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April 2012

A Star Is Born!


The zoo at Paris' Museum of Natural History, called The Menagerie, just announced the birth of a tiny male White-collared Mangabey. Born on March 5th, baby "Loango" was rejected by his birth mother. Keepers at The Menagerie stepped in to hand-rear the newborn and so far he is doing extremely well. The visiting public can see Loango at feeding times eating cooked veggies and fresh fruits and taking milk from a bottle. Loango represents a very rare captive birth for an endangered species, which is the subject of a European breeding program (EEP). The playful and mischievous monkey will remain in constant visual contact with his family until he is ready to join them in a few weeks.


Photo credit: Jérôme Munier / MNHN

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It's a Girl! Baby South American Tapir Born at Debrecen Zoo


A newborn South American Tapir lies next to her mother at the Debrecen Zoo in Debrecen, Hungary. The baby, a female, was born on April 15 after a 13-month gestation. She weighed a little over 13 pounds (6000 grams). Her parents, Sam and Luna, came to the zoo in March 2011 as part of a species conservation program. The baby will be raised together with her parents for almost a year.

Tapirs are endangered; their numbers have declined in the wild mainly due to a shrinking habitat and poaching for both their hide and meat. 

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Photo Credit:Debrecen Zoo 

"Czech up" for New Coati Babies

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On Monday, Zoo Brno in the Czech Republic gave its 6 young Red Coati cubs a routine vet check. The cubs received vaccinations and tiny microchips to identify them. The litter of young Coatis includes 4 males and 2 females. These South American members of the Raccoon family, known also as Brazilian Aardvarks, are active both day and night and prefer to sleep in elevated treetop nests.

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Photo credit: Zoo Brno

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Calgary Zoo Amur Tiger Cub Update!

The Calgary Zoo's three baby Amur Tiger cubs that ZooBorns first wrote about on March 31 -- when they were just a day old -- have opened their eyes! They can still only be seen on the birthing area webcams by keepers, so they can have all the time they need to bond with their mother in complete safety. Be sure to watch the video below.

The cubs will not go outdoors on exhibit until June, but ZooBorns will continue to post updates as they grow.




Photo Credit: Calgary Zoo

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtles Hatch at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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New York's Rosamond Gifford Zoo announced that 27 Yellow-Spotted Amazon River turtles hatched at the zoo between April 5 and April 12. Named for the yellow spots on the side of its head, it is one of the largest river turtles in South America.

“The hatching of these once-endangered species is exciting for us, as many of them will enhance the exhibits at other accredited zoos around the country,” said Ted Fox, zoo director. “Captive breeding programs are often critical in the survival of a species, and this is a success story we are proud to tell.”

Females typically lay two clutches of eggs each year, each with up to 50 eggs in it. They make their nests in sandy areas on the banks of rivers where the eggs will hatch two to three months after they are laid. In the wild, eggs are laid at the peak of the dry season so the nest will not be washed away.




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Photo Credit: Amelia Beamish/Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Rare Sri Lankan Leopards Debut in France

15 days oldSri Lankan Leopard cubs at 15 days old

Threatened by poaching and habitat destruction, this rare subspecies of Leopard got a helping hand from the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Of the seventy-seven Sri Lankan Leopards in captivity, sixty-six live in Europe, including these two adorable cubs, born March 6.

This is the first litter for Leïah, La Palmyre Zoo's 4 year old Sri Lankan Leopard female. The two babies, now five weeks old, are in perfect health.

3 weeks old

The cubs spent their first week secluded with mom to minimize disturbances while the family bonded. Since then the babies received vet check-ups and microchips. They made their big debut this past Friday.

5 weeks oldSri Lankan Leopard cubs at five weeks old

5 weeks old BPhoto credits: © Florence Perroux/La Palmyre Zoo

Rare Bongo Calf Bolsters Conservation Program at Taronga Zoo


Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a rare animal, a female Eastern Bongo calf, on April 2 in the early hours. Keepers watching on closed circuit TV cameras were delighted to witness the perfect maternal instincts that first-time mother Djembe showed in cleaning the newborn. The baby suckled within two hours. She's been named Kiazi, which means sweet potato. 

Bongos have a magnificent red-brown hide with white stripes on the shoulders and back that helps to camouflage them in the jungle. Adults can weigh up to 880 pounds (400 kg) and have splendid spiral horns which they lay back along their shoulders by tilting their heads so they can run through their jungle habitat without becoming entangled.

Eastern or Highlands Bongos are listed as Critically Endangered with as few as 75 animals remaining in small groups of 6-12 in their Kenyan upland range. Numbers of the highland Bongo collapsed due to poaching. Sadly there are now more bongos in human care than there are in the wild. Djembe and her calf share the exhibit with Djembe’s mother, Nambala, so for the first time visitors can see three generations of Bongo together. 


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Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo 

Al Ain Zoo Welcomes a Baby Chital Deer

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The UAE's Al Ain Zoo is celebrating the birth of a newborn Chital Axis Deer. Born the week of March 19, the Chital calf is now on exhibit. These deer are renowned for their beautiful reddish-brown coats with white spots and their large, three-pronged antlers.

While native to the dense semi-evergreen forests and open grasslands of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India, Chital deer have also been successfully introduced to Texas, Hawaii and Queensland Australia. They are primarily grazers, feeding on short, sprouting grasses.

In the early 20th century there were substantial declines and local extinctions, driven by hunting for meat, extermination as an agricultural pest, and habitat conversion. Thanks to protected areas and their tendency to be prolific breeders, the Chital is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.


Photo Credit: Al Ain Zoo

First Day of Spring Brings New Baby Mandrill to Jacksonville Zoo


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a Mandrill born on March 20 to 16-year-old dam Deanna, and 17-year-old sire Douglas. The gender of the infant is not yet known. Mother and infant are doing very well, and the baby appears strong and healthy. This marks the fourth offspring for Deanna and brings Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ mandrill collection to a total of five animals.

Kumani, another female offspring of Deanna’s, is currently sharing the living space with her mother and the newest addition and is gaining valuable experience by observing maternal behavior. Deanna and the little one were officially introduced to the public on March 23. From now on, they will rotate on and off exhibit with mandrills Douglas and Gucci.

Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys. Shy and reclusive, these primates are found only in African equatorial rain forests. They can easily be identified by their colorful blue and red facial markings and their bright pinkish-red behinds. Mandrills are threatened. Considered a delicacy by many Africans, they are hunted as bushmeat. In additon, the increase in the use of land for agriculture and human settlement is shrinking the rain forest they call home.


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Photo Credit: Mark Sheppe/Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens