And, ICYMI, here's volume one
Who's your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.
And, ICYMI, here's volume one
Who's your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.
In a groundbreaking scientific breakthrough, two Cheetah cubs have been born through in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer into a surrogate mother at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The births are the result of careful planning and innovative medical expertise through a partnership between the Columbus Zoo, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Va., and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas—three leading institutions with a commitment to conservation. These efforts were also part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) and the Cheetah Sustainability Program (CSP), developed to manage a sustainable population of cheetahs in human care.
While the cubs’ biological mother is Kibibi, the cubs were delivered on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 9:50 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. by Isabelle (Izzy). The cheetahs’ care team observed the births through a remote camera and continue to monitor Izzy and her cubs closely. Izzy, a first-time mom, has been providing great care to her cubs at this time. The care team performed a well check on the cubs on Friday, February 21 and determined that Izzy gave birth to a male cub and a female cub. The cubs have been observed nursing, and the male currently weighs in at 480 grams and the female weighs 350 grams.
“These two cubs may be tiny but they represent a huge accomplishment, with expert biologists and zoologists working together to create this scientific marvel,” said Dr. Randy Junge, the Columbus Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health. “This achievement expands scientific knowledge of cheetah reproduction, and may become an important part of the species’ population management in the future.”
Amidst the tragic news coming out of Australia due to the catastrophic fires that have caused great harm and death to many thousands of people and nearly half a billion animals, Zoo Miami is elated to announce some good news that is directly connected to the ravished continent.
For the third time in the zoo’s history and the first time in over 28 years, a surviving koala has been born at the zoo!! Though the actual “birth” took place on May 30th of last year, it was only yesterday that the joey (baby koala) first came completely out of the pouch! Because koalas are marsupials, they have a very short pregnancy (around 30 days) and when the baby is born, it is practically in an embryonic state, totally hairless, with non-developed eyes, tiny limbs, and the size of a bumblebee. Immediately after being born, the joey makes a difficult journey as it instinctively crawls into the mother’s pouch where it remains for approximately 6 months, continuing to develop, before emerging when it actually looks like a baby koala. Those 6 months are the most precarious of the infant’s life (Zoo Miami lost several joeys during this period in the past) so it is not until it finally emerges from the pouch and is strong and healthy that zoo staff can breathe a sigh of relief and truly celebrate!!!
The joey’s mother is “Rinny,” which is short for “Merindah koolawong” which are the Dharug aboriginal words for “beautiful” and “koala.” She is 4 years old and was born at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina on October 21st, 2015. She arrived at Zoo Miami on September 21st, 2018 and this is her first baby!
The father is “Milo,” and he 8 years old and was born at the San Diego Zoo on July 2, 2011. He arrived at Zoo Miami on May 3rd, 2016 and this is also his first baby!
Though Zoo Miami are still not certain of the sex of the joey, because of what is happening in Australia, zoo staff, in collaboration with the Gail S. Posner Trust, and Sanford J. Schlesinger, Trustee, principal patrons of the Koala Exhibit, have decided to name the infant, “Hope.” It is Miami's desire that this baby koala will help to bring a small ray of hope to all that are suffering in Australia and be a symbol for a positive future for the priceless wildlife that lives there. In addition, Zoo Miami will be making a $10,000 donation to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund in support of the herculean efforts being undertaken to safe the countless animals being affected by this disaster. Others interested in supporting this effort can make donations by clicking on https://www.zoo.org.au/fire-fund/ or directly to the Zoo Miami Foundation at www.zoomiami.org/donate and stipulate “Australia” in the memo section. Those funds will be added to the initial $10,000 donation made through the Zoo Miami Conservation Fund.
One of the most beautiful antelopes in the world has been born at Newquay Zoo. The Nyala (pronounced ‘inYhala’), a female, has big ears, dark eyes and endearingly long, wobbly legs. This is the second calf of the year for Mum Ayra and Dad, Arnold. Curator of animals John Meek said: “Ayra is a very experienced mum - this is calf number five all told. The little one is doing extremely well and seems to be very confident, even when she joined the rest of the herd. This is another great breeding success for this stunning species.”
Found across southern Africa, male and female Nyala look incredibly different. Males have striking spiral horns, a slate grey to dark brown coat and faint white stripes. Females are an attractive bright chestnut with bold white stripes across their back.
Nyala are classified as recorded on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The main threats to this species are poaching and habitat loss as human settlements encroach into their territory. The males, with their elegant spiral horns, are prized as game animals.
You can spot the Cornish zoo’s small family of Nyala over in the African Savannah.
You aren’t going to see this guy on the big screen any time soon, but he and others just like him may end up in their native habitat very soon. This tiny toad is the world’s first Puerto Rican crested toad hatched from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) utilizing frozen semen collected from the wild.
