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June 2012

Potzberg Wildpark Welcomes Two Baby Moose


The Potzberg Wildpark in Germany has welcomed not one but two baby Moose. The first was born on May 14 to 8-year-old mother Sophie and 4-year-old father Konstantin. This the second baby for Sophie. Her first was born in 2007 to a much older father who has since passed away. That baby had to be hand-reared, because at the time, Sophie didn't nurse him. 

Though the Wildpark got a new male, he was too young to breed. Last year keepers hoped that he was old enough, but were not sure if Sophie was pregnant. With their gestation time being 242 to 264 days, all had to wait and see. As the keepers were on their morning routine in mid-May, they were thrilled to spot the new baby -- and this time Sophie accepted and nursed him right away. She's also been very protective; for the first two weeks she didn't allow any other of the moose near. Exactly three weeks later, on June 8, a second moose was born to 3-year-old Mom Finja. It was a big surprise for the keepers, because she's still quite young to be a mother. The baby is also a male and is in good health. 

As it ends up, Konstantin did a great job. The only thing missing now are names for the two little boys. The newborns are a great and needed addition to widen the gene pool of the Eurasian moose, who is locally endangered in the wild due to hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat.


Moose CU
CU baby 2

Mom and
Photo Credit:Potzberg Wildpark


Nashville's Masai Giraffe Delivers Her Second Baby

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DB28B

Nashville Zoo is now home to a brand new baby Masai Giraffe. Born on Sunday, June 10, the calf is mother Margarita's second baby.

“We’ve been watching Margarita very closely in anticipation of this event,” said Mammal Curator Connie Philipp. “This is her second calf, and she is showing us some great maternal skills. We look forward to showing the new calf to our guests soon.”

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DB2DB

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DAEDD

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DB38B

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DB313

Nashville Zoo_Masai #3DB20A
Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs / Taken at Nashville Zoo 


Masai Giraffe are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern.

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There's a New Kid at the Maryland Zoo


Baltimore's Maryland Zoo announced the birth of an African pygmy goat kid.  Born on June 10 to the Zoo’s African pygmy goat pair Lex and Lois, Lana is the first kid to be born at the Zoo in many years. “Lex and Lois came to the Zoo in December with the hope that they would breed,” stated Mike McClure, general curator for The Maryland Zoo. “It became apparent a few weeks ago that breeding had been successful, and we have been preparing the barn for this new arrival. Sunday morning keepers found the kid newly born and resting with her mother.”

Lana weighs 3 pounds, and began to walk approximately one hour after birth.  “A first time mother, Lois is properly caring for her offspring and we have seen the kid actively nursing,” continued McClure. “Keepers have been watching mom and baby and will continue to monitor them closely to ensure that they are doing well.”

Zoo visitors can see Lois and Lana in the Zoo’s Farmyard area next to the sheep.  “Lana is quite small and she likes to nap behind the water bowl in the exhibit,” concluded McClure.  “For now, visitors will need to look carefully for a little furry black baby with white ears, but as she grows she will become very active.”

Photo Credit: Maryland Zoo

Artic Wolf Pups Emerge at Knuthenborg Safari Park


They were born on May 7, but these Arctic Wolf pups were just seen coming out of their cave by keepers for the first time at Knuthenborg Safaripark in Denmark.

Just three puppies were spotted peeking their heads out at the edge of their den... but then came two more fuzzy little heads. "We are really happy", says Animal and Dissemination Manager for Knuthenborg Safari Park, Lisbeth Hoegh. "We had, at best, hoped for three pups, but there are five! Unusually large broods indicate a wolf-mother who works well in her role."

The Arctic Wolf is also called the Polar or White Wolf, and lives in the northernmost regions of Canada and Greenland. They are related to the Gray Wolf. They are considered endangered, due to being hunted for their beautifully colored soft pelts, among other reasons. In the wild they are very scarce, and there are even fewer in captivity. 




Photo Credit: Knuthenborg Safaripark

Rare Clouded Leopard Birth at Singapore Night Safari

Singapore Night Safari3

Barely a year since its first successful birth of Clouded Leopards, Night Safari recently welcomed another litter of cubs. The three cubs that arrived on 14 April 2012 were born to parents Tawan and Wandee, who had their first litter in May last year. Clouded Leopards are among the world’s rarest and most secretive wild cat species.

