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October 2012
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December 2012

November 2012

Breaking News! Feisty Little Elephant Girl Hits the Ground Running at Oregon Zoo!


The long wait is over. Rose-Tu, an 18-year-old Asian Elephant, gave birth to a 300-pound female calf at the Oregon Zoo at 2:17 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.

“We’re all delighted at the arrival of Rose-Tu’s new calf,” said Kim Smith, Oregon Zoo director. “The calf is beautiful, healthy, tall and very vigorous. As soon as she hit the ground — before she was even out of the amniotic sac — she was wiggling. And she’s vocalizing loudly. The first time we heard her, the sound was so deep and loud that we thought it was one of the older elephants. She’s definitely got a great set of pipes, and it looks like she’s going to be a real pistol.”


Photo credit: Oregon Zoo


Learn more about this exciting birth below the fold...

Continue reading "Breaking News! Feisty Little Elephant Girl Hits the Ground Running at Oregon Zoo!" »

Help Name Hippo Baby Born at Lowry Park Zoo

TLPZ baby hippo nuzzle.jpg

Two weeks ago this baby Pygmy Hippopotamus was born at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. The female calf, born November 15 to second-time mother Zsa Zsa, is only the second in the Zoo’s history (the first occurring in 2008). Animal care team members have continually monitored the newborn, who is nursing routinely and has “filled out” just like she should be. And now you can vote to name her, by following the link here, just below her pictures. 

Births are few in the managed population among institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), with this calf bringing the total number of animals to just 55. Pygmy hippos are extremely rare in the wild, numbering only a few thousand, so this birth is very important to her species.

The pygmy hippos at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo are one of more than 90 species in the zoo’s SSPs, cooperative breeding and conservation programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to carefully maintain a healthy, self-sustaining captive population.  

Hippo swimming.jpg.jpg

 Mom and calf .jpg

Photo Credit: Lowry Park Zoo

The Zoo has launched a naming contest on its holiday web site, Wild Wonderland. Click that link to vote. Several African names starting with the letter Z in honor of mother hippo Zsa Zsa have been selected. The name that receives the highest number of votes through Monday, December 3, will be declared the winner:

  • ·         Zawadi -- “gift”
  • ·         Zola -- “to love”
  • ·         Zuri -- “beautiful”

Of all the entries for the winning name, TWO voters will be selected at random to win a family 4-pack of Zoo tickets, in honor of this second calf born at the Zoo.

Read more about Pygmy hippos after the fold:

Continue reading "Help Name Hippo Baby Born at Lowry Park Zoo" »

Not-so-little Bundle of Joy Bounces into Chester Zoo!


The U.K.'s Chester Zoo welcomed a brand new baby Asian Elephant this past Sunday morning. The not-so-tiny male calf was born in the wee hours (exactly 1:39am). First time Elephant mom Sundara and her new baby are doing very well and have already been out for a stroll in their main exhibit area. Other members of Chester's herd include the calf's Grandmother "Sithami", and Great-Grandmother "Thi Hi Way". Asian elephants are classified as endangered in the wild due to poaching and habitat destruction.




Photo credit: Chester Zoo

UPDATE! Tall Baby Rothschild at Chester Zoo Gets a Name


The UK's Chester Zoo welcomed a new female Rothschild Giraffe calf to their herd in late October. In case you missed it, you can read about it and see more pictures on Zooborns in our October 24 post. Now, the zoo announced that their baby giraffe has her name! She's called Kanzi, which means 'a treasure'.  And from the looks of it, she certainly is. 

The baby, who stood within the first hour of life, has certainly gotten her long legs working, and has been seen romping around the exhibit in the sun, intermittently getting nudged and nosed by the caring adults in the herd. This pure Rothschild Giraffe is the first-born for new mom Dagmar, following a 14-and-a-half-month pregnancy. Since this species is the most endangered of the nine sub-species of Giraffe, her birth is especially valuable to conservation efforts.





Photo Credit: Photo 1, Chester Zoo, Photo 2, 3, 4: Caroline Williams, Photo 5: Zoo Guest Janette McDermott 

One Happy Baby Capy For Belfast Zoo


Belfast Zoo keepers are hearing the ‘pitter patter’ of tiny webbed feet as parents, Charlie and Lola, have welcomed baby Sheila, the Capybara! Capybaras are found in South America and are, in fact, semi-aquatic, with webbed feet (hence their scientific name is ‘hydrochoerus’ which means ‘water hog’). Capybaras can actually stay underwater for up to five minutes which allows them to hide from predators!


Photo credit: Belfast Zoo

Fuzzy Belly Alert! Woodland Park Lion Cub Update


These four baby lions at the Woodland Park Zoo were first featured HERE on ZooBorns on November 19. This just in: new pictures of the babies taken by keepers behind the scenes while three-year-old mom Aida was out on ehxibit getting a little break and some fresh air. 

