A 2-week-old male cheetah cub from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, was transferred to a new cheetah foster mother at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, Sunday, Oct. 3. SCBI staff were hand-raising the cub, born Sept. 16, who had been abandoned by his mother. It is important for cheetah cubs to learn species-appropriate behaviors and skills from their mothers and siblings. The SCBI cub was successfully introduced to Wildlife Safari’s cheetah foster mother, Jezebel, and integrated into her litter of four cubs.
SCBI is part of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition—a group of 10 cheetah breeding centers across the United States that aim to create and maintain a sustainable North American cheetah population under human care. Wildlife Safari was the next institution in the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition to have cubs. The male cub will remain at Wildlife Safari with his new family until he is at least 2 years old.
Last Thursday, Oct. 21, Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute’s cheetah mom Rosalie picked a new "den" for her cubs. She moved them, one by one, to a large clump of tall grasses in her yard. The area was well-protected, and it is not uncommon for cheetah moms to move dens. Animal care staff monitored Rosalie and the cubs but did not intervene, as Rosalie has been a very attentive mother. Unfortunately, was no webcam in the grass so the Cubs’ adoring fans had stayed tuned for updates!
Why did Rosalie move her cubs? Was she scared or spooked?
It is not known why Rosalie moved her cubs. It’s completely natural for cheetah moms to move their litters. In fact, every single one of the Zoo’s females has moved cubs during the first month of life except for one. The grasses are also a very popular spot for cheetah moms to move their cubs within the first month – five have in recent memory: Amani (2011), Sanurra (2015), Hope (2017), Erin (2018), and Echo (2020).
Weather can also play a factor. This time of the year is hard. It’s warm during the day and moms get very warm inside the dens. But it’s also still chilly to be outside at night. So, it is a hard time of year to be in one place or the other 100% of the time. The warm days could have encouraged Rosalie to move her cubs out. She was observed panting in the den during the day. She had also been in that den for almost two weeks straight! It was likely pretty gross and stinky in there. In the wild, they wouldn’t stay in one place too long because the smell would attract predators.
On Sunday, Oct. 24, cheetah mom Rosalie moved her five cubs back into the den with a webcam. It took her about 30 minutes total to move all the cubs, as you can see in this video.
Arnhem Rhino Breeding Program Proves Highly Successful
On Tuesday, 26 October 2021, at 3:00, a healthy-looking square-lipped rhinoceros was born at Royal Burgers' Zoo
Royal Burgers' Zoo remains one of Europe's most successful breeders of square-lipped rhinoceros. The latest addition to the Arnhem crash was born in the heated enclosure on Tuesday, 26 October at 3:00. The experienced mother has birthed a total of eight calves, her latest being the fourteenth rhinoceros to be born in Arnhem since 1977. A total of 295 square-lipped rhinoceros live in 75 European zoos—127 bulls and 168 cows.
The most plentiful but endangered
Of the five rhinoceros species in the world, the square-lipped rhinoceros is the most plentiful in the wild. However, every year, dozens to hundreds of animals fall prey to poachers, who are particularly interested in the valuable horn. The population of square-lipped rhinoceros in all European zoos is currently 295 animals. With fourteen rhinoceros births since 1977, Royal Burgers' Zoo is one of the main purveyors to the population management in European zoos.
European population management programme
Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands coordinates the European population management programme for square-lipped rhinoceros. The best matches between animals are made using DNA research to maximize the genetic variation within the population. Under this programme, animals are moved to and from zoos with square-lipped rhinoceros throughout Europe.
Livestream of the birth
The birth of the rhino calf could be followed live thanks to a livestream from the rhinoceros enclosure: https://tinyurl.com/ys6v9njx. The mother is highly experienced and has successfully raised seven calves, which helped the birth go smoothly. Mother and calf will stay in the cosy, heated enclosure for the first few weeks, regularly going outside for fresh air in the adjacent, off-exhibit enclosure. Visitors can watch 24/7 live footage of the mother and calf in the rhinoceros enclosure.
Austria’s Schönbrunn Zoo is happy to have offspring among the southern dwarf mongooses: three young animals were born in mid-September and are now making their first excursions out of their den. “The young animals are curious and they explore the facility, dig in the sand and play with each other. If one of the little ones moves too far, the adult animals carry it back into the protective burrow in their mouths,” says zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck. At first glance, dwarf mongooses are often confused with meerkats. No wonder, both species belong to the mongoose family. However, as the name suggests, dwarf mongooses are among the smallest species of mongoose. Even fully grown, they only weigh around 300 grams.
Southern dwarf mongooses are native to the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. They like to colonize abandoned termite mounds, which give them protection at night and a good view of the surrounding area during the day. It is also insects that are mainly on the menu of the little hunters. Your social system is exciting. Hering-Hagenbeck: “Dwarf mongooses live socially in small groups and rely on teamwork when they live together. Only the highest-ranking female gets the offspring, but everyone helps with the rearing. ”The young animals, whose sex is not yet known, are suckled in the first seven weeks of life. But they already try grasshoppers, mealworms and minced meat.
Molly is the newest addition to the Rhino family at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens. She is the eighth Rhino calf to be born at the Burford collection and is Monty and Ruby’s fourth breeding success together. Births in captivity are considered rare, with only nineteen White Rhinos being born in European zoos in the last twelve months. Her birth is testament to the dedication of the mammal keepers and the Park’s commitment to the European Breeding Programme (EEP).
White Rhinos (Ceratotherium simum ssp. simum) have always been an important species at the Park and considerable thought is given to naming these iconic animals. Previous calves have been named after the founder of Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Mr. John Heyworth, and highly respected South African conservationist, Ian Player, who spearheaded efforts to rescue the Southern White Rhino from extinction. This time the honour was given to Head Keeper Mark Godwin (pictured right with his children Henry and Molly).
Mark has worked at the Park for 31 years and has looked after the ever-growing 'crash' of Rhinos for the last 13 years. This is the first Rhino calf he has named. He decided to call her Molly after his four-year-old daughter (pictured left meeting her namesake). Molly described having a Rhino named after her as “amazing!”. Mark's family live on-site at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Molly, along with her five-year-old brother Henry, has grown up at the wildlife park and the siblings regularly visit their favourites - the Rhinos. During lockdown when the Park was temporarily closed to the public, they even lent their dad a helping hand by mucking out the Rhinos and Camels. Spending their childhood at the Park has sparked a passion for wildlife and both would like to follow in their father’s footsteps and work with animals when they’re older.
Cotswold Wildlife Park is committed to Rhino conservation and works closely with the UK-based conservation charity Tusk Trust to protect Africa’s many threatened species. In October 2021, Reggie Heyworth, the Park’s Managing Director and a Tusk Trust Ambassador, ran the London Marathon in aid of Tusk Trust and raised over £12,000 for the charity. Reggie Heyworth (pictured right), explains: “Conservation programmes throughout Africa’s wildlife areas and national parks often depend on income from tourism and support from charities such as Tusk Trust. With so few tourists visiting Africa, it is all the more important for us to support the work of Tusk Trust, who fund over forty programmes throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including vital work to protect rhinos and elephants from poachers”. For more information about Tusk Trust, please visit www.tusk.org.
Trick-or-treat your way over to Gumleaf Hideout in Australian Adventure to see Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s newest addition - a baby koala, also known as a joey! This is the second joey for mom, Mackenzie, and dad, Nyoonbi. Keepers first noted pouch movements on Mackenzie back in April. The joey has officially left the pouch and is climbing around on mom! Guests can visit mom and joey on even numbered calendar dates during regular Zoo hours.