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June 2014

Meet the Manatee Calf at ZooParc de Beauval

On April 24, France’s ZooParc de Beauval welcomed a male Manatee who weighed 55 pounds at birth!  The not-so-little baby will spend the next two years living with his mother, Femore, in the zoo’s tropical exhibit. 

10390110_837133642978250_6056935410077492482_nPhoto Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

Manatees are the world’s only herbivorous aquatic mammals.  At the zoo, the Manatees collectively eat more than 500 pounds of vegetables each day.  Their favorites?  Lettuce and potatoes.  In the wild, Manatees feed on underwater grasses.  They live only in warm coastal waters and inland marshes. 

All three species of Manatees (South American, West Indian, and West Africa) are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  People are the main threat to Manatees, through collisions with boat propellers, toxic algae blooms, pollution, and entanglement in fishing gear.

The birth of this Manatee calf is important to the European Breeding Program. 

See more photos below.

Continue reading "Meet the Manatee Calf at ZooParc de Beauval" »

Koala's Big Adventure at Edinburgh Zoo

1st Birthday in May 2014The only Koala ever born in the United Kingdom ventured outdoors for the very first time this week.

Yooranah is a male Koala joey born at the Edinburgh Zoo to mother Alinga and father Goonaroo in May 2013. In late 2013 he first emerged from the pouch. On his first outdoor adventure, Yooranah scaled the outdoor climbing frame for the first time on his own.  Before this, he needed help from his keepers!  He is one of four Koalas at the zoo.

14_6_17_Koala_Yooranah_Outdoors_JP_1Photo Credit:  Edinburgh Zoo

When the weather is warm, keepers take the Koalas out of their special heated enclosures to spend time in an outdoor amphitheater at the zoo, complete with climbing frames and eucalyptus leaves. This outdoor time is important – the Koalas get their vitamin D from sunlight, and they can also enjoy the sights and sounds of the zoo.

See more photos of Yooranah below.

Continue reading "Koala's Big Adventure at Edinburgh Zoo" »

Tiny Baby Horseshoe Crabs at Pine Knoll Shores

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North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores husbandry staff recently collected a total of six Horseshoe Crab hatchlings of varying sizes from nearby tidal areas. 
Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs lay eggs 2,000 to 30,000 eggs, which hatch approximately 2 weeks later.  Hatchlings stay in tidal areas for about a year before traveling into deeper areas of the ocean.
Despite their name, horseshoe crabs are actually more closely related to spiders than crabs.
These hatchlings will undergo a month-long quarantine before being included in the aquarium's invertebrate touch tanks. 

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Horseshoe crab baby logo

Connecticut's Only Zoo Now Home to Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups!


Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of four critically endangered Red Wolf pups! Today, just 100 Red Wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina, and nearly 200 Red Wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States. Because of this, the birth of four pups – two male and two female - represents a welcome increase in the overall scarce population.

“We couldn’t be happier with how (the babies) are coming along,” stated Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “Both the Red Wolf mother and father are taking well to parenthood and the pups are just starting to venture out into the Wolf den for short periods of time.







Learn more about these rare pups below the fold...

Continue reading "Connecticut's Only Zoo Now Home to Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups!" »

Ruby The Red Flying Fox Is In Great Hands After A Rough Beginning

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Ruby is a 3-week-old little Red Flying Fox who was rescued from the roadside, after losing her mother from a car strike.

Ruby was born on the side of the road in Qld, Australia and she would have surely died if not for the dedicated volunteers from 'Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld'. Ruby's carer (Denise Wade), was quick to attend to Ruby's needs becoming the orphaned bat's replacement mother.

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Juvenile flying foxes require a lot of time, attention and affection to survive. They form very close bonds and will often vocalize to communicate with their new carers. 

During her time in care Ruby will learn to fly, socialize with other bats in care, develop her independence and eventually be released to join a wild colony of little Red Flying Foxes.

Flying Foxes are a keystone species in Australia, responsible for the pollination of native forests, and the propagation of new plant growth via seed dispersal. Despite their ecological importance they are currently under threat in Australia due to loss of habitat, urbanization and a negative image in the media.

You can help:

For more updates on Ruby and other Flying Foxes:

Never touch or approach bats unless you are a vaccinated carer/rescuer.

Baby Elephant Makes Public Debut At Howletts Wild Animal Park

Baby elephant at Howletts Wild Animal Park c Dave Rolfe 1

Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park are celebrating the birth of an adorable baby Elephant.  Born just over a week ago, the calf and her mother Tammi are both reported to be doing well.

Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, the conservation charity that works closely with Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, tweeted pictures of the female calf, just hours after birth and said: ‘Had our 22ndele birth at Howletts today. Prob a little girl. Only 33 born in UK total, so very happy.’

Baby elephant at Howletts Wild Animal Park c Dave Rolfe 2

Baby elephant at Howletts Wild Animal Park c Dave Rolfe 3

The calf brings the herd number at the wild animal park, near Canterbury to 13 and cements the park’s reputation for being one of the most successful breeders of African Elephants in Europe .

Damian also tweeted: ‘Amazing to think 2 out of 3 eles born in UK are born here at Howletts.’

Howletts cares for the largest herd of African Elephants in the UK including bull Elephant Jums who stands at over 11 feet tall and weighs around 6100kg, a stark contrast to the tiny new arrival. Father to 18 offspring, Jums is now 37 years old.

