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August 2011
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September 2011

Feisty Snow Leopard Twins Are Cleared To Venture Out


The ABQ BioPark is thrilled to announce the birth of two male Snow Leopards. Kiran and Kalmali, born July 21, 2011, are beginning to venture into their exhibit with their mother, Kachina, on the Zoo’s Cat Walk.

“Kachina is a great mother, very fierce and protective of her cubs,” said Shelly Dicks, Mammal Supervisor. “The cubs are peeking out after her and coming into the exhibit, but still shy when people are watching. However, when we arrive in the morning, it’s clear they’ve been having a grand old time. They’ve torn up the enrichment and made a mess of the exhibit!”



Photo credits: Katie Mast/ABQ BioPark

Snow leopards are endangered, and zoos and conservation organizations around the world are helping to protect them through a Species Survival Plan (SSP). Organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the SSP helps arrange adult pairs to maintain genetic diversity. Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo Manager, helps to coordinate the snow leopard SSP. Check out the additional photos beneath the fold...

Continue reading "Feisty Snow Leopard Twins Are Cleared To Venture Out" »

Twice as Nice - Red Panda Babies at the Dublin Zoo


Two red panda cubs a male and a female, were born at the beginning of August at the Dublin Zoo -- but they have only recently ventured out of the den. From the time they were born their mother, Angelina, kept moving the cubs to different hiding places around the habitat to keep them protected.

Team Leader Eddie O’Brien said, “We are delighted with the arrival of the cubs. They are both doing very well and starting to fend for themselves. Visitors should now be able to spot them roaming around in their habitat.”

Red pandas have thick, dense fur and a long, bushy tail keep them warm. The fur on the soles of their feet also prevents them from slipping on wet branches. Mainly active at sunrise and sunset, they spend the rest of their time asleep in the trees.They live in the wild in the cool, temperate, old-growth forests of southwestern China, the Himalayas and Nepalwhere dens are easily found and there are plenty of hiding places for cubs. Their coloration helps to camoflage them. Bamboo is their favorite food.

Red pandas are endangered in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. They are now protected by national laws in their range countries, so few of them are hunted, but deforestation is now their greatest threat. Because they hide in the wild, no one knows exactly how many are left in the world.  

2 bears


Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo

Rare Siamese Crocodiles Hatch High Hopes for Species


A nest of 20 critically endangered Siamese crocodile eggs were found in the wild in Southeast Asia, and delivered to the care of keepers at Lao Zoo near Vientiane. They were hatched and are being raised in hopes of helping the population grow. There they will live until they are 18 months old, when they will be released back into the wild. Experts estimate there are as few as 300 Siamese crocodiles left in the world, so this hatching of 20 individuals is a significant addition to that total.

The clutch of eggs was found in June in Savannakhet by a team of local villagers. They were trained by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and are engaged in trying to save the species in Laos. 

"We're thrilled at the prospect of augmenting the wild population of Siamese crocodiles with a new batch of healthy juveniles," Chris Hallam, the WCS crocodile project coordinator, said.


Photo Credits: M.Douangmyxay/ WCN Laos Program


Siamese crocodiles(Crocodylus siamensis) grow up to 10 feet long (3 meters) but are generally docile. That trait only makes them easier to hunt. In recent decades, the species has been preyed upon for its soft skin and meat. leading to it's dire status.

Sumatran Tiger Cubs Are L.A.'s Newest Angelinos!


On August 6, Los Angeles Zoo welcomed 3 baby Sumatran Tiger cubs. This makes experienced mother Lulu's third litter. The birth of these Sumatran Tiger cubs is a cause for celebration for zoos and an important milestone in the conservation of the species. Due to continued habitat destruction, poaching, and killing of tigers that come into contact with villagers, the wild population of Sumatran Tigers has suffered, and the species is classified as endangered.

