Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo in Wales has three new Emu chicks to chirp about! Found all over Australia these large flightless birds are instantly recognizable due to their sheer size and their incredible speed. They have been ‘clocked’ at 31mph and can run great distances too, if needs be. Once hunted in the wild for their skin, feathers, meat and oil, these products are now obtained through emu farms. Although not listed as threatened by the IUCN, in Australia’s northern territories they are listed as vulnerable.
Fort Worth Zoo announces name of newest giraffe calf … and maybe, just baby, something more.
FORT WORTH, Texas – After an open call for name suggestions for the Fort Worth Zoo’s newest giraffe calf on its social media pages, the Zoo narrowed down the nearly 500 responses to five contenders and invited the public to vote on their favorite name:
Lucchese – a Texas boot brand; we do live in Cowtown, after all!
Jabali – meaning “strong as a rock” in Swahili
Mwezi – “moon” in Swahili, because the tallest land mammals reach high in the sky
Hickory – standing as tall as this Texas tree
Thor – a superhero name for his super-large size
The Zoo received more than 8,000 votes and an overwhelming majority selected Lucchese! As an iconic Texas boot brand, it fits the newest calf in Cowtown well. How does the saying go? “If the shoe fits!”
Lucchese was born May 7 to parents Kala and Walter. The calf was born weighing 174 pounds and standing more than 6 feet tall. This is Kala’s seventh calf and Walter’s first. The Fort Worth Zoo houses reticulated giraffes, a name that describes the mammal’s chestnut-brown rectangular markings. Like human fingerprints, each giraffe pattern is different. Native to the African savannas, a giraffe’s most distinguishing feature is its long neck, which can account for 7 feet of its height. Lucchese brings the Zoo’s herd to nine.
Lucchese took his first strides in the African Savanna this morning with the rest of the herd. And SURPRISE! There’s another new baby out in the Savanna. Peaches, the lesser kudu calf, was born May 5 to parents Umbrella and Martini. The lesser kudu is an African hoofstock species characterized by its coat consisting of one white line down its back with 11 to 14 stripes branching off. This pattern helps camouflage the kudu in the brush where it lives. The lesser kudu’s large ears capture and funnel sound, which makes it easier for the animal to hear approaching predators. Peaches’ ears are definitely easy to see! She’s sticking pretty close to mom for now, but guests can see both babies romp in the African Savanna on their next visit to the Zoo.
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been voted the No. 1 zoo in North America by USA Today, the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel, the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide, the No. 1 family attraction in the DFW Metroplex by Zagat survey and a Top 10 Zoo or Aquarium by FamilyFun magazine. Home to more than 7,000 animals, the Zoo is in the third of a four-phase, $100-million master plan. The first phase, African Savanna, opened in 2018; the second phase, Elephant Springs, opened in April 2021. The third, Hunters of Africa and Asian Predators, is currently under construction and set to open in 2023. The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second to none, enhancing the lives of more than 1 million visitors a year and the animals that live here.
Fluffy, spiked, and ready to delight: three new faces at Zoo New England are small in stature but big in the cute factor. The arrival of two scaly-sided merganser ducklings at Franklin Park Zoo and a prehensile-tailed porcupette at Stone Zoo have given Zoo staff and guests alike reason to celebrate this spring.
West Midland Safari Park is celebrating the birth of its fourth southern white rhino in five years.
Third-time-mum, Ailsa, gave birth to the male rhino calf during the early hours of Monday 24th May, following a pregnancy of 16 months.
Under the watchful eye of eleven-year-old mum, the little one was given a brief health check by his Keepers who were able to confirm he already weighed in at 74 kilograms (11 and a half stone) and was doing very well.
The baby boy is another triumph for the Park in championing their breeding programme for white rhino. Two-and-a-half-year-old male, Granville, who was born in 2018, was the last white rhino born at the Park, and now has a new baby brother to join him out on the reserves.
Head of Wildlife, Angela Potter, said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome a new white rhino calf. He is a very strong boy and has been growing in confidence settling in well since his birth last week. This is Ailsa’s third time as a mother, and as expected she’s been wonderful – we are very proud of her.
“With each rhino birth we have here at the Park, it’s a fantastic achievement for the European Endangered Species programme. All five species of rhino are decreasing in numbers, and we hope that this birth can continue in helping to bring more attention to the plight of rhino species in the wild.”
White rhinos are the larger of the two African rhino species, they are fairly social animals and live in loose groups in the wild of up to six animals. Their skin is grey in colour and not white, in fact it is no different in colour from black rhinos despite the names!
With wild rhinos continually facing a threat of poaching and habitat loss, the Park are committed to continuing their breeding programme, which works to create a reserve population of these magnificent animals who are listed as near threatened on the IUC red list. At the last count, just over 20,000 wild southern white rhinos remained in South Africa.
Although the new-born is yet to be named, the Park is asking the public to make the final decision from a shortlist of names supplied by their keepers, which will take place next week. The name will begin with ‘J’, as all names of babies born at the Park in 2021 will begin with this letter.
The youngster has already made his first tentative steps into his paddock and will eventually join his brother, Granville, on the Safari Drive-through within the next week.
The new birth now brings the ‘crash’ of southern white rhino at the Safari up to seven. This includes the new arrival’s father, fifteen-year-old Barney, who himself was born at the Park in 2005.
Marwell Zoo is celebrating its latest birth of a threatened Przewalski’s horse foal.
The species became extinct in the wild and became reliant on captive breeding and reintroduction for their survival.
Keepers say the newborn Przewalski’s horse foal is thriving.
Director of Conservation, Dr Tim Woodfine, said: “This birth is a welcome addition to the species’ European Ex situ Programme (EEPs), which is a specially managed assurance population.
Our Przewalski’s horse foal is a reminder that this species disappeared from its natural range but has since been successfully reintroduced.
"Przewalski’s horses had disappeared from the wild by the end of the 1960s. Marwell played a key role on forming a cooperative breeding programme for this species and planning its reintroduction. We since provided animals for reintroduction in Mongolia and Hungary, and for grazing management projects in European nature reserves”.
If you visited BIOPARC Valencia in Spain this morning, you might have witnessed one of the most incredible moments in nature. A new life came into the world right before the eyes of visitors to the Park’s Savannah Exhibit. A Blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) was born to the great surprise and amazement of all present. As if in a "live" documentary, around 11:30 in the morning, one of the females in the herd began to show signs of going into labor. This animal and another of the females were in a reserved area of the enclosure, since the BIOPARC Valencia technical team was watching the evolution of the pregnancy and awaiting the birth. These special precautions are aimed at guaranteeing the welfare of the animals at such a delicate moment.
BIOPARC’s Blesbok group is part of an international breeding program for the preservation of the species and is made up of eight individuals: the reproductive male, four adult females, two young from last year and the newborn. The blesboks coexist in a recreation of the African savannah at BIOPARC with giraffes; peculiar species of birds such as the jabirus, the sacred ibis and the Cape teal; and three other species of antelope: kobos, impalas, and Thomson's gazelles. Blesboks are easily distinguished by the striking white markings on their faces that contrast with the reddish brown of their bodies and by both males and females having long, curved lyre-shaped horns. All this life in the savannah passes under the watchful eye of the lions that observe them from the rocks of the Kopje.
Blesboks are diurnal animals that spend most of the morning and afternoon grazing, and resting at noon and at night. Gestation is about 240 days. They usually have one baby per litter and offspring generally arrive in the last stage of spring in late June or early July. They are included in the red list of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). They were in serious danger of extinction in the 19th century due to widespread hunting, which reduced their population in the wild to only about two thousand individuals. Thanks to conservation efforts, many populations have recovered and today they are in a stable situation.
Raising Iniko, the first baby patas monkey to be hand-reared by humans, has been a challenge for the Rosamond Gifford Zoo since she was born on June 8, 2020. Her mother, Becca, went into renal failure during her birth and Iniko was delivered by emergency C-section. Becca died shortly after, leaving the zoo’s primate team to care for the tiny newborn.
The zoo’s general curator, Dan Meates, and his wife, zookeeper Leisje Meates, stepped up to raise Iniko at their home. For months they bottle fed her every 2 to 3 hours and recorded her every move. It turned out they were pioneering the first recorded instance of a baby patas monkey being raised in human care -- during a pandemic. Leisje Meates named the baby Iniko, which means “born during troubled times.”
The little monkey thrived and won the hearts of CNY and beyond as the zoo shared her story. At 4 months, the Meates started bringing her to the zoo to expand her world and allow others to help raise her. Recently they began the delicate process of introducing her to her biological family, the zoo’s patas monkey troop, a tight group with a complex social structure.
Then things took another troubling turn. Iniko’s father, male patas monkey MJ, passed away. He was being treated for a gastrointestinal illness when his condition worsened in late February. His passing complicates matters, not so much for Iniko as for the troop he led as patriarch. MJ was the overseer and peacekeeper of the troop, which includes his three older daughters and their two “aunties,” Sarah and Addie.
