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October 2012

Bat Baby Hangs Out For Halloween

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Zeke the baby Variable Flying Fox was born recently at Lubee Bat Conservancy. Bats make up one fifth of all  mammals (1,116 species). They are among the most endangered of the world's creatures, primarily because much of their habitat has been eliminated by human encroachment or because they are over hunted for food or persecuted as pests or disease carriers. Their loss has serious consequences for the ecosystems to which they belong because bats are important seed dispersers and pollinators for many native flowering plants, and key insect predators globally.

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Photo credit: Lubee Bat Conservancy

Paws for Some Fun: Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

We here at ZooBorns wish you all a fun, safe and Happy Halloween! We thought you might like to see what some of the animals at zoos around the world are doing to celebrate their holiday.

Pt. Def Amurs

Tiger Cub pals Dumai, a 9-week-old Sumatran Tiger, and Berani, and 8-week-old Malayan Tiger, both boys, try pumpkin carving at Point Defiance Zoo. Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

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Demonstrating a keen sense for decor and cosutme, the group of playful Asian Small-clawed Otters at the Newport Aquarium have been up to all kinds of spooktacular activities! Photo Credit: Newport Aquarium 

Seattle Aw sea lion Woody

Woody, the Seattle Aquarium's Sea Lion, seems to ponder what to do with this pumpkin: Hmmm... Scary face or smiley face? Photo Credit: Seattle Aquarium

WHipsnade Zoo cheetah cubs growling-at-pumpkin-12676



It’s the first time Whipsnade Zoo's 5-month-old Cheetah cubs have seen a pumpkin, and they wasted no time investigating. After giving them a good growl, the cubs were spotted playing soccer with them, alongside mum, Dubai, who came over to join in the festivities. Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Longleat Safari Park 2

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Longleat Safari Park's troop of Rhesus Monkeys were given a special Halloween treat this week in the form of spooky masks, which they immediately (and expertly) donned. Photo Credit: Longleat Safari and Adventure Park


NW Tret WLDlife Pk Skunk

NW Trek Wldfl pk Moose calk

Trick costume or savory treat? While this skunk gives one a test run as a good disguise at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, their baby moose noses the pumpkins as a potential snack. Photo Credit: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

LA Zoo & bot Gar

Halloween is a family holiday at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens... With a little help from Mom, this baby Tiger brings their pumpkin home to carve (or chew). Photo Credit: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Smithsonian Nat Zoo meers

Ever-curious, the Smithsonian National Zoo's Meerkats mob their Jack O'Lantern! Photo Credit: Smithsonian Zoo

Col Zoo tiger

One of the Coumbus Zoo's male Amur Tiger cub duo gets a grip on the gourd. Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo

Woodland park sno leop

Woodland Park Zoo's young snow leopard cub slinks into position, plotting her scary stealth attack! Photo Credit:Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo 

Hubertina fruit bat Paradise Wldlf pk

And what would Halloween be without a bat? A Fruit Bat to be specific... Little Hubertina hangs out at Paradise Wildlife Park. Photo Credit:Paradise Wildlife Park

Have a great day everyone!

Rare Panda Cubs Emerge From Their Den For The First Time


After three months secluded in their nest-box, two rare Red Panda cubs have finally emerged from the den, much to the delight of Cotswold Wildlife Park keepers and visitors alike. These striking twins are the first Red Pandas to be born at the Park in ten years. The as yet unnamed cubs were born to first-time parents, Doodoo and Scarlet, on 24th June 2012. The births came as quite a surprise to keepers, unaware that Scarlet was even pregnant! Red Pandas only have a small window of opportunity for breeding every couple of years when the female is receptive. Being incredibly shy and secretive animals, keepers did not observe any mating between the adult Pandas and Scarlet’s thick fur hid any tale-tale signs that she was about to give birth.




Photo credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park


Curator Jamie Craig said: “The Park has had an excellent record of breeding this species in the past and it says something about our history with Red Pandas that the breeding male we have now is the grandson of one of our original animals. Our new pair look set to be every bit as successful as previous Pandas at the Park and will play an important role in the breeding programme.”

