Female White Rhino for Dubbo Zoo

1_White Rhino calf - 5 days old

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed a female White Rhino calf!

The calf was born, behind-the-scenes, in the early hours of August 18 to mother, Mopani, at 16 months gestation. The new baby weighed in at 74kgs.

“The calf required some initial veterinary assistance over the first two days of her life, but being a very strong calf went from strength to strength,” said Keeper Supervisor Pascale Benoit.

“The calf is the third offspring for experienced mother Mopani, sired by White Rhino bull, Khulu who sadly passed away earlier this year. This birth heralds another breeding achievement for the rhino conservation breeding programs at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” said Pascale.

Pascale continued, “The team is thrilled to welcome another precious White Rhino. Being a female, this little one will one day play an important role in the regional breeding program, hopefully creating a new genetic bloodline.”

2_IMG_2179

3_IMG_2183

4_0H0A4575Photo Credits: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Both Mopani and her calf are now on exhibit, along with two other females in the herd. Mopani is a very protective and caring mother and has bonded well with her calf. She is taking motherhood in her stride again.

“We are really proud of Mopani and the maternal behaviors we are observing. She is very protective of her calf and is keeping the other herd members at a distance at present,” said Pascale.

NSW Environment Minister, Matt Kean, thanked all the zoo staff for their incredible care for the new calf, as well as all the animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“With about 19,000 White Rhinos left in the wild, every rhino birth is vital. It shows how critical the conservation work undertaken by Taronga is – not just for rhinos but our native animals that are also under threat. These conservation efforts wouldn’t be possible without the dedication from zoo staff.”

The White Rhino calf is yet to be named. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is planning to run a naming competition on its Facebook page to help find a name for the newest member of the White Rhino herd.

Taronga actively supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India, including providing funds and support for habitat and reforestation, anti-poaching and rhino protection units and reduction of human-animal conflict. Taronga is also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

5_0H0A4617

6_0H0A4688

7_IMG_2177

8_IMG_5256


Paradise Park Hatches First Caribbean Flamingo

1_Flamingo chick with egg at Paradise Park in Hayle  Cornwall

Staff at Paradise Park are thrilled at the hatching of their first Caribbean Flamingo chick!

Director Alison Hales commented, “We love our flamingo group, and were delighted when two eggs were laid this summer. However one egg was infertile and then the second pair stopped incubating about a week too early. Keepers decided to put the egg in an incubator, not knowing if it would hatch, but within days the egg started chirping! The chick hatched successfully on 19th August – it’s early days but, so far, it’s growing well on two-hourly feeds of a special ‘fish soup’ prepared by Keeper Becky.”

2_Day 13 Flamingo chcik Derek reached 202g at Paradise Park Cornwall

3_Day 14 Flamingo chick is about 35 cm tall Paradise Park Cornwall

4_Feeding Flamingo chick on day 3 at Paradise Park  HaylePhoto Credits: Paradise Park

Keeper Becky Waite explained, “We are so excited to have a Caribbean Flamingo chick. Our flock was very small until last summer, when five arrived from Slimbridge Wetland Centre. With a bigger flock size, we were in a stronger position to achieve breeding success. One pair did lay an egg earlier in the summer, which sadly was not fertile. But this did trigger the flock to build nests. The shallow pond area is an ideal location as the mud is the perfect building material.”

Becky continued, “Both parents were hatched at Chester Zoo in July 2002, so are 17-years-old. They came to Paradise Park in 2004. This egg was laid on 20th July and hatched on 19th August, so took 31 days to incubate. Due to the parents having stopped incubating the egg a few days before it was due to hatch, we stepped in and put the egg in an incubator. For the first few days, I am feeding the chick every two hours between 6am and 10pm.”

Flamingos form strong pair bonds, and just one egg is laid, with both male and female feeding the chick on a special ‘crop milk’. They are long-lived birds that can reach the age of 40, and are able to breed starting from age six.

Paradise Park would like visitors to note that, at this time, the chick is not on display.

Check with Paradise Park’s website for ‘Flamingo Chick Updates’: www.paradisepark.org.uk/flamingo-chick-update/  

More adorable pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Paradise Park Hatches First Caribbean Flamingo" »


New Ibex Kids Explore at Hellabrunn Zoo

1_Alpine Ibex_Hellabrunn_2019_Daniela Hierl (2)

The Alpine Ibex enclosure at Hellabrunn Zoo gained two new members…Trapattoni and Theo. Born in late May and June, the two kids are said to be enthusiastically exploring the rocky terrain in their exhibit.

