Toronto Zoo

UPDATE! Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear Cub is Making Strides

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Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear cub is growing up strong and healthy! Born on November 9 to a resident mom, Aurora, the cub was one of three born in the litter. Despite Aurora showing perfect maternal instincts, including nursing the cubs shortly after their birth, the zoo was saddened to discover that two of the three cubs did not survive the first 48 hours. They made the decision to hand raise and carefully monitor the third cub so he would have to best chance of survival. (See our previous update here.)

Since then, the male cub has recovered from low weight and made many developmental milestones. His eyes have been fully open since day 35 and he's already taken his first steps. He is quite active and starting to play. 

The cub now weighs about 9.7 pounds (4 kg), which is a is a 529% increase since his original birth weight.  Although he receives milk from a bottle six times a day, he has recently started to learn how to lap milk from a dish, a transition that eventually will help him learn to eat solid foods.

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4 bearPhoto credit: Toronto Zoo

Watch the cub's first steps:


Watch a bottle-feeding:


Happy bear sounds!


The little cub is beginning to teethe and he likes to bite objects such as his blanket. His canine teeth, incisors and some of his molars can now be felt. He has a few whiskers and his coat is becoming thicker as he continues to grow.

He still remains in a temperature-controlled environment within the Wildlife Health Centre but has been out of his incubator for the past month.  The temperature in his room has been gradually reduced. In fact, an air conditioner has been installed for his comfort. He is a Polar Bear, after all!

See and read more after the fold.

Continue reading "UPDATE! Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear Cub is Making Strides" »

UPDATE! Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear Cub Grows Steadily in Intensive Care

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In November we learned that a Polar Bear cub was in the intensive care unit at Toronto Zoo's Wildlife Health Center. The little cub was born at the zoo on November 9th, but was the only one to survive out of a litter of three. 

Almost six weeks later, the cub is growing under the care of exceptional veterinary staff, the wildlife health care team, and keepers, who continue to monitor the little male cub 24 hours a day. As with any new birth, this little cub’s progress continues to be determined on a day-to-day basis. Caretakers ensure that he feeds from a bottle, continues to gain weight at an appropriate rate, avoids infections and continues to digest his formula to receive the nutrients a young cub needs. 

He is currently feeding 9 times a day and growing steadily. The veterinary staff have fondly nicknamed him 'Remy', as he was received into the Wildlife Health Centre on Remembrance Day. 

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3 polar bearPhoto credit: Toronto Zoo

Double the Fuzz: Two More Penguin Chicks Hatched at Toronto Zoo


The Toronto Zoo's African Penguin family is growing! Proud parents Colby and Greenbird have hatched two penguin chicks. The first chick hatched on March 29, and the second on April 1. The fuzzy little duo is now on exhibit for intervals throughout the day in the Zoo's African penguin house. They join African Penguin chick Eldon, who was born January 28, and the Zoo's 12 adult penguins on exhibit.

Penguin chicks "grow up" very quickly. To get an idea of how fast, the first picture is of Eldon at 6-days-old and the third is of one of the new chicks, at 26-days-old. You can read all about Eldon and learn in-depth about the Zoo's African Penguin program in our ZooBorns article from May 12.



Photo Credits: Toronto Zoo


A New Ring-tailed Lemur Baby for Toronto Zoo


What's new at the Toronto Zoo? A baby Ring-tailed Lemur. Mom, Lily, gave birth to the little one on March 5... although the baby's father is a mystery, keepers believe it was most likely Lionel or Larry.

The gender of the baby will remain undetermined until the baby leaves the comfort of mom's furry chest. It's a natural instinct to separate and start exploring at about one month old.

Ring-tailed lemurs are only found on the island of Madagascar, and like all lemurs, are at risk from habitat destruction as jungle is converted to farmland. Sociable vegetarians, Ring-tails are currently listed as 'Threatened' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo 

Toronto's Penguin Program Yields First Little Chick

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The Toronto Zoo announced Friday that the African Penguin breeding program initiated in November 2011 has been successful. The zoo's first chick hatched on January, 28, 2012, to penguin pair 'Gozi' and 'Puff'. The chick has been hand-raised by staff as the pair rejected the egg as it was hatching. Two other eggs have been laid by 'Colby' and 'Greenbird". It is expected that they will hatch later in March with the first three weeks being the most critical for their growth and survival.

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The baby Penguin will be known as either 'Eldon' or 'Ellie' once the gender has been determined. (A determination can be made when the Penguin is older and a small blood sample can be taken) The chick can be observed by the general public in the Penguin house at the exhibit at scheduled times throughout the day as of March 10.

Continue reading "Toronto's Penguin Program Yields First Little Chick" »

Toronto's Polar Bear Cub Debuts at 3.5 Months!


After a precarious start to life, a now 3 ½ month old male Polar Bear cub was introduced today at Toronto Zoo. This energetic young cub represents a heartwarming journey of survival, one where expert Toronto Zoo Wildlife Health staff worked around the clock to save a vulnerable species. The cub has successfully reached many milestones in his young life and is a great ambassador for a species in need of public education and support.




Photo credit: Toronto Zoo

"This has been an interesting and challenging case for the Zoo and a valiant and dedicated team effort of both the Wildlife Health Centre and Wildlife Care staff," said John Tracogna, the Zoo's Chief Executive Officer. "Ultimately, it has been a rewarding journey for everyone involved, and we are happy to introduce an active and healthy Polar Bear cub, our new Arctic ambassador to help share our conservation message with our visitors."

Learn about the cub's rocky start and about the zoo's naming contest beneath the fold...

Continue reading "Toronto's Polar Bear Cub Debuts at 3.5 Months!" »


The feisty Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada's most endangered mammal with only an estimated 30 living in the wild in 2003. However, institutions like the Calgary and Toronto Zoos launched aggressive breeding and release programs that have since bolstered the wild population to 200 or more. These pups were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 30th and the Toronto Zoo just welcomed a litter this week!

Vancouver island marmot baby and mom

Vancouver island marmot calgary zoo

Photo credits © Oli Gardner

Three little pups peer out of their nesting box

Three little marmots noses

Continue reading "Marmots!" »

Meet Toronto's Newest Snow Leopard Cubs

On July 2nd the Toronto Zoo weclomed two snow leopard cubs. Critically endangered in the wild, snow leopards may some day depend on the genetic diversity preserved at zoos and aquariums for their species' survival. In the meantime, organizations like the Toronto Zoo and the Snow Leopard Trust offer fair trade products made by people living in snow leopard habitat to increase household income to deter poaching and raise awareness of the leopards' plight. 

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