Topeka Zoo

North American Elk Calf Debuts at Topeka Zoo

1_elk day old

On June 2, the Topeka Zoo welcomed a female North American Elk calf. The girl was born to 4-year-old mother Aspen, and she has been given the name Maple. According to Zoo Staff Veterinarian, Dr. Shirley Llizo, the birth was “textbook style from delivery to nursing.”

2_elk 2

3_elk 4

4_elk 6Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The zoo is now home to three Elk: Aspen and her one-year-old daughter, Juniper, and newborn Maple. The newest girl recently joined her mom and sister on public display.

The Elk calf is now on public display with mom and sister, Juniper.

The Topeka Zoo’s Elk were a donation from local chiropractor, Dr. Tim Bolz.

The Elk is one of the largest species within the Cervidae (deer) family, and they are one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. The Elk is native to North America and eastern Asia, but they have adapted well to countries where they have been introduced, including: Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

They prefer to reside in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves and bark. Males have large antlers, which are shed each year. Males also engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, sparring, and bugling (a loud series of vocalizations which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females.

Females have a short estrus cycle of only a day or two, and mating usually involves a dozen or more attempts. By the autumn of their second year, females can produce one, or occasionally two, offspring. Gestation period is 240 to 262 days, and the offspring are born weighing about 33 to 35 lbs (15 to 16 kilograms). Calves are born spotted and lose the spots by end of summer.

Elk live 20 or more years, in captivity, but they average only 10 to 13 years, in the wild.

The Elk is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Some cultures revere the species as a spiritual force and use their antlers and velvet in traditional medicines. They are also hunted as a game species.

More great pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "North American Elk Calf Debuts at Topeka Zoo" »


Topeka Zoo “Gets ‘Round” to Announcing Armadillo Birth

1_IMG_3971

The Topeka Zoo is excited about the arrival of their newest Southern Three-Banded Armadillo. The spherically prone boy was born May 5th and is the third offspring of mom, ‘Erin’, and dad, ‘Mulligan’.

2_IMG_3999

3_IMG_3975

4_IMG_4243Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, also called the La Plata Three-Banded Armadillo, is an armadillo species from South America. It is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The species, along with the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, is the only armadillo capable of rolling into a complete ball for defense and protection. The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing it to protect its underbelly, limbs, eyes, nose and ears from predators. The shell covering its body is armored and the outer layer is made out of keratin, the same protein that builds human fingernails.

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is typically yellow or brownish in color. They are among the smaller armadillos, with a total body length of about 8.7 to 10.6 inches (22 to 27 cm) and a weight of between 2.2 and 3.5 lbs (1 and 1.6 kg).

Gestation for an armadillo lasts 60 to 120 days, depending on the species. Some species, such as the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, will have litter sizes that range from one to eight. The young are born with soft, leathery skin, which hardens within a few weeks. They reach sexual maturity in three to 12 months, depending on species.

Continue reading "Topeka Zoo “Gets ‘Round” to Announcing Armadillo Birth " »


Baby Sloth Takin’ It Easy at Topeka Zoo

IMG_3235

A baby Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth made its public debut, recently, at the Topeka Zoo.

DSC_0067

DSC_0088

IMG_3335Photo Credits: Wrylie Guffey/Topeka Zoo

The sloth was born November 20th to mother, ‘Jackie’, and father, ‘Mocha’.  Zoo staff had been closely monitoring Jackie’s pregnancy and had been tracking the growth of the baby via ultrasound. Their excellent zoo and veterinarian staff worked hard to train Jackie to allow them to do an ultrasound on a weekly basis. Gestation for sloths is about 11 ½ months. This is the thirteenth time for Jackie to give birth at the Topeka Zoo, but it is the first offspring for father, Mocha.

It will be a little bit longer before staff can determine the sex, but the baby and mother are doing well. They now make their home in the Zoo’s Rainforest exhibit. For now, the baby is content to snuggle deeply into the fur on mom’s chest, as she makes her way, slowly through the trees of the exhibit.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloths are native to Central and South America. They are largely nocturnal and arboreal animals, primarily found in rainforests and deciduous forests. They are classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Their main threat in the wild is, believed to be, habitat destruction.