2_Alpine Ibex_Hellabrunn_2019_Daniela Hierl (3)

3_Alpine Ibex_Hellabrunn_2019_Daniela Hierl (1)

4_Alpine Ibex_Hellabrunn_2019_Daniela Hierl (5)Photo Credits: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Daniela Hierl

Within just one hour after birth, an Alpine Ibex kid is able to follow its mother on rock cliffs. As they grow, so will their horns, which will reach over 1 meter long by the time they become adults. Large and backwards-curving, male horns are used to defend their territory and compete for the right to breed with available females. During fight rituals a male will challenge his rival by rearing up on his hind legs and using his horns to ram his opponent with great force.

It will still be a while before the young Ibex at Hellabrunn are ready to assert their authority, but visitors will be able to see them practicing with their horns, which at present are only a few centimeters long.

"A visit to the Alpine Ibex enclosure is definitely worthwhile,” said Rasem Baban, zoological director at Hellabrunn Zoo. “It’s always interesting to watch the little kids test their courage and try new things."

In the mid-19th century, the Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex) was on the verge of extinction, primarily due to the demand for their curved horns and fur as coveted hunting trophies. Less than 100 individuals remained, at that time, and were only to be found in the Gran Paradiso National Park in northern Italy. The population has since recovered thanks to conservation efforts over the years. Today, the species is no longer classified as endangered.

There are currently five populations of Alpine Ibex in Germany, including the regions of Bayrischzell, the Allgäu Alps, and the Benediktenwand.

Hellabrunn Zoo is currently home to nine Alpine Ibex. In addition to the two kids and their mothers, there are four more females and one breeding male.

The Alpine Ibex enclosure at the Zoo is located halfway between the Isar entrance and the new Mühlendorf village.


Lion Cubs Roar Into Woburn Safari

69030329_10156787017053877_2443900296242397184_n

Woburn Safari Park announced the arrival of two African Lion cubs, which were born to parents Zuri and Joco in late July. The cubs spend most of their time in the den with their mother but are expected to move into the Lion exhibit later this month.

69871504_10156813993118877_6621233746584535040_n
Lion Cubs close up photo Aug 2019Photo Credit: Woburn Safari Park

Keepers have already spotted the youngsters playing with each other and with their mom’s tail and they are looking stronger on their legs every day. Born weighing just over two pounds each, the cubs will begin to be weaned from their mother onto meat at around 10-12 weeks old and will be fully weaned by the time they are 6-8 months old.

Lioness Zuri, 5, is extremely protective of her new young, and naturally can become aggressive if disturbed. Keepers prepared for the birth by creating a secluded den in one compartment of the Lion house for Zuri and her cubs, so they can enjoy bonding in a quiet, private area. In the wild, a Lioness will give birth and keep her cubs in a den of thick dense cover, like acacia bushes, so keepers have tried to replicate this environment as much as possible.

Keepers are feeding Zuri five days out of every seven, monitoring how much she eats each day to decide when she is fed. Normally the Lions are fed large meals every four days to mimic wild hunting patterns, including feast days and fast periods.

Craig Lancaster, Team Leader for Carnivores at Woburn Safari Park, said, “It’s hugely exciting to have new Lion cubs at the Park and we are so pleased that they seem to be settling in so well. They aren’t crying a lot and are already looking chunky and healthy, which indicates that they are feeding well and are content in their surroundings.

“The public will be able to view the cubs in the side pen after all their vaccinations are up to date in late September. We will ensure the vets are happy with their progress before they are moved into the main Lion enclosure later on in the year.”

Once ranging across most of Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia, Lions have suffered drastic population declines in the past 50 years. Most of the 20,000-50,000 Lions remaining in Africa reside in protected areas such as parks and reserves. Tourism, and the revenue it creates, is a strong incentive for Lion conservation. These majestic Cats are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

 


Red Panda Triplets Born at Virginia Zoo

Virginia Zoo Red Panda 4

The Virginia Zoo announced the birth of triplet Red Panda cubs to Masu, a three-year-old female, and four-year-old dad Timur. The three cubs, two males and one female, were born off-exhibit at the Zoo’s Animal Wellness Campus on June 18, 2019. Red Panda cubs weigh approximately five ounces at birth, and by two months of age, the cubs each weighed just over one pound. The zoo announced the births in late August.

Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2
Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2
Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2Photo Credit: Virginia Zoo

“Having Red Panda triplets is a unique situation,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “It’s a lot of work for mom to care for three newborns, but Masu is doing a great job caring for the triplets and all three have been thriving.”

Masu, who had her first litter of cubs last year, gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs in this quiet environment. The den is not viewable by zoo guests and is monitored by Zoo Keepers and Animal Care Staff. Red Panda cubs typically remain in the nest with mom for about three months, even in the wild.

Masu and the cubs will move back to the Red Panda exhibit later this fall when Keepers feel the little ones can confidently navigate the trees and other exhibit features.

“Our Animal Care team had a great strategy last year in moving Masu to the Animal Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant, providing privacy for her first birth experience. She took great care of her cubs last year, which is why we opted to do the same thing again this time around,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo.

The zoo auctioned naming rights for the cubs, but they have not yet announced the names.

Red Pandas are tree-dwelling animals found in forested mountain habitat in Myanmar, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet and China. While they share the same name as Giant Pandas, the two species are not closely related. Red Pandas are the only living member of their taxonomic family. Slightly larger than a domestic Cat and with markings similar to a Raccoon, Red Pandas have soft, dense reddish-brown and white fur. They feed mainly on bamboo, but also eat plant shoots, leaves, fruit and insects. Red Pandas are shy and solitary except when mating or raising offspring.

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding due to isolated populations contribute to the decline. There are fewer than 10,000 mature individuals estimated to remain in the wild.

 


White Rhino Calf Born at Royal Burgers’ Zoo

1_Newborn-rhino-3

On August 15, a White Rhinoceros calf was born at Royal Burgers’ Zoo. According to keepers, the young bull calf is in good health.

Since 2002, the Arnhem zoo has been remarkably successful at breeding Rhinoceros: as many as ten Rhinos have been born in the capital of the province of Gelderland, including one stillbirth. A total of 269 White Rhinoceros live in European zoos: 116 bulls and 153 cows. On average, only ten are born each year in Europe.

2_Newborn-rhino-2

3_Newborn-rhino-1Photo Credits: Royal Burgers' Zoo

According to the Zoo, there are several factors that create challenges for breeding success. Not all adult Rhino bulls are fertile, and Rhinoceros cows often develop cysts in the uterine horns. As a result, the sperm can no longer reach the egg, or the egg cannot come loose from the ovary. The cysts can also block the egg from passing through the fallopian tube, or the fertilized egg from nestling in the uterine wall. Young cows being hormonally suppressed by their mothers is another problem zoos face. In this situation, the young cows only become fertile after being transferred to another zoo, which lifts the oppression.

Of the five Rhinoceros species alive today, the White Rhinoceros (also known as ‘Square-lipped Rhinoceros’) has the most social behavior. Whereas the other four Rhino species live in solitude and only temporarily visit each other during mating season, Square-lipped Rhinoceros live in small herds of adult cows and their young. As a rule, the cows in these herds are closely related. The bulls live alone and demarcate their territory by depositing dung piles along the borders as scent flags.

To ensure successful breeding of Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), it is beneficial, given their natural behavior and social group structure, for the animals to have plenty of space at their disposal, so that they can avoid each other or, on the contrary, visit each other. In Arnhem, the breeding bull lives a more or less solitary life, usually avoiding the company of the cows and their young. In the mating season, the bull will seek contact. Burgers’ Zoo has a fertile bull and two cows, both of which have given birth multiple times.

The White Rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhinoceros, with an estimated 19,682–21,077 wild-living animals in the year 2015, and the much more rare Northern White Rhinoceros. The northern subspecies has only two confirmed left in 2018 (two females; Fatu, 18 and Najin, 29), both in captivity. Sudan, the world's last known male Northern White Rhinoceros, died in Kenya on 19 March 2018.


Zoo Welcomes Triple Threat of Cuteness

1_KCZoo Red Panda Cub 3

It’s three times the cuteness at the Kansas City Zoo’s ‘Tiger Trail’. Red Panda parents, Randy and Kate, welcomed three cubs on July 11.

According to the zoo, the youngsters will stay in the nest box for a few months, but guests may be able to get a glimpse of them on a monitor outside the exhibit.

Kate and Randy are both first-time parents. Although it’s pretty rare to have three cubs born at once, Mom is said to be doing a great job caring for them. Just 24 hours after birth, a neonatal exam was performed. Red Pandas typically have high mortality rates, but the three cubs are doing well thanks to Kate and her caregivers. The smallest of the cubs has been receiving supplemental feedings from zookeepers to ensure that it gains weight at a healthy rate.

2_KCZoo Red Panda Cub 2

3_KCZoo Red Panda Cub 1

4_69251685_10155961363771377_2729838298024378368_oPhoto Credits: Kansas City Zoo

Adult Red Pandas grow to be about the size of a house cat. They have mostly white fur at birth, but it soon turns a reddish-brown color when they are around 50 days old. In the wild, Red Pandas often move their cubs to ensure safety. At the Kansas City Zoo, Kate has three nest boxes behind the scenes so she is able to move the cubs around to whichever she thinks is the best at that time. Guests may occasionally see them on exhibit when she is moving the cubs from one nest box to another. She will keep them in the nest box for three to four months. They will likely make their exhibit debut around October.

There is a camera on the nest boxes so zookeepers can keep an eye on the cubs. Zoo visitors can check out this same view on a monitor in front of the Red Panda exhibit on Tiger Trail. The cubs’ sexes are unknown at this point. All three cubs’ eyes are now open, and they are also beginning to vocalize when keepers make their daily checks.


Bison Herd Expands at Wildlife Safari Park

1_Bison calf with mother at Wildlife Safari Park (2)

The Bison herd at Wildlife Safari Park in Ashland, Nebraska grew this summer. A calf was born on May 27 and visitors can now see the auburn-colored calf roaming the ‘Bison Plains’ with mom and the herd.

Bison calves turn dark brown a few months after birth---the same time their characteristic hump and horns start to grow.

2_Bison calf with mother at Wildlife Safari Park (1)

3_Bison calf with mother at Wildlife Safari Park (3)Photo Credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo/Wildlife Safari Park

Since its opening in 1998, Wildlife Safari Park has played a key role in conserving Bison and educating the public about the critical challenges impacting the native species—the national mammal of the United States. Wildlife Safari Park currently has 33 Bison, including the new calf.

Wildlife Safari Park offers four miles of drive-through North American wildlife viewing from the comfort of your own vehicle. Wildlife Safari Park visitors can see a variety of animals in their natural habitats, including more than 60 American Elk spread across the 50-acre Elk Meadow and a 10-acre wetlands area with American White Pelicans. Visitors can explore the newest exhibit, Prairie Dog Town, and see other animals, such as: White-tailed Deer, Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes (who came to Wildlife Safari Park this past April).

Visitors can take advantage of the nice weather and explore two miles of hiking trails, which pass Wolf Canyon, home to six grey wolves and three American black bears. At the Hands-on-Corral, kids of all ages can interact with their favorite farm animals, such as pygmy goats and chickens.

Visit www.OmahaZoo.com for more information.


Woodland Park Zoo Celebrates Crane Hatchlings

1_DDow_July 19 2019_both chicks in a row

For the first time in Woodland Park Zoo’s 119-year history, a pair of White-naped Cranes successfully hatched. The chicks emerged July 9 and 10 and are the first offspring for 8-year-old mom, Laura, and 9-year-old dad, Cal. The sex of the unnamed chicks has not yet been determined.

The Seattle, WA zoo has had White-naped Cranes for around 30 years, but none successfully produced offspring until now. The new parents have been at the zoo for five years.

“This is such a significant hatching and a symbol of hope for the vulnerable species,” said Mark Myers, bird curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “The successful breeding and hatching are attributed to the bond between the parents, the quality of their habitat, and the expert day-to-day care and dedication provided by our animal keepers. We’re very proud of our team and our new parents.”

According to Myers, cranes are monogamous and can be very picky when choosing a mate: “Even the slightest incompatibility between two birds can prevent successful breeding; they will only breed once a strong pair bond is formed between them. Even then, it can take several years to solidify that bond,” explained Myers.

2_DDow_July 12 2019_both chicks small closeup

3_DDow_July 12 2019 mom dad both chicks small

4_DDow_July 18 2019_both chicks kissy

Photo Credits: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Parents Cal and Laura were paired on a recommendation from the White-naped Crane Species Survival Plan, a cooperative conservation-breeding program to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of White-naped Cranes in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. There are currently fewer than 75 White-naped Cranes in the program. This successful hatching has augmented the numbers of this long-lived species.

Continue reading "Woodland Park Zoo Celebrates Crane Hatchlings" »


Zoo Marks Third Giraffe Calf in Three Years

Giraffe Baby 07-2019-5200 E

The Milwaukee County Zoo proudly announced details of a Reticulated Giraffe birth on July 13. The new youngster marks the third giraffe calf born at the Zoo in the last three years.

The male was born to mom, Ziggy, and dad, Bahatika (also known as Baha). This is Ziggy and Baha’s third calf together; Tafari was born in 2015, and Kazi was born in 2017. This newest calf has been named Desmond.

Giraffe Baby 07-2019-5203 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

Zoo veterinarians completed Desmond’s first exam, and they recorded an initial weight of about 152 pounds and a height of approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall.

It was reported that the calf got his balance quickly after birth, seemed very strong, and was able to stand up within 55 minutes of birth. Ziggy was also said to be an attentive mother.

Ziggy is 9-years-old, and arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Bahatika is 14-years-old, and arrived at MCZ in 2006 from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado.

The Zoo currently houses seven giraffes: adults Bahatika, Marlee, Ziggy, Rahna; youngsters Kazi and Maya; and the newborn.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, and are typically between 14-19 feet tall and weigh between 1,750-2,800 pounds. Giraffes use their long necks to reach leaves and buds in trees that other herbivores can’t reach.

Of the nine subspecies of giraffes, two are considered endangered: the Reticulated and the Masai.

In the wild, the Reticulated Giraffe population has dropped by 80 percent in the last decade and the Masai Giraffe population has dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last three decades. However, all giraffe populations are declining, with hunting and habitat loss as the major threats. Due to their current status, every giraffe birth is very important for the population.