Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo Welcomes Giraffe Calf

1_10688364_967667936611353_2302263355237860855_oAfter a 15-month-long gestation period, a veteran Giraffe mom, at Taipei Zoo, gave birth on May 13th.  The healthy male Giraffe calf fell to earth at a height of 5.9 feet (180 cm) and a weight of 137 lbs (62 kg). He has been given the nickname ‘Xiao Zhang’. 2_11110866_967667939944686_2846140218222091821_o

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4_11313142_967667926611354_3212001397699338567_oPhoto Credits: Taipei Zoo

Mother and calf are doing well, and the newborn is nursing, as hoped. They will be off-exhibit until they are both stronger and have had opportunity to bond.

The calf’s birth occurred just two days after the Zoo’s unfortunate loss of a female calf, named ‘Chick’. Chick’s mother refused to nurse her, and, despite two months of intense intervention by keepers, Chick refused to eat and passed from malnutrition.

Giraffe gestation lasts 400-460 days, after which a single calf is normally born, although twins occur on rare occasions. The mother gives birth standing up. The calf emerges head and front legs first, having broken through the fetal membranes, and falls to the ground, severing the umbilical cord. The mother then grooms the newborn and helps it stand up. A newborn Giraffe is about 6ft (182.88 cm) tall. Within hours of birth, the calf can run around and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old. However, for the first 1 to 3 weeks, it spends most of its time hiding; its coat pattern providing camouflage. The ossicones (horn-like protuberance on head), which have lain flat while in womb, become erect within a few days.

The Giraffe species, as a whole, is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. However, Giraffes have been extirpated from much of their historic range, including: Eritrea, Guinea, Mauritania, and Senegal. They may have also disappeared from Angola, Mali, and Nigeria. They have been introduced to Rwanda and Swaziland. Two subspecies, the West African Giraffe and the Rothschild Giraffe, have been classified as “Endangered”.

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Endangered Pangolin Receives Special Care

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On September 30th, the Taipei Zoo welcomed the birth of a female Pangolin, named “Gung-wu”.

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The tiny Pangolin, born with eyes half open, began crawling, within an hour of birth, in search of nourishment from her mother. Although the Pangolin mother was a willing participant, she was unable to provide an adequate supply of milk for the new baby.

Zoo staff were patient with the new mother, but when the baby began to lose weight, the decision was made to intervene on behalf of the newborn.  Now, zoo keepers provide 24 hour care and feeding for “Gung-wu”, and her weight and health have stabilized. 

Pangolins are mammals of the order Pholidota.  They are nocturnal insectivores and are native to Africa and Asia. As a result of increasing threats to Pangolins, mainly in the form of illegal, international trade in Pangolin skin, scales and meat, these species have received increasing conservation attention in recent years. In 2014, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) re-categorized all eight species of Pangolin on its Red List of Threatened Species, and each species is now classified as “Critically Endangered”.

More great photos below the fold!

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Rescued Otter Pups Get Emergency Care at Taipei Zoo

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Thanks to inter-agency cooperation, two rescued Eurasian Otter pups are getting the emergency care they need at Taipei Zoo in Taiwan. The abandoned pups arrived recently from Kinmen National Park and are being bottle-fed around the clock by staff at the zoo. In Taiwan, Eurasian Otters are a rare and protected species.

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See video of the otter pups:

 

An initial veterinary checkup found that the babies are both male and are about a month old. Their eyes are still closed, but their canine teeth are starting to grow in. They are being cared for in shifts, with frequent feedings and belly massages to stimulate bowel movements. 

See and read more after the fold.

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UPDATE! Giant Panda Mother and Cub Reunite at Taipei Zoo

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Taipei Zoo's Giant Panda cub is growing up healthy and strong. At one month old, she now weighs in at 2.5 pounds (1,140 grams), more than six times her weight at birth. The cub was hand-raised due to concerns that the mother, Yuan Yuan, would not be able to provide the best care for her baby. (See our original story about the birth here.)  The cub has been named Yuan Tsai, and although she will not appear before the public for another three months, many families flocked to Taipei Zoo's recent baby shower in celebration of the first panda born in Taiwan. 

About a month after Yuan Tsai's July 6th-birth, Zookeepers began to carefully conduct a series of introductions between mother and baby. For the safety of the little one, the sessions took place in a controlled environment, in case the mother did not respond well to her reintroduced cub. The gradual introductions worked well and now Yuan Tsai and her mother are fully reunited. 

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Photo credits: Taipei Zoo

Watch as zookeepers carefully introduce mother and cub:
  

See the cub returned to her mother:

 

See more photos of Yuan Tsai's development after the fold!

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Tiny Giant Panda Cub Born at Taipei Zoo

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Taipei Zoo's Giant Panda Yuan Yuan gave birth to a little cub on July 6. The newborn is female, measuring six inches (15 cm) in length. She weighs 183.4 grams, about one 1000th of her mother's weight. The little cub had her first health examination soon after she was born. She is healthy and being hand-raised in a nursery incubator, using milk collected from her mother as well as artificial milk. At about three days old, the cub's umbilical cord fell off, leaving her with a tiny belly button (see the third photo)!

Yuan Yuan, a first time mother, has received dedicated postnatal care and has regained her appetite four days after the birth. She receives comforting massages, has a hot water bottle, and now eats bamboo leaves with some honey water. 

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Photo credits: Taipei Zoo

See a video of the birth here:

 

Watch the newborn being bottle-fed here:

 

First-time mom, Yuan Yuan, gets some loving postnatal care:

 


See photos from the newborn cub's first medical checkup after the fold!

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Five Playful Coatis for Taipei Zoo

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Five lively South American Coati babies are keeping their mother busy at the Taipei Zoo.  Born on March 23, the babies progressed in their development quickly, opening their eyes at five days and standing at 12 days. 

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Photo Credit:  Taipei Zoo

The babies now follow their mother everywhere in the exhibit, stopping to explore and investigate along the way.  They’ve recently learned to jump, and will use their mother’s back as a springboard to reach tree trunks. 

Coatis are expert climbers and diggers.  They rummage for food in the leaf litter of the tropical forests of South America.  Fruits, insects, and lizards are preferred food items, but as omnivores, Coatis will eat a wide variety of foods. 

Not enough is known about the wild population of Coatis to understand their conservation status.  Like many mammals, they face pressures from unregulated hunting and habitat loss.

 


Baby Orangutan Thriving at Taipei Zoo at One Year Old

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Niu-li, a Bornean Orangutan, was born on April 11, 2012, at Taipei Zoo. She is named after her mother, Xiang-niu. Her father, Eddie, living in a nearby enclosure often peeks at his mate and daughter. Mom Xiang-niu was very loving, and held her baby quite tenderly. However, she was not producing enough milk, which had caused unsuccessful nursing in her previous two babies. So, after two days of observation, the keepers decided to it was necessary to hand-rear Niu-li,.

Female Orangutans invest a lot of time in their offspring, taking care of them until they reach adolescence at around 6 years of age. Although Orangutans are similar to human beings, nursing a 3 pound (1.42 kg) baby is still not an easy task. Keepers had to feed her five times a day, one of which had to happen before dawn. “Fortunately, Niu-li is a well-behaved baby. She drinks 65 c.c. of milk promptly every time,” said one of the zoo keepers.

The word “orangutan” comes from Malay language and means “person of the forest.” They are omnivorous, but primarily eat fruits, which make up more than 60% of their total dietary intake. They will migrate depending on fruit availability. 

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Photo Credit: Taipei Zoo

Here's a video showing the baby's pictures and near the end, her first attempts at climbing:

Read about Niu-li's progress, and see more of her pictures,  after the fold:

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Three Koala Joeys for Taipei Zoo

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A trio of Koala joeys is making headlines at the Taipei Zoo.  The three joeys were born nearly a year ago, but are only now spending most of their time outside of their mothers’ pouches.  Like all marsupials, Koalas are only the size of a jellybean at birth and develop in the pouch.

It is unusual for a zoo to have three Koala joeys at once, but the zoo’s group of eight Koalas resulted in three pairings.  Female Koala Empress paired with male Flynn; female Tiwi paired with Q-be; and Coral selected Q-di as her mate.

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Zoo officials began seeing the joeys peek out of their mothers’ pouches in July, but those appearances were brief and sporadic.  As the joeys have grown, their explorations out of the pouch have grown more frequent.

Newborn joeys nurse in the pouch for several months.  When the joey is about five months old and is being weaned, the mother will pass on the bacteria needed to digest eucalyptus leaves when it grows up.  Koalas feed exclusively these low-protein, hard-to-digest leaves.  To facilitate digestion, Koalas spend much of the day resting – up to 18 hours per day.

Koalas are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN and are protected under Australian law.  Recent clearing of bushland for development has caused a sharp decline in the wild Koala population.

Photo Credit:  Taipei Zoo


Can you see it? Koala joey plays peek-a-boo, one limb at a time

Koala Joey Taipei Zoo

The Taipei Zoo's newest little Koala joey has decided it's time to take a peek out at the big world. Born to mom Empress and father Flynn, this baby koala has spent the last few months tucked quietly away inside mom's pouch. Judging by the lack of fur on this little guy, he or she has a month or more of pouch-time to go before fully venturing out, but limbs and snout will ocassionally make an appearance.

Almost hunted to extinction for their fur, this iconic species has made a comeback but faces new threats, including habitat destruction, cars and dogs, and disease. Koala's are not bears but marsupials.  


Four Formosan Hoglets in Taipei

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On February 10 Taiwan's Taipei Zoo welcomed four little Formosan Wild Boar hoglets. This subspecies of boar is native only to Taiwan. The little boars were born as part of a Taipei Zoo conseration program to protect the species, which has become increasingly rare as farmers allow their domestic pigs to roam free and interbreed with Formosan Boars. Zookeeper Chen Yan He, the Zoo's unofficial "pig nanny," has worked with a variety of pigs and boars in the past but says that the Formosan Boars are among the most gentle.

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Formosan Wild Boar hoglets at Taipei Zoo 2bPhoto credits: Taipei Zoo