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June 2011

Western Lowland Gorilla Baby Born at Zoo Miami

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On Father's Day -- June 19 -- after months of anticipation, a tiny Western Lowland Gorilla was born to mom Kumbuka, 14-year old, at Zoo Miami in Florida.

Because the mother is so protective, zoo keepers don’t want to disturb the first critical days of bonding and nursing between her and her newborn, so the baby's gender and weight has not yet been determined.. The infant has been observed nursing and appears healthy. Once the staff can safely separate mother and infant, the veterinary staff will perform a neonatal exam.

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Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

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Bite-sized Bat-eared Fox Kits!


5 Bat-eared Fox kits were born to mother Singer & father Biko at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on May 10th. The kits are currently on exhibit exhibit with the park's Warthogs in the Heart of Africa area. The Bat-eared fox is a small African fox known for its enormous ears, which are over 5 inches (13 centimeters) long. The ears are full of blood vessels that shed heat and help keep the fox cool; they also give the animal a very good sense of hearing.


Photo credits: San Diego Zoological Society

Three Healthy Caracal Kittens are Born at Oregon Zoo


Oregon Zoo Caracal Peggy gave birth to three healthy kittens, two females and one male, on June 8. According to keepers, the first-time mother and her babies are doing well, with all three kittens nursing regularly and starting to move around their behind-the-scenes nesting box.
“We are very proud of Peggy,” said senior Africa keeper Asaba Mukobi. “It’s really amazing to see her do everything she possibly can to care for her kittens. She’s very protective, makes sure everyone is nursing, and sets boundaries for the kittens now that they’re moving around.”



Photo and video credits: Oregon Zoo

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Sweet Sea Lion Pup in Pittsburgh

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The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is barking with excitement over the birth of their new Sea Lion pup! Callie, a 6-year old California Sea Lion, gave birth to the pup last Friday in a behind-the-scenes area. 

“Both mother and baby are doing very well,” says Henry Kacprzyk, curator of KidsKingdom. “They are communicating and the pup is nursing. Callie is a first-time mom, but she is doing very well. We think that Callie, having watched both Zoey and Maggie with their pups, has learned how to care for her pup. Right now, she is being very protective while and she and the pup rest on the deck. She barks aggressively if she thinks keepers are getting to close,”  Mr. Kacprzyk continued. “The other Sea Lions are keeping a safe distance until Callie is comfortable with them being near her pup.”

Keepers will not interfere with Callie raising her pup unless they suspect the baby isn’t nursing or communicating with mom. The mortality rate for Sea Lion pups is 10 to 15 percent in the first month, so keepers and vet staff are keeping a close eye on mother and baby.

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Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Zoo/PPG Aquarium

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Holy Penguins Batman!

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It's that time of year again! At the very end of May, the pegnuin colony at the San Francisco Zoo hatched several Magellanic penguin chicks. One of the keepers managed to get rare footage of one of them just hours after it came into the world. That video is below. 

Young penguins first exchange their silvery down for an immature set of soft gray feathers without the distinctive striping of the adult. They molt into their “tuxedo” in their second year. After training at the Zoo's Fish School, where they will learn to swim and fish during the first few months of their lives, the chicks will march to their new residence at Penguin Island. There they will join over fifty other penguins who live at the colony. This much anticipated March of the Penguins event occurs annually and is quite a sight! 

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Photo Credit: Amy Frankel, San Francisco Zoological Society

The video below of a just hatched penguin chick is rare. Normally parents will not let anyone or anything as close as this. You can only get an idea of how tiny the chick near the end, when the parent sticks it's beak and head into the frame! 

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Father's Day Foal Born at Blackpool Zoo

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Danny the miniature donkey, Blackpool Zoo’s resident stallion, has become a father just in time to celebrate the national day of recognition for dearest dads! A tiny female foal, who has been named Leah by keepers, was born to mom Charlene on June 11.The birth was uncomplicated, with no intervention from staff needed. She is the first baby to be born in the Zoo’s brand new Children’s Farm and is already a huge hit with the public. One look and you can see why!