More great pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Baby Sloth Takin’ It Easy at Topeka Zoo" »


Sharpie-Sized Baby at Topeka Zoo

Unnamed

Not much bigger than a Sharpie marker, a baby Greater Malayan Chevrotain was born at the Topeka Zoo on October 16. 

This fawn, born to parents Nabisco and Wilma, is the second ever born at the Topeka Zoo. 

Chevyandmom Oct 25, 2014
Chev baby Oct 25, 2014 (1)
Unnamed (1)

Nursing Oct 25, 2014Photo Credit:  Wrylie Guthrie (1, 4); Topeka Zoo (2,3,5) 

With legs about the size of pencils, adult Chevrotains weigh only 10-13 pounds.  Males have small curved tusks.  This species is sometimes called the Mouse Deer, though they are not true deer.

These ungulates are native to Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, where they dwell in forests and feed on fruit and berries.  Threats from overhunting and deforestation have caused this species to decline in the wild.


UPDATE: Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs Have Mom by the Tail

10421179_654725794603777_3303628675568483363_nTopeka Zoo’s trio of Sumatran Tiger cubs, born on May 4, are becoming more active by the day!  Their favorite toy?  Mom’s tail!

10356268_654725784603778_7272836484287814883_n

10408554_654725787937111_6508292348737186387_n
10390577_654725791270444_4953586753070807953_nPhoto Credit:  Topeka Zoo

ZooBorns introduced the cubs in May when they were just over a week old.  The three female cubs soon outgrew their baby scale, and now wrestle and play at every opportunity to hone their survival skills.  Though not yet as fierce as an adult Tiger, the cubs do their best to attack broom handles, rubber boots, and of course, each other, as seen in the videos. 

Mom Jingga continues to be an excellent mother for her cubs.  These female cubs are valuable to the zoo-managed population of this Critically Endangered species.  Fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild in Indonesia. 

See more videos of the cubs below.

Continue reading "UPDATE: Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs Have Mom by the Tail" »


UPDATE: Topeka's Tiger Cubs Outgrow the Baby Scale!

10371476_647765425299814_5177583501745263704_n

Three Sumatan Tiger cubs born on May 4 at the Topeka Zoo have grown so big that they no longer fit on the baby scale for their weigh-ins.

10371717_647765391966484_4027367613722019104_n

10261968_647765508633139_5965487222738526813_n
10433786_647765368633153_7478535210922647490_n
10369095_647765475299809_9166529443244872962_o
Photo Credit:  Topeka Zoo

The cubs, all female, are being well-cared for by their mother, Jingga.  But when the cubs were about three weeks old, keepers noticed that Jingga’s mammary glands were becoming irritated and she was not providing enough milk for her babies. 

To give the babies a boost, keepers give the cubs supplemental bottle feedings three times a day for about 30 minutes each time.  Other than at these feeding times, the cubs stay with mom and nurse from her regularly. 

Thanks to this extra help and continued maternal care from Jingga, the cubs each weigh more than 10 pounds!  They now are placed in a bucket so they’ll remain in one place during their weigh-ins.

See the cubs’ baby pictures when they debuted on ZooBorns in May.

Sumatran Tigers are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 500 cats remaining in the rain forests of Sumatra.  Intense pressure from the human population, along with unsustainable palm oil plantations, is pushing these cats closer to extinction every day.  Palm oil in is hundreds of everyday products, including foods and cosmetics.  You can help Tigers by purchasing products made with sustainable palm oil.


First Look at Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs

5 tiger

On May 4, Topeka Zoo in Kansas welcomed three Sumatran Tiger cubs! Mother Jingga gave birth to the first cub around noon and a few hours later the third cub was confirmed. Jingga has her cubs tucked away in a den box located in an interior holding space. Staff are keeping an eye on the new family using a camera installed in the den box, and the cubs recently had their first veterinary checkup.

2 tiger

4 tiger

1 tiger

Photo credit: Topeka Zoo

See and read more after the fold.

Continue reading "First Look at Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs" »