ZooParc de Beauval

Otter Pups Stick With Mom at Zoo de Beauval

1467327_995943487097264_3458600998992635807_nFrance’s ZooParc de Beauval is celebrating the arrival of three Asian Small-clawed Otter pups!  The trio was born to female Suri, who is providing excellent care.

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10924731_995943517097261_4268978560641731147_nPhoto Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

As their name implies, these Otters have short claws, which is a helpful adaptation.  With short claws, they can more easily manipulate their prey, mainly crabs, mollusks, and fish. 

The smallest of the world’s 13 Otter species, Asian Small-clawed Otters live in family groups.  Pups remain in the nest until their eyes open at about 40 days old.  Otters are not born knowing how to swim – their mothers have to teach them, often by plunging them underwater.  Suri will soon introduce her pups to a life of swimming and hunting. 

Asian Small-clawed Otters are native to southern China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and are usually found near lakes, rivers, and wetlands.  In parts of Southeast Asia, these Otters roam through flooded rice fields.  They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Meet the Manatee Calf at ZooParc de Beauval

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On April 24, France’s ZooParc de Beauval welcomed a male Manatee who weighed 55 pounds at birth!  The not-so-little baby will spend the next two years living with his mother, Femore, in the zoo’s tropical exhibit. 

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10390110_837133642978250_6056935410077492482_nPhoto Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

Manatees are the world’s only herbivorous aquatic mammals.  At the zoo, the Manatees collectively eat more than 500 pounds of vegetables each day.  Their favorites?  Lettuce and potatoes.  In the wild, Manatees feed on underwater grasses.  They live only in warm coastal waters and inland marshes. 

All three species of Manatees (South American, West Indian, and West Africa) are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  People are the main threat to Manatees, through collisions with boat propellers, toxic algae blooms, pollution, and entanglement in fishing gear.

The birth of this Manatee calf is important to the European Breeding Program. 

See more photos below.

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Tiny Tapir Born at ZooParc de Beauval

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Photo Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

France’s ZooParc de Beauval welcomed a male Brazilian Tapir calf on November 12.  The calf, which has not yet been named, was born to experienced mother Florales.

Like all Brazilian Tapir calves, this little one has a dappled coat, which helps provide camouflage in the rain forest.  Once he reaches eight to nine months of age, he will develop the solid-colored coat of an adult tapir. 

Tapirs have an elongated, flexible proboscis which can move in all directions.  It is used to grab leaves and shoots that may otherwise be out of reach. 

Brazilian Tapirs, also known as Lowland or South American Tapirs, are born with white spots and stripes which act as camouflage in the wild, mimicking the dappled sunlight on the forest floor. These markings will disappear by the time the calves are about six months old. These animals are most active during the night and are found in the tropics of South and Central America. Tapirs have a short trunk, which they use to grab branches and leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. They feed in the morning and evening. They are excellent swimmers and can dive to feed on aquatic plants.

Brazilian Tapirs are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, due to deforestation and hunting.