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October 2011
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December 2011

November 2011

Meet Shane, Cincinnati Zoo's Baby African Pygmy Hedgehog!


Shane, the baby African Pygmy Hedgehog, is about one quarter of his adult size in these recent photos. In the wild these hedgehogs are incectivores, dining on worms and grubs, but in Zoos, they typically are fed kibble, closer to what a pet dog or cat may eat. Shane will be part of Cincinnati Zoo's Outreach Program, which introduces school students and zoo visitors to varied kinds of exotic animals.


Beardsley Zoo Welcomes a Chacoan Peccary Piglet


This little Chacoan peccary piglet was born on October 20 to parents Acorn and Bernard at Connecticut's Beardsley ZooThe female piglet, who is as of yet unnamed, was two pounds (.907 kg) at birth and has already grown to 10 (4.5 kg) pounds!  She was up and following her mother around within 15 minutes of her birth, which is not uncommon for these animals. 

Chacoan peccaries are between one and a half to two and a half feet at the shoulders and grow to weigh between 66-88 pounds (about 30 kg). They are most active during the early part of the day and then find a shaded area to cool under as the day progresses. Their hair is coarse gray to gray-brown, interspersed with long guard hairs. The have a whitish collar across the shoulders and under the chin. The head is extremely large and the nose tapers to a snout.

Chacoans feed on various species of cacti, fruit, roots herbs, using their tough leathery snouts to roll the cacti on the ground, rubbing the spines off. They also pull the spines off with their teeth and spit them out. The kidneys of the Chacoan are specialized to break down acids from the cacti.

The baby will remain off exhibit until Spring 2012, both because of the harsh winter temperatures and to allow for bonding with the mother. She


W mom
Photo Credit: Beardsley Zoo

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Baby Tapir Has Stripes AND Spots!

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A beautiful new baby Malayan Tapir has come into the world - well, she's come to the Edinburgh Zoo!  The baby’s name is Nadira, which means  ‘precious gift’ in Malaysian. She was born on October 3, the fourth baby born to Edinburgh Zoo’s adult tapir pair, mum Sayang and dad Ka.  She's turning heads with her unique look. 

Hoofstock team leader Lorna Hughes said: “We’re really pleased with how both mum and daughter are doing. Sayang is an experienced mum and she’s brilliant, she has been protective and attentive, but still relaxed about everything. Nadira is feeding well and going outside to explore.  We’ve begun to introduce dad Ka for short periods of time so he and Nadira can become more familiar with one another. Ka is good natured male and we don’t expect any problems when we eventually bring the family together for longer stretches of time."

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

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Fishing Cats Really Do Get Wet!


We did a story on three little Fishing Cat kittens born on July 29 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium when they were only two weeks old. You can read about that and see the pictures HERE

Now they have gotten big enough to get into the water. That's right, Fishing cats like to get into the water to get their fish and that means they get wet, as can be seen in these photos. These cats have a long, stocky body, shorter legs and tail, and a broad head with round ears. Their olive-gray fur has black stripes and rows of black spots. They may use their flatened tail like a rudder when paddling around. 

Fishing Cats are medium-sizeded wild cats found in South and Southeast Asia. They were classified in 2008 by the IUCN as endangered, because the wetlands habitats in these areas are fast becoming degraded or settled. The Fishing Cat population has severely declined in the last decade alone.



See more pics beneath the fold...

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Okapi Breeding Program Succeeding at Bronx Zoo


A baby okapi was born this summer, at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo following more than a year of careful animal husbandry science by the zoo’s mammal curators. The calf, named M’bura, just made her public debut in the habitat. She'll be on exhibit intermittently as she adjusts to her sourroundings.

Upon birth, the mother and the calf are allowed time to bond. Unlike what would be normal practice for other ungulate species, a neonatal exam is not performed and the calf is not weighed because the species is very susceptible to stress.

Curators give the mother and calf plenty of room to encourage natural behaviors. In the wild, okapi females will leave their calves for long periods of time to feed and return only for short periods to nurse them. The female and calf spend relatively little time together.  For the first two months of its life the calf will spend about 80 percent of its time in its “nest” area. Okapi calves start sampling solid foods by three weeks of age and are usually weaned by the time they are six months old. At the Bronx Zoo, this new calf will slowly transition to a diet of leaves, alfalfa hay, specially formulated pelleted grain, and produce.

Baby and mom

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher


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Look At These Lemur Twins!

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These little Ring-Tailed Lemur twins are the newest residents at Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand. The babies were born on October 10 to parents Rachel and Bruce. It is not the first time the couple have welcomed twins after becoming parents to Julian and Josie on August 20, 2010.

Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley said the two new additions are creating quite a stir within the lemur group. “The twins are quite active and vocal, and the other ring-tailed lemurs are very interested in these new arrivals. Rachel is extremely attentive to the twins and make sure she keeps a close eye on what the pair gets up to,” he said.

Lemurs are primates found only on the island of Madagascar in Africa, and some of the small, nearby islands. Lemurs use their hands and feet to move through the trees, but can't grip with their tails as other primates may. Ring-tails also spend time on the ground, which is unusual among lemur species, foraging for fruit, which makes up the bulk of their diet. They supplement that with flowers, leaves, tree bark, and sap. Ring-tailed lemurs are endangered, mostly because the forests they call home are quickly vanishing.

Lemur babies 1

Lemur babies 2

Photo Credit: Hamilton Zoo

That's a Baby Cuscus, Not a Baby Couscous!


The UK's Twycross Zoo's Cuscus keepers were lucky enough to capture these amazing photos when the baby Cuscus, approximately 2 months old, ventured out of mums pouch! This marsupial, native to New Guinea and the surrounding islands, is nocturnal, though native New Guineans describe seeing Ground CusCus sunning themselves in the ealry morning hours! Cuscus are known in the wild to dwell on the ground and in burrows part of the time, while spending nights foraging in the treetops.





Photo credit: Twycross Zoo

Spots and Stripes at Howlett's Animal Park


Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, England are celebrating the birth of a Brazilian Tapir. Born just a week ago, on the 27th October, the infant - who is yet to be named, is already venturing out into his enclosure whilst his mother, Corumba, keeps a close eye on him.

Joel Bunce Head Hoofstock Keeper at the park is delighted with the new addition: ‘This is Corumba’s  first calf so I was expecting both of them to be quite cautious, however the little chap is already exploring his enclosure and Corumba has taken to motherhood very well.’



Photo credits: Howeltts Wild Animal Park

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