Critically Endangered Somali Wild Ass Foal Beats The Odds

On the morning of November 13, 2021, Somali wild ass mare Mwana gave birth to little Salia. What sounds like good news was actually a race against time. The natural mother-young bond was broken after birth; Salia's survival was in danger. It was only thanks to the foresight of the veterinary team at Basel Zoo that the two of them trot together today.

Salia is the name of the youngest offspring of the Somali wild ass. As a descendant of the stallion Adam, who has few relatives in the European population, she is genetically a very important and valuable animal. The scenes that happened on the weekend of November 13th and 14th at Basel Zoo were therefore unsettling: the mare Mwana was visibly stressed and overwhelmed with the young animal after giving birth - which often happens with first-time mothers. This meant that the bond between mother and young animal could not develop properly. Mwana showed no interest in her boy and drove Salia away as soon as she wanted to drink. The chicks chances of survival dropped drastically.

A story with happy end

Basel Zoo wanted to refrain from hand-rearing. Good advice was expensive. Accordingly, the veterinary team at Basel Zoo got support from two horse specialists from the region on Monday, November 15, 2021. Together it was decided to give Mwana a hormone injection so that she could relive the birth hormonally. The vital bond between mother and foal was established within 30 minutes. For the first time, little Salia was allowed to drink extensively. Today the offspring is fine. She is playful and likes to test her long legs when she does sprints together with her mother in the outdoor area.

Salia is one of around 200 Somali wild asses living in zoos around the world. In nature, these donkeys are threatened with extinction and are among the rarest mammals. Only a few hundred animals still live in Ethiopia, Eritrea and perhaps Somalia. Wars, competition with the population's livestock and the meager food and water reserves have decimated their populations extremely in recent years. This makes the efforts of the zoological gardens all the more important with the European conservation breeding program, called EEP (ex situ program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria EAZA) to preserve this rare mammal species. Basel Zoo coordinates the EEP of the Somali wild ass and maintains the international herd book.

Pint-sized bundle of joy: Pygmy hippo born at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Taronga Zoo Sydney is delighted to announce the birth of a female Pygmy Hippo calf, the first calf born at the Zoo in over four years. The calf was born on Monday, November 22 to experienced parents Kambiri and Fergus and is doing swimmingly!

Whilst the calf is still perfecting the art of walking and in some instances waddling, she is spending most of her time in an off-exhibit nursery den, under the watchful eye of her mum, Kambiri.

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Supporting Animal Ambassadors Like Sherman, The Screaming Hairy Armadillo

Sherman, The Smithsonian National Zoo’s screaming hairy armadillo, goes *wild* for enrichment toys! Magical moments like these happen here every day, inspiring awe and “aww.” Donate today, and your gift will be matched up to $20,000—that’s twice the support to care for National Zoo’s amazing animal ambassadors, like Sherman. ❤️🎁 GIVE A GIFT TO THE ANIMALS:
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Blue-crowned Pigeon Chick Hatched at Santa Barbara Zoo

A blue-crowned pigeon chick hatched in the Wings of Asia aviary at Santa Barbara Zoo on November 7, 2021.

The chick’s sire (father) transferred to the Zoo in late May of this year and was introduced to Helga (dam/mother), and the two hit it off immediately! They have been nesting nearly all summer in preparation for their precious cargo.

The chick was born with no feathers, but at 15 days old, it already has a mini crest like its parents!

Parents take turns sitting on the nest and feed the chick by regurgitating (bringing up swallowed food).

The whole family is visible in Wings of Asia, so be sure to stop by to take a peek at the pigeons on your next visit to the Zoo.

We don’t know if a chick is a boy or girl until its first exam, which is around 45-60 days of age. Latest breaking news: we found out the chick is a boy!

Three Lion Cubs At ZOOM Erlebniswelt In Germany Are All Girls!

Yesterday morning Ms. Karin Welge, Lord Mayor of Gelsenkirchen, revealed the secret of the sexes of ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen three lion cubs: There are three females!

The names of the three little lionesses were also announced by Mrs. Welge: Jamila, Kumani and Malaika. All names come from the continent of Africa and were selected by our animal keepers to match the three young animals:

Jamila means "the beautiful one". After birth, she had a strikingly white fur that gradually darkens.

Malaika means “angel” or “good spirit” because the lioness is very relaxed and calm with the animal keepers.

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Ring-Tailed Lemur Babies Thriving At Dubbo Zoo           

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s eight Ring-tailed Lemur babies are now approximately two months of age and becoming very active as they continue to grow and develop.

The babies have started trying solid foods and are becoming very playful. They can often be spotted jumping from one climbing structure to another or playing in the trees together on their island home.


“The babies are starting to eat branches and leaves as well as trying vegetable pieces more and more now. They are still suckling from their mums which is to be expected as most of their nutrition is coming from their mother’s milk,” said Primate keeper, Sasha Brook.

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Baby Panther Chameleon Hatches At Whipsnade Zoo

The 3cm-long baby chameleon was photographed by zookeepers perching on pencils and scampering up a keeper’s finger, after it hatched from its egg on Sunday 7 November. 

The little lizard has been nick-named “Titch” by keepers, until they are able to identify whether it is male or female. The Zoo hopes the miniature colour-shifter will be joined by siblings, who have not yet hatched. 


Team leader Alex Cliffe said: “This intricate, tiny creature is a wonderful addition to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. They are doing very well, snacking on fruit flies and exploring their environment.” 

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Your Weekly Cub-date from Taronga Zoo Sydney!

It has just been over 100 days since Taronga Zoo staff welcomed Khari, Luzuko, Zuri, Ayanna and Malika into the Taronga family and over the past couple of months the cubs have met some incredible milestones. This includes learning how to play with one another as well as climbing! They are also now consuming a more meat-based diet, however they do enjoy a regular suckle or two from their mum, Maya – particularly little Malika!

Since birth, all five cubs have gone from strength to strength. The two boys, Khari and Luzuko are now weighing in between 13.5kg and 17kg and the three girls, Zuri, Ayanna and Malika are weighing in between 13.4kg-13.7kg. At birth, all five cubs were weighing in between 2.4kg and 2.9kg.

Over the next couple of weeks, the cubs will continue to grow in confidence and begin to vocalize. 

Perth Zoo’s Two Giraffe Calves Step Out

Perth Zoo’s two giraffe calves are now out and about together, much to the delight of Zoo guests.

This is the first time Perth Zoo has had two giraffe calves at the same time born as part of a regional zoo breeding program which aims to advocate and educate about declining wild giraffe populations.


A young female, Zahara, was born in September 2021, followed by half-brother, Akiki, in October.

Born to first-time Mum, Akiki has been cared for behind the scenes by zoologists after he experienced nursing difficulties and was not receiving enough nutrients needed to thrive.

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