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September 2009

Our First Fishing Cats!

A first for ZooBorns and the first in 15 years for the Cincinnati Zoo: Fishing Cats! As their name suggests, Fishing Cats are specialists at hunting critters in the water. They will even dive-in head first to catch their prey! This makes them the perfect cat to take in the bath with you (kidding!).

The Cincinnati Zoo has been working with other AZA institutions to study these elusive felines in the wilds of Thailand. Learn more, including how to help, at

Fishing cats cincinnati zoo 1 rs 

Fishing cats cincinnati zoo 2 rs 

Fishing cats cincinnati zoo 3b rs

Watch them do some fishing!

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What's a Kea?

One of the few alpine parrots in the world, the Kea are known for their extreme curiosity, frequently landing on tourists' backpacks and stealing clothing and shiny things and even pulling rubber parts off of cars. Hunted to near extinction by New Zealand's ranchers, long annoyed by the omnivorous parrots' occasional attacks on their livestock (parrot attack!), the Kea was protected in 1986 and has marginally recovered to a population of a few thousand.

The Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand was lucky enough to welcome two extremely rare Kea chicks just last month.

Kea chick 2 

Kea chick 4 

Kea chick 1

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Baby Chimp Makes Her Debut at OKC Zoo

For the first time, visitors to the Oklahoma City Zoo have the opportunity to meet baby Zoe, a female chimp born all the way back in October, 2008. Sadly, Zoe's biological mother died shortly after her baby's birth. Lucky for Zoe, OKC Zoo staff provided round-the-clock surrogate parent care, even wearing a hairy vest to simulate a mother chimp, until a nurturing and protective surrogate chimp mother could be found. 

Baby chimp zoe oklahoma city zoo 1 rs

Baby chimp zoe okc 4

 Baby chimp zoe oklahoma city zoo 3 rs

More to the story below the fold.

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Learning from a Baby Elephant

Staff at the Oregon Zoo have teamed up with conservation biologists at the University of Portland to study "baby" elephant Samudra, who was born around this time last year. The research is behavioral, tracking the growing boy's habits throughout the day and analyzing how those habits change over the course of his first year. The results will be shared with other zoos to help ensure successful births and rearing. Learn more below the fold.

Baby elephant calf samudra oregon zoo rs

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Meet Mei Mei at Cleveland Metroparks

Three red panda triplets bounded into Cleveland Metroparks Zoo earlier this summer. Little Pang Pang and Xiao are currently on exhibit but Mei Mei required special veterinary care and is getting special attention from zoo staff behind the scenes. Mei Mei is pictured below at 4 weeks and 9 weeks.

Baby mei mei red panda cincinnati zoo 1 rs

Baby mei mei red panda cincinnati zoo 2 rs

In other Red Panda veterinary news, the Smithsonian National Zoo's newest Red Panda received a clean bill of health after an EKG pictured below.

National Zoo Red Panda Cub EKG 09.09.09

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Cheetah Cubs at Zoo Basel

Three tiny cheetah triplets made their debut at Switzerland’s Zoo Basel this week. Mother cheetahs and their cubs communicate with high-pitched barks that sound more like the chirps of a bird. After a big meal, they will relax together and purr. 

Cheetah cubs 1

Cheetah cubs 2

Cheetah cubs zoo basel 3

Incidentally, ZooBorns would have run these adorable little guys yesterday but we were participating in Urlesques’ a Day without Cats, a protest against the current kitty-cuteness-overrun state of the web. But now we’re over it.

Special thanks to ZB reader Britta for the English translation below the fold.

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