The Red Panda is classed as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which means it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. They have also been classified as the 19th most globally threatened species by the Edge Of Existence Programme, so these new arrivals are of great significance to the collection. Tragically, due to habitat loss and fur hunting, it is believed that less than 2,500 Red Pandas remain in the wild. Cotswold Wildlife Park is committed to a European Breeding Programme to protect this gentle species.

A Lucky 13 New Flamingo Chicks for Santa Barbara Zoo

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The Santa Barbara Zoo is flush with Chilean Flamingo chicks - thirteen of them to be exact. The past two months have been very successful breeding time for their Flamingo flock. Eight of the new chicks are now on exhibit for visitors to enjoy. The additional five are being hand-raised in the zoo's vet hospital, where they are fed special formula and are doing well. 

Flamingo chicks have downy grey feathers for the first two years of their lives before they take on the light pink color of adults. Their spindly legs need to be strengthened enough to hold up their conparatively large bodies, so the chicks will be encouraged to do their exercise -- daily walks and swims -- as they grow.

Chilean Flamingos do come from Chile but are also found in southern Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and southern Brazil They tend to live and nest in saltwater lakes and lagoons. This lovely bird is classed as Near Threatened.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Varsik

Greenville Zoo Enthralled with New Giraffe Baby


After more than a year of waiting, Autumn, the Greenville Zoo's 6-year-old Masai giraffe, delivered her first calf, just before midnight exactly one week ago, on October 22. Walter, the baby's proud father, looked on, and Zoo officials said nearly one million viewers watched the live-stream of the birth with him -- including people from as far away as Australia and Japan. Many fans said they lost sleep so they wouldn't miss the birth. Giraffes most typically give birth in the morning, so Autumn caught even some experts off-guard with her near midnight delivery. 

Giraffe births can sometimes take hours, but once she got started late Monday night, Autumn delivered quickly. The calf was very still for several minutes after birth, but in less than half an hour, it was struggling to get to its feet. It succeeded in standing and taking its first steps within an hour. The Zoo conducted the neonatal exam Wednesday and announced that it's a boy. Staff selected the name Kiko, meaning autumn's child.

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Giraffe births are unusual in that they give birth while standing and the baby is born hooves-first. Giraffes are also one of the few animals born with horns on their heads.

Autumn and her mate are on a breeding loan. As part of the loan, Autumn came to the Greenville Zoo from the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston in 2007 to be paired with the zoo’s male giraffe, Walter, 7, from the San Diego Zoo.

Kiko went out on exhibit within three days and enjoyed his day outside. Hevhad a nap in the sunshine and took his time following mom back inside when day was done. To get a great birds eye view of mom and baby behind the scenes, 24/7, tune in to their live Giraffe cam.  

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Photo Credits: Darrell Snow/frin FOTO and Greenville Zoo


Leapin' Lizards! Two rare species born at Austria's Aqua Terra Zoo


Austria’s Aqua Terra Zoo is celebrating the long-awaited arrival of two sets of baby lizards:  Panther Chameleons and Chinese Crocodile Lizards.

The zoo’s female Panther Chameleon laid 35 tiny eggs early this year. While the eggs incubated, the staff carefully mimicked the seasonal variations of rainy and dry periods that the species would experience in its native Madagascar.  Finally, the 1/2-inch-long (1 cm) juveniles emerged from their eggs this month.



A colony of fruit flies is maintained to feed the lizards.  Like all Chameleons, these little ones are amazingly accurate “sharp shooters,” using their tongues to snag the tiny flies.  The staff feeds the colony hourly and waters them by hand to make sure each lizard gets a meal.  The hatchlings have already doubled in size!

Panther Chameleons are listed on Appendix II of CITES, due to loss of habitat on the island of Madagascar.  Sale of animals for the pet trade is tightly controlled by international quotas.


Hatching the rare Chinese Crocodile Lizard is a noteworthy achievement for the staff at Aqua Terra Zoo. After nearly a year of waiting, the female Chinese Crocodile Lizard gave birth to 12 healthy pups.   These lizards give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs.

Chinese Crocodile Lizards are native to southeastern China and northeastern Vietnam, and are named for the crocodile-like appearance of their tail.  They live near small streams and ponds, where they feed on tadpoles, insects, and caterpillars.  They often remain motionless for hours, and are called “lizards of great sleepiness” by local residents. Forest clearing and collection for the pet trade threaten the small, little-studied populations of Chinese Crocodile Lizards, which are listed on Appendix II of CITES.  Export for the pet trade has diminished with protection from the Chinese government.

Photo Credit: Günther Hulla / Aqua Terra Zoo

It's a Boy! Giraffe Born at Whipsnade Zoo


The ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of a male Giraffe.  The as yet-unnamed youngster was born on September 30 to proud first-time mother Ijuma and dad Uno. He's just begun exploring his outdoor exhibit.

Whipsnade credit


The baby boy took his first wobbly steps just a few hours after birth, a nerve-wracking experience for onlooking zoo keepers. He is now very confident on his long legs and can often be seen galloping around the Giraffe barn.

The Whipsnade Zoo staff  reports that Ijuma has been showing good maternal instincts and the other Giraffes, including Dad Uno, are very curious about the new arrival, peering over the fence to get a better look.

Giraffes are native to eastern and southern Africa.  There are nine subspecies, each with a distinctive coat pattern. As a whole, Giraffes are listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN, but two of the subspecies are classified as endangered and many populations have become fragmented.  The overall population of Giraffes has decreased by nearly half in the last decade. 

Photo Credit:  ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Playful Lion Cubs a hit at Mogo Zoo


A pair of 2 ½-month-old Lion cubs made their first public appearance this week at Australia’s Mogo Zoo.  The cubs are the offspring of Snow, a female white Lion, and Mac, a male tawny Lion.

The Lion cubs, one male and one female, were born on August 9 have not yet been named.   Their mother Snow is one of several white lions imported to the Mogo Zoo in 2004.




The cubs are beginning to feel much more relaxed the exhibit, though they still remain close to their mother.  The staff at Mogo Zoo reports that Snow is “an amazing mother and continues to care for, protect, and love her new cubs.”   

Photo Credit:  Mogo Zoo

Tiny King Born at Paignton Zoo

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There’s been a royal birth at Paignton Zoo!  A King Colobus Monkey was born on October 3.

This is the fourth baby for father Martin and mother Ivy.  King Colobus babies typically weigh under two pounds.  The sex is not yet known – the first vet check is not due until the youngster is at least 6 months old.

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Colobus babies are born with pure white fur, but they develop the species’ typical black markings at about one month of age.  The new arrival brings the zoo’s Colobus troop to six individuals.

The baby is important, as Paignton Zoo Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment explained: “There are only six collections in Europe holding King Colobus, so the birth is special as we and EAZA - the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria - want this population to grow.”

The species is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable. It is threatened by habitat destruction and hunting for food. Paignton Zoo participates in the European zoos' Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for King Colobus.

King Colobus Monkeys live in the forests of central Africa, where they feed on leaves.  They often rest quietly for hours while they digest this low-value food in their unusually large stomachs. King Colobus Monkeys spend their lives in the tree-tops. Four long fingers on each forelimb grasp branches like hooks.

Photo Credit:  Ray Wiltshire

Busch Gardens Welcomes Baby White Rhino

Rhino mom CU

On October 23, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a baby White Rhinoceros. The female Rhino, who has yet to be named, was born at the 26-acre White Rhino habitat on Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain. This is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh for father Tambo. She weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth, and will gain approximately four pounds each day until she reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America. Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities.  Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seven White Rhino births since October 2004, and this birth brings the total white and black rhino population there to eight.

Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. 

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Photo Credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay