Brookfield, Ill. — Things are really hopping at Brookfield Zoo—with wallabies that is. Three Bennett’s wallaby moms---Becky, Marion, and Talia—all gave birth to joeys in late 2020.
It is difficult to determine the exact date of a wallaby’s birthdate. When born, a joey is about the size of a bumblebee and weighs less than 0.03 ounces. Babies are born blind and hairless and migrate from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch without being noticed. There, they remain for approximately 280 days.
Becky’s joey, born approximately on October 31, 2020, spends the majority of its time outside of mom’s pouch. The youngest of the three joey’s was born to Talia around December 1, 2020, and has recently begun to emerge from its mom’s pouch and explore.
The third joey, a female named Whitney, was born November 12, 2020, and is being handreared, because her mom, Marion, required medical treatment. Out of an abundance of caution, veterinary staff determined it was in the best interest of both animals to remove the joey from Marion’s pouch.
Once Whitney is weaned from a bottle and more independent, she will be reunited with her mom and the rest of the wallabies, including the two joeys, at Hamill Family Wild Encounters. Until then, to keep Whitney socialized and active, animal care staff regularly take her outdoors to get plenty of exercise and sunshine. When not outside, she hangs out in a hand-sewn pouch that her caretakers carry while performing their tasks throughout the day. She seems to enjoy poking her head out and watching all the activity going on around her.
Wallabies, which inhabit coastal areas, woodlands, and grasslands in Australia, are marsupials—mammals best known for their abdominal pouches. There are more than 270 different marsupial species found around the world. Wallabies have a stable population in their range. However, they are sometimes killed as an agricultural pest and hunted for their meat. Fully grown, wallabies can reach up to 3 feet in height and weigh between 24 to 59 pounds, depending on the gender. Wallabies are hardy all-weather animals. In warmer temperatures, they lick their arms and hands, which causes their saliva to evaporate, cooling them off.
Those interested in helping care for the Bennett’s wallabies at Brookfield Zoo can contribute to the Animal Adoption program. For $35, a recipient receives the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph of a wallaby, a personalized certificate of adoption, a Bennett’s wallaby fact sheet, and an Animal Adoption program decal. To purchase, visit www.CZS.org/AnimalAdoption.
TULSA, Okla. – A female Malayan tiger cub is doing well after being born at the Tulsa Zoo earlier this month. The announcement comes on International Tiger Day.
The cub was born on July 11, 2021, to mother, Ava, and father, Tahan, through Tulsa Zoo’s ongoing participation in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). This program works to ensure a sustainable population of these animals in our care. Malayan Tigers are native to the Malay Peninsula, and are the national animal of Malaysia, but there are fewer than 250 in the wild due to threats such as habitat loss and poaching.
This is the first sloth born at BPZOO in its 127-year history.
New Bedford, Massachusetts: They say the best things come to those who wait – and after waiting approximately 11.5 months, there is a baby sloth at BPZOO! Born on June 22, 2021 to first time parents, 12-year-old female Sandy and 20-year-old male, Bernardo, this Hoffman’s two-toed sloth baby is the first to ever be born at BPZOO in its 127-year history.
Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 27, 2021) – As any parent knows, kids tend to do whatever you least expect. In the case of an endangered Four-eyed Turtle hatchling at the Tennessee Aquarium, however, merely existing was — in itself — a huge surprise.
On July 11, a volunteer was tending an enclosure in a backup area of the River Journey building. This habitat was only supposed to house an endangered female Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata), but the volunteer soon discovered that the adult turtle wasn’t alone. Perched atop a layer of vegetation was a tiny hatchling that, by all accounts, shouldn’t even have been there.
“The adult female hadn’t been with a male in over a year, so we did not check to see if she had laid this year,” says Bill Hughes, the Aquarium’s herpetology coordinator. “To say the least, finding an egg, let alone a hatchling, was unexpected.”
Hughes says females of some turtle species have been documented to store sperm until conditions favor fertilization. This adaptation may be behind the unexpected hatching, but at the moment, the tiny turtle’s origins remain a mystery.
The baby Four-eyed joins another that hatched on June 10 from an egg husbandry staff were aware of and had been monitoring. The first hatchling emerged from an egg laid on April 15. Both are eating and doing well.