In the wild, patas monkeys form permanent family groups of all females led by one mature male. This lead male may be challenged and replaced by a stronger male on a fairly regular basis. Male offspring of the troop will leave it when they approach maturity to lead their own troop, join an all-male group or remain solitary. Females have their own hierarchy within the troop, which can fluctuate or cause conflicts that will usually be settled by the patriarch.
The absence of a male leader at the zoo leaves its troop rudderless, making it a difficult time to introduce a new young female, said Rosamond Gifford Zoo Director Ted Fox.
“Hand-rearing the first baby patas monkey that we know of has been a total learning experience, and obviously that’s going to continue as we figure out the best way to proceed with integrating Iniko into our troop,” Ted said.
“Fellow AZA institutions will be paying close attention to how this goes, because it has implications for not just patas monkeys, but similar species of primates as well,” he said.
The zoo’s troop of patas monkeys already has a compelling history. The original group, including MJ, Sarah, Addie and Becca, were among 20 patas monkeys rescued from Puerto Rico by the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL, in 2010.
Patas monkeys are native to Africa, but a group brought to Puerto Rico for animal research either escaped or was released and began raiding crops to survive. As a result, they were being targeted for extermination as an invasive species and agricultural pests when the Lowry Park Zoo stepped in.
Five of the monkeys they rescued – MJ plus two adult females and their daughters -- came to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, which opened its patas monkey exhibit in August 2010.
Since then, the zoo has been among only six accredited zoos in North America to care for patas monkeys. AZA institutions share their knowledge to benefit species in their care as well as their wild counterparts, so every new piece of information on this species is relevant.
Dan and Leisje Meates already were writing a scientific paper on what they learned from raising Iniko. They may have another one in their future. Ted said what is known about patas monkeys led them to conclude that a new male will need to join the troop. Introducing a young male to a group of all females will allow him to take over as the new patriarch and the females to resume their former roles.
Right now, the plan is to bring in a new male from another zoo to become the leader and restore stability to the troop. “There are several options for introductions, and we are exploring which might be the most successful for Iniko,” Ted said.
If all goes well, Iniko will be able to meet her sisters and aunties and remain part of the zoo family. If not, she would move to another AZA zoo looking to start a new troop of young patas monkeys.
“Of course we want Iniko to stay here long term, and we’re going to approach this carefully and sensitively in hopes it works out that way,” Fox said. “But we are operating on the animals’ terms, not ours, so they will be the deciding factor. They will help us figure out what’s best for Iniko.”
A Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth born at Brevard Zoo on May 12 is receiving specialized attention from animal care staff after the baby’s mother, Tango, was not interested in looking after the little one, and attempts to reunite the pair were unsuccessful.
The yet-to-be-named newborn, who was fathered by Dustin, is bottle-fed goat’s milk every three hours around the clock.
Because young sloths typically cling to their mothers at this age, the baby was given a variety of stuffed animals to hold.
Zoo staff have not yet identified the sex of the sloth as this will require a laboratory test.
This is the second sloth to arrive at the Zoo this spring. The first was born to Sammy on April 8; that baby is being reared by their mother and is visible to guests in the Rainforest Revealed section of the Zoo.
Sloths are threatened by the wildlife trade and habitat loss. The Zoo urges tourists visiting Central or South America to pass on “photo ops” with sloths, which often feature animals unsustainably removed from their natural habitat.
OKC Zoo’s giraffe matriarch, Ellie, welcomes a male calf, her sixth offspring to be born at the Zoo.
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is thrilled to announce the arrival of an endangered giraffe calf, born to 20-year-old, Ellie. Ellie’s sixth offspring to be born at the Zoo, a male, was born on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 12:01 p.m. at the Zoo’s giraffe habitat barn. The calf, who is yet to be named, is the first to be fathered by four-year-old, Demetri. The Zoo’s youngest giraffe is healthy and strong, and weighs approximately 157 lbs. and stands six-foot one. He will continue to spend time bonding with his mother and herd mates behind the scenes. Ellie’s daughter, Julu, 5, is also pregnant and expected to deliver her first calf soon. It’s been neck and neck between this mother-daughter giraffe duo to see who would give birth first, and Ellie delivered! To view the giraffe birth, click here.