The Fort Worth Zoo and its partners from Mississippi State University came together at the Fort Worth Zoo this summer to continue their efforts with assisted reproduction technology (ART) for critically endangered amphibians. For the first time ever, they were able to successfully conduct IVF using the eggs from two Zoo females and frozen semen from six wild males. To celebrate this conservation success, the first egg to be fertilized and hatched has been named Olaf! (Yep, just like that Olaf.)
This is a significant advancement for the critically endangered species as it will allow zoos, researchers and other conservationists to expand their population genetics used to increase the overall population while keeping the toads in their wild, natural habitat. These ART efforts will help maintain a genetically diverse, self-sustaining population of toads in the managed population without removing animals from the wild!
Since 2006, Zoo staff has coordinated and managed a Puerto Rican Crested Toad conservation program, under the direction of Fort Worth Zoo Curator of Ectotherms Diane Barber. Through this cooperative program, thousands of Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles are released into the wild each year. As the longest continuous reintroduction program for any amphibian species, the Puerto Rican crested toad project has released over 510,000 tadpoles at six reintroduction sites since 1992 – the Fort Worth Zoo alone has released 70,988 of those tadpoles.
Over the years, Detroit Zoo officials have had the pleasure of caring for a number of adorable babies, but in the opinion of Dr. Ann Duncan, director of Animal Health at DZG, their current nursery resident – a female red panda cub – is arguably the most adorable animal in Detroit Zoo history. She was born July 6, and weighed 112 grams (around 4 ounces), a good weight for a red panda cub. While the cub’s mother Ash was pregnant, she allowed officials to ultrasound her abdomen while she happily ate treats, so they knew she was pregnant with a single cub that was growing well. Ash delivered the baby with no problems, and showed the newborn lots of attention, but this was her first pregnancy, and she didn’t have all of the skills needed to raise the cub. Red panda cubs have been hand-reared at several zoos, including the Detroit Zoo, and they had prepared in advance to care for the panda cub, just in case. A hand-rearing manual that compiles collective experiences of zoo professionals was used to determine the formula and feeding schedule and help to develop a care plan.
A rescued young Sunda pangolin takes his first tentative steps after being released back into the wild in Thailand, in a series of photographs snapped by staff from international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London).
The Critically Endangered animal was being illegally kept in cramped conditions and constant darkness by a poacher, before being saved by ZSL staff and local park rangers.
Nicknamed Kosin – inspired by the Thai name for the god Indra, celebrated as a friend to humanity - by his rescuers, the puppy-sized youngster, estimated to be under a year old, weighed just 1kg and measured 67-centimetres nose-to-tail.
Believed to have been snatched at night by poachers searching for pangolins to sell, experts think Kosin was kept alive as the meat and scales of live pangolins reach a higher price on the black market than those of dead animals.
Following his rescue, Kosin was given a thorough health check and despite his ordeal found to be in good condition. After a short period of monitoring he was ready to be returned to the wild.
The team from ZSL transported him to a remote, safe place as far away from known poaching hotspots as possible and have been monitoring his release site ever since. They are pleased to report that no poachers have been seen there since his release, giving Kosin the best possible chance of survival.
Dr Eileen Larney, ZSL Conservationist said: “It was an extraordinary moment to watch Kosin being released back into the wild and then take his first steps back to the wild, but sadly his story is rare. Our team was able to get to him in time, care for him and return him to the wild. Thanks to the support of our donors and our incredible team he has been given a precious second chance, something many thousands of his species do not get.
“A single pangolin is worth up to three months’ wages for rural villagers in Thailand and is considered as valuable as a lottery win.
“However, to combat the illegal pangolin trade we must stop poaching at the source. It’s a complex puzzle which requires global collaboration to both reduce demand and increase protection. This story would have had a very different ending without the quick response of park rangers and ZSL’s conservation partners. Like all pangolins, Kosin faces an uncertain future but in moments like this we have hope.”
All eight species of pangolin are now threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching. Worldwide, pangolins are thought to be the most illegally trafficked mammal. A seizure of pangolin scales in April 2019 weighed 14 tonnes, representing about 36,000 individual animals. Estimates suggest more than 300 pangolins are poached from the wild every day.
ZSL is working in Thailand, Cameroon, Nepal, and the Philippines to protect pangolins and other Endangered species from illegal wildlife trade. The team collaborates with communities to raise awareness, find alternative sources of income and create protected habitats where pangolins can thrive.
Drawing on a hugely successful track record of empowering communities across Asia and Africa. – ZSL will continue to support communities in Nepal helping communities to plan and create environmentally sustainable ways to make a living and build the same opportunities for people in Kenya too – home to rhinos and elephants – through its UK Aid Match appeal - For People. For Wildlife.
The future of wildlife and people are intertwined, and long-term success depends on solutions that work for everyone. Through the UK Aid Match appeal ZSL is working alongside rural communities in Nepal and Kenya to set up sustainable ways to make a living, empowering them to feed their families, build independent futures and protect the wildlife they live alongside.
Meet Melisandre, a rare baby aye-aye born at the Duke Lemur Center on August 13, 2019!
The daughter of 23-year-old Ardrey and 9-year-old Grendel, “Mel” is one of nine aye-ayes at the DLC and one of only 25 of her kind in the United States. She is Ardrey’s sixth infant and Grendel’s first.
Melisandra weighed 81 grams on her first weighing on August 14. Although her birthweight was lower than average, Mel’s keeper, Matt Cuskelly, observed that despite her small size she seemed bright, alert, and strong.
Ardrey is an experienced, attentive mother who spends most of her time inside her nest with her infant. And Melisandre is thriving: By August 16, she’d grown to 98 grams; and on August 27, she tipped the scales at 210 grams. (Way to go, Ardrey!)
Nocturnal primates with bushy tails and bony middle fingers, aye-ayes are endangered on their native island of Madagascar, where logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, and hunting are suspected to have cut their numbers in half in recent decades.
Some villagers in Madagascar believe these lemurs are evil omens and can curse a person by pointing their middle fingers at them; hence many aye-ayes are killed on sight.
In reality, says DLC curator Cathy Williams, the aye-aye is one of the gentlest lemur species. “They’re not at all aggressive, they’re extremely curious and energetic and they’re very intelligent — they learn very quickly.”
Melisandre’s parents Ardrey and Grendel were deemed a good genetic match by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Her grandparents — Morticia and Poe (Ardrey) and Endora and Nosferatu (Grendel) — are the first aye-ayes ever imported to the United States.
When Poe and Nosferatu arrived at Duke from Madagascar in 1987, they represented the only aye-ayes in the world within human care. Morticia and Endora arrived in 1991.
Today, all but one of the aye-ayes in North America — as well as others overseas in London, Frankfurt, Bristol, and the Jersey Channel Islands — are descendants of these eight founders.
Melisandre will stay with Ardrey for two to three years while she learns how to forage for food, build a nest and other aye-aye survival skills.
Visitors won’t be able to see the new infant, but they can see her 36-year-old grandmother, Endora. Just be sure to book a tour before visiting.
In the meantime, the Duke Lemur Center works diligently to maintain a genetic safety net for aye-ayes in the wild. Together, aye-ayes at the DLC and other institutions worldwide form a genetic safety net for their species, and each new birth helps sustain a healthy and genetically diverse population of aye-ayes for the long-term future.
If you want to learn more about aye-ayes AND help support their care and conservation, please consider symbolically adopting Agatha, an aye-aye born at the DLC in 2017, through the DLC’s Adopt a Lemur Program! Your adoption goes toward the $8,400 per year cost it takes to care for each lemur at the DLC, as well as aiding our conservation efforts in Madagascar. You’ll also receive quarterly updates and photos, making this a fun, educational gift that keeps giving all year long! Please visit our Adopt a Lemur homepage to learn more.
To learn more about the DLC’s aye-ayes, visit our Meet the Lemurs webpage.
VIDEO! To watch a video of Melisandre taken on September 19, please click here or on the screenshot below to be redirected to the DLC’s YouTube channel. We love her bright, beautiful eyes!
On Wednesday, September 25th, a Caribbean flamingo hatched at Zoo Miami! This is the first hatching of this iconic species since 2011 and is the first time that a chick has hatched since the flock was moved to their new exhibit in the zoo’s entry plaza.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is proud to announce the birth of two Snow Leopard cubs on May 22.
When they were one month old, the male and female cubs weighed just over five pounds. The cubs’ parents are Rosemary and Pasha. Rosemary is 5-years-old, weighs approximately 78 pounds, and has lived at the Zoo since 2015. Pasha is 10-years-old, weighs approximately 106 pounds, and arrived at the Zoo in 2012.
Dad can currently be seen by guests in the Asian Highlands exhibit. This pair also had a cub named Victoria in 2017. Victoria recently went to live at the Binder Park Zoo near Battle Creek, Michigan.
Snow Leopards are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. There are only an estimated 2,700 - 3,300 Snow Leopards left in the world. The main threats facing them include loss of habitat, retaliatory killing from predation on livestock, and illegal trade in furs, bones and other body parts.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a dedicated member of the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program that works to maintain a genetically stable assurance population of Snow Leopards in zoos. Research conducted by the Zoo’s nutrition and reproductive physiology departments has provided valuable information to the Snow Leopard SSP that is helping to improve the care and management of these amazing cats around the world.
In addition to efforts taking place on Zoo grounds, Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium supports the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization working out in the field within Snow Leopard habitat. Snow Leopard Trust focuses primarily on community education directed toward improving the relationships between herders and big cats by creating incentives for the community to protect Snow Leopards and their ecosystem. To learn more about Snow Leopard Trust’s mission, visit: www.snowleopard.org