Zoo Wroclaw

Zoo Wroclaw Welcomes First Manatee Calf

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Zoo Wroclaw has been preparing for the arrival of their new Manatee calf since this past November, when it was confirmed their female was expecting.

After consultation with other zoos, keepers at Wroclaw installed a special pen in their Manatee pool. They also stocked-up on special milk formula in preparation for the possibility that new mother, Ling, might have difficulty bonding with the calf.

When Ling’s labor began on March 3rd, staff members at Zoo Wroclaw were more than prepared for the new arrival. The little female entered the world at 10:41 a.m., and the Zoo managed to capture the beautiful scene on video.

According to keepers, right after birth, the female measured about 115 cm, and weighed about 20 kg.

The new Manatee calf is the first of her kind to be born at Wroclaw, so her caretakers opted to give her a fitting name—Lavia (from the word Vratislavia).

The Zoo’s prenatal preparations proved beneficial when it became apparent to keepers that Ling was not nursing her new calf as they had hoped. Staff began utilizing the special formula soon after the calf was born.

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4_DSC_2123Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals (also known as “sea cows”). They are found in the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (Trichechus manatus, West Indian manatee), the Amazon basin (T. inunguis, Amazonian manatee), and West Africa (T. senegalensis, West African manatee).

Manatees are classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. Because they are large, slow-moving animals that frequent costal waters, they are vulnerable to hunters seeking their hides, oil, and bones. They are often accidentally hit by motorboats and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets. Due to their threatened status, captive breeding in zoos plays an important role in manatee conservation. According to Zoo Wroclaw, these docile giants live in only 19 zoological gardens in the world, including 10 in Europe.

Each calf born is treasured, and each Manatee birth is a celebrated stepping-stone to the survival of the species.

(More pics below the fold!)

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New Dik-dik Is Music to Zoo Wroclaw’s Ears

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The months of February and March are traditionally the time of the year when Zoo Wroclaw welcomes new Dik-dik offspring. True to fashion, new mom, Lenonka, welcomed a female calf on February 26.

According to the Zoo’s tradition, newborns are given a music related name.

Because of their shared characteristic of blonde hair, the new Dik-dik is being called “Lady G” (a nod to Lady Gaga).

Zoo management has allowed the keepers a bit of creativity with the selection of names for the new births. As a result, Zoo Wroclaw is proud to relate that they are home to Elvis, Eminem, Lennon, Limahl, Loreen, and now Lady G!

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4_DSC00006 Ojciec Fedreiko i Matka LeonkaPhoto Credits: Zoo Wroclaw / Image 4: new parents, Federiko and Lenonka / Image 5: new mom, Lenonka / Image 6: dad, Federiko

Kirk’s Dik-diks have made their home at Zoo Wroclaw since 2014. The Zoo’s most known member of the herd is Lady G’s father, Federiko. Keepers state he is almost always in a location within the exhibit that is visible to the public, as if he is guarding the rest of the herd.

Kirk's Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) is a small antelope native to Eastern Africa and one of four species of Dik-dik antelope. Dik-diks are herbivores and are typically of a fawn color that aids in camouflaging in savannah habitats.

The unique name is derived from its call. When threatened, Dik-diks lay low. If discovered, they run in a swift zigzag until finding another safe hiding spot. During this time, they are known to emit a call that sounds like “zik-zik” and is intended to raise an alarm.

The lifespan of Kirk's Dik-dik in the wild is typically 5 to 10 years. In captivity, males have been known to live up to 16 to 18 years.

The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They have many natural enemies in the wild: leopards, cheetahs, jackals, baboons, eagles, and pythons.

However, the biggest threat awaits them from the human side. Not only are they hunted for use of their meat and bone, but they are also hunted for the production of leather. It has been said that at least two individual Dik-diks must be slaughtered to produce as little as one pair of leather gloves.

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Zoo Wroclaw Waits Ten Years for Banteng Calf

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On February 19, Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a charming new Banteng. The calf is the first of its kind born at Wroclaw in almost ten years!

The little Banteng is also a member of a species that is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. According to estimates, wild populations have decreased by 80% in the last few decades, and there are believed to be only 4,000 to 8,000 individuals remaining in Asia.

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4_DSC00002-001Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as “tembadau”, is a species of wild cattle native to Southeastern Asia.

The Banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, measuring 1.55 to 1.65 m (5 ft 1 in to 5 ft 5 in) tall at the shoulder and 2.45–3.5 m (8 ft 0 in–11 ft 6 in) in length.

In males, the coat is often dark chestnut in color, while females and the young exhibit a lighter chestnut with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, while the horns of males arc up.

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Baby Giraffe Joins the Tower at Zoo Wroclaw

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On October 24, Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a female Reticulated Giraffe to their tower (a herd of Giraffes is called a tower).

The baby, named Irma, stood just under six feet tall at birth, and is the tallest of all the babies born at the zoo to date.  Irma’s parents are Imara, the mom, and Rafiki, the father. Two other young females, named Nala and Shani, also live in the tower.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Wroclaw

Like all Giraffes, Irma was born while her mother was standing up. The baby dropped six feet to the ground and soon afterward was standing and nursing. The standing birth and the minimal time the baby spends on the ground are essential to survival in the wild, where a newborn baby could be targeted by predators.

Giraffes were once plentiful across Africa, but today the nine subspecies live in fragmented populations, and many of those populations are declining. As a whole, Giraffes are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, due to illegal hunting and degradation of their habitat. Only about 80,000 Giraffes are estimated to remain today.  Zoo breeding programs are an important part of the species’ future.

See more photos of Irma below.

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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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4_2017-06-29 (81)Photo Credits: Zoo Wroclaw 

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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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DSC02260Photo Credit: Zoo Wroclaw

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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4_17796774_10155198544934719_2576291454719781431_nPhoto Credits: Zoo Wroclaw/Pawlik

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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DSC02317Photo Credit:  Zoo Wroclaw

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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