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May 2012

Little Loris Twins Born a Duke Lemur Center

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On April 9 the Duke Lemur Center welcomed two new Pygmy Slow Loris twins to mother Loris, Sovanni. The Duke Lemur is the foremost prosimian research and advocacy center and sanctuary. Prosimians are primitive primates that include lemurs, lorises, bushbabies and tarsiers. 

The vulnerable Pygmy Slow Loris is a nocturnal tree dweller that lives up to its name, moving in slow-motion while hunting prey. While they may look cute and cuddly (thermo-nuclearly cute if you ask us) this animal has a toxic bite, a very rare trait amongst mammals. Widespread poaching for the pet trade and use in traditional medicines sold in China has put a tremendous strain on the species in its native home of Southeast Asia. 


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17001_2DH9720ED_np2933 7089 7090Photo credits: Duke Lemur Center / David Haring

Many more exceptional photos after the jump

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Bottle Feeding Mara Pups

St. Ignatius Mara Feeding

On May 4, a rainy morning at Zoo Santo Inácio, the zoo keeper responsible for the habitat of Patagonian Maras and Capybaras discovered two small Mara pups wriggling around in a puddle. He immediately brought them to veterinary services where they received a bath and oxygen. When their body temperatures reached around 36°C, the pair were given milk.


The pups, Doli (black collar) and Popcorn (white collar) are both females. The Maras are now in good health thanks to the quick action and dedication of Santo Inácio keepers and vets.

Giraffe Lovers Look No Further... Two Calves Born At Prague Zoo!


It was a very busy weekend at Prague Zoo. Two Giraffes were born within 12 hours of each other! Three-time mother Diana delivered her 4th calf on Friday evening and nine-time mother Kleopatra gave birth to her 10th. Kleopatra is the oldest female Giraffe at Prague Zoo. These two babies are the 73rd and 74th Rothschild Giraffes ever  born at Prague Zoo. They are 3rd and 4th born this year. Rothschild Giraffes are an endangered subspecies of Giraffe, particularly at risk of hybridization with other subspecies. While difficult to "spot", one feature that distinguishes this subspecies from other giraffe subspecies is a 5th horn that sticks up out of the center of its forehead.



Photo credit: Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

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First Pinskers Hawk-Eagle Hatched at Philippine Eagle Foundation


The Philippine Eagle Foundation announced a first in its conservation breeding program. They successfully hatched a Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle chick on April 2 at their conservation breeding facility after an incubation period of 48 days. The chick is the first Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri) bred and hatched in captivity. It came from a natural pair of parents and weighed a mere 57.2 grams when it hatched.

Once it reaches adulthood, this medium-sized eagle will look like the third picture below. It will have a light brown body with a brown, black and white belly and a dark brown tail striped with four to five darker, narrow bands. Its head and under parts will be reddish-brown with black streaks, while the throat will be white. And its wings will become broad and rounded.

The Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, endemic to the Philippines, is a species of bird of prey in the Acciptridae family. It is considered threatened because of the loss of its natural habitat - the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said, “The fast diminishing forests and destruction of their habitats are still the biggest threats to their survival. We need everyone’s contribution to ensure that the Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle population will increase, especially in the wild."

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Adult Pinsker's Hawk-Eagle
Photo Credits: Philippine Eagle Foundation

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Oregon Zoo Keeper Cares for Bear Cub


This post was reprinted in entirety from the Oregon Zoo's outstanding press release

"Michelle, we need your help."

So began a conversation that Michelle Schireman, an Oregon Zoo keeper known for taking in orphaned cougar cubs, realized would upend her life, both professionally and personally, for a while. It was her day off from the zoo, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was calling her at home.

As Schireman recounted that surprise phone call to zoo staffers a couple days later, a furry black animal about the size of a Labrador puppy wobbled Bambi-like around her boots, unsure of where to go next. Its tiny size, downy fur, and attachment to a nearby beaver plush toy suggested something harmless. But the sharp teeth and long claws confirmed its true identity: American Black Bear – and, of course, the reason for ODFW's call.

On April 23, state wildlife officials fielded a call from a Medford, Ore., family that had taken a young bear cub from the wild and brought it into their home. With no idea how to care for the helpless yet wild animal, they turned to professionals. Those professionals turned to Schireman.




The animal keeper, who serves as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' population manager for cougars, has fostered orphaned cougar cubs for several years, having placed nearly 75 during her time with the Oregon Zoo.

"I'm usually the first person fish and wildlife departments call when orphaned cougars are found in the wild," Schireman said. "Young cougars can't survive without their mothers, so I work with accredited zoos to find them new homes." Schireman's big heart and animal-care expertise led wildlife officials to believe she might find a home for this young bear cub too.

She got permission to house the cub temporarily at the zoo's Veterinary Medical Center during her workday, taking him home with her at night since the cub was still of nursing age and required around-the-clock care. At just a couple of months old, the bear weighed 4 pounds – about the same as a half-gallon of milk – which, surprisingly, is normal for an animal that could grow to be 6 feet tall and weigh up to 600 pounds.

