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February 2018
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March 2018

Chester Zoo Introduces Early Spring ‘Flower’

1_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (2)

Chester Zoo’s new female Sumatran Orangutan has been named Kesuma, which means ‘flower’ in Indonesia. Primate keepers chose the name soon after they were able to confirm the infant’s sex.

Kesuma was born to her 30-year-old mum, Emma, and 30-year-old dad, Puluh, on December 18, 2017.

2_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (3)

3_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (4)

4_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (5)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

The birth marked a major success story for an acclaimed international breeding programme for the highly threatened species. Sumatran Orangutans are currently listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with recent estimates suggesting 6,500 remaining in the wild.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said: “Emma’s baby girl, Kesuma, is her fifth youngster, and she’s such a good mum. She’s incredibly attentive, and it’s wonderful to see her and her latest arrival forging close bonds.”

“She’s an incredibly important arrival for the conservation breeding programme and can hopefully throw a spotlight on the huge pressures that her cousins are facing in the wild.”

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the world’s most endangered great apes. It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of oil palm plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products, throughout the world, from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

Chester Zoo, in the UK, is currently leading a major new campaign to make Chester the world’s first ‘Sustainable Palm Oil City.’ Zoo conservationists are working with restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast food outlets, schools and workplaces in the city to introduce sustainable palm oil policies into their supply chain. The campaign is striving to increase the use of palm oil that is produced sustainably and help to protect the rainforests of South East Asia.

Chester Zoo is currently the only zoo in mainland Britain caring for Sumatran Orangutans.

5_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (1)


Zoo Wroclaw Waits Ten Years for Banteng Calf

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On February 19, Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a charming new Banteng. The calf is the first of its kind born at Wroclaw in almost ten years!

The little Banteng is also a member of a species that is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. According to estimates, wild populations have decreased by 80% in the last few decades, and there are believed to be only 4,000 to 8,000 individuals remaining in Asia.

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4_DSC00002-001Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as “tembadau”, is a species of wild cattle native to Southeastern Asia.

The Banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, measuring 1.55 to 1.65 m (5 ft 1 in to 5 ft 5 in) tall at the shoulder and 2.45–3.5 m (8 ft 0 in–11 ft 6 in) in length.

In males, the coat is often dark chestnut in color, while females and the young exhibit a lighter chestnut with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, while the horns of males arc up.

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Two New Tamarins for Zoo de Beauval

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Zoo de Beauval is incredibly proud of two little Golden Lion Tamarins that were born on February 3rd. The infants are under the care of experienced mother, Maya, and their father, Maceio.

Dad, Maceio, is a survivor of an incredible incident that occurred at the French zoo in 2015. Organized thieves evaded security cameras and stole seven Golden Lion Tamarins and ten Slivery Marmosets. Unfortunately, the endangered animals were never recovered. According to Zoo de Beauval, Maya was introduced to Maceio after the 2015 incident and the two have parented several offspring.

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4_28336959_1915710771787193_6076582640766452426_oPhoto Credits: Zoo de Beauval

The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), also known as the Golden Marmoset, is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. The species is native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil. It is currently classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, as there are only around 1,000 left in the whole world.

The Golden Lion Tamarin has an omnivorous diet consisting of fruits, flowers, nectar, bird eggs, insects and small vertebrates. The monkey uses fingers to extract prey from crevices, under leaves, and in dense growth; a behavior known as micromanipulation, which is made possible by elongated hands and fingers.

The Golden Lion Tamarin is largely monogamous. In the wild, reproduction is seasonal and depends on rainfall. Mating is at its highest at the end of the rainy season between late March to mid-June. Tamarins have a four-month gestation period. Groups exhibit cooperative rearing of the infants, due to the fact that tamarins commonly give birth to twins and, to a lesser extent, triplets and quadruplets. In their first four weeks, the infants are completely dependent on their mother for nursing and carrying. By week five, the infants spend less time on their mother’s back and begin to explore their surroundings. Young reach their juvenile stage at 17 weeks and will socialize other group members. A tamarin first displays adult behaviors at 14 months of age.

Threats to the Golden Lion Tamarin population in the wild include: illegal logging, poaching, mining, urbanization and infrastructure development and the introduction of alien species. In captivity, the greatest threat to the species is organized crime. According to some experts, a breeding pair can fetch more than $30,000 on the “black market”.

The species was first listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN in 1982. By 1984, the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and the World Wide Fund for Nature, through the Golden Lion Tamarin Association, began a reintroduction programme from 140 zoos worldwide. Despite the success of the project, the IUCN classification was changed to “Critically Endangered” in 1996. By 2003 the successful establishment of a new population at União Biological Reserve enabled the classification of the species, once again, to “Endangered”. The IUCN warns that extreme habitat fragmentation from deforestation means the wild population has little potential for any further expansion.

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Koala Joey Hitches a Ride at Riverbanks Zoo

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A little Koala joey has started hitching a ride on mom Lottie’s back at Riverbanks Zoo.

The baby is about six months old, but has only recently emerged from Lottie’s pouch and started experiencing the outside world.

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28379527_10155460042705292_2100787867180373063_nPhoto Credit: Riverbanks Zoo

Koalas are marsupials (pouched mammals), and their joeys are only the size of a jellybean at birth. Shortly after birth, the tiny, underdeveloped joey crawls from the birth canal into the pouch, where it latches onto a teat. The joey grows and develops inside the pouch for months. Once it becomes mobile and is covered in fur at about six months of age, the joey peeks out of the pouch and takes tiny excursions away from mom. The joey will cling to mom’s back for transportation until it is about 12 months old.

Zoo guests can look for Lottie and her joey in their habitat. Koalas are sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours per day.

Koalas are native only to mainland Australia, where they inhabit forested areas and feed exclusively on the leaves of eucalyptus trees. Because many of Australia’s forests are being converted to agriculture use or swallowed by spreading urban areas, Koalas were listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List in 2016.