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February 2012

January 2012

The New Year Brings Insect Baby Bounty

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The Insectarium at the St. Louis Zoo rang in the New Year with numerous hatchings on January 1. The hatchlings are being cared for behind the scenes, but many of the adults can be seen on exhibit.

A total of 39 walking sticks of varying species came into the world, starting with eight giant spiny walking sticks, whose natural habitat is the forests of Papua New Guinea. The babies are not so giant though -- they measure only about one inch (2.54 cm) compared to 5-6 inches (12-15 cm) for adults, which can be easily seen when the baby catches a ride on the back of an adult. Males have huge spines on their back legs which are like built-in weapons to help defend themselves if attacked by other males or potential predators. The total hatchlings that day also included 30 Northern walking stick babies, a species native to forests and woodlands across the U.S., and one lone Vietnamese walking stick, native to tropical forests of Vietnam.

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In addition, there were 67 baby white-spotted assassin bugs, 3 of which are pictured above, whose natural habitat is forests of Africa. When hatched, this venomous bug is a tiny yellow, red and brown carnivore -- an opportunistic feeder that eats crickets but has been known to eat small lizards! As an adult, the assassin has two white or two red spots on its back and lives from 18 months to two years.  

Greater angle-winged katydid2012_Saint Louis Zoo photo_sm
Photo Credits: St. Louis Zoo

Also hatched: Three greater angle-winged katydids, one of whom is pictured above, whose natural habitat is Missouri. Their light green color easily helps them hide among leafy environments.

Baby Bonobo Born at Twycross Zoo!


Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an extremely important baby Bonobo! In the early hours of Friday 6th January 2012, Maringa gave birth to a baby girl weighing in at a very healthy 1.44 kilograms after an eight and a half month pregnancy. 

Charlotte Macdonald, Living Collection Curator, said: "When keepers arrived at the enclosure to find Maringa had given birth, they noticed the baby was strong and alert but not actually on mum. She was being kept warm and safe by another female Bonobo within the group." 

"Maringa has had difficulty raising her young in the past therefore we have been planning for this birth in conjunction with the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) since last summer. Donna Smithson, one of our Bonobo keepers, visited Frankfurt Zoo last year to observe how they trained one of their female bonobos to be a foster mum, in the event that Maringa showed no interest in the newborn." Charlotte said.


Photo credits: Twycross Zoo

Continue reading "Baby Bonobo Born at Twycross Zoo!" »

Meet Nuru the Aardvark Baby


ZOO Antwerp welcomed a baby Aardvark on the 6th January. The Belgian Zoo has given the young "earth pig" (yes, Aardvark means earth pig!) the name Nuru, meaning born in the daylight. Producing enough mother's milk is a challenge for four time Aardvark mom Curly. So far, so good for baby Nuru, however. Keepers have noted Nuru's ears standing upright as an indicator of great health.





Photo credit: ZOO Antwerp


UPDATE! First Snow for Baby Panda


You first read about Fu Hu, the baby panda born at Viennas' Schönbrunn Zoo, in our article back in November of 2010. 

Though born last year, he is experiencing the joy of romping in the first snow of his life because he spent all last winter in his birthing box. He pads through the snow-covered enclosure, climbs up the icy tree trunks and nosily sniffs the blanket of white. Neither he nor his parents, Yang Yang and Long Hui, have any fear of contact with the chilly and damp elements. Pandas live in the foggy and humid mountain forests of Southwest China and are very well adapted to cold and snow.

“Even the sole of their paws is covered in fur. This not only protects them against the cold it also prevents them from slipping on the snow and ice” explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.

Watching the Pandas play in the snow is bound to warm the heart of the Zoo’s visitors.



Photo Credit: Daniel Zupanc

More photos after the jump!

Continue reading "UPDATE! First Snow for Baby Panda" »

Stingray Pups!


Babies have been born to two new Stingrays which arrived at Bristol Zoo last summer. Nine Ocellated Freshwater Stingray pups were born last week after two new females were introduced to the Zoo’s male stingray last year. The new females, sisters named Catalina & Genevieve, arrived at Bristol Zoo from Weston Seaquarium and have wasted little time in breeding. Catalina has produced six pups and three pups are from Genevieve.

The babies, six females and three males, are around just 12cm (4.7 inches) long and will eventually grow to the size of a car tyre. They have now been moved into a separate, off-show tank to keep them safe from larger predators in the display tank. In the coming months they will be re-homed, once they are bigger and stronger.


Photo credit: Lucy King

Jonny Rudd, assistant curator of the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, said: “I’m really pleased that the new pairings of our stingrays has led to the birth of these pups. Our male, called Gamma, is still relatively young and smaller than the females but that obviously hasn’t had any adverse effects.”

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It's a Girl! Baby Chimpanzee Born at North Carolina Zoo

Ebi CU

A baby chimpanzee was born at the North Carolina Zoo Monday evening. The little female has been named Ebi. This is the second baby for Mom Tammy, a 41-year-old female, who had previously given birth to Maki in March 1994.

Both mother and daughter are doing fine. Tammy is caring for her infant without any intervention from zoo staff members. The two are not on exhibit and will not be in the foreseeable future due to the cold weather and the infant-rearing process. According to General Curator Ken Reininger, it will be at least summer before the two will be on exhibit.  

Ebi's arrival makes her the 12th chimp birth at the park since its opening in 1974 and the second since August 2010. The North Carolina Zoo's chimp troop is one of the largest in U.S. zoos.  

Tammy & Ebi edit
 Photo Credit: Jb Minter/N.C. Zoo


It's a New Baby Giraffe for Jacksonville Zoo


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a male reticulated giraffe on January 11. The calf weighs approximately 145 pounds (65.7 kg), is six feet tall (1.82 m), and doing well. Guests riding the Zoo train may see the calf and its mother in the outdoor holding area, pending weather conditions or feeding and health care

“The neonatal or ‘well baby’ exam has been completed, and the calf is off to a good start,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  “The calf was standing on all fours within one hour of the birth and is now walking, sitting, standing and nursing properly. The keepers and animal healthcare staff will continue to monitor the newborn closely.” 

This is the second offspring for mom, five-year-old Naomi, since she arrived at Jacksonville Zoo in October 2006. The calf’s father is Duke, the 14-year-old patriarch of the giraffe herd, who has now sired a total of seven offspring since he came to the Zoo in April of 2003. The Zoo now has nine giraffes in its collection and this is the 31st giraffe born there.

In the wild, poaching, human population growth and habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation continue to impact giraffes across the African continent. Current estimates by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have the giraffe population at less than 80,000 individuals across all subspecies. This is a considerable drop in the last decade, where, in 1999, it was estimated by the IUCN that there were more like 140,000 giraffes.

Gir up


W mom


Photo Credits: Jacksonville Zoo 

Seattle's Brand New Sea Otter Pup Bonds With Mom

Seattle Sea Otter Pup2

The Seattle Aquarium announced Saturday the birth of a new Sea Otter pup at its facility on Pier 59 in Seattle. The young Otter was born Saturday Jan. 14 just before 5:00AM to the mother otter Aniak—who herself was born at Seattle Aquarium in 2002.

“We are so excited to welcome this new creature into the Aquarium family,” said Traci Belting curator of mammals and birds. “We’ll be observing the mother and pup round the clock to evaluate the health of each in the days ahead.”

Seattle Sea Otter Pup3

Seattle Sea Otter Pup

Because Sea Otter pups stay so close to their mothers in the days after birth and because Otter fur is so thick, Aquarium staffers do not yet know whether the pup is a male or a female. Close monitoring of mother and pup by an “otter watcher” team will continue for at least four weeks.

Continue reading "Seattle's Brand New Sea Otter Pup Bonds With Mom" »

Tiny Titi Monkey Takes a Ride on Dad


This tiny Titi Monkey is the youngest resident of the Basel Zoo monkey house. Born on December 27, the baby is tiny, and is being carefully looked after by all the family members.

Titi monkeys form lifetime relationships with a partner they choose right after leaving their family group at the age of three. Third-time mother Chica, age 9, and 6 year-old father Gunther are the parents. Gestation lasts for about 5 months after which a single baby -- or sometimes twins -- are born. Two days later, the father starts taking care of the newborn, carrying it on his back, and teaching the little one all it will need to know to become independent. The process takes about 3-4 months. Male Titi monkey are surprisingly caring and attentive and play the largest role in a baby’s upbringing; mothers interact with the baby only when it’s time for feeding. The father tends to its offspring for three to four months, when the young monkey can climb and feed on its own.

In the wild these monkey families live in the lower floors of the South American rain forest. They claim small territories of several square kilometers, where they feed mainly on fruit and leaves. Titi monkeys' survival is threatened mainly by habitat destruction. 

Photo Credit: Zoo Basel