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May 2015

Clouded Leopard Cubs Pass Their Check-Ups


Zoo Miami’s 2-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs were photographed, last week, receiving their routine exams and vaccinations. Named ‘Malee’ and ‘Suree’, the two girls did amazing during their exams and were given a clean bill of health!



11148644_892653580756946_9120336561496074380_nPhoto Credits: Zoo Miami

The cubs were born March 9th to mom, ‘Serai’, and dad, ‘Rajasi’.  ZooBorns featured the tiny females soon after their birth, in the article: “Two Clouded Leopard Kittens See the Miami Sun for the First Time”.

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.    

The Clouded Leopard is currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.  In the United States, they are listed as “Endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits trade of the animals or any parts/products made from them.  

More awesome pics, below the fold!

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Perky Panda Cubs Meet the World

It may be summer in the northern hemisphere, but in New Zealand, it’s almost winter – the perfect time for a pair of Red Panda cubs to debut at the Hamilton Zoo.

11203168_452227848288870_8546975382435637229_nPhoto Credit:  Hamilton Zoo

Born on January 22, the cubs – one male and one female – are thriving under the care of their mother, Tayla.  This is Tayla’s fourth litter.

Cubs typically remain in the nest box with their mother for several months before venturing out.  At about five to six months of age, Red Panda cubs begin weaning from mother’s milk to a diet of bamboo. 

Red Pandas have only one litter of cubs per year.  In fact, there is only a 24-hour window each year during which Red Pandas breed. This limited breeding cycle, coupled with habitat loss, contributes to Red Pandas’ decline in the wild.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Red Pandas as Vulnerable in their native range of southwestern China, northern India, Tibet, Bhutan, Burma and Nepal. 

Meet Little Blue Eyes

A blue-eyed Ocelot kitten born a the Dallas Zoo won’t stay that way for long.  As the kitten matures, its eyes will naturally turn brown.  But that won’t make it any less adorable. 

DSC_1001a-Ocelot-kitten-logoBorn in the middle of the night on March 20, the kitten is learning its first lessons in hunting – but instead of capturing rodents, this little kitten uses its mother’s tail as its prey.  Its mother, Milagre, takes it all in stride. 

This is the second kitten for six-year-old Milagre.  Keepers continue to give Milagre and her baby privacy, and will conduct a well-baby checkup within the next few days. The baby’s weight and gender will be determined at that time, and he or she will be given a name.

“Milagre is once again embracing motherhood tremendously,” said Lisa Van Slett, carnivore assistant supervisor. “She manages a lot with her energetic newborn and makes it took effortless.”

Ocelots are found throughout much of South America, Central America, and Mexico, with Texas at the far northern edge of their range.  Fewer than 50 wild Ocelots are thought to survive in Texas, and they face severe threats from human encroachment in their native habitat. 

“Their territory used to cover all of Texas, and now it’s rare to find one in the wild,” said Van Slett.

Milagre will remain the sole caretaker of her kitten, since Ocelots are solitary by nature. The two are expected to venture out to the Ocelot habitat soon. That’s also when the kitten will meet its neighbors – dad Joaquin and Rufus, a bobcat – for the first time.

Joaquin and Milagre were paired by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Ocelot Species Survival Plan (SSP) in 2011. As a member of the SSP, the Dallas Zoo works with other zoological parks to ensure that the Ocelot gene pool remains healthy and genetically sound.


Pudú Fawns Enjoy Spring at Zoo Berlin


Visitors to Zoo Berlin can enjoy the spring weather, while watching the Southern Pudu fawns roam their exhibit with the rest of their group. The fawns, a male and female, were born in the early spring and are still sporting the spotted coats of their youth.


Csm_Pudunachwuchs_Zoo_Berlin_April_2015_Karl_Broeseke_5c1c4fe6bdPhoto Credits: Zoo Berlin

“That Pudu live together in groups, at the Zoo, is quite unusual,” reveals Tobias Rahde, Curator for Deer, at Zoo Berlin. “In nature, more than two Pudu are never sighted together. The Pudu group in Zoo Berlin is apparently in unusual harmony.”

