Previous month:
July 2012
Next month:
September 2012

August 2012

Teeny Tiny Titi Monkey welcomed at Lincoln Park Zoo


Even though the newest arrival at Lincoln Park Zoo only weighs a few ounces, the diminutive Bolivian Gray Titi (pronounced tee-tee) Mmonkey is a big deal. The baby, born August 18, is the ninth offspring for its parents, and its mother is the oldest of her species to give birth in a North American zoo.

Animal care staffers do not know yet if the little one, which joins a small population of only around 50 other Bolivian Gray Titi monkeys in accredited zoos nationwide, is a boy or a girl – but they do know it is adorable!

“The baby is spending most of its time nestled in the thick fur on mom’s back, but we do get a glimpse of its little face peeking up now and then,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “Dad and the siblings are playfully curious with the new arrival, and the whole group is responding appropriately to the addition.”



Mom Delasol, 21, and dad Ocala, 15, are well-versed in the ways of parenting. Just last October they welcomed their eighth offspring together, a male aptly named Ocho, the Spanish word for eight. They are recommended to breed by the Titi Monkey Species Survival Plan (SSP) and are one of the most successful pairs on record.

As the oldest mother in the SSP to produce healthy offspring, Delasol is a testament to the high quality animal care at Lincoln Park Zoo and the special attention paid to aging animals. The birth is particularly significant because Bolivian Gray Titi monkeys are declining in their native South America due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.

Titi families are known for being tight-knit, and fathers and siblings pitch in with childcare duties early on. The Titi Monkeys at Lincoln Park Zoo can often be seen sitting closely together on the same branch and intertwining their tails as a bonding behavior.

Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo.

Take a Peek! Day-Old Sumatran Tiger Cub Seen on Hidden Camera

Tiger 2

On August 22, Sumatran Tiger named Jaya gave birth to an adorable and healthy cub at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.  A hidden camera has been used to observe mother and baby while keeping disturbances to a minimum.  These photos and the accompanying must-see video were taken when the cub was just one day old. 

From all accounts, mother and cub appear to be doing well. The zoo hopes to introduce Jaya and her cub to visitors in about two months. Until then, the two will remain behind the scenes at the zoo.

Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered in their native home in Indonesia.  The destruction of Sumatra’s rain forests for the illegal planting of palm oil plantations has raised international awareness of the precarious state of Sumatran Tigers in the wild.  Unfortunately, zoo births for this species are extremely rare, so the arrival of this tiny cub is of great importance to the species. 

Tiger 1


Photo Credits:  Point Defiance Zoo & Aqaurium

Little Lynx Cub Makes His Debut


Last week, a 10-week old Lynx cub made his debut at the Montréal Biodôme. Visitors will now get to see the cub play hide and seek, learn to climb trees, and leap from rock to rock … all under the watchful eye of his mother.

In May, the animal keepers at the Biodôme suspected that the six-year-old female Lynx was pregnant, judging by her weight gain and her behavior. Since she was looking for a dark, safe place to give birth, a wooden shelter was built over her rest area. The Lynx cub was born during the night of May 26-27, in good health, while two other cubs died within just a few days. The surviving cub has done very well since then. He is still nursing, but has recently been developing a taste for small game. On July 26, during his general check-up, he received his first vaccination without any complaints. He weighs just over 5 pounds (2.3 kg).

Over the next few months, the young Lynx will be alone with his mother in the Laurentian Maple Forest habitat. During this time the six-year-old father will be kept in night quarters. Just as in the wild, the female raises her cub alone, since males can be a threat to their offspring.



Lynx have a low success rate when it comes to breeding in captivity. From 1999 to 2009, the average North American birth rate for Canada Lynx was 1.45 cubs per year. The Biodôme,a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), is very proud of this important birth.

Photo Credits: © Biodôme de Montréal (Claude Lafond)


Tickled Pink! Flamingo Chick Hatches at Smithsonian National Zoo


On July 29 a Flamingo chick hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Its sex has not yet been determined. The flock of 63 birds produces about 15 fertile eggs in a normal breeding season, however, the flock had irregular mating patterns this year. They produced only six eggs and did not construct nests that were sufficient to foster them. So this little chick is being raised by hand by Bird House keepers, who work closely with the Zoo's Department of Nutrition to ensure that the chick is growing at an appropriate rate. They feed it a formula designed to mimic the crop milk produced by flamingo parents and just recently added Flamingo pellets to its diet, which contains the carotenoid pigments that turn a flamingo's plumage pink. 

In the next few months, the chick will join the rest of the flock in the outdoor Flamingo exhibit. Before it is introduced to the flock, the chick will stay in a holding pen where it can observe the adults until it is fully independent. Its feathers are fluffy and white now, but once it is on exhibit, visitors will recognize the chick by its smaller size and gray color. It will gain some pink feathers and its bill will be more pronounced and begin to show the trademark bend at around 6 months of age. By its first birthday, the chick will have a plumage of light pink feathers. The darker pink color will develop fully by two or three years of age.

FL 1


Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Zoo

San Diego Zoo Conducts First Exam of Giant Panda Cub

Photo credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo's newest Giant Panda cub received its first veterinary exam this morning.  The quick, 3-minute exam allowed staff just enough time to determine that the cub is healthy, thriving and weighs 1.5 pounds. Vets were able to listen to the cub's heart and lungs - which sounded good - but were not able to determine the sex.


