matt Schamberger (4, 6, 7) 

Watch the chick develop over the course of a month:


See and learn more after the fold!

Continue reading "Watch a Tawny Frogmouth Grow at St. Louis Zoo" »

St. Louis Zoo Trumpets Arrival of Baby Asian Elephant

Ele front

Late on Friday night, April 26, Ellie, the Saint Louis Zoo's 42-year-old Asian Elephant, gave birth to a baby girl. The zoo's veterinarians and elephant caretakers were in attenance of the birth and will continue to monitor the baby's health. The calf is about 38 inches tall and weighs 251 pounds. Both Mom and baby spent the night quietly bonding and are doing well.

For the past two months, zoo staff has been on a 24-hour pregnancy watch. They monitored Ellie's progress with an ultrasound exam and tracked her progesterone levels every day. When Ellie's progesterone dropped five days ago, they knew she would deliver within 1-13 days. Martha Fischer, Curator of Mammals, said, "The baby appears healthy and is already walking around well. As an experienced mother and grandmother, Ellie was very nurturing, caring for her newborn from the very beginning. She did a great job."

Ele nurse

Ele side

Photo credits: Katie Pilgram/Saint LouisZoo

The Saint Louis Zoo has been actively involved with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan for Asian Elephants. Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President & CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo said, "There are only between 35,000 and 50,000 Asian Elephants left in the wild, and they are facing extinction. Given the shrinking population of Asian Elephants, the Saint Louis Zoo shares a common vision with other professional elephant conservation organizations and with our elephant care colleagues—a vision that includes elephants in the world's future forever, both in zoos and in the wild."

The Zoo will soon announce a naming poll through a news release, social media and its website.

Read more about the Elephant family and the Zoo's conservation program below the fold: 

Continue reading "St. Louis Zoo Trumpets Arrival of Baby Asian Elephant" »

Watch Out for That Tongue! Baby Anteater Debuts at St. Louis Zoo

On back.jpg

Who's that draped across her mother’s back? Blending in with the stripes and long hair is Sabia (pronounced sah-BEE-ya), a baby Giant Anteater born at the Saint Louis Zoo on August 14. She just made her public debut with Mom in early November.

With a long snout and black-and-white stripes, she’s a miniature version of her parents – mother Wendy, age 15, born at Phoenix Zoo and father Willie, age 11, born at Oklahoma City Zoo. This is the second baby for the parents, whose first was born in 2005. She weighed just 3 pounds (453 grams) at birth but is growing nicely, nursing from mom as she will for a total of 6 months. In the video below you get a look at her very long tongue, which she will use once she begins to eat.... ants!The tongue of an anteater will extend up to two feet to capture their prey.

Giant Anteaters are in danger of extinction in the wild. They've disappeared from most of their historic range in Central America -- victims of habitat loss. In South America, these animals are often hunted as trophies or captured by animal dealers.

Full mom

Back side
Photo Credit: Rachael Macy/St. Louis Zoo 

Adult Giant Anteaters are the largest of the four Anteater species and can grow up to be 50 inches long, adding 25 to 35 inches of fan-like tail. After a pregnancy of six months, anteaters give birth to a single baby who will stay with the mother until it reaches maturity - for up to two years. The newborn must learn to crawl up on the mother’s back to rest while mom looks for food. Adult giant anteaters will eat up to 30,000 ants in one day. 


A Little White Shadow Arrives at the St. Louis Zoo

1 CU.jpg

A black-and-white Colobus (CAHL-uh-bus) Monkey was born at the Saint Louis Zoo’s Primate House on October 31-- Halloween! Her name is Kivuli (pronounced Kih-VOO-lee), which, fittingly for her birthdate, is Swahili for ghost or shadow.

Colobus infants are born with all white hair and a pink face. In contrast, adults are primarily black, with white hair encircling their face and half of their tail. They have a distinctive mantle of long white hair extending from their shoulders around the edge of their back. Infants will change color gradually until they reach adult coloration at about 6 months. Colobus Monkeys are found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. The birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos.


Mom Cecelia, age 13, is raising her first baby under the watchful eye of the group’s matriarch, Roberta, age 25, who has two offspring of her own — 1-1/2-year-old male, Mosi, and 5-month-old female, Pili. The family of six, including dad Kima, age 6, is now on view at the Primate House. Visitors can see the infant poking its little white head out to look at its new world. 


Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo

We Three King Penguin Chicks Weigh In


Three King Penguin chicks hatched at the Saint Louis Zoo's Penguin & Puffin Coast this January and February. The chick hatches after about 55 days. Its parents then continue to keep it warm under their belly flap for 30-40 days until it grows too large to cover. They continue to share feeding duties for about eight months. This handsome bird is one of the largest penguin species. As an adult, it weighs about 33 pounds, second only to the Emperor penguin.

The penguin chick keepers routinely weigh the youngsters to monitor their growth. After the quick check, they are returned to their parents. Don't miss the video of this below.



Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo

Now you can see the chicks in action as they get weighed... and hear them, as these little ones can peep really loudly! 

Baby Sifaka Hitches a Ride on Mom


It's a girl! A baby Coquerel’s Sifaka (pronounced Cahk-ker-rells she-fahk), an endangered lemur species from Madagascar, was born at the St. Louis Zoo’s Primate House on January 16. For about a month the baby held onto mom's belly, but has recently "graduated" to riding on her back. This is the third offspring for mother, Almirena, age 9, from the Los Angeles Zoo, and father Caligula, age 13, from Duke Lemur Center. The baby will be named by the primate staff at a later date.

Lemurs are a group of primates that are found in the wild only in Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world. The other primates, monkeys and apes, never reached the island. Without their competitive cousins, lemurs adapted to live in the varied habitats found in Madagascar.

Like many other types of lemurs, the Coquerel's Sifaka is in danger of extinction in the wild. These animals suffer from continued habitat loss, as their forest homes are logged for timber and turned into farmland.

Riding mom


Photo Credits: Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo

Read more about lemurs after the "hop"...

Continue reading "Baby Sifaka Hitches a Ride on Mom" »

St. Louis Zoo's New Baby Bongo

Bongo CU

The St Louis Zoo has seen a bounty of winter babies in their Hoofed Stock department and this is another addition: a Mountain Bongo. This little male calf named Tundra was one of the last births of 2011, having come into the world on December 27. At his neonatal exam, the calf weighed 52 pounds (23.6 kilos). 

Unlike the more common Bongo, the Mountain Bongo is an endangered subspecies of antelope that lives only in a few pockets of mountain forests in Kenya. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Bongo Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Bongo in AZA zoos.

The new calf can be seen with his mother and herd at the Red Rocks area on warmer days.

Bongo pair

Mom 2
Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

To learn more about bongos visit their page on the St.Louis Zoo website.

Speaking of Speke's Gazelles...


A new female Speke's gazelle named Iris was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on January 6. This is the second offspring for mother Lily and father Chip. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Speke's Gazelle Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Speke's gazelles in AZA zoos.

These small antelope are quite endangered in their arid homeland of Somalia. Their pale fawn color blends well with the sandy terrain there. To avoid predators, newborn calves lie motionless in the sparse vegetation, emerging from hiding long enough to nurse. 

The gazelle family can be seen together outside at Red Rocks on warmer days and inside the Antelope House on colder days. You can see in the video below that Iris has been exploring the habitat and getting used to stretching her legs by dodging adults and generally darting around!

CU Spekes w mom

Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo


What's a Baby Banteng?

Banteng 2

The St. Louis Zoo in Missouri has some good news! A 42-pound bull Banteng calf named Studebaker was born on January 9 to first-time mom Bentley and father Knox.

Native to Southeastern Asia's dense forests, glades and grasslands, this endangered species of shy, wild cattle is born with a beautiful red coat, which in males will gradually change to black by the time they reach adulthood. The females retain their red color for life. The calf can be seen with his mother and herd on warmer days at the Red Rocks area of the Zoo.

Banteng 1
Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

Click Here for more information about Bantengs.