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January 2011

Little Lorikeets at Your Feet

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks with mom 2

Two little Rainbow Lorikeets hatched last week at the Münster Zoo in the free-flying lorikeet aviary where visitors can feed the small birds cups of nectar. What makes the birth particularly interesting is where the parrot parents chose to build their nest - right by the walkway within parrot-seed-spitting distance from peoples' feet! While there were plenty of secluded treetop nesting options, the whole parrot family seems to enjoy the hustle and bustle of visitors and the increased attention. The Rainbow Lorikeet is native to much of Australia and Asia. They often fly in flocks but spend most of their time together in pairs.

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks with mom 2

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks at Allwetterzoo Münster 2

Family Portrait

Rainbow Lorikeet chicks at Allwetterzoo Münster 2

Baby Penguins or Beanie Babies?


SeaWorld San Antonio’s penguin population has increased with the recent hatching of Gentoo, Rock Hopper and Chinstrap Penguin chicks. This has been the most successful year for Chinstrap Penguins in SeaWorld San Antonio’s history, with nine chicks produced. A soft grey in color, Chinstrap Penguin chicks average about 70 grams when hatched, but easily grow to over 500 grams in just ten days, thanks to the regurgitated fish fed to them by both parents. They will get their distinctive black “chinstrap,” along with their other adult feathers, when they fledge at about three months of age.


Photo credits: SeaWorld San Antonio

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Baby Takin Is King of the Hill at San Diego Zoo

Baby Takin is king of the hill at San Diego Zoo

A two-week-old Sichuan Takin climbs to the highest point in his exhibit on Wednesday. The kid, who was born on Dec. 28, 2010, was named Wûshi, which means 50 in Mandarin, because he is the 50th Takin to call the San Diego Zoo home. The first Sichuan Takin born outside of China was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1989. When Wûshi is not climbing rocks and tree stumps, he can be found head butting just about anything in his enclosure–including his grandmother, Bea.

Baby Takin San Diego Zoo giving a side smile

Baby Takin up close and personal at San Diego ZooPhoto credits: San Diego Zoo

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Meet Badger Girl - the Baby Honey Badger!

Baby Honey Badger Joburg Zoo at 10-14 days old

Feisty, stubborn, smelly, and adventurous, at 14 weeks old "Badger Girl," the Honey Badger cub, is exhibiting all the trademark charms of her species. Truth be told, veterinarians at the Johannesburg Zoo are still not totally sure about Badger Girls' sex... first they thought it was a girl, then a boy, and now they are just plain unsure. Time will tell.

Despite the "sweet" name Honey Badgers are actually quite fearless and, when necessary, ferocious. They get their name for following the call of the Honey Guide (bird) to a beehive. This partnership works well as the badger opens the beehive, surviving the attack from angry bees, and shares some of the spoils with the bird.

Baby Honey Badger Joburg Zoo at 10-14 days old feeding

Baby Honey Badger Joburg Zoo at 10-14 days old feeding
(Above: Badger Girl at 10-12 days old)

Badger Girl was an unexpected discovery in her den after her parents were moved to a different exhibit. Zoo staff shared this first hand description with ZooBorns: She was raised on Royal Canine puppy formula, drank quite easily once the correct feeding nipple was found but proved to be very stubborn, only drinking when she needed to drink and not when you wanted her to do so. She is now more on solids. She is showing the signs of adult honey badgers, stalking guinea fowl in the Zoo, tail upright and crawling low to the ground. She is extremely smelly and scent marks everything and everyone.

Badger Girl at 9-10 weeks(Immediately above and below: Badger Girl at 10-11 weeks)

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Monterey's First Ever Blackfooted Penguin Chick!

Penguin hatchling at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Meet the Monterey Bay Aquarium's first-ever African Blackfooted Penguin chick. Born January 8th, the chick is just two days old in the featured picture and video. The chick is vocalizing and appears to be doing well, said Aimee Greenebaum, associate curator of aviculture. During a quick exam on January 10, the chick weighed approximately 4.2 ounces (120.5 grams), nearly double what it weighed only one day before, Greenebaum said. “That weight gain means the first-time parents are feeding it regularly,” she said. “They’re being very attentive.” But protective parents and a high nesting site inside the exhibit unfortunately means that visitors are unlikely to see the chick. 

UPDATE: Monterey Bay Aquarium welcomed their second-ever Blackfooted Penguin chick just yesterday. Video below.

Photo and video credits: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Despite excellent parental and veterinary care, Greenebaum cautions that blackfooted penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality, especially those hatched to first-time parents. Read more below the fold...

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Baby Giraffe Drops 6 Feet into the World!


Planckendael Zoo in Antwerp rang in the New Year with bells and whistles with the birth of a baby giraffe. New mother Barbie is caring for her calf in the warm stable where visitors can admire them for now. The little calf was born yesterday at around 3 pm. First his two front legs dangled out en then his head followed. It all happened very fast. He fell almost six feet before hitting the ground! The actual birth lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. After 30 minutes the "little" guy was already trying to balance on his long legs. This is Barbie’s second calf. In early 2009 she gave birth to a daughter, Kianga. Beginning this spring, the newborn can be seen running around on the savannah with his 6 family members, as well as antelopes, impalas and the strange-looking helmet guinea fowl.


Planckendael-Giraffe-Calf5Photo credits: Eric Wynen / Planckendael Zoo

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Antlered Beasts in Record Numbers!


Desert Antelopes, a highly threatened and beautiful group of animals, are a key part of Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort’s (AWPR) conservation work. The year 2010 has seen a bumper harvest of young animals born in the zoo and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead. 2010 marked one of AWPR’s best recorded year for Antelope births, with a record number of young Antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned Oryx, 27 Arabian Oryx, ten Beisa Oryx, four Addax, three Chad Dama Gazelles, six Mhorr Dama Gazelles and six Speke’s Gazelles.

Addax-003 Addax babies huddle up behind Mom (above).


Mhorr-gazelle-003cropA baby Mhorr Gazelle pauses during a drink.

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National Zoo's Anteater Pup Thrives after Rocky Start


On the evening of December 7, keepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo could see on the internal web cam that Giant Anteater Maripi (who gave birth in March of '09) seemed at long last to be in labor. At about 7:30 she gave birth to her pup, and within half an hour the baby had climbed up on its mother’s back, and all seemed to be proceeding normally. Maripi is an experienced mom, so when she curled up in her crate with the pup a little while later and stayed there, zoo officials all felt that she had the situation in hand. As with most animals Giant Anteaters prefer to give birth in solitude since that equals safety in the wild. Unless they saw that Maripi was in distress or wasn’t caring for the baby, their plan was to leave the two of them alone. They called it a night at 10 p.m. and looked forward to meeting their newest anteater in the morning...



5334247104_9f4ef0fb9f_oPhoto credits: Mehgan Murphy / Smithsonian's National Zoo

When keepers arrived in the morning, the baby was laying on the floor and cold to the touch! Go below the fold for many more [PHOTOS] and to finish the story of Maripi's pup's birth as told by keeper Marie Magnuson!

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Lincoln Park Zoo’s Newest Swinging Sensation

Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon by Anita Yantz 1a

There is a lot of oohing and aahing at Lincoln Park Zoo’s primate house. A critically endangered White-Cheeked Gibbon gave birth to a healthy infant on Jan 6. Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy reported, “The parents are doing great and the infant is a good size with a tight grip and has been seen nursing.” The infant has yet to be sexed or named.

This is the third offspring for mother Burma and father Caruso. White-cheeked gibbons are believed to pair bond for life, and can have offspring every 2-3 years after a 7-8-month gestation period. 

Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon by Anita Yantz 2bPhoto credits: Top two photos, Anita Yantz

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Rare Tamarin Monkeys or Muppet Babies?


Less than a year after giving birth to baby Orolito, a pair of golden lion tamarins at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed two more little tufts of orange hair on December 27, 2010. The babies, whose sexes have yet to be determined, are clinging to mom, Brie, and dad, Cumin, and seem to be doing well. The Zoo is fortunate to have had three Golden Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) born in the last 10 months, as they are among the most endangered mammals on earth. Deforestation and habitat loss have relegated the golden lion tamarin to a small region in eastern Brazil. In fact, almost all golden lion tamarins found in U.S. zoos are actually considered to be on loan from the Brazilian government.



Photo credits: Jeanne DeBonis / Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

More [PHOTOS] after the jump!

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