Vienna Zoo

Lumi the Snow-White Reindeer Born at Vienna Zoo


Named for the word “snow” in Finnish, Lumi the female Reindeer calf was born on April 25 at Austria’s Vienna Zoo.  Only minutes after the 11-pound (5 kg) calf was delivered by female Reindeer Helmi, Lumi stood up on her thin and wobbly legs.



Photo Credits: Norbert Potensky


According to Zoo Director Dagmar Schratter, “Reindeer live in the barren expanses of the Arctic tundra and taiga. Females and young animals have to move on a few days after birth to seek new pastures with the herd.”

Vienna Zoo’s Reindeer herd includes five adult females and one male named Hank.  With Lumi’s birth, Hank has become a father for the fifth time.  Lumi is the second calf born to Helmi.

Unlike other members of the deer family, where only the males have antlers, both male and female Reindeer have antlers.  Little Lumi will begin to grow her antlers when she is about seven months old.

Reindeer are widespread across extreme northern North America and Eurasia, but many herds are shrinking in numbers, possibly due to climate change and habitat disturbance.

See more photos of Lumi below the fold.

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Baby Sloth Clings to Mom at Zoo Vienna


On April 16th, Zoo Vienna welcomed a new member to their zoo in the form of a baby Two-Toed Sloth. Since then, the baby has been hitching a ride on its mother, where it will spend the next six months of its life. "Newborn Sloths use their mother for the first half year as a hammock and cling to her belly fur and cuddle," explained zoo Director Dagmar Schratter.

This is already fourth baby for parents Alberta and Einstein in the six years they have lived at Zoo Vienna. "Alberta is already an experienced mother. She nurses her baby, grooms it and shows him how to nibble lettuce leaves," Schratter said. Visitors can try to catch a view of the baby, whose sex has yet to be determined, clinging to its mother's belly in the zoo's aviary.


Photo Credits: Norbert Potensky / Zoo Vienna

Two-Toed Sloths, native to the rainforests of South America, spend their lives in the trees crawling through the canopies clinging upside down to branches. They have specially adapted long curved claws to help assist them in this lifestyle. Another notable adapation for this inverted lifestyle is the way sloths' hair parts. In order to allow rain water to drain easily, their hair is parted along their bellies, not their backs. Sloths generally move very slowly, simply because they don't have to move any quicker. With a fantastically camouflaged coat there is little worry about predation and sloths can slowly make their way through the canopy searching for their diet of fruits, leaves and buds.

Vienna Zoo is Booming with ZooBorns!


A new arrival is delighting keepers at Austria's Zoo Vienna. On Sunday, the 27th of November, a baby Giant Anteater was born and dubbed 'Hombrecito' by zoo veterinarians. Immediately following the birth, mother and child were allowed much needed rest and privacy. Visitors are now able to see the little one clinging tightly to his mother's back.

Little Hombrecito weighs around 3 pounds and measures about 14 inches in length. His mother will nurse the pup for about six months. His coloration is so similar to his mothers that it provides an almost perfect camouflage for him when he is positioned on her back.


Giant Anteaters are among the most endangered animal species in Central and South America. This uncommon captive birth is a testament to the success of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), of which Vienna Zoo is key participant.


Hombrecito's birth was followed closely by the birth of a Vicuna calf, just three days later. Keepers believe this calf, the second Vicuna to be born at Vienna this year, is a female.

Photo credits: Norbert Potensky

Extremely Rare Batagur Turtles

Long considered a "royal delicacy" in Cambodia, the Batagur turtle has been hunted to near extinction throughout Southeast Asia. Today the turtle is critically endangered and it is unclear where wild Batagurs still live. With the hatching of two baby Batagurs at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo last week, the total number of this rare species in captivity climbs to 20. To breed the rare turtles, a father and son team of herpetology experts, Peter and Reinger Praschag, were brought in to recreate just the right natural environment for egg laying.

Baby batagur baska turtles 2

Baby batagur baska turtles 1

Baby batagur baska turtles 3

Photo credits and copyright: Photos 1 and 2 - Daniel Zupanc. Picture 3: Zoo Vienna / Norbert Potensky