At three weeks old, the cubs are doing well. All indictions show that they are healthy and growing as they should. Later this week the plan is to attempt their first veterinary check-up to get a closer look and a better assessment of their overall health and growth progress. 



Photo Credit: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Nashville Zoo Makes History with First Captive Breeding of Eastern Hellbenders!


Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the captive breeding of Eastern Hellbenders for the first time as well as the first controlled breeding of any Hellbenders using biotechnology. The two Hellbenders were successfully hatched from eggs produced and artificially fertilized from the Zoo’s long-term captive animals.

“The successful hatching of the two Hellbenders is a result of a long-term collaborative project with a group of international researchers dedicated to saving this species,” said Dale McGinnity, ectotherm curator at Nashville Zoo. “This is an important first step and is in line with the Zoo’s commitment to the conservation and propagation of rare species.”

 An adult Ozark Hellbender, one of the world's largest Salamanders...


One of Nashville Zoo's adult Hellbenders...


Learn more about Nashville Zoo's Hellbender breeding efforts in the video below.

The two offspring were produced from a group of four Hellbenders living in an off-exhibit facility at the Zoo. 

“It has taken five years to develop assisted reproductive technologies for captive hellbenders,” said McGinnity. “We hope that with further refinement over the next few years, this species can be reliably reproduced using these techniques. This technology may then be used with a gene bank of cryopreserved sperm for Eastern hellbenders housed at the Nashville Zoo, to produce genetically diverse and fit offspring to suit various conservation needs.”

Hellbender-young---Amiee-StubbsSo small... for now... Photo credit: 1 & 4; Aimee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo, 2; U.S. Fish & Wildlife, 3; Christian Sperka / Nashville Zoo.

Continue reading "Nashville Zoo Makes History with First Captive Breeding of Eastern Hellbenders!" »

Nine Endangered Borneo River Turtles Hatch at Dresden Zoo

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There's more baby animal news coming from the Dresden Zoo! For the first time, nine Borneo River Turtles (Orlitia borneensis) have hatched. This is also the first of its species hatched at a zoo in Germany.

On April 9, keepers noticed a clutch of eggs on the exhibit ground covered with leaves and other nesting materials. The eggs were recovered and subsequently carefully monitored in an incubator. Then, from mid-August to early September, the babies hatched from their eggs using their egg tooth, a hard horny projection on the bill with which they crack the hard shell. Eight of the 9 hatchlings survived the first critical days; each is now being reared behind the scenes.

Also known as the Malaysian Giant Turtle, the Borneo River Turtle is the largest river turtle, growing to be up to 32 inches (80 cm). They lead solitary lives, inhabiting fresh waters -- rivers and lakes -- in Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra.

The Borneo River Turtle is considered Vulnerable in peninsular Malaysia and Endangered in Indonesia, where it is exported in large quantities despite official protection. It is threatened by hunting and poaching for sale in East Asian food markets in huge numbers. Therefore this successful breeding at the Dresden Zoo greatly aids the conservation of this rare turtle -- and what they learn can be shared with other zoos to support perpetuation of this species. 

Turt w mom cu.jpg

Turt on back
Photo Credit: Dresden Zoo

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All Play All Day: The Dresden Zoo Lion Cub Twins

More bite

Meet Lion cub twins Abayas and Damien, born on August 1 at Dresden Zoo to 6 year-old mother Layla and Dad Jago. For the first several weeks Mom stayed behind the scenes with her babies to bond and keep close watch as they opened their eyes and began to totter around. But in just five weeks, she led them to the outdoor habitat, where they explored new things like grass and bark under her gaze. Eventually their father was introduced successfully, a decision that is left to the instincts of the mother to decide. 

Now the entire family is on exhibit together. Abayas and Damien, now 4 months old, spend much of the day (when not napping) playing with seemingly boundless energy, much to the delight of all that witness it. 

 Twins again

These babies are big on batting and nipping each other, all in good fun and practice for when they will prowl and pounce as big cats. Proof of this is to be seen in these pictures of them below, when they did the same thing when only three days old  -- and after, at one month of age! 

3 days old dresden zoo

Bite cubs

But sometimes, they just bite themselves... or attempt a snarl and swat game with Mom or Dad...

Own tail

Paw dad

Photo Credit: Photos 1,2,4,5, 7,8: Jaqueline Meurer, Photo 3: Dresden Zoo, Photo 6: Knipsklaus

While Lions are considered to be king of the forest and plains, they are still vulnerable to changes in their environment due to man. Wild Lion populations have shrunken by half in some areas of Africa. This is why managed breeding in zoos is so important. It helps preserve a strong genetic foundation for this magnificent species. See more pictures of the Lion twins and the entire pride after the fold:

Continue reading "All Play All Day: The Dresden Zoo Lion Cub Twins" »