Zoo Wroclaw

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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Hip Hippo Hooray!

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On September 8th, Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a baby Pygmy Hippopotamus. This is the third calf for parents Elpunia and Carlos. The female calf stays close to her mother and has been seen trying to eat veggies and leaves. According to zoo officials, the small but fearless hippo took a bath in a swimming pool during her first day of life. Pygmy Hippos are endangered due to habitat destruction. It is estimated that fewer than 3,000 remain in the wild.

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Photo credit: Marcin Matuszak / Zoo Wroclaw