Previous month:
September 2011
Next month:
November 2011

October 2011

The World's First ZooBorn Rhino!


In 1956, at Zoo Basel in Basel, Switzerland, "Rudra" became the first ever 'ZooBorn' Indian Rhinoceros. Over the last 55 years, Zoo Basel has heralded births of 32 Rhinos. Despite successful breeding and breeding programs at zoos worldwide, the threat of extinction to these endangered creatures is now more grave than ever. Hunted for their horns by unscrupulous poachers, all Rhino species are increasingly under attack. Zoo Basel plays a crucial role in the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), whose aim is to prevent inbreeding in captive populations by connecting breeding pairs from different bloodlines at zoos the world over. Zoos and animal parks are home to some 190 Rhinos which remind visitors to the urgent plight of their wild counterparts in India and Nepal.






Rudra was the son of Gadadhar and Joymohti. Within two days, he was out on exhibit and his birth was widely documented in newspapers, radio and television around the world. That year, Zoo Basel welcomed a record number of visitors. In all, 32 Rhinos have been born at Zoo Basel, with "Henna", the white-legged Indian Rhino born just last year ebing the youngest. In 1959, Rudra went to the Milwaukee Zoo and fathered his own child before his death in 1987. He is memorialized by a special exhibit in Zoo Basel's Gamgoas house.

Today, protection of rhinos in Africa and Asia is increasingly urgent. This year alone, over 280 Rhinos were killed in Africa. Ruthless poachers have in recent months even stolen Rhino horns from European museums. In many Asian countries, the Rhinoceros horn is regarded as a medical remedy, despite there being no medical evidence to support this. The result is that each day, one or more Rhinos is brutally and needlessly killed.

From Tadpole To Frog; Conserving A Vanishing Species

Frog face

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Washington just helped release over 1,200 endangered Oregon spotted frogs into the wild! They reared some of the endangered frogs from tiny tadpoles to full-fledged frogs, giving them a head start on survival. 

The native amphibian has lost ground to habitat loss from draining and development, disease and the introduction of invasive species such as the American bullfrog, and have been decimated by 80-90%. 

Oregon spotted frogs are highly aquatic.They are found in or near permanent still water such as lakes, ponds, springs, marshes and the grassy margins of slow-moving streams.

Before the frogs were released into the wild on October 7, each was weighed and measured at Northwest Trek. The frogs were released in the Dailman Lake area at Fort Lewis. The protected site contains one of the largest relatively intact wetlands remaining in the Puget Lowlands. State biologists will be able to track the Oregon spotted frogs using their ID tags. Their life expectancy in the wild is approximately 5-8 years.

Frog babies


A frog in hand...

Release 2
Photo Credit: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park


Miniature Burro Makes An Entrance!

Nose nudge

Nina may be a Miniature Burro, but she made a pretty big entrance into the world at the St. Louis' Children's Zoo this week. Her mom, Miss Barney, gave birth to the little foal on Tuesday morning, October 4, 2011, in full view of on-looking visitors, Zoo staff and volunteers.

Almost immediately mom began to clean her. Soon after Nina wobbled onto all four legs, she started nursing. Nina weighs 31 pounds and stands 23 inches tall. She can be seen with her mother and "Aunt Patches" at the Children's Zoo. Miss Barney and Patches came to the Saint Louis Zoo this summer.

Donkeys are the smallest member of the horse family and are herbivores. Ancestors of the mini burro, or miniature donkey, come from the island of Sicily near the Mediterranean Sea.

Cleaning baby


Photo Credit: Michael Abbene

Surprise! It's a Tiny Pygmy Marmoset

Marm ledge

A tiny baby clings to it's father's fur at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.... a bit of a surprise to the Keepers there Friday morning. They had suspected that now-mom Piccu was pregnant, but at some point during the night on October 6, the Zoo's 6th Pygmy marmoset came into the world.

The baby's sex won't be determined for 30-60 days when it has it's first well-baby check up. During that time, in fact up until about three months, the father will continue to carry the baby, excpet when it goes back to it's mother to nurse. Once gender is determined, the Keepers will come up with a name. 

Pygmy marmosets are the smallest monkey in the world, with an adult weighing about 3-5 ounces (85-140 gms) and from head to tail reaching the length of about 13 inches (330 mm). They are not listed as Endangered but they are in danger of becoming such due primarily to habitat destruction.  The fact that they are extrememly adaptable to their environment helps quite a bit. They live in the Amazon rainforest of Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru and can be found high up in trees near riverbeds.

Marmoset 1tp

Marmoset carrying
Photo Credit: Wellington Zoo

Twin Cubs' First Frolic in the Sun

Twinsplay 1

Visitors to the Assiniboine Park Zoo on Monday got to take in a special sight.Two Siberian tiger cubs, born on July 29 at the zoo, were on the prowl, making their first public appearance.

"At eight weeks these guys were about seven and a half, eight kilos," said Chris Enright, senior veterinarian.  "They'll get more and more confident, and come up a lot closer. So I'm sure people will have plenty of photo opportunities coming up," said Tim Sinclair-Smith from the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

The public is invited to participate in naming the twins. Visit the Zoo's Facebook page to vote.

Mom with kids 1

Stick back 1

Bite rock 1

Portrait 1

Log rest 1

Snooze 1






Peek And Pounce! Lion Cub Comes Out to Play


Imani, the St. Louis Zoo’s two-and-a-half-month-old African lion cub, will be exploring a play habitat outdoors. The temporary play space is one of the snow leopard habitats, which is just the right size for a young lion cub that is just beginning to climb and pounce.  

 “It will be a gradual learning experience for Imani as she is introduced to one of the smaller outdoor habitats,” says Steve Bircher, curator of mammals. “When she gets a little older and more comfortable outdoors we plan to introduce her to the lion habitat.” The cub was moved from the veterinary hospital to the area called Big Cat Country several weeks ago. She now weighs 24 pounds, eats two pounds of meat a day, and is doing very well. While still being cared for by her keepers, she is gradually being introduced to her mother Cabara and father Ingozi through mesh or a “howdy gate” behind the scenes. The staff hopes to reintroduce the cub and mother sometime in the future. 

“Imani is a playful and energetic cub who seems to enjoy the company of both her parents as well as the carnivore keepers who have been caring for her over the past couple months,” says Bircher.




Photo Credits: Rachael Macy/St. Louis Zoo

At this time, there is no date set for a public debut in the lion habitat. You can read more about Imani a our previous post HERE.

Flame-Haired Baby Langur for London Zoo

Lu lu tango

First-time mom Lu Lu, a rare Francois Langur, gave birth to a brilliant red-haired baby on September 1 at the London Zoo. Lu Lu and dad Neo have dark black fur. The baby, who is named Tango, is covered head-to-toe in bright orange fur, making it quite tricky to see the family resemblance.

Zookeeper Kathryn Sanders said: “Baby Tango is currently rocking the redhead look, but it won’t actually be ginger for very long.” She added: “Its fur will begin to darken at around three months of age, and they are usually completely black by the time they reach six months old.”

The yet-to-be sexed youngster spends most of its time snuggled up to mum, but in the same way the females behave in the wild, “auntie” Lee Lee also helps out with babysitting duties. Francois Langurs are one of the world’s rarest monkeys, and originate from northeast Vietnam and China. Classed as critically endangered, their populations are declining rapidly because of habitat loss.


Baby Tango
Photo Credits: London Zoo


Trinka the Wallaby Thrives After a Rocky Start


Trinka, an endangered Parma Wallaby joey, is being hand raised at the San Diego Zoo nursery. Her name is an Australian aboriginal word for daytime. She's small but strong, and her keepers describe her as sweet and expressive. She was found on the ground outside her mother's pouch when she was very small and had to be hand raised at the San Diego Zoo nursery. She was given a faux "pouch" to snuggle into and she comes out of it for a little exercise during the day. Feeding small babies like Trinka can be difficult, but the San Diego Zoo keepers are experts, and Trinka is doing great finishing off her four bottles a day.



Photo credits: Ken Bohn, San Diego

Meet Poco the Paca

Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

This is the first time a Paca has been hand raised at the San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park. Keepers hope he will one day be an animal ambassador, who does education programs at the Safari Park. The affectionate rodent was born Sept. 7, 2011.

"He's getting bottles four times a day of formula that mimics his mom's milk," said Kim Millspaugh, a senior keeper.  "From Day 1 he also was eating solids and he enjoys almonds, figs, and green bell peppers. His favorite is oranges."

Guests can see the baby paca, which looks a bit like a spotted watermelon on short legs, in the nursery called the Animal Care Center.

The Red Panda Party Don't Stop!


The Red Panda explosion of late has us wondering: Will the lesser Panda party ever stop? Is that confetti in this little cub's mouth? Regardless, you can't have enough Red Panda babies in your life, so break out the streamers, it's Panda time once again! This pair was born at Franklin Park Zoo on July 4 to Stella Luna, age 6, and Yang, age 5. The typical gestation period for Red Pandas is about 134 days, and females give birth to one to four cubs. Born helpless and with eyes closed, the cubs stay in the nest box with their mother for about the first 90 days. The twins are expected to be on public view sometime in this month. Party on!




Photo credits: Franklin Park Zoo