Singapore Night Safari4

Singapore Night Safari2

Singapore Night Safari

Named for the cloud-like patterns of their coats, which help them disappear into the shadows of the forest, Clouded Leopards are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. This second birth is a result of a planned breeding program, which saw the introduction of Tawan and Wandee at an early age to promote bonding and minimise aggression. The mating pair arrived from Thailand’s Khao Kheow Open Zoo three years ago.

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Baby on Deck! Sea Lion Pup Born at Pittsburgh Zoo


It’s a girl! Sea Lion mom Zoey gave birth to her second pup at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium; her first baby is 3-year-old Sidney. “At first Zoey was very protective of the baby,” says Henry Kacprzyk, curator of Kids Kingdom and reptiles. “But after a couple of days, Zoey relaxed enough to let the other sea lion members near. Especially curious were Sidney and Sophie, another young sea lion, who kept trying to get close to the pup but were chased away by mom.”

She weighed in at 18.4 pounds, a healthy weight for a newborn sea lion. “As long as the baby is continuing to nurse and vocalize with mom, we won’t interfere,” says Mr. Kacprzyk. 

In the coming weeks, the pup will learn to swim. “Pups instinctively know to start paddling in the water, but being young, they tire easily and need mom to help out,” says Mr. Kacrpzyk. “Zoey is always right there with the pup and helps if needed. We also put little steps in the pool that the pup can use to get out of the water.”


Photo Credit: Paul A. Selvaggio

Read more about this little pup after the jump:

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Update! Shedd Aquarium's Baby Dolphin Nurses


You might have seen the first pictures of the new baby Dolphin born at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium on Memorial Day HERE on ZooBorns. Shedd's animal health care teams reported that the calf is nursing regularly, averaging about a minute every hour, which is an appropriate amount for a growing dolphin. Mom Piquet's nutrient-rich milk is loaded with fat that helps the calf gain weight. The calf is also learning to slip-stream, a technique where the calf saves energy by swimming in the wake alongside its mother.

“It’s been very exciting the past few days as our animal care team has seen a number of firsts for the calf,” said Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Animal Care and Training. “The calf started demonstrating early signs of important learning behavior, such as mimicry -- after Piquet vocalized, we heard a definitive vocalization from the calf. Although we’re happy to see this progression, we remain extremely cautious as we continue to keep a close eye on both mom and calf’s development during the critical first weeks.”

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Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium

Here's a video of the baby nursing as they swim.

Read more about the baby dolphin after the jump:

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Orphan Opossum Finds a Home at Northwest Trek

Baby Opossum Close-up at Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington recently welcomed a rescued baby Virginia Opossum. Hand-raised, the tame animal will join the park's Animal Trailside Encounters team, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with local wildlife handled by a trained keeper. 

The Virginia Opossum is the only North American marsupial that lives north of Mexico. When frightened, these animals often pretend to be dead (i.e. playing possum) so curious predators lose interest in them. While this defense mechanism seems to be involuntary, don't be fooled into thinking Virginia Opossums are defenseless: they can also be quite feisty when cornered!

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 2

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 1

Meerkat Madness: Six Masked Babies!


Keepers at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire in the UK were stunned after one of their Meerkats gave birth to six pups in one litter. It's an incredibly rare occurrence -- a normal litter is between two and four kits -- and it's even more unusual that their mom, Twig, is successfully raising them all. What's more, she gave birth to two babies just two months ago, and to another one two months before that!

Meerkat keeper Jessie Croone said, “I came in early to check on them last week, and when I lifted the lid off of their nest box, I had the shock of my life. There was just a mass of baby meerkats! I couldn't even count them all at first, there were so many!”

Slender-tailed meerkats live in large family groups called mobs in their native habitat of the Kalihari and Namib deserts. Mobs are matriarchal and are run by one breeding pair. The top female is the only female in the group permitted to breed, but all of the others in the group help to raise the young. Meerkats have risen massively in popularity in recent years, from exposure as Alexandr in the car insurance marketing campaign and television programs such as Meerkat Manor.



Photo Credit: Paradise Wildlife Park

More meerkat pictures and information after the jump:

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Checking-in on Nashville Zoo's Clouded Leopard Cubs

Cub in grass - Amiee Stubbs
Photo credit: Amiee Stubbs

Back in March, we brought you news of Nashville Zoo's back-to-back litters of Clouded Leopard cubs. Now three and four months old, we check back in on the curious felines as they explore their exhibit. As demonstrated in the video below, Clouded Leopards are among the best feline tree climbers and have been observed walking down trees head first among other feats of arboreal acrobatics.