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August 2010

Red Panda Cub Gets a Check-up

Vets at the UK's Chester Zoo got their fist opportunity to get a proper look at their new Red Panda cub, who has been kept away from prying eyes by its doting mum (except for these awesome pictures). The cub’s check-up went well with a clean bill of health and a snazzy new microchip (just in case). But the real excitement came when they discovered that the cub was female, a first for Chester Zoo! Keepers are now thinking of a suitable name for the newcomer.

Red Panda Cub Chester Zoo 1

Red Panda Cub Edinburgh Zoo 1

Red Panda Cub Edinburgh Zoo 1

It is expected that the cub will become more independent from September onwards.  She is the sixth cub for nine year old mother Lushui and father is Pali who came to the Zoo from Germany.


A Handful of Baby Tenrecs

In late June, the WCS Bronx Zoo welcomed two baby Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs. While they might look like hedgehogs, and even have hedgehog in their name, they are actually a totally different family of mammals. Tenrec species come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with some looking like hedgehogs, some like mice, and some even like otters!

Baby tenrecs bronx zoo 2 rs

Baby tenrecs bronx zoo 1

Baby tenrecs bronx zoo 3

Baby tenrecs bronx zoo 3

Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS Bronx Zoo

Snow Leopards Cubs Debut in Oklahoma

On May 12th, the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed two little Snow Leopard cubs but waited until the cubs had had their second round of shots and time to bond with mom before debuting them to the public yesterday. This is the second set of cubs for mother Kiara, who was born at the Tulsa Zoo. Despite being bottle-fed herself, Kiara has proven to be a capable and attentive mother. The cubs are still too young, and the weather too hot, for the cubs to go outside but they will make it out within a few weeks.

Snow leopard cubs oklahoma city zoo 1

Snow leopard cubs oklahoma city zoo 2

Photo credits: Oklahoma City Zoo (see more on their Facebook album)

Elderly Mom Surprises All in Tel Aviv

There is happy news at the Tel Aviv Zoological Center. Rochale, a 41 year old female Orangutan, has given birth to a healthy infant. A decade earlier, Rochale gave birth to Tel Aviv's last Orangutan arrival. In the interim, many attempts had been made to expand the center's Orangutan population including bringing two young females, Sisi and Tusi, from Germany. To the surprise of all, Rochale, Tel Aviv's oldest female, is carrying the torch for a second time!


Older mom Rochale has experience with raising healthy babies...



Photo Credits: Tibor Jager / Tel Aviv Zoological Center

"When is it my turn?"

Last week our pal Hasani, the Western Lowland Gorilla at San Francisco Zoo, made headlines. His adoptive Mom Bawang picked up a boy's dropped Nintendo DS and began to try and figure it out.  Photographer Christina Spicuzza was on hand to record every moment. Bawang wasn't so eager to share "her" new toy with Hasani. That didn't stop the curious little fellow from trying to get a game in before the DS was safely returned to the boy by keepers.

Bawang wants to be the King of Kong

First, a boy dropped his Nintendo NDS into the Gorilla enclosure. Bawang was more than happy to swoop it up and investigate.

Hasani soon drops by to see what all the fuss is about

It wasn't long before Hasani had to see what was going on.

High Score?

Bawang tried to figure it out.

No Mom, you're holding it the wrong way!

That way didn't work, so she flipped it over.

Trying to get inside the game; Tron style

Then they held it really close to their eyes hoping to see something through it.

C'mon Mom, you've been playing for hours!

"OK Mom, let the pro try!"

Photo and Video Credits: Christina Spicuzzi

Above Photo Credit: Eva Thorensen / San Francisco Zoo

Hasani in his infancy at the SF Zoo.  No stranger to human games like Peek-a-Boo.

Five Little Rhinos in Six Short Years

A baby White Rhinoceros was born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on July 13, the first calf born to mother Kisiri and the fifth calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of five white rhino births since October 2004, four of which are female. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

Baby rhino busch gardens tampa bay 3a

Baby rhino busch gardens tampa bay 2a

Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total White and Black Rhino population at the park to 13.

Baby rhino busch gardens tampa bay 4

Baby rhino busch gardens tampa bay 1a

Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Little Meerkat That Could

Photographer Sophie L. Miller caught a Newquay Zoo baby Meerkat struggling to get up the side of this slope. According to Miller, "the little fella was causing a lot of commotion; it kept trying to climb up that little dirt slope, and was getting quite distressed..."


Meerkats are highly social critters and never stop looking out for their own. Here below we see an adult from the group offering up a treat moments later.  Miller said of the adult, "She kept setting a berry down by the baby's face, in an attempt to feed it, only to have it roll back down the slope. The adult meerkat would then pick the berry up and try again." One day this helpless fuzzy friend will grow up and return the favor, but for now, "It takes a village..."

4868614148_7eb25f2f40Photo Credits: Sophie L. Miller

Playing Mom for a Baby Gorilla

Back in April and May, we brought you the story of Misha the Louisville Zoo's baby gorilla, which had been injured by a surly male gorilla. To facilitate her recovery, it was determined that Misha should be moved to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which is internationally recognized for caring for gorillas in social groups including the placement of young gorillas with surrogate mothers. Surrogates are taught to not only care for their baby like their own but also to bring the baby over to staff when prompted for bottle feedings, medication and regular check-ups. For now though, Misha spends most of her time with zoo staffers as you can see in the must watch video below.

Baby gorilla misha columbus zoo 1

Baby gorilla misha columbus zoo 2

Baby gorilla misha columbus zoo 3

Photo credits: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Three Snow Leopard Cubs Debut Banham Zoo

This past weekend, the UK's Banham Zoo debuted their three 10 week old Snow Leopard cubs to the public. Up until now, the only glimpses most zoo staff had seen were grainy images from the remote den cam. The cubs appear happy and healthy and still have access to the secluded den area for when they want to avoid the limelight. The Banham Zoo has been part of the European Breeding Programme for this endangered species for over 25 years.

Baby snow leopard cubs Banham Zoo 1

Baby snow leopard cubs Banham Zoo 2

Baby snow leopard cubs Banham Zoo 3

Baby snow leopard cubs Banham Zoo 4

Baby snow leopard cubs Banham Zoo 5Photo credits: Banham Zoo