Woodland Park Zoo

Triplet Snow Leopard Cubs Only Two Weeks Old!

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A beautiful display of spots appeared on May 2 at Woodland Park Zoo when triplet Snow Leopards were born to 7-year-old mother Helen. The cubs represent the second litter for Helen and 6-year-old father Tom. Veterinarians performed a neonatal examination today on the cubs, which were confirmed as two females and a male. As you can see, the cubs have still yet to fully open their eyes. The mom and cubs are off public exhibit in a maternal den until mid-July to allow privacy for bonding and proper nursing.

“Helen was an excellent mother to the pair of cubs she gave birth to in 2009 and successfully raised. We’re very pleased to see that she’s nurturing the three cubs very well and that they appear to be progressing normally. They appear to be healthy, their eyes are just now opening and their bellies were full of milk, indicating that they are nursing,” said zoo Director of Animal Health Dr. Darin Collins. The cubs currently weigh between 2.1 and 2.4 pounds.

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Snow Leopards are an endangered species. The Snow Leopard is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. Snow Leopard scientists estimate as few as 3,500 remain in the wild.

More photos and info below the fold

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Chinese Crocodile Lizards Give Birth - You Heard That Right!

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Two female Chinese crocodile lizards gave birth at Seatle's Woodland Park Zoo this fall and their two litters produced a total of eleven babies. And that's right, they were not hatched, but born. These reptiles actually give birth to their young, after a 9-12 month gestation. 

The newborns, weighing approximately 4 to 6 grams, are independent at birth and litter size ranges from 1 to 9. In the last picture below, you can see a side by side size comparison of the adult and baby. Since WPZ acquired a pair in 1993, there have been 70 crocodile lizard offspring born at the Zoo. 

The Chinese crocodile lizard is an endangered lizard found in the Guanxi province in Southern China and in 2002 previously unknown populations were discovered in northern Vietnam. This species is semi-aquatic and lives in creeks between 200–700m in altitude surrounded by broadleaf trees and conifers. This lizard has become severely endangered due to collection for the pet trade and for food, and from habitat destruction.

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Photo credits: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

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Name That Panda!

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Now through October 30th Binder Park Zoo is asking for the community’s help to name its newest furry addition, a male Red Panda cub.   Binder Park Zoo’s animal care staff has come up with a list of five possible names for the cub. The choices and their translations are: Dagan, meaning grain of rice in Hebrew; Connolly meaning fierce in Gaelic; Reid meaning red-haired in Gaelic; Xu (pronounced “shoe”) meaning to snort in Chinese; and Di meaning younger brother in Chinese.

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Photo credits: Binder Park Zoo

This Red Panda birth is another success for Red panda Conservation.  Red Pandas are listed as an endangered species and Binder Park Zoo works with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure the captive population remains genetically strong. Delilah is 5 years old and on loan to Binder Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo as she was genetically matched to breed with Binder’s 8 year old male, Fagen.  Currently, Flynn, Delilah’s male cub that was born at Binder Park Zoo in June of 2010, is on exhibit while Delilah and her new cub get better acquainted.

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Baby Tree 'Roo Is Popping out of the Pouch

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Woodland Park Zoo's Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo joey is growing up fast, so here are some new photos and video to fill you in on how it is getting along in its behind-the-scenes exhibit. Now eight months old, the joey has begun to leave its mother’s pouch for short bursts, doing a little exploring and then retreating back to the pouch for naps. Keepers do not know the sex of the joey yet so for now he or she remains nameless. The joey is mostly eating leaves but also munches on greens including kale, romaine and celery. Mother "Elanna" is not so great at sharing, so the joey has learned to go after the food it wants for itself.

Follow Matschie's progress and other Woodland Park Zoo babies on their outstanding blog.

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Photo credits (from top): Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo, Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo



Video credits: Footage from keepercam, produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Elanna and joey are in a behind the scenes exhibit to give them the quiet and comfort this sensitive species requires, especially since Elanna is a first time mother. The Woodland Park Zoo is using cameras and students are assisting with observations so they can study the interactions between the mother and joey and keep a close eye on their progress.

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Single Snowy Owlet Hatched at Woodland Park Zoo

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Snow is in the forecast at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, with the hatching of a Snowy Owl chick on June 13!  The chick marks the first offspring between the mom, estimated to be 22 years old, and the father, 14 years old. It's gender has not been determined.

“At this time the chick isn’t visible to visitors because the mom is sitting on the nest and providing very good care,” curator Jennifer Pramuk said in a statement from the Zoo. “Our expert zookeepers are monitoring the owlet, which appears to be in good health. It’s growing very quickly, so visitors should be able to spot it in a week or two.” 