“Witnessing Ellie and Julu experience pregnancy together has been the greatest joy and we’re thrilled to watch our herd grow with the addition of this little calf,” said OKC Zoo’s Curator of Hoofstock and Primates, Tracey Dolphin-Drees. “This birth is critical for the conservation of this endangered species and a true testament to the importance of the Zoo’s involvement in collaborative breeding efforts.”
Ellie arrived at the Zoo in 2008 from the Birmingham Zoo, in Birmingham, Alabama. The calf’s father, Demetri, arrived from the Fossil Rim in Glen Rose, Texas, in 2018, as part of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Giraffe Species Survival PlanTM (SSP). SSPs are cooperative, long-term management programs designed to maintain genetically viable and geographically stable populations of specific species. The Zoo is also home to two-year-old female, Mashamba.
The gestation period for giraffes is approximately 15 months. The average weight for a newborn giraffe is about 150 pounds. Newborns stand within an hour of birth at a height of around six-feet tall. According to giraffe caretakers, Ellie’s water broke around 10:40 a.m. and she was in active labor until the calf’s birth at 12:01 p.m. By 1:13 p.m. the calf was standing and attempting to nurse.
Native to East and South Africa, giraffes are currently listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. There are approximately 111,000 giraffes remaining in the wild, an almost 40% decline since the 1980s. This population decline is caused by illegal poaching and habitat destruction. The Zoo has contributed to giraffe conservation for decades by supporting the Northern Rangelands Trust and the Giraffe Conservation Fund, as well as becoming a member of AZA’s Giraffe Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) partner organization in 2018.
Weather depending, Ellie and her calf will have access to the giraffe habitat yard over the weekend. The Zoo’s giraffe feeding experience will be tentative for the time being. Follow the Zoo’s social channels for updates about our growing giraffe family.
Love these gentle giants as much as we do? Save the Date for the Zoo’s World Giraffe Day celebration on Monday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru. Guests will enjoy information stations, biofacts, activities, photo opportunities and more.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is currently in its summer hours and open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at www.okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over.
Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.
Success is more than 10 years in the making for first-time parents Amana and Anubis
Zoo Atlanta is celebrating an exciting first in its history: the hatching of an endangered lappet-faced vulture chick. The chick is the first offspring of parents Amana and Anubis and represents a success more than 10 years in the making for this pair.
Male Anubis, 16, has lived at Zoo Atlanta since 2008. In 2010, Anubis was joined by female Amana, now 18 years old, on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Lappet-faced Vulture Species Survival Plan® (SSP). Prior to this hatching, the pair has had many unsuccessful breeding attempts and over a period of eight years, has produced 12 infertile eggs, making the chick’s arrival an achievement for both its parents and for the team responsible for their care.
“The birth of an endangered species is always an occasion for celebration, but this hatching represents a particular success for Zoo Atlanta,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “We are always thrilled to see first-time animal parents succeed. This is also a testament to the enormous commitment of our Bird Team, who have worked over a period of many years to provide opportunities and innovations to help this pair flourish.”
Nest-building is vital to maintaining pair bonds between lappet-faced vultures, so it was essential that Amana and Anubis had every opportunity to engage in this activity. The Bird Team constructed a nesting platform within the vultures’ indoor area, where it would be protected from the elements, and provided twigs and sticks on a daily basis for selection by the birds. The vultures added to and completed the nest over a period of around five months, and shortly thereafter, produced two eggs, both of which were infertile; the third and last egg of the season proved fertile.
Because Amana and Anubis were inexperienced parents, the Bird Team removed the egg to an artificial incubator and replaced it on the nest with a “dummy” egg that would allow the vultures to continue to engage in the important behavior of incubation. The chick hatched 54 days later on April 24, and following 10 days of hand-rearing by the team as a precaution, was reintroduced to its parents. Amana and Anubis continue to provide appropriate care, and the chick is healthy and is gaining weight as expected.
The hatching represents a crucial success for a species in need of conservation action. Currently classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), lappet-faced vultures are primarily threatened by poisoning, both intentional and accidental, and by collisions with human-made structures – challenges shared by many of their fellow African vulture species. Despite the critical roles they play in their ecosystems, African vulture species have declined by more than 80% in just the past three decades. Zoo Atlanta is a member of the AZA African Vulture SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) Program, which works to save species by focusing the collective expertise of accredited zoos and aquariums.
Although the chick is not yet visible at the Zoo, guests can go behind the scenes for highlights of the efforts leading up to its hatching and insights into its care with a special social media takeover by the Bird Team, happening throughout the day on Thursday, June 3, on Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram.