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September 2014
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October 2014

Name Dropping at the Oregon Zoo

OregonZoo_AfricanLionCubs_2On September 8th, beautiful African Lion Cubs were born at the Oregon Zoo. The healthy trio was the first offspring for their seven-year-old mother, ‘Kya’, and father, ‘Zawadi Mungu’. Now, the cubs are 4-weeks-old, adventurous, feisty…and they need names! 



OregonZoo_AfricanLionCubs_5Photo Credits: Michael Durham /Oregon Zoo

Until now, the zoo's animal-care staff has referred to the two females and one male by the last digit of the numbers they were assigned as part of the International Species Information System: 6, 7 and 8.

"They're bonding well, and we're starting to see their personalities," Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo’s Africa section said. "We think it's time to give them names that suit them."

Keepers have selected two possible names for each cub and are asking the public to vote.

Votes can be cast via an online survey, linked here: “Lion Cub Name Vote

Votes will be accepted through Thursday, Oct. 9. The zoo will announce the winning names on Friday, Oct. 10.

"A lot of animals at the zoo get their names from nations or cultures associated with their species' native habitats," Weiner said. "And for these cubs, we wanted to bring attention to what's happening in their range countries. Just two decades ago, lions were plentiful in much of Africa, but today they are vanishing at alarming rates. The wild lion population is estimated to have dropped by 75 percent since 1990."

The zoo's three adult lions (Zawadi, Neka and Kya) came to the Oregon Zoo, in 2009, based on a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for African Lions. Zawadi, the male, came from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the females, Neka and Kya, came from the Virginia Zoo and Wisconsin's Racine Zoo respectively.

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Clouded Leopard Cub Makes Herself at Home


Recently, a keeper from Cotswold Wildlife Park, in the UK, became foster parent to an abandoned Clouded Leopard Cub. 


10683701_10152314996532217_4399768394874041920_oPhoto Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park


The young female cub was found, at one-day-old, shivering and close to death. Jamie Craig, a zookeeper at Cotswold Wildlife Park, decided to care for the orphan at his home. With the help of his young children, Mr. Craig diligently tended to the cub, named Nimbus. 

In order to avoid any interruption from his family dogs, he decided the safest place for Nimbus was in an upstairs bathroom. "We wanted to keep her warm and somewhere secure, and the bathroom was as good a place as any," he said. "She could be messy with the milk and what comes out the other end, so we thought something with a wipe-clean floor was definitely needed."

After six weeks of care and nurturing at Mr. Craig’s house, Nimbus is now back at the park, in her own area. She is currently too young and small to be placed with older leopards, but, when the time is right, keepers anticipate she will be living with other Clouded Leopards in the park.

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Rare Sunda Pangolin Born in Singapore

Radin the Sunda pangolin hitches a ride on Nita as their keeper looks on

In celebration of World Animal Day this year, Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced the arrival of some of the world’s rarest babies, and among them, a critically endangered Sunda Pangolin. 

Radin the Sunda pangolin being measured by his keeper

Radin the Sunda pangolin in the protective clutch of his mother, Nita

Sunda pangolins Radin and Nita in Night Safari Photo Credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The new baby, ‘Radin’, was born July 13th to his protective mother, ‘Nita’. The birth of the critically endangered Sunda Pangolin, in the Night Safari, is one of the most iconic births for WRS. The species is native to Singapore and is the logo for the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund. 

Night Safari is the world’s first zoological institution to house the elusive, solitary, and nocturnal creature. In recent years, the endangered Sunda Pangolin has been driven closer to extinction by illegal trafficking, habitat loss and being hunted for their meat and scales at an unsustainable level. According to the IUCN Red List, there have been suspected population declines of around 80% over the past 21 years, and there is a projected future decline of greater that 80% during the next several decades.

Accredited zoos and reserves, like Wildlife Reserves Singapore, are crucial to the future survival of the species. This is the third successful birth of a Sunda Pangolin in WRS since 2011.

Meet Uruguay’s First Zoo-Born Tamandua!

A baby Tamandua born at Bioparque M'Bopicuá on September 10 is not only the first to be born at the zoo – it is the first captive-born Tamandua in all of Uruguay.

_SDC8805Photo Credit:  Juan Villalba

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Tamanduas are native to Central and South America.  Tamanduas are supremely adapted for slurping up ants and termites:  Their long, tubular snout holds a sticky, 16-inch-long tongue, which grabs bugs by the dozen when a nest is discovered. 

Surprisingly, Tamanduas spend most of their time in the treetops, searching for ant and termite nests.  During the day, they’ll sleep in tree hollows used by other creatures at night.

Tamnaduas are not threatened, but they still face pressures from hunting and the pet trade.

See more photos of the baby Tamandua below.

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Peekaboo, Little Red Panda!

Panda cub (2)
A baby Red Panda has arrived at Franklin Park Zoo!  Born on June 19, the male cub stayed in the nest box for about 90 days with his mother, Carys, and is just now peeking out to greet zoo visitors.   Red panda cub 2 (2)

Red panda cub - credit Melissa Durham (2)
Red panda cub and mom 3 (3)Photo Credit:  Franklin Park Zoo (1,2,4); Melissa Durham (3)

The cub was recently given access to the outdoor exhibit, which means he can choose to stay indoors or outdoors.  A video monitor allows zoo visitors to see the cub in the nest box if he is not outdoors.

“We are thrilled to announce this exciting birth. Carys has proven to be an excellent mother and she is doing everything an attentive Red Panda mother should,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, who added, “The cub is very curious and it is fun to watch him explore and learn new skills from his mother.”

Zoo New England participates in the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Carys and her mate, Yang. This is the first cub for Carys.

Red Pandas live in the cool temperate bamboo forests in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan in China, as well as in the Himalayas and Myanmar. Red Pandas have a small bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks, which make up a significant portion of their diet. This species is declining and threatened by habitat loss in the wild.  Red Pandas are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Orphaned Wallaby Joey Finds a Home at Taronga Zoo

4 joey

An education coordinator at Taronga Zoo in Australia has taken on the role of surrogate dad to an orphaned Swamp Wallaby joey, whose mother was struck by a car near Sydney. About 6 months old, the joey has been named ‘Alkira’, which means ‘sunshine’. 

Matt Dea has been hand-raising the female joey for the past two weeks, carrying a makeshift pouch and waking up at 2 am for one of five daily bottle feedings. 

“Caring for such a young joey is very involved and she hasn’t left my side. She comes home with me, she comes to the shops and she sleeps beside my desk at work each day,” said Dea. 

2 joey

1 joey

3 joey

Photo credit: Taronga Zoo

See and read more after the fold.

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Labor of Love for Perth Zoo Keepers


A rare Javan Gibbon has survived the first few months of life, all thanks to the round-the-clock care and attention provided by the staff at Perth Zoo, Western Australia.



PerthZooOwaGibbon62daysAug212014_6Photo Credits: Perth Zoo

The little male Javan Gibbon, named ‘Owa’ (Indonesian for ‘gibbon’), was born on June 20th, and has had to be reared by Perth Zoo keepers. Six days after his birth, it became evident that his mother, ‘Hecla’, wasn’t producing enough milk to sustain her infant.

Primate Supervisor, Holly Thompson, said, “It is difficult to rear a primate and introduce it back to its family, so it’s not something we took on lightly. However, Perth Zoo has an exceptionally good track record in this area.  We’ve successfully hand-reared four White-Cheeked Gibbons, but Owa is our first Javan Gibbon!”

According to Holly, life in her department has become a blur of nappies, milk formula and sleepless nights. Their department now features a portacot, and has been essentially turned into a temporary nursery. However, Thompson emphasizes, “It’s certainly a labor of love!”

Currently weighing in at a healthy 860g (1.9 lbs), Owa receives six bottle feeds a day and has just started enjoying mashed fruit and vegetables.

The infant Javan Gibbon visits his mother and father, ‘Jury’, and four-year-old sister, ‘Sunda’, at least twice a day. The group is very interested and protective of him, and it’s anticipated that he will return to his family once he is old enough to be weaned off his milk feeds.

Owa is Hecla’s tenth offspring. Hecla and her mate, Jury, are the world’s most successful breeding pair of Javan Gibbons. Perth Zoo is responsible for the coordination of the Studbook for this unique species, which involves updating the international studbook for Javan Gibbons and advising on suitable breeding and genetics for this species throughout Australasia.

See more great pics and learn more, below the fold!

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This Guy Knows How to Make an Entrance

ZSL Whipsnade_BabyElephant_8

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s new Asian Elephant made a grand entrance into the world and arrived just a few days ahead of the zoo’s ‘Elephantastic Weekend’. 

ZSL Whipsnade_BabyElephant_9

ZSL Whipsnade_BabyElephant_4

ZSL Whipsnade_BabyElephant_3Photo Credits: Natasha Jefferies (1); Jenny Soppet Smith (2); ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (3,4,5,6,7)

The brand new male calf was born September 16th to fourth-time mother, Azizah, in one of the zoo’s large grassy paddocks. Other members of the herd of ten Asian Elephants were nearby, showing their support for Azizah as her labor progressed, including the new calf’s siblings. Under the elephant breeding program, nine elephants have been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Assistant Curator of Elephants, Lee Sambrook said, “It was wonderful to be able to witness a herd birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We have a great track record with the elephant breeding program here, but seeing a baby born with all his aunties and uncles around in such a natural environment was an incredible privilege. Elephants are such social animals and you could see that the rest of the herd’s presence was just what Azizah needed to stay calm and do what she needed to do. The team of vets and keepers were standing by and monitoring her development, but it was so fantastic that the birth happened naturally, and with the herd’s help, rather than ours."

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s ‘Elephantastic Weekend’ was held September 20th and 21st.  It was planned to coincide with the world-wide Elephant Appreciation Day, and helps to raise money for elephant conservation and research projects, through fun family activities, fascinating talks, and unforgettable elephant encounters.

The Asian Elephant is native to Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. They are currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.  In the wild, the pre-eminent threats to Asian Elephants are: loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, and poaching for ivory, meat and leather.

More amazing photos below the fold!

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