Natalie Boyd, Head of Elephant Section said:  ‘We are delighted to welcome our newest member of the herd after a 21 ½ month wait, and are especially pleased with the range of natural behaviours shown by our elephants, who were all present.  Many other females, including all Tammi’s extended family assisted in getting the calf to her feet within minutes and encouraging her to suckle.  This is Tammi’s fifth baby and she is, once again, proving to be an excellent mother, and this time is assisted by Jara, Uzuri and even little four year old Manzi.’

Another Big Baby For Zoo Miami


On Sunday May 25th, a Black Rhinoceros was born just after 11:00 pm. This was the 13th successful birth at Zoo Miami for this highly endangered species. Weighing 122 pounds, the female calf was born after an approximately 15 month gestation period. The 14 year old mother, named Circe, was born at the Riverbanks Zoo and arrived at Zoo Miami in 2006. The father, named “Eddie,” is also 14 years old and was born at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Black Rhinos are highly endangered as they continue to be poached at alarming rates in Eastern and Southern Africa. Whereas there used to be over 100,000 running wild in Africa within the past century, those numbers are now down to an estimated 5,000 individuals. They are killed for their horns which are prized in some eastern cultures for medicinal purposes and as status symbols.






Penguin Chick Hatches at Monterey Bay Aquarium

10293611_10152456560452482_4849060020726963791_oThe Monterey Bay Aquarium is proud to announce the recent hatching of an African Black-footed Penguin chick. The chick is now being cared for by its parents, Karoo and Messina, on exhibit.

The young chick, whose gender is unknown, hatched on exhibit the morning of June 4.

Photo Credit:  Monterey Bay Aquarium

The chick weighed  6.9 ounces (195 grams), more than three times the 2.1 ounces (60 grams) it weighed after hatching – indicating that it’s eating well.

“The parents are doing a great job caring for the chick,” said Aimee Greenebaum, associate curator of aviculture. “We enjoy seeing them be such attentive parents.”

But Greenebaum cautions that despite excellent parental and veterinary care, Black-footed Penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality. 

All of the birds are part of a Species Survival Plan for threatened African Black-footed Penguins. The plan, managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, identified Penguins Karoo and Messina as genetically important to the captive population of this species in the United States, and the aquarium received permission to allow the pair to breed.

This is the fifth chick hatched in the Penguin colony at the aquarium. Of three birds that hatched in January 2011, the two males, Pebble and Tola, survived and are both doing well at Dallas World Aquarium. Maq hatched in August 2013 and is currently on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The chick will remain with Karoo and Messina for about three weeks or until it starts leaving its nest. At that time, the family will be moved behind the scenes for the chick’s safety; it can’t be left on exhibit because it could accidentally drown or be injured by adult Penguins in the exhibit. It will eventually receive a name, and the chick (and parents) will rejoin the colony on exhibit about three months later. After one to two years, the chick may stay at Monterey Bay Aquarium or move to another accredited zoo or aquarium.


UPDATE: Topeka's Tiger Cubs Outgrow the Baby Scale!


Three Sumatan Tiger cubs born on May 4 at the Topeka Zoo have grown so big that they no longer fit on the baby scale for their weigh-ins.


Photo Credit:  Topeka Zoo

The cubs, all female, are being well-cared for by their mother, Jingga.  But when the cubs were about three weeks old, keepers noticed that Jingga’s mammary glands were becoming irritated and she was not providing enough milk for her babies. 

To give the babies a boost, keepers give the cubs supplemental bottle feedings three times a day for about 30 minutes each time.  Other than at these feeding times, the cubs stay with mom and nurse from her regularly. 

Thanks to this extra help and continued maternal care from Jingga, the cubs each weigh more than 10 pounds!  They now are placed in a bucket so they’ll remain in one place during their weigh-ins.

See the cubs’ baby pictures when they debuted on ZooBorns in May.

Sumatran Tigers are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 500 cats remaining in the rain forests of Sumatra.  Intense pressure from the human population, along with unsustainable palm oil plantations, is pushing these cats closer to extinction every day.  Palm oil in is hundreds of everyday products, including foods and cosmetics.  You can help Tigers by purchasing products made with sustainable palm oil.

Help Name Beaver Kits at Drusillas Park Zoo

10457759_854289861264966_5337944449843736695_oTwo North American Beaver kits were born at the United Kingdom’sDrusillas Park Zoo.

The babies, both males, are healthy and growing fast!  The zoo invites fans to suggest names for the kits on its Facebook page.

1078762_854289794598306_7478114597607814494_oPhoto Credit:  Drusillas Park Zoo

Beavers are found near rivers and lakes throughout much of North America.  They are the world’s second-largest rodent species, after the Capybara.  Beavers use sticks to build dams on waterways, with a goal of providing a buffer zone of deep, quiet water as a defense against potential predators.  A lodge made of sticks, with an underwater entrance, is constructed in the middle of the deep water.   Pairs usually mate for life, and kits remain in the lodge for the first month of life.

Once hunted extensively for their fur, Beaver populations have fallen dramatically in the last century.  Today, however, efforts at restoring Beaver populations have been successful in some urban areas.  Though they can be destructive, Beaver dams help to establish wetlands that remove sediments and pollutants from the water.