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April 10, 2011 - April 16, 2011
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April 17, 2011 - April 23, 2011

Partially Blind Harbor Seal Proves a Perfect Mother

Harbor Seal Pup at Albuquerque Zoo 1

On April 13, eight-year old Harbor Seal Gracie, gave birth to a bouncing baby pup in a special birthing pool. Gracie arrived at the Albuquerque BioPark in 2004 after sustaining a gunshot wound which caused significant eyesight loss. BioPark staff were concerned that her impaired eyesight might be a problem in motherhood, but Gracie relies on her other senses to communicate. “Seals use scent and vocalization, so we’re finding that her eyesight is not an issue at all,” said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager. “The pup is so cute. She nurses often and communicates with mom constantly, so there is a lot of vocalization. Usually after nursing, they play in the pool together.”

Harbor Seal Pup and Mom Albuquerque Zoo 1

Harbor Seal Pup and Mom Kiss at Albuquerque Zoo

Harbor Seal Pup at Albuquerque Zoo 2Photo credits: Katie Mast, courtesy of ABQ BioPark

The pup will remain off exhibit with her mother in the birthing pool until able to eat solid food. See more below the fold...

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New Playpal for Kasi the Cheetah Cub

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 3

Busch Gardens’ Cheetah cub has a new companion! Since the young Cheetah cub is being hand-raised by keepers, staff decided to pair him with a Labrador puppy as a playpal to help the animal socialize. Both animals are quite playful and naturally curious about the other. They have been getting along wonderfully. While this is Busch Gardens' first puppy / cheetah pairing, the move is not uncommon at zoos. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” explained animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life."

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 2

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 4Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Cheetah and puppy each received names yesterday selected by the public. The Cheetah's name, Kasi" means "one with speed" while the Lab's name, Mtani, means "close friend" in Swahili. See pics of Kasi as a young cub here.

American Jaguar Cubs Venture Out In Europe

Jaguar Cub at Bratislava Zoo by Emmanuel Keller 4

Just before and after Christmas, Zoo Bratislava welcomed two Jaguar cubs as part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums breeding program for this species. Both born to mother Laima, the pregnancy and successful birth was a small miracle since father Boris had initially exhibited significant aggression towards Laima. 

Leading up to the birth, Zoo staff prepared a wooden birthing box lined with wool in the back of the breeding facility, away from the visitors’ area. Even though it was Laima’s first birth she managed it without complications and since the first day she was a very dedicated mother, providing excellent care for her cubs. Typical for Jaguar, she aggressively protects her cubs. During the first month after the cubs’ birth, Laima would not tolerate her keepers in the vicinity of the birthing box. In order to minimize Laima’s stress, Zoo staff kept their distance.

These outstanding images were taken by the very talented Emmanuel Keller, a frequent contributor to ZooBorns.

Jaguar Cub at Bratislava Zoo by Emmanuel Keller 11

Jaguar Cub at Bratislava Zoo by Emmanuel Keller 11

Jaguar Cub at Bratislava Zoo by Emmanuel Keller 11

Jaguar Cub at Bratislava Zoo by Emmanuel Keller 11

Many more exceptional photos below the fold.

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Check Out Those Chompers!

Gibbon baby at Lincoln Park Zoo by John Kortas

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo has confirmed their newest swinging sensation, a baby white-cheeked gibbon, is a boy – and boy is he cute! The 3-month-old critically endangered ape has also been given a name. “The baby has been named Sai, (pronounced ‘sigh’), which means ‘son’ in Burmese said Lincoln Park Zoo Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “He is the third offspring – all sons – for the mother Burma and father Caruso.” Lincoln Park Zoo is significantly involved in ape conservation efforts in the wild to help secure a long term future for endangered apes.

Gibbon baby at Lincoln Park Zoo by John Kortas 2

“Sai has been transforming right before my eyes over the last 3 months,” said Leahy. “His hair is beginning to darken in color, his baby teeth have grown in – he’s got an impressive set of choppers – and he’s already starting to venture an arm’s length away from his mother, reaching out to test his long arms on hanging vines,” said Leahy.  Check out the chompers on this little guy below!

Gibbon baby showing off his chompers by Anita YantzPhoto credits: #1 and #2 John Kortas, #3 Anita Yantz, #4 Lisa Rank (below) 

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Bottle-feeding a Baby Mara


Last Sunday, April 17th, two Maras, or Patagonian Hares, were born at Portugal's St. Ignatius Zoo. One of the tiny Maras was rejected by its mother and keepers stepped in to hand rear the little one for the time being. If all continues to go well, keepers expect the baby to rejoin its brother and parents soon. Maras are listed as near threatened by the IUCN due to habitat loss and sharing of their territory with European hares which were introduced to South America by humans.


Photo credits: St. Ignatius Zoo

Checking in on Linton Zoo's Turkmenian Eagle Owlets


Linton Zoo’s Turkmenian Eagle Owlets are growing up fast. Igor, Yelena and Misha the Turkmenian Eagle Owlets weighed just 50g at hatching, they are now tipping the scales at over 1200g each, quite a difference in just 4 weeks! These 3 bundles of fluff hatched in mid March but were rejected by their inexperienced mother and so were removed for hand-rearing.



Photo credits: Linton Zoo

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