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Photo Credit: James Scott

In zoos, the Snowy Owl population experienced a dramatic decline due to West Nile virus, which is spread by infected mosquitoes to birds. Owls and hawks were especially susceptible to the virus, causing acute death. Few zoos have been successful in breeding Snowy Owls within recent years. 

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Can You Guess What This Image Is? No Scrolling!

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If you guessed a baby Kangaroo, you were right! Woodland Park Zoo's six-month-old Tree Kangaroo joey is showing its face a bit more these days, if only in quick peeks. A Tree Kangaroo joey will typically remain in its mother’s pouch for about 10 months. Once out, it’ll continue to return to its mother’s pouch until it is fully weaned, usually at around 13 months. Tree ‘roo mom Elanna is taking good care of the joey and the two are doing well in a quiet, behind-the-scenes exhibit at the zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered tree kangaroo and help maintain the unique biodiversity of its native Papua New Guinea in balance with the culture and needs of human communities.

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Photo credits: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

If you’d like to help conserve tree kangaroos, you can go to www.zoo.org/treekangaroo/give, or use your cell phone to donate $5 to the program today by texting ROOS to 20222. Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. All gifts will be doubled by a generous $1 million match from Conservation International until June 30, 2011. For more info visit www.zoo.org/treekangaroo.


Ocelot Kitten Hates the Dentist

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A healthy, active ocelot kitten received a clean bill of health during an examination administered by the Woodland Park Zoo's animal health staff. The kitten was born at the Zoo on January 15 and currently weighs nearly 3½ pounds. The 8-week-old kitten, named Evita, remains off public view in a birthing den with her mom,10-year-old Bella. Just as in the wild, Woodland Park's mother ocelots cares for her kitten young alone.  The kitten will continue to undergo a series of exams for the next couple of months to ensure she’s achieving acceptable weight gains and other important benchmarks. Don't miss the outstanding video below.

Via a closed-circuit cam, staff is monitoring Evita’s growth, progress and the maternal care Bella is providing. “Evita is exceeding all of our expectations and spending more and more time out of the den playing and climbing. She’s very playful and has a feisty temperament,” noted Myers. “Our keepers introduce a variety of enrichment toys to help stimulate natural behavior, but her favorite enrichment toy seems to be her mom, and that’s a good thing too.”

Photo and video credits: Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo. Read more below the fold.

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Endangered Spots Arrive at Woodland Park Zoo!

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A set of new spots and striping has appeared at the Woodland Park Zoo with the birth of an Ocelot! A single kitten, seen here at 3 weeks old, was born on January 15 to 10-year-old mother Bella and 15-year-old father Brazil. At this early stage, keepers want to minimize disturbance and physical contact outside of quick health check-ups to give the new family time to naturally bond. So for now, the mother and kitten are off public view in a dark birthing den and keepers are monitoring their progress via infrared camera. Read the full story at the Zoo's blog!

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Photos by Jamie Delk/Woodland Park Zoo. Video produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.


Walk Like a Rare Egyptian Tortoise

A handful of Egyptian Tortoise hatchlings

The Woodland Park Zoo is going to great lengths to help protect a tiny little tortoise. Critically endangered in the wild, the Egyptian Tortoise is the smallest tortoise in the Northern Hemisphere and, despite it's name, is now extinct in Egypt. Habitat destruction, human encroachment, and poaching for the pet trade continue to threaten small remaining wild population in Libya. Luckily, the Woodland Park Zoo in concert with the Egyptian Tortoise Conservation Program helps address these challenges in part by working closely with the Beduoin community, empowering them to patrol for wildlife collectors. Learn more about what Woodland Park Zoo is doing on their blog. Don't miss the great video set to a snappy tune below.

Egyptian Tortoise hatchlings strike a pose at Woodland Park Zoo

Egyptian Tortoise hatchlings read palms! Who knew

Photo and video credits: Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo

Fluffy Flamingo Chicks at Woodland Park Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos have hatched at Woodland Park Zoo, marking the second successful breeding season for the species. The first chick hatched on Oct. 3, followed by the second hatching on Oct. 9. Both chicks are under the care of their parents in the flamingo exhibit near the Temperate Forest. Both parents care for their chick, feeding them “crop milk,” which is nutritionally similar to milk that is produced by mammals. The chicks leave their nest about three to five days after hatching but remain in close proximity to their parents for feedings and brooding.

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Photo credits: Dennis Dow / Woodland Park Zoo

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