Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise Welcomes Giant Anteater Pup

1898000_10152230444983116_48888409_nZoo Boise announced the December 8 birth of a Giant Anteater pup.  The female pup is now starting to explore the outdoors with her mother, Gloria. Because Giant Anteaters are native to warmer climates, mother and pup have spent the last few months in their heated barn. The pup will stay with her mother until she is full grown at about two years old.

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1623192_10152230444893116_759460872_nPhoto Credit:  Monte Stiles

During their first year of life, Giant Anteater pups will spend much of their time riding on their mothers’ backs. Born with full coats of fur, the pups are able to blend in with their mothers’ coats to avoid predation.

Giant Anteaters are native to Central and South America.  They have no teeth, but use their long, sticky tongues to gather insects – often ants – by the thousands.  Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


A Whole Lotta Nappin' Goin' On -- Red Panda Cub Grows at Zoo Boise

Cub HERO 3 wks

There's a new Red Panda cub at Zoo Boise. This little male was born on June 15 to first-time parents Dolly and Winston. He has spent all his time in an off-exhibit den with his mother, who has done an excellent job of caring for him. He snoozes a lot, like most newborns do, while he develops more each day. He will grow to be the size of a house cat, though his tail will become big and bushy and add up to an additional 18 inches (46 cm) in length to his body. 

Soon he will make his way out to explore the exhibit for short stints, when visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of him. He is the third Red Panda to be born at the zoo, and the newest addition to the zoo's most "reproductive" year ever. Red Pandas live in the mountains of Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma), as well as in central China. They forage most actively at dusk and in the evening, and spend most of their time in the trees, even when they nap. 

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Cub Monte Stiles

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Photo Credit: Photos 1, 2, 4,5 : Zoo Boise, Photo 3,6: Monte Stiles

Parents Dolly and Winston are part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program, a breeding program for certain Endangered or Threatened species that helps maintain a genetically diverse, strong animal population within zoos. 

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Snow Leopard Cubs are Boost for Endangered Species

Pic by Monte Stiles (5)

Two baby Snow Leopards born at Zoo Boise have an important job in a national conservation program. The cubs, a male and a female, were born May 23 to parents Kabita and Tashi, and are the first Snow Leopards ever born at the zoo.

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Pic by Monte Stiles (1)
Photo Credit:  Monte Stiles

Like their wild counterparts, the cubs are spending their first few weeks in a den with their mother. As they grow and develop, they will emerge from the den to explore their exhibit for short periods of time.

As a first-time mother, Kabita is doing a fantastic job of caring for the cubs. Zoo staff members have been giving Kabita as much privacy as possible to ensure that she does not become stressed and continues to take excellent care of the cubs.

The birth of these cubs is a significant achievement for Zoo Boise and for Snow Leopard conservation. Tashi and Kabita were paired as part of the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ many conservation programs. The SSP's goal is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population and to protect wild habitats for the species. Snow Leopards are Endangered in their Central Asian mountain habitat.


What's Black and White and Cute All Over?

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At Zoo Boise, Striped Skunks Figaro and Cleo are stars of the zoo's special animal presentations. On April 30th, the pair also became the parents of six little kits. The four males and two females just recently started to open their eyes. Once mature and independent, they will move to other zoos. In the meantime, the kits may join their parents in animal presentations at the zoo, depending on their mother and on their healthy development. 

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Photo credits: Zoo Boise

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Zoo Boise Welcomes a Healthy, Prickly Porcupette

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Zeus and Athena, a pair of North American Porcupines at Zoo Boise, had a porcupette on April 8th. The male baby hasn't been named yet. He is doing very well under the care of his mother Athena, and is on exhibit at the zoo. He weighed 517 grams at birth, and had gained 300 grams by his checkup just two weeks later. 

The little male is the second porcupette to be born at Zoo Boise: in July 2012, Olympus ("Oly") was born to the same pair. Mostly arboreal, Athena spends most of her day sleeping in the trees while her baby stays on the ground. She comes down to care for him and to sleep near him at night. Within a few weeks, the porcupette will begin to eat vegetation and will learn to climb trees with her. 

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Photo credits: Zoo Boise

Porcupettes are born with open eyes and soft quills which harden within thirty minutes after birth.  Contrary to popular belief, porcupines do no shoot or throw their quills as a defense.  When attacked, a porcupine will tuck its head between its front paws and turn so their quills face the attacker. The hollow air-filled quills fall out of the porcupine’s skin easily.  One North American porcupine can have as many as 30,000 quills.