Since 2007, the Aquarium has successfully hatched 47 Four-eyed Turtles, which are so named for the distinctive eye-like markings on the back of their heads. Found only in mountainous streams and ponds in Southeast Asian, this species has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2000, thanks to over-collection in the wild and habitat loss.
“These turtles fall under a Species Survival Plan that I manage,” says Hughes, who also oversees a program managing the closely related, critically endangered Beal’s Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia bealei). “Increasing their population is a long-term goal, so every hatchling is a step further in the right direction.”
Visitors to the Aquarium can see adorable examples of Four-eyed and Beal’s Four-eyed Turtles in the hatchling nursery of River Journey’s Turtles of the World gallery.
But tiny turtles aren’t the only recent arrivals at the Aquarium.
On June 24, the Aquarium celebrated the arrival of a Gentoo Penguin chick in the Penguins’ Rock gallery. It began the herculean task of leaving its egg two days earlier on June 22, when animal care specialists first saw its beak and heard its squeaking vocalizations. This fuzzy newcomer is the offspring of Flower (mom) and Blue (dad), a newly minted pair of veteran parents.
During a routine veterinary checkup the day after it hatched, the chick weighed 132 grams — about 4.5 ounces. After a month of attentive care by its parents and close observation by Aquarium staff, the formerly tiny, peeping ball of fluff now weighs 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds), an increase of more than 1,800 percent. If a human child were to grow at the same rate, a newborn weighing seven pounds at birth would tip the scales at 127 pounds four weeks later.
Size isn’t the only thing that’s bigger about the chick, though, says Loribeth Lee, the Aquarium’s senior aviculturist.
“For the first two weeks, it was pretty mellow, just looking around and studying everything,” Lee says. “Once two weeks hit, though, it developed a strong personality and loves to yell and slap at anything that moves too close!”
At the moment, the chick is still being fed by its parents, but Aquarists plan to begin hand-feeding it solid food in the next two weeks. Visitors to the Aquarium can observe the chick in its nest, which is encircled by clear acrylic panels, for the next six to seven weeks, when it will be old enough to join the rest of the colony. Its gender will remain unknown, pending the results of a routine blood test in November.
To keep tabs on the Aquarium’s Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins, digital visitors can watch a live video feed of the Penguins’ Rock gallery at tnaqua.org/live/penguins-rock/.
Elsewhere in the Ocean Journey building, a trio of juvenile Long-spine Porcupinefish (Diodon holocanthus) are being raised in a culturing facility near the Aquarium’s Secret Reef exhibit.
Despite only being as large as a thumbnail, these two-month-old pufferfish are dead ringers for their round-bodied, spine-covered parents. Under the care of aquarists and a steady diet of brine shrimp, they’re gradually increasing in size like balloons inflating in slow motion.
Once large enough — likely this fall —they’ll be placed on display in the Aquarium’s new larval fish exhibit in the Ocean Journey building.
The fish are the offspring of five adults housed in an off-campus care facility. Eggs collected from this facility were taken to the Aquarium, which has been conducting pioneering work into raising marine fish in-house since early 2017. Eventually, the adults will be brought to Ocean Journey to join the bustling aquatic community of the Secret Reef exhibit.
Whatever their age, there’s no denying the charisma Long-spine Porcupinefish exude, says Senior Aquarist Kyle McPheeters.
“These are definitely one of the cutest fish we work with, especially as babies,” he says. “But even the adults have a really outgoing personality and a very expressive face.”
Humphrey the koala joey was born to mum Willow and is estimated to be just over 12 months old
Koala joeys stay in their mother’s pouch for up to 6 months, it is only from around that age that they begin to emerge and attach themselves to their mother’s back
Humphrey is the first koala joey born at Taronga Zoo Sydney in over a year
This is mum Willow’s fifth joey, she is a remarkable mum and has been invaluable in contributing to Taronga’s Koala breeding program
Humphrey is far too big for mums pouch now, but as you can see does enjoy a cuddle or two or a ride on mums back
Humphrey is growing in confidence every day and hitting milestones like developing the strength the jump from branch to branch within his exhibit
Although Taronga is currently closed, guests can tune in to Tarongatv.com to get their daily dose of animal antics!
Every day until the end of lockdown, Taronga TV will be pumping out a packed schedule of amazing animal content, including keeper talks, live animal streams and exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks to showcase what the animals get up to behind closed doors
At last we can see her! About two weeks ago (July 10th) Tana, a 12-year-old Sumatran Orangutan at The Zoological Center Ramat Gan in Israel gave birth to a sweet little baby.
For many days it was almost impossible to see the baby, as mom held her close to her body and she "disappeared" in her long ginger fur.
Now as the baby is a bit bigger and mom more confident, we can get a glimpse of the adorable baby. Now mother and baby enjoy some peace and quiet while keepers keep a close eye.
The baby's father is male Rachamim, who will be celebrating its 11th birthday on July 31st. He is the last Orangutan born here at the zoo to his elderly parents Rochale and Mushon. His mother died when he was only 7 year old.
Soon after, Satu and Tana, two females, arrived from zoos in Germany to join Mushon and Rachamim at Ramat Gan to continue contributing to the Sumatran Orangutan breeding program.
Mushon did not manage to breed with the two. It may have been that he was too old. He died in 2018 at the age of 50.
As Rachamim grew older he got closer with Tana and finally we can see the sweet results of the bond between the two.
Tana is taking good care of her baby despite the fact that this is her first birth and she lacks experience. She is reluctant to get into her night chamber so the keepers throw food and water bottles for her into the exhibit. Both mother and baby look good and healthy.
During Tana's pregnancy we at the zoo experienced two major dramas:
During the last missile attacks Israel endured in May, a missile landed in the Zoo. Luckily it fell between the Orangutan exhibit and the Sulawesi Crested Macaques. One female Macaque was hit by a shrapnel in her back. She was hurried to the operation room and thankfully fully recovered. The exhibits however were damaged by the missile and had to be renovated. This month the Orangutan exhibit re-opened. That’s when the second drama took place. Tana and Mushon were very curious about the new plants in the exhibit and managed to climb and go out of the exhibit. Mushon went in when called, but Tana went up a tree with the baby. The vets were lifted to the tree top with firefighters’ assistance and managed to dart Tana and take her off the tree, back to the night chambers with the baby. That is also how the Zoo knows that the baby is a girl.
After such eventful times Ramat Gan officials are happy to see the mother and baby relaxing in the exhibit. We are delighted for this important addition to the European breeding program, as the critically endangered Orangutans really need our help!
The baby girl still does not have a name. According to tradition, her name should start with the letter T. any ideas?
South Bend, IN (Monday, July 26, 2021) – The Potawatomi Zoo is excited to announce the birth of two female red panda cubs, born on June 17, 2021, to mother Maiya, age 7, and father Justin, age 9. This breeding was part of a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP).
Zoo staff watched the first few hours of the cubs’ lives from closed-circuit cameras while first-time mother Maiya got used to caring for them. In order to give Maiya a quieter, less stressful space, the red panda habitat was blocked from public access, and Justin was moved to another area behind the scenes.
In the first twenty-four hours, Zoo staff weighed the cubs and determined that one was smaller than the other and seemed to have respiratory difficulty. After discussion with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, the decision was made to remove the smaller cub to be hand-reared by animal care staff and leave the larger cub with Maiya. The goal is to eventually reintroduce the smaller cub to Maiya, once it has gained weight and seems to be strong enough.
Within the last three weeks, both cubs have gained weight and seem to be thriving. The Zoo is cautiously optimistic, although the mortality rate for red panda cubs is nearly 50% and even higher for hand-reared cubs.
Breeding season for red pandas is between January and March. They can have one to four offspring. In the wild, red pandas give birth in tree hollows. At the Zoo, Maiya’s nest box was adapted to be smaller to better fit this natural instinct.
Red panda cubs are born with their eyes and ears closed; they open within three weeks. At birth, red panda cubs are grey and wooly. Their reddish guard hairs start to appear after two weeks.
Red pandas are indigenous to a narrow geographical area stretching across the eastern Himalayas and southern China. Their physical structure, like their thick coat and furred feet, as well as their low metabolic rate, make them well-adapted to cool-weather environments. Red pandas are part of the order Carnivora due to their digestive system structure, although because of their natural environment, the species has adapted to largely consuming bamboo and shoots.