Zoo Wroclaw

Critically Endangered Gibbon Born at Zoo Wroclaw

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Zoo Wroclaw is excited to announce the birth of a Northern White-cheeked Gibbon. The baby arrived on June 28th, and the sex is not yet known.

Zoo Wrocław is now home to a total of three Northern White-cheeked Gibbons. The infant’s parents both arrived in October 2013. The first one to make their home at the Zoo was 9-year-old dad, Xian. He was born in Apeldorn, NL, and was sent to Wrocław via the zoo in Pilsen, Czech Republic. A week later, Xian was joined by female, Carusa. She was born in 2006 at the Osnabrück Zoo, Germany. The pair’s first offspring, a male called Dao, was born on October 17, 2014.

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Baby Armadillo Drinks Milk From Tiny Dish

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When a Southern Three-banded Armadillo pup was born at Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw one morning in May, zoo keepers kept a close eye on how the mother, Hermiona, interacted with her newborn.  By that afternoon, the staff realized that Hermiona was showing no interest in her pup and did not nurse him, so they decided to hand-rear the infant.

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The little male pup is named Spock. Getting Spock to eat was a challenge at first – he would not drink from a bottle. Keepers tried using an eye dropper at feeding time, but Spock didn’t like that, either. One day, Spock started licking milk from a tiny bowl. With practice, he is now a pro at slurping up his supper.

The zoo reports that Spock is developing well and tripled his weight by the time he was 6 weeks old. 

Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native to the southern interior of South America. They collect ants and termites on their long, sticky tongue. The shell, which is made of keratin, is the same material that human fingernails are made of.  Southern Three-banded Armadillos are one of only two types of Armadillo that can roll completely into a ball for protection.

Once Spock is mature, he will likely be moved to another zoo, where he will be an important part of the breeding program to support this species, which is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Destruction of the dry chaco habitat and its conversion to farmland are the major threats to the species.

See more photos of Spock below.

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Zoo Wroclaw Announces New Hornbill Fledgling

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About three months ago, a female Palawan Hornbill “disappeared” in the aviary of Zoo Wroclaw. Keepers suspected the bird was secluding herself in preparation for nest building and egg-laying.

The Zoo’s suspicions were confirmed as the new fledgling recently left the nest! Bird keepers at Zoo Wroclaw estimate the chick hatched around April 20th. The sex of the healthy fledgling is not yet known.

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The Palawan Hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), known as ‘Talusi’ in the Filipino language, is a small (approximately 70 cm/28 in long) forest-dwelling bird.

The plumage is predominantly black, with a white tail. The bird has a dark green gloss on its upper parts and a large creamy-white beak, with a casque typical of the hornbill family. It emits loud calls, which can be transcribed as “kaaww” and “kreik-kreik”.

Nine species of Hornbill are found in the Philippines, and the Palawan Hornbill is endemic to Palawan Island, but has also been recorded on the nearby islands of Balabac, Busuanga, Calauit, Culion and Coron.

The Palawan Hornbill is officially classified as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN, and its numbers have reduced by at least 20% in the last 10 years due to habitat destruction, hunting for food, and the live bird trade.

It is usually seen in pairs or small noisy family groups, and it has a communal roosting site. It is most usually observed in fruiting trees at the forest edge, but also feeds on insects and small reptiles.


Wroclaw Welcomes Litter of Red River Hogs

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Zoo Wrocław is excited to announce the birth of a litter of Red River Hogs. Three piglets were born on April 3rd. The matriarch of the herd, and new mother, is Petunia. Petunia arrived at Zoo Wroclaw from Brooklyn, NYC, and her partner, Jumbo, arrived from France.

The Zoo is eager to find names for the new youngsters and is willing to accept any and all suggestions for names! Suggestions can be made to their social media page: https://www.facebook.com/wroclawskiezoo/ and their website: http://www.zoo.wroclaw.pl/  

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The Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus) is a wild member of the pig family native to the Guinean and Congolian forests of Africa. It is rarely seen away from rainforests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.

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Calf is Part of European Bison Comeback

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The last wild European Bison was shot in 1927, but the species has made a comeback thanks to breeding programs like one at Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw, where a male calf was born on September 19.

