Shani the giraffe gave birth to a female calf on Sunday, January 22, at 12:28pm. Her Sacramento Zoo zookeepers noted signs of an impending birth on January 18, and Shani was moved into the maternity stall of the giraffe barn to be monitored. Although animal care and veterinary teams were suspicious that she might still be pregnant, just not on her original timeline, there were no definitive signs until very recently.
A rare tree kangaroo joey – the first to ever be born at Chester Zoo – has emerged from its mum’s pouch for the first time.
Conservationists have caught on camera the remarkable moment the tiny new joey – an endangered Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo – peeked out from mum Kitawa’s pouch.
The birth has been hailed as a “real celebration” for the conservation breeding programme which is working to protect the highly threatened species from extinction - with only two zoos in the UK caring for the animals.
It’s the first time Chester Zoo has bred the species in its 91-year history where, in a bid to discover more about the elusive creatures, conservationists have documented the growth of the joey using a special endoscope camera carefully placed into Kitawa’s pouch every few weeks.
Experts say the data collected could help tree kangaroos, as well as other similar threatened species found in South East Asia, and their plight in the wild.
David White, Team Manager at the zoo, said:
“Kitawa’s joey is the first Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo to ever be born at Chester Zoo in its 91 year-long history, so it’s a real celebratory moment for the team and our efforts to protect this highly endangered species.
“Tree kangaroos have one of the most complex birthing processes in the animal kingdom. When a joey is first born it’s only the size of a jellybean and is incredibly underdeveloped. Moments after the birth, with eyes still tightly closed, the joey knows to instinctively crawl up mum’s belly and into her pouch – following a channel which she has marked out by licking her fur. Once safely in the pouch, the baby receives all of the nutrition it needs while it grows and develops for a further six months – up until it starts to pop its head out.
“With little being known about these shy and elusive creatures, small mammal experts at our conservation zoo are in a unique position to be able to capture and document the whole process around the development of Kitawa’s joey. These observations could be useful to help inform better conservation action for this wonderful, but sadly endangered species, in the wild.
“The new baby will soon emerge from the pouch fully and begin hopping around and learning to climb trees, under the watchful eye of mum. That’s when we’ll be able to determine if it’s male or female and give the youngster a fitting name.”
Much smaller than the well known Australian kangaroo species, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a tree-dwelling marsupial, using their their strong limbs for climbing and tails for balance. The species is native to the mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea where they are under threat from hunting and habitat destruction – losing more than half of its population in the last 30 years.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the species as endangered in the wild – with conservationists calling for more close monitoring of the animals in their native range.
“These remarkable animals have suffered tremendously in the wild. They are hunted for their meat and their habitat is disappearing around them as forests are cleared for timber and to make way for coffee and rice plantations.
“Zoo conservationists are working with our partners and local communities in areas of South East Asia to make sustainable farming practices the norm, helping to prevent further deforestation across the region while protecting what’s left of the precious forests – home to many of the world’s most threatened species, like the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo.”
The birth of this baby Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is a huge zoological success. It required serious expertise to breed these solitary animals. They rarely breed in human care.
Since the female rhino is only fertile for a few days, the caretakers monitored her continuously, while the veterinary team tested hormone levels weekly to find the most optimal time for mating.
After a successful rendezvous, the pregnancy of the rhinoceros cow was continuously examined by zoo veterinarians and the development of the calf was monitored with ultrasound examinations and blood sampling. As the pregnancy progressed, the caretakers monitored the first-time mom through a camera system in the evenings. She gave birth to her calf on November 4, 2022 at 19:56.
On December 27th, Cindy gave birth to a perfect baby! This is her 6th child over the 20 years she has lived at the zoo, making her quite an experienced mother.
Copenhagen also has three little lion cubs! They came into the world on December 1st. Like most other cubs, they are very vulnerable in the first few weeks of their lives, so the family had total peace inside the barn.
ZOO Planckendael has welcomed its first birth of 2023! Bongo Hikani has given birth to a beautiful baby.
Both mom and baby are doing great! This is Hikani's first calf, but the delivery went very smoothly. Bongo Lucah is the lucky father.
ZOO Planckendael’s vet made a baby visit today and can confirm it's... a boy! The little bongo will be the first to receive a name with the letter Y this year. That is the case for every animal born in 2023 in our zoo.
Meet Marwell’s adorable white-faced saki baby who took keepers by surprise, arriving on Boxing Day to parents Manja and Twenke.
White-faced saki are native to Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil, where they live in a variety of forest habitats.
They are currently listed as being of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened species and the animals at Marwell are part of an international breeding programme.
This time last year, Twycross Zoo celebrated the arrival of a new baby bonobo, the first to be born in the UK since 2019. In 2023, Twycross Zoo is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary and is proud to be the only zoo in the UK home to the bonobo species of great ape, human’s closest living relatives. To highlight the significance of Upendi’s birth, for this endangered species, we’re re-sharing the amazing story…
Zari’s three cubs, born on Monday at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, are doing well! The cubs are enthusiastically nursing, one of many first big milestones. Watch along as Zari nurtures her cubs, providing all the nourishment they need to grow into strong lions!
Zari’s maternal instincts kicked right in with the arrival of cubs! Here, she grooms her precious newborns to keep them clean and healthy and promotes bonding.
SAN ANTONIO –San Antonio Zoo, the Best Zoo In Texas and #2 zoo in the nation, welcomes the birth of Cotton Top Tamarin twins. The twins were born on November 27 and live in the NEOTROPICA area of the zoo. While the zoo celebrates all new births, some are even more meaningful to securing a future for wildlife due to their conservation status in the wild. Cotton Top Tamarins are critically endangered, with ~6,000 individuals left in the wild due to habitat loss.