Charlene and Leah (below) are currently housed their own separate area but will be introduced back into the herd very soon. For the first three months Leah will feed exclusively from her mother, although she will start picking at and exploring grass and hay in the coming weeks. She will be fully weaned at around six months.

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The birth brings the number of Mediterranean miniature donkeys to six with the others being Amanda, Emma, the foal’s older sister Eliza and, of course mother Charlene and father Danny.

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo, UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome the adorable little Leah to our herd. We have a long and successful history of breeding Mediterranean miniature donkeys and have been keeping them here at the zoo since 1998." Jude adds, "Anyone treating their dad to a Father’s Day trip to the zoo should certainly head down to the Children’s Farm to see just how cute she is!”

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Photo Credit: Blackpool Zoo

Hailing from Sicily and Sardinia, the Mediterranean miniature donkey is almost extinct in the wild in their native land, though breeding programs have been very successful in the United States. When fully grown they at stand at between 30 and 36 inches tall.



Clouded Leopard Cubs in the Palm of Your Hand


Chai Li, a female Clouded Leopard at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a litter of two cubs Tuesday, June 14. This is Chai Li’s first litter. She and the cubs’ father, 23-month-old Nah Fun, were born at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand and put together as a future breeding pair when they were five days old. “There is nothing cuter than Clouded Leopard cubs,” said staff biologist Andy Goldfarb, who has worked with exotic cats for 25 years. “They appear healthy and are doing well.”



Photo credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo is one of only three zoos in the country breeding endangered clouded leopards, along with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo & the Nashville Zoo. The birth of the cubs at Point Defiance Zoo brings the total number of cubs born this year in the United States to eight.

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Black-and-white-ruffed Lemur Babies on White


Life On White, the crack photo team which brought us classic photo spreads like that of Marvin the Spider Monkey, is back with a brand new edition. In April, Erik and the L.O.W. team photographed three Black-and-white-ruffed Lemur babies.  The photos were taken when the triplets were just two months old. They are being successfully reared by their Mother at the Mulhouse Zoo in France.






Everybody Loves A Baby Dolphin!

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At the Indianapolis Zoo in Indiana, the Marsh Dolphin Theater is closed and Dolphin Shows are temporarily cancelled  but for a really wonderful reason: the birth of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at approximately 5am on the morning of Friday, June 3, to mother Nova. Marine Mammal staff believe the calf is a male, and he is doing well so far. He has been nursing regularly and appears healthy. The first photos are in by their own president & CEO, Mike Crowther!  

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Photo Credit: Mike Crowther

Quiet time is needed for mother and baby to bond during the first crucial days of life. The staff is optimistic, but it's early on in this process, so caution is indicated.  Information on the condition of the baby will be posted on their website. It's very relaxing to watch the video of mom and the baby below.


Dolphins are endangered for several reasons, all related to humans. Pollution of rivers, seas and oceans by man is one. Since they are the highest on the food chain, everything they consume creates the highest level of contaminants in their bodies, which weaken their reproductive systems and make them far less resistant to disease.

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Nearly Extinct Baby Gibbon Born at Perth Zoo


A rare baby Gibbon born at Perth Zoo eight weeks ago is thriving thanks to around the clock care by Perth Zoo staff. Weighing just 610 grams (21 oz.) at birth, White-cheeked Gibbon Nakai is being bottle fed and cared for by Zoo staff until he can be reunited with his mother who had difficulties caring for him shortly after the birth. Nakai is being bottle fed baby milk formula nine times a day including night feeds and has almost doubled his birth weight. He now weighs 1050 grams – just over 37 oz.



Photo and video credits: Perth Zoo

“The White-cheeked Gibbon is a critically endangered species quite literally on the brink of extinction so Nakai and every single gibbon is precious,” says Holly Thompson, Perth Zoo keeper and one of Nakai’s primary carers. Read below the fold for more pictures.





“Nakai spent the first few weeks of his life in a humidicrib to maintain his body temperature but now sleeps in a warm room with his teddy bear which is his surrogate mother for now.”

“We exercise him daily, stretching his arms and swinging him while he hangs on to help strengthen his arms and encourage natural gibbon behaviour. His upper body strength is really developing now and his overall progress has been amazing.

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