42512BB-205-EditPhoto credits: Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

Read more and enjoy many photos after the jump

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Double the Fuzz: Two More Penguin Chicks Hatched at Toronto Zoo


The Toronto Zoo's African Penguin family is growing! Proud parents Colby and Greenbird have hatched two penguin chicks. The first chick hatched on March 29, and the second on April 1. The fuzzy little duo is now on exhibit for intervals throughout the day in the Zoo's African penguin house. They join African Penguin chick Eldon, who was born January 28, and the Zoo's 12 adult penguins on exhibit.

Penguin chicks "grow up" very quickly. To get an idea of how fast, the first picture is of Eldon at 6-days-old and the third is of one of the new chicks, at 26-days-old. You can read all about Eldon and learn in-depth about the Zoo's African Penguin program in our ZooBorns article from May 12.



Photo Credits: Toronto Zoo


SeaWorld Rescues Stranded Newborn Dolphin

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SeaWorld's animal rescue team traveled to Three Sisters Island in Florida yesterday afternoon to rescue a stranded newborn Bottlenose Dolphin. Weighing slightly less than 35 pounds, the male calf was found stranded in shallow waters under a mangrove. SeaWorld’s animal care experts believe the baby to be no more than five days old due to its size, the upright stature of its dorsal fin and the attached umbilical cord at the time of rescue. Preliminary tests have showed no major health issues but to ensure the young animal gets the essential nutrients he needs, SeaWorld’s animal team has been manually tube-feeding the baby every two hours.

Dolphin calves typically nurse from their mother until they are 12 to 18 months old. The youngster was probably separated from his mother before becoming stranded. The successful rescue was made possible by a collaborative effort: the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute initially checked on the state of the young calf, and SeaWorld was able to rescue it shortly after – following authorization by NOAA Fisheries Service. SeaWorld's animal rescue team is on call 24/7 to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals. This is the first Bottlenose Dolphin to be rescued this year.

Pedro Holding DolphinPhoto and video credits: Nick Gollattscheck / SeaWorld.

Dhole "Toddlers" on Display at Minnesota Zoo

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On April 12, the Minnesota Zoo welcomed its first-ever litter of endangered Dhole pups and on April 14th, the Zoo welcomed a second litter! These births mark the 10th and 11th litters ever born in the United States. Dholes are exhibited at only two other North American institutions besides the Minnesota Zoo. This also marks the first time ZooBorns has shared these fascinating canines. 

The pups are currently in their “toddler” stage, just starting to venture outside of the den. At this time, the exact number of pups is unclear as keepers are giving mothers and pups time to bond and have not ventured into the den, but current estimates are around four pups. The two adult females are sharing maternal duties so the exact parentage of the pups is still unknown.

Dhole Pup at Minnesota Zoo Plays with Mom 1b

Dhole Pupst at Minnesota Zoo 2Photo credits: Galen / Minnesota Zoo

Also known as Asian wild dogs, Dholes are a primitive canine species that reside in highly structured social packs. Highly adaptable, they live in diverse habitats in Thailand, Russia, China, and India in areas with plenty of prey, water and suitable den sites. Exclusive carnivores, the Dhole’s diet consists of mostly small to medium-sized deer and wild boar. They den in abandoned burrows and have litters of up to 12 pups. All members of the pack care for the litter.

With less than 2,500 in the wild, Dholes are an endangered species. Due to human population growth in Asia, major threats to the species include habitat loss, lack of prey, and disease from domestic and feral dogs. The Minnesota Zoo supports Dhole conservation in Thailand.

Baby Warthog Wonderfulness at Zoo Miami

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ZOO Miami is celebrating the arrival of a new litter of African Warthogs. The four female piglets, born on April 13, have spent the last several weeks behind the scenes with their protective mother to ensure that they are healthy and developing well. The Zoo aims to have them on exhibit with their parents for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Warthogs are a type of African wild pig that is distinguished by large upward curving tusks and what appear to be large “warts” growing out of the sides of their heads. These warts are actually cartilaginous tissue that is more pronounced in the males. They are common throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, can grow to be close to 250 pounds and live up to 15 years. 





Photo Credit: Ron Magill

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Stranded Seal Pup, Probably a Preemie, Gets a New Lease on Life!


Meet Olympia. On May 2nd, this young Harbor Seal was found stranded in Haines, AK. Haines Animal Rescue Center quickly got authorization to rescue her after searching the area for other seals. Olympia then made a last minute flight to Juneau where veterinarian Rachael Berngartt, D.V.M. stabilized her for further transport to Alaska Sealife Center.

Olympia has a white lanugo coat, an indication that she was born prematurely. Tim Lebling, ASLC Stranding Coordinator, stated, “It is likely that Olympia was abandoned by her mother, as we commonly find that seals abandon their premature pups.”  Olympia is currently in “good but guarded” condition, and will be cared for until she can be released back into the wild. She ASLC's first stranded Seal in 2012.



Photo and Video Credits: Alaska SeaLife Center

Olympia is currently being fed five times a day with a milk matrix created specifically for harbor seals that contains all of the nutrients and calories she needs to grow.  

Read more about Olympia and see more pictures beneath the fold...

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