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July 2011

Rare Subspecies of Red Panda Welcomed at NEW Zoo


A very rare and endangered Red Panda was born at the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo on Jun 12. NEW Zoo collaborates with other AZA zoos and the Red Panda Species Survival Program to ensure the survival of this beautiful animal. Only 18 zoos exhibit this more rare subspecies of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens refulgens) and there are only 57 individuals in the captive population. In order to keep the gene pool healthy, the AZA has a target population of 110 animals.



Reproduction can be quite difficult for this species. Fluctuations in weight affect fertility and males seem to experience "reproductive senescence" if they don't breed before they reach the age of 12. At 13, male Tae-bo is the oldest first time father on record! Leafa has proven to be a very capable mother. Although she is willing to allow her mate close to the infant male panda, she prefers that Zookeepers keep their distance. The baby is being raised on exhibit and is expected to emerge from the nest box between three and four months of age.

Rare Pygmy Slow Loris Twins in Galveston, Texas


Moody Gardens guests get a special treat this summer: the chance to see two rare Pygmy Slow Loris offspring, born June 13, on exhibit in the Rainforests of the World Exhibit.

The addition of the second set of twins is a rare and valuable boost to the population of this primitive primate species called prosimians that are found in tropical forests of Laos, Vietnam, China and Cambodia. These arboreal (tree-living) primates were nearly extinct in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Much of the forests where the loris lived were destroyed. After the Vietnam War, deforestation continued to be a threat. Due to numerous environmental dangers, the species is listed as “vulnerable” by United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


Photo credits: Moody Gardens

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She Likes Pink: First Baby Elephant in Czech and Slovak Zoos


An Asian Elephant female named Rashmi was born on April 12, 2011 in Ostrava Zoo in the Czech Republic. She is the first ever elephant baby reared in Czech and Slovak zoos! Mom Joht is 44 years old and Calvin, the father, is 25 years old.

Baby Rashmi - which means "ray of light“- is very curious and self-confident, as proven by her recent efforts to start exploring the world around her. She even occasionally dares to leave her mother to go short distances when in the outdoor enclosure. Her first attempts to to hold and carry objects with her trunk is improving.



Photo Credit: Pavel Vlcek/Ostrava Zoo

One of Rashmi's favorite activities is bathing and chasing a ball. Both these toys bring Rashmi a lot of joy. She especially seems to like her pink baby pool.


"The fact, that the elephant rearing in Ostrava Zoo is succesful after almost 80 years of elephant breeding in former Czechoslovakia, is obviously a great success. It is the result of the long time effort and work of whole team of enthusiastic people, hundreds of negotiations, consultations and longlasting preparations.“ says Petr Čolas, director of Ostrava Zoo. Rashmi is the best known and most popular baby in the Czech Republicat the moment.

Mom Palms Prairie Dog Pup at Budapest Zoo


Hungary's Budapest Zoo is home to a large family of breeding Prairie Dogs. These pictures are a mashup of this year's litter as well as last year's. Prairie Dog "towns" can be easily identified by the large mounds of dirt which contain their tunnelled homes beneath. According to the San Diego Zoo, when a female Prairie Dog is ready to give birth, she goes to the nursery burrow. The young, called pups, are born hairless and with eyes closed. In the nursery, the mother will take care of her pups until they are about six weeks old and ready to venture aboveground. At about one year of age, the young Prairie Dog may leave to start a new coterie by taking over abandoned tunnels or by digging new ones.



Photo credits: Budapest Zoo

Three Little Stars in Budapest - Amur Tiger Cubs


Visitors to Budapest Zoo in Hungary were introduced to the latest "stars" - their new Amur (or Siberian) Tiger cubs. Three little ones were born on May 10, 2011, all males, whose names are Virgil, Manu and Thrax. They went on exhibit July 7 after their first veterinary exam. Mother Niva is doing well caring for her rambunctious trio. After they wear her and themselves out, they can be seen resting together in the shade. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden is an EAZA (and WAZA) member zoo, and the breeding of Tigers is a part of the European Tiger breeding program (tiger EEP) in the framework of the EAZA.




Photo credits: Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden

Third Baby Elephant Makes History in Indianapolis!

Elephant baby 7-11-Gabi Moore-rev

African Elephant Kubwa has given birth to her third calf, making history once again as the first African Elephant in the world to conceive and give birth successfully via artificial insemination three times. The newest member of the Indianapolis Zoo herd is a female born at on July 20 and weighing in at 238 lbs., a very good size for a baby African Elephant.

The calf nursed many times during the first day and Kubwa again demonstrated very good mothering instincts. As has been the case with all of her calves, the new little one initially needs a bit of help to reach the source of mom’s milk. Kubwa is a very tall elephant, so a small step stool arrangement has been used so the calf can step up with her two front legs and stretch up to nurse. It has worked very well in the past, and it appears our new, very lively little girl learned the trick quickly – trainers report she is nursing frequently!

Elephant baby3-7-11-Gabi Moore-rev

Elephant baby5-7-11-Gabi Moore-rev

Elephant baby2-7-11-Gabi Moore-rev

Elephant baby6-7-11-Gabi Moore-rev
Photo credits: Gabi Moore / Indianapolis Zoo

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Zoo Atlanta's Tallest New Addition is a Girl!


The Giraffe calf born to Zoo Atlanta's Mona on July 22 has been confirmed to be female. The 3-day-old calf’s sex was confirmed by the Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team during an initial checkup on July 23. The calf, who appears to be healthy and is nursing normally, will have an opportunity to bond behind-the-scenes with her mother for about two weeks before exploring her African Plains habitat. Stay tuned for exciting details about the calf’s naming and public debut, including her first introduction to big sister Zuri, born to Glenda on July 13, 2010.


Photo credits: Zoo Atlanta

National Zoo Announces 3rd Clouded Leopard Cub This Year!


Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Front Royal Facility's Clouded Leopard Jao Chu gave birth to one female cub May 13. As of July 25, the cub weighed approximately 3.6 pounds and has started on a diet that includes meat. The cub is the third born this year at the facility and has access to the older cubs, born March 28. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) has been a leader in developing new techniques for successful breeding, including hand-rearing cubs from birth and matching them with mates when young. Clouded Leopards in the wild live throughout southeast Asia, in countries such as southern China, Taiwan and the Malaysian peninsula, and are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN.




Photo credits: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Siberian Tiger Cubs at Zurich Zoo

 Beauty shot

Three Siberian Tiger cubs were born on May 15, 2011 at the Zürich Zoo in Switzerland. There's one male named Lailek, and two females named Luva and Liska. Mom Elena was born in 2004 in the Tierpark Hellabrunn, Munich, and has been at the Zürich zoo since March, 2010. The father, Coto, was born in June 2002 at the Zürich Zoo and in fact was the last cub born there before this trio, his offspring.

Pose crop

Meat crop

Mom x

Carry back
Photo Credit: Emmanuel Keller

Also known as Amur Tigers, this species is considered the world's largest cat. They they are mostly found in the birch forests of eastern Russia, though some do live in China and North Korea. According to National Geographic, there were once eight tiger subspecies, but three became extinct during the 20th century.

Over the last hundred years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced overall tiger populations from hundreds of thousands to perhaps 3,000 to 5,000. Tigers are hunted as trophies and also for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. All five remaining tiger subspecies are endangered, and many protection programs are in place. Poaching is a reduced—but still very significant—threat to Siberian tigers.