The paws of this cub might be tiny now, but they will grow into one of the most interesting paws in the animal kingdom. Giant Pandas have a pseudo thumb, which enhances their ability to gather and eat bamboo. No other species of bear (yes, they are definitively bears thanks to molecular testing!) has this distinctive trait.


This is the sixth Giant Panda born at the San Diego Zoo, the most born at a breeding facility outside of China. All six Giant Panda births have been to mother Bai Yun. The previous cub born at the San Diego Zoo was a male named Yun Zi. Born on Aug. 5, 2009, his name means "son of cloud."

Meet Louis, the Hungry Little Kangaroo Joey at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Nurse 2

The newest Kangaroo joey at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, was recently named Louis by his keepers. He currently weighs less than 10 pounds and spends most of his day in the pouch of his mother, Lulu. When he becomes confident enough to spend the majority of his day outside of the pouch, he will join the kangaroo mob at Walkabout Way. These babies are all currently being raised by their parents in private areas and they will soon be welcomed to guest viewing areas around the park.

Kangaroo babies are "born" months before they look like this. After a gestation of only 30-35 days in a hairless, underdeveloped state and find their way into mom's pouch where they continue to grow and nurse for about 10 months before they begin to leave it's safety for short periods. They may hop out but return there until they are fully weaned - at about 13 months.  

Nurse 1

Joey profile

Joey face

Photo Credit:Busch Gardens

Watch These Cheetah Cubs Grow and Play -- Every Day


"A Cheetah Cub's Tail" is a live streaming video channel that follows the lives of a litter of Cheetah cubs at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) from their birth to their hopeful reintroduction into the wild. First time Cheetah mom Salome (which means peace) gave birth to the 3 cubs at HESC on May 2. Since then viewers have been watching the cubs learn, play and grow on the live streaming channel.

With one click, you can watch Salome and her trio of cubs live every day on! Bookmark it!

Cheetahs are known to be the fastest animal on earth, achieving a land speed of 65 mph (104 km/h ) in short bursts. They can accelerate from zero to over 62 mph (100 km/h) in three seconds! Considered Endangered, perhaps only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain in the wild in eastern and southwestern Africa - and they are vulnerable, as the wide-open grasslands they prefer are disappearing at the hands of people who settle there. 




Photo Credits: Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre 

Extinct in Israel, Sand Cat Kittens Emerge at Zoo Tel Aviv

Sand Cat Kittens Zoo Tel Aviv 1

In early August, keepers at Zoo Tel Aviv Ramat-Gan were thrilled to discover that mother cat, Rotem, had given birth to four wriggly little kittens. Initially there was concern that Rotem would be unable to care for so many kittens, but she has proven to be a capable mother for her curious youngsters. Now at three weeks old, the kittens have just begun to emerge from the den to the delight of visitors.

San Cat Kitten Solo

Sand Cat Kittens and Mom 2

Specially adapted for desert life, Sand Cats can thrive in some of the world's driest areas beyond, the range of any other feline. Much like the Fennec Fox, Sand Cats sport big furry pads between their toes to dance along the hot sand and oversized ears, which act like radiators to disperse heat.

Despite these unique feline characteristics, the Sand Cat has not been able to outrun the triple threats of habitat destruction, inadvertent trapping by farmers, and predation and disease from domestic animals. Today they are extinct in the wild in Israel and on the decline throughout their native range of deserts in Asia and North Africa.

Mother Sand Cat and Her Pile of KittensPhoto credits: Tibor Jäger

Marwell Wildlife Celebrates Birth of New Giraffe Calf


Visitors to Marwell Wildlife enjoyed a special treat last Friday, August 17, when they witnessed the birth of a giraffe. Experienced mother Isabella went into labor at 8 a.m. and took almost four hours to give birth. The healthy calf soon found its feet and bonded with mom instantly.

John Pullen, curator of mammals at Marwell Wildlife said: “This is Isabella’s third birth. It went extremely well and Isabella took it all in stride. The public were allowed to watch the birth along with keepers and other members of staff. As soon as the calf was born we closed the house to let baby and mum bond. Isabella is doing really well and is very protective of her newborn."

Keepers cannot confirm whether the calf is a boy or a girl but a closer examination will take place in the next few days. The youngster will begin to eat solids after approximately 1 month and will be fully weaned within a year. All of the giraffes at Marwell Wildlife are on public view and can be seen at the park’s Into Africa or in The Valley field along with zebra, ostrich and waterbuck.




Photo Credit: Photo 1-2: Jason Brown Photography, Photo 3-5 Ken Dear

Dublin Zoo's New Baby Rothschild Giraffe a "Sweet One"


Dublin Zoo announced that its newest arrival, a rare female Rothschild Giraffe, has officially been named Tamu! The name means ‘sweet one’ in Swahili, and was submitted to the zoo by Grainne Byrne of Summerhill, County Meath.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said,Tamu is doing very well standing tall at six feet with a pale tan coat which makes her easily recognisable among the herd. She is an extremely well adjusted and relaxed calf, following the herd wherever they wander. We received an overwhelming number of superb suggestions and picking the winning entry was not easy. We chose the name Tamu as it fits her personality perfectly!”

The Rothschild Giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species. Rothschild males grow to 19.5 feet (six meters) in height and can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds (2000kg)! Their coat is a distinct mix of dark patches that are broken up by bright cream channels. Fewer than 700 now live in the wild.

Live footage of the giraffe herd can be seen anytime on Dublin Zoo’s African Savanna webcam.




Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo