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May 2011

Black-footed Cat Kittens!


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announces the birth of two Black-footed Cat kittens! The kittens, whose sex have yet to be determined, are healthy and doing well with mom, Godiva. They were born April 17 and currently are on exhibit in the nocturnal animal area of the Zoo’s Primate, Cat and Aquatics building.

The two kittens are the second litter for Godiva, 4, and her male breeding partner, Wyatt, also 4. Godiva’s first litter produced one kitten, a male, who is now part of a breeding pair at the Louisville Zoological Garden.



Photo credits: Jeanne DeBonis/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Getting a Leg Up in the First Week of Life


A baby giraffe joined Reticulated Giraffe parents Diamond and Casper at the Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Mississippi. Reticulated Giraffes have large brown spots separated by cream-colored lines, the males' color being darker than females. This female, who is not yet named, was born on Sunday night, May 2, 2011, measuring 5'8" tall and weighing 120 pounds. 

Jack Zoo Raff feeding 1st day

Zoo vet, Dr. Holifield, discovered an issue with the tendon of her right front hoof and as a precaution took corrective measures, wrapping that leg in tape and a special sock to help her stand. 

Jackson Zoo raff tendon sock w vet

She was expected to make a quick recovery and she did. She went outside on exhibit yesterday, May 9, at eight days old. Here she is, enjoying the sunshine!


Photo credits: First and last photos by Jackson Zoo, 2nd and 3rd by David Wetzel

Giraffes are native only to Africa, living on the dry savannas south of the Saraha Desert. Today, though they are still considered unendangered, they have all but disappeared from most of the West African and Kalahari range.

Spindly but Fluffy: Tawny Frogmouths for San Antonio


These Tawny Frogmouth chicks were hatched at the San Antonio Zoo on April 24th and 26th 2011. The San Antonio Zoo has exhibited these secretive natives of Australia for over 30 years. Their extraordinary large eyes and mouth aid them in catching prey at night. They wait patiently in the branches of trees for prey, such as insects or mice, to wander by and quietly flutter down upon their unsuspecting meal. Each chick that hatches is the result of cooperative breeding programs between AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) and zoos aimed at ensuring population viability, inspiring the public and promoting conservation in the wild.


Photo credits: San Antonio Zoo

Beloved Atlanta Zoo Gorilla Gives Birth to Her Second


Kudzoo, a 17-year-old female western lowland gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to an infant in the early morning hours of May 9, 2011. This is the second offspring for Mom Kudzoo and 21-year-old Dad Taz.

Western lowland gorillas live in the rainforests of equatorial Africa. A larger group of western lowland gorillas were discovered in 2007 in northern regions of the Republic of Congo. While these new groups provide new hopes for the future of the species, they remain critically endangered, with their numbers in continual decline because of poaching, habitat destruction, and disease.



Photo credits: Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas, now with 24 individuals living in distinct social groups. The Zoo is a recognized center of excellence for the care and research of these critically endangered great apes. Since 1988, 19 gorillas have been born at Zoo Atlanta, 17 of whom still live on grounds!

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A Black Tie Bird for the Royals


Newlyweds William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have already adopted a baby - this endangered Humboldt penguin named Acorn. He might have missed the wedding, but that was certainly not due to inappropriate dress!

Acorn won’t be moving into their apartment, but will stay with his 49 other penguin pals at the UK's Chester Zoo. "And hopefully, now that the happy couple are living not too far away in Anglesey, they’ll come and see little Acorn playing in his pool soon." said a Zoo spokesperson.

Acorn was the first Humboldt penguin chick to hatch this year at the Chester Zoo. Weighing just 88 grams when born, Acorn has tipped the scales at 600 grams now that he's three weeks old.


Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Humboldt penguins are thought to be declining due to habitat loss. According to the ICUN red list, the Humbolt penguin qualifies as "Vulnerable". Adoption is a great way to help Humboldt penguins, or other endangered animals, through programs like the ones available through Chester Zoo.

13 Snake-Necked Turtle Babies Swim in to Denver Zoo


Thirteen Reimann's (RYE-man's) Snake-Necked Turtles have hatched at Denver Zoo. The almost fully-aquatic, freshwater species can only be found in Papua New Guinea. As their name indicates, they are known for their long necks, so long that they aren't able to fully pull their heads into their shells. Instead they wrap their necks around the front and sides of their shell to provide predators less of a target. Though adults can grow to more than 10 inches long, the hatchlings are all about the size of a quarter. Some of them may soon be seen in Tropical Discovery's nursery.



Photo credits: Dave Parsons

Florida's Newest Little Lady

Rhino Calf Lion Country Safari 1

Meet Laini, Lion Country Safari's newest "little" lady, weighing in at a healthy 50 lbs. Born April 28th after a 16 month gestation, this Southern White Rhinoceros calf will remain with mom in the rhino calving pen for about three months, giving the pair time to bond. After that, they will roam freely in Lion Country Safari’s Hwange National Park with the other White Rhinos, including dad Ronnie.

Notice the "insert horn here" nub on Laini in the picture below. Her horn will grow between 1-3 inches per year so it will take a while to get to a formidable size.

Sleeping Baby Rhino Lion Country Safari 2

Rhino Calf Lion Country Safari 3

Baby Rhino and Parents

Laini means fragile/endangered in Swahili, and the Southern White Rhinoceros is indeed threatened by poaching and habitat destruction. Since 1979, Lion Country Safari has had 32 rhino offspring. Little Laini was born as part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).

What's a Gundi?


The Gundi is a small rodent found in the rocky desert regions of Northern Africa. Female Gundis usually produce two offspring at a time after a two month period of gestation. Since moisture is so scarce in their native desert environment, mothers produce very little milk and their young are fully weaned within four weeks. These photos were taken over the weekend at Artis Zoo by visitor and regular ZooBorns contributor A.J. Haverkamp.




Photo credits: A.J Haverkamp taken at Artis Zoo