Keepers named the new calf Powolniak, which translates as “the slow one,” reflecting his relaxed personality.   The calf’s name needed to start with “PO” because he was born in Poland, according to naming rules dictated by the European Bison Pedigree Book, which tracks the parentage of each animal to maintain the highest possible level of genetic diversity in the population. 

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Despite their massive size – males can weigh more than one ton and stand six feet tall at the shoulders – keepers at Zoo Wroclaw say that their Bison herd is calm in nature. 

Three subspecies of European Bison, Europe’s largest wild mammal, once roamed the entire European continent.  One by one, they each became extinct in the wild until in the 1920s, only 12 European Bison and seven Lowland Bison remained in some European zoos.

After World War II, zoos began to cooperate to save the European Bison and Poland became the center of the breeding efforts.  Today, more than 5,000 European Bison live in zoos and wild areas in Europe, with a high concentration in Poland.   Once listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the European Bison is now listed as Vulnerable. 

See more photos of the European Bison calf below.

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Lovely Lynx Kitten Born at ZOO Wroclaw

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Around June 4th, an adorable female European Lynx was born at ZOO Wroclaw.

The late birth was quite a surprise for keepers, but fortunately, the kitten has been growing like a weed, jumping form 0.5 kg to 3 kg in just four to five weeks.

The parents are Pandora and Orkan, both 14 years old. Zoo staff reports they are a great match and very caring parents. Since their paring, they have produced a healthy litter every year: 20 offspring so far!

One of the cats born to this couple, three-year-old Orpan, is living on the Baltic coast. His offspring will be released into the wild. Keepers have their fingers crossed that the new girl will be just as lucky.

The little Lynxes’ keepers are now looking to name the kitten, and they are extending the invitation for ZooBorns fans to submit their ideas. The only request from the Zoo is that the name relate to Poland or the city of Wroclaw. However, all inspirations will be greatly appreciated!

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The European or Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) is a medium-sized cat native to Siberia, Central, East, and Southern Asia, North, Central and Eastern Europe.

It has been listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List since 2008, as it is widely distributed, and most populations are considered stable. Eurasian Lynx have been re-introduced to several forested mountainous areas in Central and Southeastern Europe; these re-introduced subpopulations are small, less than 200 animals.

The Eurasian Lynx is the largest Lynx species, ranging in length from 80 to 130 cm (31 to 51 in) and standing 60–75 cm (24–30 in) at the shoulder. The tail measures 11 to 24.5 cm (4.3 to 9.6 in). Males usually weigh from 18 to 30 kg (40 to 66 lb), and females weigh 8 to 21 kg (18 to 46 lb).

Lynx prey largely on small to fairly large sized mammals and birds. Although they may hunt during the day when food is scarce, the Eurasian Lynx is mainly nocturnal or crepuscular, and spends the day sleeping in dense thickets or other places of concealment. It lives solitarily as an adult.

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Hippo Calf Makes Zoo Feel Like Dancing

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Keepers at Zoo Wroclaw put on their dancin’ shoes to celebrate a new Hippopotamus birth! The calf, named Zumba, was born May 21 to mom, Rumba, and dad, Váleček. Big sister, Salsa, and proud Grandma, Samba, also welcomed the young Hippo into their herd.

The Zoo reports that Zumba timidly follows mom about in their exhibit, including, of course, dips in the pool.

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The common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or Hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. They are one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis).

The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (ἱπποπόταμος). After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common Hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl. Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, the closest living relatives of the Hippopotamidae are cetaceans (Whales, Porpoises, etc.).

Common Hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar-like legs and large size; adults average 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) and 1,300 kg (2,900 lb) for males and females respectively, making them the largest species of land mammal after the three species of Elephants and the White and Indian Rhinoceros.

Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable of running 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances. The Hippopotamus is highly aggressive and unpredictable and is ranked among the most dangerous animals in Africa.

Female Hippos reach sexual maturity at five to six years and have a gestation period of eight months. Baby Hippos are born underwater at a weight between 25 and 50 kg (55 and 110 lb) and an average length of around 127 cm (4.17 ft), and must swim to the surface to take their first breaths. A mother typically gives birth to only one calf, although twins also occur.

The young often rest on their mothers' backs when the water is too deep for them, and they swim under water to suckle. They suckle on land when the mother leaves the water. Weaning starts between six and eight months after birth, and most calves are fully weaned after a year.