Sadly, one of Lulu's cubs didn't survive. Zoo director John Lewis had this to say about the loss, "As excited as we are in this moment of celebration, we are equally saddened to announce that one of the three tiger cubs has unexpectedly passed. This is the third litter at the L.A. Zoo from our experienced mother who has successfully raised a total of five cubs. While the loss of this cub is unfortunate, we plan to continue to share the growth of the two cubs with our community until they are introduced to their exhibit. I hope you’ll share the adventure with us."



Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

While the cubs spend a majority of their time with mom, their keepers at the Los Angeles Zoo also spend time with them each day in order to foster a trusting relationship with them. Human interaction with the cubs from an early age allows zoo keepers and veterinarians to safely examine them during routine check-ups.

L.A. Zoo Baby Boom Kicked Off With Rare Otter Pups


On July 10, L.A. Zoo welcomed the birth of two Giant Otter pups. Zoo staff are currently caring for the Otters at the Winnick Family Animal Care Center. They can be viewed through nursery windows. Once they have matured enough they will go out on-exhibit. Giant Otters are extremely rare in zoos and are exhibited in only five U.S. institutions. Native to the slow moving streams, lakes and swamps in the Orinoco, Amazon and La Plata river systems of South America, the IUCN endangered mammals face challenges from illegal poaching and chemical water pollution. Keep an eye out for L.A. Zoo's other current critters!


Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

Three Wee Kiwi - A First in North America

Kiwi #3

A third Kiwi chick hatched at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Jul. 17, marking the first time an institution in North America has successfully hatched three kiwi in one year. The Columbus Zoo’s first hatching of the North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) occurred less than four months ago on March 23, while the second hatched on June 25, 2011.

This newest little chick, a female, is currently being cared for behind-the-scenes. The first two chicks are both males and have been given names reflecting their native New Zealand; “Ariki” (ah-ree-kee), meaning first-born or chie,f and “Toa” (to-ah) meaning warrior. The oldest of the chicks, Ariki, can be seen in the Zoo’s Roadhouse nocturnal habitat for a few hours each day.

Only seven kiwis, including the three at the Columbus Zoo, have hatched in the past five years in North America. The Columbus Zoo is only the third zoo in North America to successfully hatch a kiwi chick since the first one hatched at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 1975. There are now six kiwis at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and a total of 22 kiwis in three United States zoos.

 3 Kiwi 78 - G. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Yello Kiwi 71- G. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Grahm Jones/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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Meerkat Kit Peeks Out From Under Mom

Pup in hands

This little Meerkat named Kingsley (after British explorer Mary Henrietta Kingsley) was born August 22 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA. He spends most of his time tucked under his family members, mainly his mother, Darwin.  

Meerkats are sexually mature at about one year. The females can have as many as three litters a year. There is no breeding season, and favorable conditions can lead to an increase in births.  After an 11 week gestation, an average of three offspring are born.  Babies are usually weaned between 49 and 63 days. Both mother and father may provide care to the offspring. Meerkats lifespan is from 5-15 years. 

Meerkats are highly social and live groups called mobs, which made up of as many as three family groups (up to 30 individuals total). Each family group is made up of parents and their offspring. Kingsley is doing well  and getting to know his extended family.

Under mom 1


Tuck again
Photo Credit: Seth Bynum / Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Bolivian Gray Titi Monkeys: It's a Family Affair

A Gray Titi Monkey was born at the Bronx Zoo in April and has just now gone made it's debut on exhibit with mom. In fact, you can hear them sing together early in the morning.

Gestation for the Bolivian gray titi monkey is about 132 days, a little over 4 months. A single baby is usually born; very rarely, twins are born.  Gray titi monkeys live in family groups, which usually consists of a breeding couple and several offspring. The father will help wtih the baby, carrying it on it's back in the first few days after birth. Older brothers or sisters may also help in this same way.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which owns the zoo, works in Bolivia where gray titi monkeys live in the wild. This species is endangered largely due to habitat destruction.

Photo by Julie Larsen Maher/WCS