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February 2015
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March 2015

Two Clouded Leopard Kittens See the Miami Sun for the First Time


Zoo Miami is beaming about the birth of two highly endangered Clouded Leopard cubs. Since their birth on March 9th, the female kittens have been bonding with their mother in a quiet, cozy den. They first saw the light of day just two days ago while vets checked their vital signs and photographer Ron Magill snapped these first photos.




The mother, named “Serai,” was born on May of 2011 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center in Virginia and the father, named “Rajasi,” was born in March of 2011 at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee.   This is the second successful litter for both parents.  Zoo staff was recently able to separate the mother from her cubs for the first time to do a neonatal exam in order to evaluate the condition of the kittens and accurately determine their sexes. Both offspring are doing well and the mother continues to be attentive and nurse them on a regular basis.  The mother and kittens will remain off exhibit for the next several weeks until zoo staff determines they are established and stable enough to face the public.

Learn more about Clouded Leopards below the fold and find many more images of these cubs.

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Fennec Fox Kits Make Social Media Debut


Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, in San Jose, California, is proud to share the birth of four Fennec Fox kits!



10854365_10155307327500176_7819868222250320675_oPhoto Credits: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

The quad was born on January 23, and they recently made their social media debut. The two males and two females are being hand raised by keepers at the Zoo and will soon make their zoo exhibit debut.

The Fennec Fox is a small nocturnal fox that is native to the Sahara of North Africa. It is the smallest species of canid in the world. Their coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, and desert environments.

The large ears are indeed indicative of heightened auditory abilities. Its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. The Fennec Fox eats mainly insects, small mammals and birds.

Fennec Foxes mate for life, with each pair, or family, controlling their own territory. The species usually breed only once each year. Following mating, the male is known to become very aggressive and protective of the female, providing her with food during her pregnancy and lactation periods. Gestation usually lasts between 50 to 52 days. The typical litter is between one and four kits, with weaning taking place at around 70 days. When born, the kit’s ears are folded over and its eyes are closed. The eyes open at around ten days old, and the ears lift soon afterwards. The captive lifespan of a Fennec Fox has been recorded at up to 14 years.

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German Zoo Fans Are Taken With This Takin

Takin-Jungtier Paulina_Hellabrunn_2015_Marc Müller (5)
A Mishmi Takin calf at Hellabrunn Zoo is already displaying the skills required to be a Takin: climbing, fighting, and leaping onto rocks. 

Takin-Jungtier Paulina mit Mutter Kim_Hellabrunn_2015_Marc Müller (1)
Takin-Jungtier Paulina_Hellabrunn_2015_Marc Müller (3)
Takin-Jungtier Paulina_Hellabrunn_2015_Marc Müller (4)
Photo Credit:  Tierpark Hellabrunn/Marc Müller

Born on February 19, the calf, named Paulina, displays her amazing climbing skills by springing onto rocks more than twice her height. Adult Mishmi Takins can leap more than 12 feet.

Paulina was born to female Kim, who is nursing her calf and being a good mother.  The calf stood on her first try - an essential requirement for prey that need to run to survive.

Aside from mother’s milk, Paulina has nibbled on all the food that adult Takins like to eat, including carrots, hay, and pine needles. 

Both female and male Takins have distinctive short, stout horns that curve upwards from the center of the head. Signs of baby Paulina’s horn growth began to appear three days after birth. This makes the little calf look like a mini version of her mother, who is nicknamed "Sporty Kim" by her keepers because she is so energetic.

Paulina follows Kim's every move and tests the power of her little horns by annoying her father, Till, who takes everything in stride.

Mishmi Takins are native to southeast Tibet, China's southwest Yunnan province, northeast India, and northern Myanmar. Their stocky, muscular bodies and two-toed hooves are well-suited to their mountainous habitat.  Their thick, shaggy coats are covered by an oily substance secreted by the skin, which protects against the cold, damp air of the Himalayas.

See more photos of the Takin calf below.

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Baby Tamandua Wants Its Mommy!

Oso Hormiguero 27 feb.

The second-ever Tamandua to be born in a Uruguayan zoo came into the world on February 27 at Bioparque M'Bopicuá.  Uruguay’s first captive-born Tamandua was also born at the Bioparque in September 2014. In the video below, the newborn calls to its mother, and she rushes over to check on her baby.

Dscn3641Photo Credit:  Bioparque M'Bopicuá 

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Tamanduas may look strange, but every body part has a purpose.  Their long snouts can poke into anthills or termite mounds, and their sticky, 16-inch-long tongues gather up insects.  Huge front claws tear open termite mounds and help Tamanduas climb trees, while prehensile tails help them hang on.

Tamanaduas are big stinkers – literally.  They spray a smelly substance that’s said to be four times as powerful as a skunk’s.   This powerful scent makes Tamanduas unappealing to predators like jaguars.

Baby Tamanduas are born after a five-month gestation.  Right from the start, the babies sport very large claws.  Babies ride on their mothers’ backs for the first few months of life. At this time, Tamanduas are plentiful in their home range in Central and South America.

Tampa’s Clouded Leopard Kitten Is a Superstar

Asia clouded leopard cub 4b mar 24 2015

An endangered Clouded Leopard kitten, born March 7 at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, has become a worldwide ambassador for his imperiled species. Images and video of the rare newborn have been shared around the globe.

Asia panther cub feeding 2 mar 24 2015

Asia clouded leopard cub in isolette 2 mar 24 2015

Asia panther cub feeding 4 mar 24 2015Photo Credits: Dave Parkinson

Now 3-weeks-old, the kitten has grown from 300 grams at birth to 810 grams today. His eyes are completely open and he is becoming more alert. He has started to crawl (or scoot) along using his front legs, and should be strong enough to move steadily on all four by one month of age. He is very vocal, particularly near feeding time which occurs approximately every four hours.

The Zoo’s veterinary team is providing round-the-clock care for the kitten under the protocol established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP).  It has been demonstrated that hand-rearing this particular species helps facilitate increased socialization among young animals and reduces fatal attacks by aggressive adult males. 

The kitten’s dad, ‘Yim’, and mom, ‘Malee’, live at the Zoo. Both turn 4-years-old this week and were paired as potential mates at six months of age. The male kitten is their first offspring. He will be hand-reared until weaned at about 3 months of age. At that time the AZA SSP will make a determination about his future home.

Clouded Leopards are the smallest of the “big cats,” weighing 30- 50 pounds in adulthood and measuring about five feet long (including the long tail). Native to Southeast Asia, Clouded Leopards are found in forests and rainforests. They are known as shy and reclusive cats. As a forest-dependent species, the Leopard’s native range is undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation rates. High levels of hunting and poaching also make the species vulnerable to extinction.    

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has been a member of the Clouded Leopard SSP for more than a decade.  The Zoo has also supported a conservation research program known as WildAid: Thailand Carnivore Project, a non-invasive study of Thailand’s wild cats including the Clouded Leopard.

More adorable pics, below the fold!

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Meerkat Pups Out and About at Edinburgh Zoo


Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to announce the arrival of three Meerkat pups.



_MG_5374_edited-1_Mike_GilburtPhoto Credits: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

The lively bunch has joined the troop of Meerkats at Meerkat Plaza, in Edinburgh Zoo, and has started to venture outside the safety of the burrow and is slowly learning the ropes.

Andrew Laing, Carnivore Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “The Meerkats are always a favorite with our visitors, so it’s wonderful to see some new additions to the group. At only four weeks old the pups are settling in well and their individual personalities are starting to show. Mum, ‘Queen’, and dad, ‘Ace’, are doing really well and are getting plenty of help from other members of the group to raise the pups. Meerkats are actually cooperative breeders, which mean that all adults within the group will help to care for the young.”

Andrew continued, “Meerkats have a gestation period of around 11 weeks, so we didn't have long to wait for them to arrive, but for the first three weeks of life they stay in the burrow being looked after by the adults. At around four weeks old they will start to explore outside of the den. It’s good to see them out and about learning how to catch their own food.”

Meerkats are the most well-known member of the mongoose family. They inhabit dry, open areas with short grass and sparse woody scrub, mainly in southern Africa.

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Serval Kitten 'Jumps Right In' at Cincinnati Zoo


The Cincinnati Zoo’s newest resident is a two month old male Serval kitten!  ‘Zeke’ was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo, in Brownsville, Texas. 




Photo Credits: Cassandre Crawford

The feisty boy is currently in quarantine, at the Zoo’s nursery, to ensure he is healthy before introduction to the other animals. He will remain in nursery, for the remainder of the spring. During this time, staff will also have the opportunity to work hands-on with him and prepare him for future participation in the Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program.

Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program is a unique experience that allows visitors, by special arrangement, to see some of the beautiful cats, up-close and without bars. Not only are guests allowed to witness the cat’s athletic abilities, they are provided an opportunity to learn more about their importance to the world and the challenges they face as a species. Zeke will, eventually, become a member of the Cheetah Encounter Show, which features cats with exciting running and jumping prowess.

The Serval is a medium-sized African wild cat. They have the longest legs of any cat, relative to body size. Most of the increase in length is due to the greatly elongated metatarsal bones in the feet. The toes are also elongated, and unusually mobile, helping the animal to capture partially concealed prey. The Serval also possesses an acute sense of hearing, which is attributed to their large ears and auditory bullae in the skull.

In the wilds of Africa, they prefer to inhabit the savanna. They do, on occasion inhabit mountainous areas, but tend to avoid equatorial jungles. They are able to climb and swim, but have no partiality to either.

The Serval is mainly nocturnal, and they generally stick to hunting of smaller prey.  Because of their legs, they are record jumpers and are also able to run at speeds of, up to, 50mph /80 km/h.  They are also known to be highly intelligent and lovers of mischief.

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More Meerkats for Dartmoor Mob


Dartmoor Zoological Park, in the UK, is very proud to announce that ‘Xena’, Meerkat mum-in-residence, has given birth to four kits!  



11043394_10153169586423564_4929633959967411833_oPhoto Credits: Dartmoor Zoological Park

Head Keeper Mike Downman said, “Mum Xena is a very experienced mother, and… it's good to give her a bit of recognition.”

This is Xena’s fifth litter of healthy kits. Some of her offspring are on show at the zoo, while others have been transferred to other collections in the region.

“We don’t know yet which are male or female,” says Mike. “The group is very protective of the new arrivals so it will be a while before we can get a close enough look.”

The kits are now four weeks old, and despite the mystery of what sex they are, the Park is eager to find names for the litter. Name suggestions can be submitted to Dartmoor Zoological Park’s facebook page

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Albuquerque BioPark Welcomes Chimpanzee Twins

Baby Chimp3

The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo welcomed new twin Chimpanzees on November 4, 2014. The pair have stayed very close to their mother, ‘Elaine’, for the past four months.  

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Baby Chimps_2

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Photo Credits: by Ray Watt / ABQ Biopark Zoo

Zoo staff were finally able to determine that both babies are male, and now, the BioPark wants your help in choosing the names of the two baby Chimpanzees, through an online contest. The two names with the most votes will be chosen. The options being presented are:

  • Rio
  • Dezi
  • Alby (short for Albuquerque)
  • River
  • Moyobi


You can vote for your favorite name by visiting the ABQ BioPark's Facebook page at or at

"It is fairly unique to have chimp twins, but Elaine is an experienced mother and is doing extremely well," said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager, "The twins are getting stronger and more active every day.  Elaine is teaching them to hang on by walking around and letting them hang on to her without being held."

The ABQ Biopark Zoo was asked to breed their chimps as part of the Species Survival Plan. This plan helps zoos around the country coordinate breeding programs for threatened and endangered species and helps to maintain good genetic diversity.

More great photos, below the fold!

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