Hippopotamus amphibius is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN: “The primary threats to Common Hippos are illegal and unregulated hunting for meat and ivory (found in the canine teeth) and habitat loss. Illegal or unregulated hunting of Common Hippos has been found to be particularly high in areas of civil unrest (Kayanja 1989; Shoumatoff 2000; Hillman Smith et al. 2003). A recent field survey found that Common Hippo populations in DR Congo have declined more than 95% as a result of intense hunting pressure, during more than eight years of civil unrest and fighting (Hillman Smith et al. 2003). Widespread poaching for meat has also been reported from Burundi and Ivory Coast (Associated Press 2003; H. Rainey pers. comm.)...Although it is likely that the majority of the total Common Hippo population occurs in some form of protected area (national park, biosphere, game or forest reserve, sanctuary, conservation area), the proportion of protected Common Hippos likely varies among countries. For countries with a high proportion of Common Hippo populations outside protected areas, the likelihood of persistence is much lower as there is no impediment to hunting or incentive for habitat protection.”

More great pics, below the fold!

 

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Penguin Chick Gets Hatching Help

Pingwin przyl_dkowy 6 Sometimes baby animals need a little help, and that’s exactly what an about-to-hatch African Penguin received at Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw on December 28.

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The Penguin chick, named Janush by keepers, was positioned abnormally inside his egg.  With his head underneath his wing, Janush was unable to turn and push his way out of the egg.  To assist the little chick, keepers removed the egg from the nest and gently extricated Janush from the shell.

Once they knew the tiny chick was stable, keepers tried to place Janush back in the nest with his parents.  Unfortunately, mom and dad were tending another chick that had hatched earlier in the day.  Penguin parents can be quite aggressive when defending their chicks, and keepers were unable to place Janush back in the nest. 

So, keepers took over as Janush’s parents during the first critical days of his life.  Because the chick was still absorbing nutrients from his yolk sac, there was no need to feed him right away, but controlling the temperature was important.  Janush moved to a well-ventilated incubator where he could stay warm.

The next day, keepers began feeding Janush a “milk shake” made from chopped fish and vitamins via a syringe.  Fortunately Janush has a good appetite and doubled his weight in the first week.  He feeds four times a day, and at night he snuggles beside a plush toy in his incubator.  In the morning Janush greets his keepers with loud squeaks to let them know he’s hungry.

In the wild, African Penguins are native to South Africa’s coast and nearby islands.  Because people have harvested so many fish from these waters, there is little left to sustain the Penguin population and the species is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Oil spills have affected the population, and guano mining disturbs nesting sites.  Breeding programs in zoos around the world are an important part of efforts to save African Penguins.


Fennec Fox Kit Surprises Keepers at Zoo Wroclaw

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Just a few days ago, a new Fennec Fox kit ventured outside of the den for the first time at Zoo Wroclaw in Poland! 

The kit was born some time in early June, but keepers aren't sure exactly when, since the kit has stayed inside the den with mom, Tina, until now. 

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The kit is so tiny that he or she could fit in your hand- but Tina definitely wouldn't allow that! So far, zoo keepers have been hands-off, and Tina seems to be doing a great job protecting and nursing her new baby.

Fennec Foxes range from northern Africa to northern Sinai, and are specially adapted to survive harsh desert conditions. The enormous bat-like ears of adult Fennec Foxes provide more than excellent hearing ability: the blood vessels in the ears easily lose heat to the air, helping the foxes to regulate body temperature. Fennec Foxes live in social groups in underground burrows, and are mostly nocturnal, staying out of the hot sun.

Fennec Foxes are very widespread, and are considered a species of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. However, they can be difficult to find and study, so it difficult to assess their population numbers in the wild. 


Precocious Seal Pup Mugs For Cameras at Wroclaw Zoo

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On June 10, Wroclaw Zoo welcomed a female South African Fur Seal. This is the first offspring for the zoo's Seal group and keepers are pleased to report that the pups mother is taking great care of her newborn. Mother and child have been behind the scenes to allow the pair space and time to bond. After two weeks, keepers checked the sex of the pup and administered a medical examination. The female pup is healthy and curious about her surroundings, including her keepers.

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