The Turtle Back Zoo, in West Orange, NJ has some exciting news to announce! Mommy Porcupine Becky has given birth to a baby Porcupine- otherwise known as a porcupette! Born on April 16, 2015 both mother and baby are now officially on exhibit, just in time for Mother's Day.
Photo credits: 1 & 3 Jeff Stiefbold, 2 The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
While their Latin name technically means “quill pig,” Porcupines are actually rodents. These sharp dressed mammals are covered with soft hair as well as quills, which are really modified hairs that stand up when a Porcupine feels threatened. Not only does this make the Porcupine look larger, but it also delivers a prickly poke to a predator who gets too close. Sharp, strong teeth allow these herbivores to crack open nuts and eat barks, roots, fruits and leaves. There are about 12 different porcupine species, and they can be found in North, Central and South America; Southern Europe; Asia; and regions of Africa.
The animal rescue team at SeaWorld Orlando received two Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings earlier this week. They are approximately two months old.
The first was found at Melbourne Beach by a tourist and was delivered to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Melbourne Beach, Fla. It weighs only 2 ounces and is nearly 3 inches long. The hatchling was lethargic and weak when it arrived. The second was found in Cocoa Beach, covered with algae and fauna, and also brought to the Society weighing 2.5 ounces and measuring just over 3 inches long. Both were taken to SeaWorld for examination and continued care, including, feeding, giving fluids and around-the-clock observation and monitoring.
It’s a tough journey ahead but both turtles are looking better and are showing positive signs. Hawksbill turtles are endangered due to human exploitation and habitat degradation.
Just in time for Mother's Day that is... This weekend, New Jersey's Turtle Back Zoo welcomed the arrival of three white fluffy Black Necked Swan chicks.
Black Necked Swans, native to South America (including the Falkland Islands), are the largest of the species. They've got short wings but are still able to fly fast. Swan babies are called cygnets. Parents carry cygnets on their backs while swimming, which helps the parents regain the weight they lost in the process of mating, incubating and feeing their brood. Swan eggs are the biggest of any flight bird. Guess that explains how they can look this fluffy upon arrival!
These cygnets will soon turn greyish, developing blacker neck feathers in about three months. They will not sport a true white and black coat until they are two years old. Swans are herbivores and are considered vital in controlling aquatic plant life.