Wroclaw Zoo

Sarah the Tapir Debuts at Wrocław Zoo


On January 31, a female South American Tapir calf was born at Poland’s Wrocław Zoo. The baby, named Sarah, will be part of zoo breeding programs designed to save this Vulnerable species.

Sarah weighed about 13 pounds and had a body length of about 18 inches at birth. Her brown fur is covered in white stripes and blotches. In the South American forests where wild Tapirs live, these spots would offer camouflage in the sun-dappled woodlands.

IMAG0094Photo Credit: Wrocław Zoo

Sarah’s mother, 23-year-old Sonia, was also born at the Wrocław Zoo. Her father is 22-year-old Tapinos.

Though Tapirs usually live alone in the wild, the three Tapirs at Wrocław Zoo have formed a family group, with both adults caring for the calf. Sarah spends most of her time nursing or sleeping. While exploring or running, Sarah is still uncoordinated and might take a tumble. When this happens, Sonia is always at her baby’s side and checks to see if she is alright. If a stranger approaches, Sonia shields her baby with her body.

Sarah will eventually leave Wrocław Zoo for another facility, where she will be paired with a genetically-compatible mate. The goal of zoo breeding programs is to develop sustainable populations with high genetic diversity.  

South American Tapirs are one of five species of Tapirs living today. The others are the Mountain Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Baird’s Tapir, and Kabomani Tapir. They have short prehensile snouts, which aid in grabbing tender foliage to eat.

Poaching and habitat loss have caused Tapir numbers to decrease dramatically in recent years.

See more photos of Sarah below.

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Baby Aardvark Saved by CPR

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A baby Aardvark is thriving today thanks to quick action by a zoo keeper at Poland’s Wroclaw Zoo.

At 2:00 AM on February 2, after a long and difficult labor, female Aardvark Lotte finally delivered her baby.  Unfortunately, the little one was not breathing.  Zoo keeper Andrzej Miozga performed CPR on the cub for nearly an hour, and the cub survived. 

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1-DSC05128Photo Credit:  Maly Mrownik

Too exhausted from the strenuous birth, Lotte rejected her cub.  The little Aardvark is now cared for around the clock by a team of keepers, who feed him every two hours.  He has been gaining weight and developing normally.  Naturally, he is a favorite of the zoo’s care team.

Aardvarks live throughout Africa south of the Sahara Desert.  They use their pig-like snout to detect food and use their powerful front claws to break open ant and termite hills.  Insects are collected on the Aardvark’s long, sticky tongue.  Babies are born and reared in burrows.    

Africa’s Aardvark population is considered stable, and the species is wide-ranging and plentiful.

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Surprise Fennec Fox Kits at Zoo Wroclaw


Earlier in the month, Zoo Wroclaw happily announced a new litter of Fennec Fox kits. The Zoo was expecting only one, so when mom came out from her burrow with three kits following behind, you can guess keepers were excited!

The Zoo reports that the trio is doing well, and their antics have provided much entertainment. Wroclaw would like to use the announcement of this birth as an opportunity to remind people that, although they are popular in the exotic pet trade, Fennec Foxes should not be kept as pets. According to the Zoo, statistics show that "80% of Fennecs kept as pets die after only few months".



4_DSC_0022Photo Credits: Zoo Wroclaw

The Fennec Fox or Fennec (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat.

The Fennec is the smallest species of canid. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to desert environments. Their large ears and sensitive hearing allow them to hear prey moving underground. Their diet consists mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds.

The Fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity. In the wild, their main predators are the African varieties of eagle owl. Families of Fennecs dig out dens in sand for habitation and protection, which can be as large as 120 m2 (1,292 sq. ft.) and join the neighboring dens.

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Baby Tapir Gets a Cool Hairstyle from Mom at Wroclaw ZOO

Tapir CU

On January 6, Poland's Wroclaw ZOO welcomed the birth of a little female South American Tapir. This striped little girl is healthy, nursing regularly, and growing strong. She will be weaned in about 6 months. She has been named Melba, and spends her days in an indoor exhibit where guests can watch her playing and cuddling with Sabrina, her mother. 

Although this is Sabrina's ninth baby, she is a little bit overprotective. According to keepers, Mom spends a little too much time licking her daughter.... but the youngster is very patient and calmly tolerates this nurturing behavior. As a result, the baby often has hair that looks a little spiky, like she used hair gel. 

Tapir lick

Tapir side

Photo Credit: Wroclaw ZOO

The South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is one of four species in the Tapir family, along with the mountain, the Malayan, and the Baird's Tapirs. It is the second-largest land mammal in South America, after the Baird's Tapir. Females go through a gestation period of roughly 13 months and in most all cases, have one offspring every two years. 

Since 1970, the South American Tapir has been classified as Endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, though it has a significantly lower risk of extinction than the other three Tapir species. Their numbers are dwindling due to poaching for their hide and meat, as well as the destruction of their natural habitat by man.

Pot-bellied Piglet Gets a Leg Up with Keepers' Help


A female Vietnamese Pot-bellied Piglet was born on February 2nd, 2012 at Wroclaw Zoo in Poland. Her two siblings, sadly, did not survive the birth and she was rejected by her mother. Keepers quickly stepped in to begin the hand-rearing process. The next day, the Piglet's aunt gave birth and hopeful keepers attempted to introduce the "orphaned" Piglet as one of her own with no success. In the next 3-4 weeks, keepers plan to put both young Pigs together.


Photo credit: Wroclaw Zoo