The Pudu is the world’s smallest deer. It consists of two subspecies of South American deer from the genus Pudu: the Northern Pudu (native to Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru) and the Southern Pudu (found in Chile and southwestern Argentina). They inhabit temperate rainforests, where the dense underbrush and bamboo thickets offer protection from predators.

The Pudu grows to a max height of 13 to 17 inches (32 to 44cm) at the shoulder and up to 33 inches (85cm) in length. They normally weigh up to 26 lbs (12 kg).  Males have short, spiked antlers that are not forked. The antlers, which shed annually, can extend from 2.6 to 3 inches (6.5 to 7.5 cm) in length. Coat coloration varies with season, gender, and individual genes. The fur is long, stiff and reddish-brown to dark-brown in hue.

Pudus are solitary and do not, normally, interact with one another, unless during mating season. Easily frightened, they bark when in fear, and their fur bristles when angered.

Wild predators include: the Horned Owl, Andean Fox, Magellan Fox, Cougar, and other small cats. The Pudu is often slow-moving, but they are quite proficient climbers, jumpers, and sprinters when being pursued. Their lifespan, in the wild, ranges from 8 to 10 years.

Pudus are herbivorous and can survive without drinking water for long periods due to the high water content of the foliage they consume.

In their native habitat, their mating season occurs in the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn, from April to May. Gestation ranges from 202 to 223 days (about 7 months), with the average being 210 days. A single offspring or sometimes twins are born in austral spring, from November to January. Fawns have a reddish-born fur, and Southern Pudu fawns have white spots running the length of their backs. Young are weaned after 2 months and are considered fully-grown at 3 months, but may stay with their mothers for 8 to 12 months.

Both species of Pudus are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due mainly to overhunting and habitat loss. Efforts to preserve the species are being taken before they become extinct. An international captive-breeding program for the Southern Pudu, led by Concepcion University, in Chile, has been started. Deer have been successfully bred in captivity and reintroduced into Nahuel Huapi National Park, in Argentina. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has banned the international trading of Pudus. 

San Diego Zoo’s Jaguar Cub Needs a Name

1_SanDiegoJaguarCub_byDebbieBealsZooBorns has been following the San Diego Zoo’s Jaguar cub since he was born, to mom ‘Nindiri’, on March 12th.  Our features, “Jaguar Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo” and “Jaguar Cub Is a Handful…and Mouthful”, were filled with adorable pics and are testimony to why the cub has become so popular.



4_SanDiegoJaguarCub_byNancieCunninghamCaseyPhotos: Debbie Beals(1); Penny Hyde(2); Mike Wilson (3,5); Nancie Cunningham Casey (4); Neil Solomon (6)

The Zoo is asking for help in selecting a name for the amazing little cub. They have compiled a list of seven names and are encouraging fans and zoo supporters to cast their vote.

San Diego Zoo has set up a page, just for voting! Follow this link: or check out the Zoo’s facebook page for more info and updates:

The Jaguar is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. It is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and it is the largest big cat in the Western Hemisphere. The Jaguar’s present range extends from the Southwestern United States, Mexico, across much of Central America, south to Paraguay and into northern Argentina.

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Boisterous Black Rhino Boy Makes Debut

1_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (7)

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of a male Black Rhino calf, born in the very early hours of Monday April 20th

2_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (1)

3_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (4)

4_Black Rhino calf by Rick Stevens May 2015 (8)Photo Credits: Rick Stevens /Taronga Western Plains Zoo

The yet-to-be-named arrival is the second calf born to mother ‘Bakhita’, and the third calf born in 10 years to the Zoo’s internationally renowned breeding program for this critically endangered species.

“With just over 4,000 Black Rhinos remaining, and all five rhino species under enormous pressure in the wild, every birth is critical,” said General Manager, Matthew Fuller.

“This little rhino is precious, as are all rhinos, and we’re hopeful that his birth will further highlight the need to protect these remarkable creatures.”

The calf, which weighs between 30-40kg, has already captured the hearts of zookeepers. His birth, ahead of Mother’s Day, is a great reminder of the achievements of the remarkable wild mothers in the zoo’s care.

“At three weeks of age, he is very confident and bold,” Keeper Jake Williams said. “He is full of energy and likes to run flat out around his yard, first thing in the morning, sometimes venturing 15-20 meters from Bakhita before galloping back to her. He is a strong calf and doesn’t show much fear.”

Mr. Williams said experienced mother Bakhita is taking things in her stride.

“She’s doing all the right things. She is alert when keepers approach her yard and is protective of her calf, but she quickly settles. She is a pretty relaxed mother.”

Bakhita and the calf will remain behind the scenes for the coming weeks, where they can continue to bond, before going on public display in June.

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Superstar Clouded Leopard Reaches Another Milestone

1_asia clouded leopard mowgli play 0 may 7 2015

‘Mowgli’, the Clouded Leopard cub born March 7th, at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, has reached the “terrible twos” (two-months, that is). Mowgli, named after the main character in The Jungle Book, is already established as a celebrity and has been featured several times on ZooBorns: “Tampa’s Clouded Leopard Kitten Is a Superstar” and “Superstar Clouded Leopard Meets His Fans”.

2_asia clouded leopard mowgli play 1 may 7 2015

3_asia clouded leopard mowgli play 3 may 7 2015

4_asia clouded leopard mowgli play 2 may 7 2015Photo Credits: Dave Parkinson/Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Fans of Mowgli can keep up-to-date on his growth and antics by exploring his web page, through Lowry Park Zoo:

Now weighing in at 6 pounds with a full set of baby teeth, Mowgli has made the transition from a bottle to a meat-based baby food diet, which he enjoys making into a meal and a mess. His motor skills are progressing as well, and he is running, jumping, pouncing and starting to climb.

While the Zoo’s veterinary professionals will continue to provide round-the-clock care under industry protocols, Mowgli is ready for the next step in his care.

Starting Saturday, May 9th, Mowgli’s outdoor playtime was moved to a temporary enclosure to help keep him safe while he practices all of his new motor skills. The Zoo’s staff will continue to supervise his every move, but will work to scale back on handling, to promote greater independence. The enclosure will also help him make the adjustment to a permanent habitat in the future.

For the near term, public viewing will continue at 11 am, in the new location. A rotation through different environments provides essential sensory enrichment for continued development. Allowing guests to observe the cub at play provides an educational opportunity to communicate the needs and perils of this rare and vulnerable species.

Mowgli’s dad, ‘Yim’ and mom, ‘Malee’, live at the Zoo and are on exhibit in the Asian Gardens habitat area. The male cub is their first offspring.

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Two Baby Baboons Born at Oakland Zoo

Baby boy 2
Two Hamadryas Baboons were born just 19 days apart at the Oakland Zoo. The babies, a male and a female, are half-siblings and share the same father but have different mothers.
Baby boy 1

_F9A2601Photo Credit:  Oakland Zoo

The female baboon, who was born on March 14, is named “Kabili,” which means honest and brave in Swahili. The male baby was born on April 1 and has not yet been named.  

The Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons, and keepers report that the youngsters are being well-received by other group members. Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny said, “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”

Hamadryas baboons live in complex social groups. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities. 

Hamadryas baboons are native to Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. In ancient times, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of the god Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.

Dozens Of Babies Steal The Show At Cincinnati Zoo

2015-04-02 Lion Cubs 1 626The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating a baby bonanza – dozens of babies have been born at the zoo in the past few months.  In fact, there are so many babies that the zoo is celebrating “Zoo Babies” month in May.Kea

2015-03-16 MonaJeffMcCurryPhoto Credit:  Cassandre Crawford, Jeff McCurry, Cincinnati Zoo

All the little ones have kept their parents – and zoo keepers – busy.  The three female African Lion cubs are particularly feisty, testing their “grrrl” power on a daily basis with their father John and mother Imani. 

Other babies include three Bonobos, two Gorillas, a Bongo, a Serval, two Capybaras, a Rough Green Snake, Giant Spiny Leaf Insects, Thorny Devils, Little Penguin chicks and Kea chicks.  “This is the largest and most varied group of babies we’ve had. We’re particularly excited about the successes we’ve had with the endangered African Painted Dogs and the hard-to-breed Kea,” said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo Executive Director.

See more photos of Cincinnati's Zoo's babies below.

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