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August 2020

Marwell Park Welcomes Two Zebra Foals Within Days of Each Other


Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the birth of two Hartmann’s mountain zebra foals. The Hartmann’s zebra is Vulnerable, and Marwell is one of the few UK zoos to breed the species. Marwell also manages the International Studbook and the European Ex situ Programme (EEP) for the species which are mainly found in Namibia but also Angola and South Africa. The first was born to Dayimani and Davu and the second was born to Dorotka and Davu. The wild Hartmann’s mountain zebra population suffered a dramatic loss in the early 1980s due to extreme droughts. While the species has recovered to more than 30,000 individuals since then an event similar to the one in the 1980s is increasingly likely under climate change. This could wipe out more than 30 per cent of the wild population making the zoo populations an important back up for the conservation of the species.




It’s a baby… SLOTH!!


Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village's Sloth Mom Fiona and Dad Welsey welcomed their little one into the world on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
Fiona and her baby had a hard delivery and needed emergency care and a lot of extra help.
Veterinarians and animal care staff manually assisted with the birth when it was clear that Fiona was not able to make additional progress. At first the baby was not moving, but after being warmed finally responded.
Fiona’s pregnancy journey began in mid-autumn of 2019 and to now see this healthy little sloth is truly heartwarming for the entire Zoo family. Today mom and baby are doing well but will require lots of continual love and care.

ZooBorns Top 10 Newest & Cutest Baby Animals (Vol. 3)

The Newest, Cutest Baby Animals From the World's Zoos & Aquariums

10. Zola the Dik-dik Edinburgh Zoo
9. Red Panda Zoo Brno, Czech Republic
8. Beany the Linne's Toe-toed Sloth Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village
7. Magellanic Peguins Learn to Swim Shedd Aquarium
6. Zane the Chimpanzee Detroit Zoo
5. Bactrian Camel, Zoo Brno, Czech Republic
4. LJ the Blue Duiker, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
3. Western Lowland Gorilla, Bristol Zoo Gardens
2. Winifred the Aye-aye, Duke Lemur Center
1. Grevy's Zebra, Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby Gorilla Born at Bristol Zoo Gardens


A baby gorilla has been born, helping to secure the future of this critically endangered species.

The tiny western lowland gorilla arrived in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, August 19) in the Gorilla House at the Zoo.

Nine-year-old Kala gave birth naturally, overnight to the infant with dad, Jock, just a few metres away and the rest of the family troop nearby. Keepers arrived this morning to find the little gorilla nestling in its mother’s arms.

Lynsey Bugg, Curator of Mammals at Bristol Zoo, said: “We are all thrilled. There is something very special about seeing a new-born baby gorilla, they are such an iconic and charismatic species.”

She said both Kala, who came to Bristol Zoo from Germany in 2018, and her baby were doing very well.

Lynsey said: “She is being very attentive and taking good care of her baby. It’s very early days but we are cautiously optimistic. The early signs are good and the baby looks to be a good size and is strong.”

The new gorilla joins our troop of six gorillas, which are part of a breeding programme to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas.

One of Bristol Zoological Society’s flagship conservation projects focuses on western lowland gorillas in Monte Alén National Park, Equatorial Guinea – an area highlighted by the IUCN as critically important for the conservation of this species.

For more than 20 years The Society has also supported a sanctuary in Cameroon which helps look after orphaned gorillas and chimpanzees.

Gorillas are hunted for their meat and their young are regularly taken and sold as pets, often only to end up abandoned or dying of starvation.

Visitors should be able to see the new gorilla as they pass through the Gorilla House on our new one-way route.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is owned and run by Bristol Zoological Society, which also operates Wild Place Project. It is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work at Wild Place and Bristol Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

In March, the Society launched an appeal to ensure the future of its work ‘saving wildlife together’. To find out more, or to make a donation, visit the appeal page.

Visitors to Bristol Zoo are now asked to pre-purchase and members asked to pre-book tickets in advance, online, here.


Endangered Grevy’s Zebra Born at Lincoln Park Zoo


Foal Born on August 14 Is a Female; Continues to Surpass Milestones

Chicago (August 18, 2020) – Lincoln Park Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a striped addition this summer. On August 14, 13-year-old Adia, a Grevy’s zebra, gave birth to a healthy foal after a gestation period lasting more than a year.



The newborn foal has yet to be named. Her stripes are reddish-brown and will gradually turn black. The youngster will continue to nurse for about 275 days. Newborn zebra foals can walk after 20 minutes and run after just an hour—a critical survival adaptation in the wild for this endangered grazing prey species.

“It’s hard not to smile when seeing this energetic foal,” said Curator Dan Boehm. “Not only is the zebra foal a joy to visit, but its birth is significant for this endangered species.”

Adia was recommended to breed with 9-year-old Wester as part of the Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative population management effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. This is Adia’s fourth offspring, and her second offspring with sire Wester.

The foal joins three other zebras at the Camel & Zebra area. Grevy’s zebras—named by a French naturalist after the fourth president of France—are the largest of the three zebra species. They are also the world’s largest wild equine, inhabiting semi-arid grasslands in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

This species is endangered in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss.


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The Duke Lemur Center has welcomed another newborn — a rare baby aye-aye.

Christened Winifred after Bette Midler’s character Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus, the infant was born to first-time mom Fady on June 24, 2020. She is the second offspring of her father, Grendel, who sired Melisandre in 2019.

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Winifred 06-27-2020 02
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Winifred 06-27-2020 02


Fady, Winifred’s mother, came to the Duke Lemur Center from the San Diego Zoo to join our conservation breeding program, as organized through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Aye-ayes are endangered in Madagascar, and there are fewer than 30 individuals within human care in the United States. Of those, 10 live at the Duke Lemur Center, where they help maintain a genetic safety net for aye-ayes in the wild.

Through her father, Nirina, Fady introduces a brand-new genetic line into the DLC’s aye-aye population. Prior to her arrival, all of the aye-ayes at the Lemur Center were descendants of the DLC’s eight founder aye-ayes. Genetic diversity is crucial, as aye-ayes in human care help form a genetic safety net for their species. The more genetically diverse a population is, the more resilient and healthy it tends to be.

“Baby lemurs bring a smile to your face and make your heart beat a little faster,” says Greg Dye, Executive Director the DLC. “But they’re also a reminder of what’s at stake. Not only does Winifred grab your heart, she underscores the importance of the Lemur Center’s work protecting aye-ayes and other lemurs from extinction. Our mission is to never know a world without them.”

Jenna Browning, Fady and Winnie’s primary caretaker, reports that although Fady is a first-time mom, she’s doing a wonderful job caring for her infant. There is always some trial and error when you’re new at motherhood—Fady did try (unsuccessfully) to pick Winifred up with her hands, for example, instead of using her mouth to carry her like most aye-aye moms do—but she’s been a careful and attentive mother, leaving her baby’s side only to eat or to gather materials to add to her nest.

“Fady is an outstanding nest builder,” says Jenna. As aye-ayes learn nest-building from their mothers, Jenna hopes that Winifred will inherit her mother’s architectural gifts.

Winifred, who seems to have inherited her mother’s curiosity, began peeping out of the nest at five weeks old. Just two weeks later, she was ready to explore the wider world. This video (below), taken on August 12, records Winnie’s very first time venturing all the way out of the nest. As you can see, she’s a strong little one—even at just seven weeks old!

Beluga Calf Born at Georgia Aquarium


A [not-so-little] bundle of joy has arrived at Georgia Aquarium. Whisper, a 20-year-old beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium gave birth to a calf at 3:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Whisper’s calf weighed 174 pounds at birth and is five feet four inches in length.



“We are so proud of Whisper and overjoyed to welcome her calf to our Georgia Aquarium family,” said Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations, mammals and birds at Georgia Aquarium. “We will be there right alongside the calf as it continues to grow and learn from Whisper.”

Whisper had a long labor, but with assistance from the Aquarium’s animal care and health teams she delivered her calf. Both Whisper and her calf are getting much needed rest and time to bond.

Georgia Aquarium’s animal care and health teams are monitoring Whisper and her calf around-the-clock. There are still milestones ahead for the little whale over the next several weeks, which are crucial for its development and the bonding experience.

Dr. Tonya Clauss, vice president of animal and environmental health at Georgia Aquarium stated, “Our animal health team is continuing to monitor Whisper and her calf. The coming weeks are important for the calf’s development and there are milestones to meet so we’re giving mom and calf all the support and time they need.”

Georgia Aquarium’s other beluga whales, Qinu, Maple, Nunavik, and Imaq are all doing well. They are currently in a separate area of the exhibit and will be introduced to Whisper and her calf when it’s appropriate.

“This birth is important not only for Georgia Aquarium, but all accredited zoological facilities. Our hope is to sustain the beluga whale population in North America so future generations can learn about them,” said Eric Gaglione, vice president of zoological operations at Georgia Aquarium. “Throughout Whisper’s pregnancy we tracked important data about beluga whale gestation that could hopefully make informed conservation decisions about belugas in the wild and their offspring.”

The full birth story, behind-the-scenes moments, and some surprise details will air in an Animal Planet special on May 30, 2020 at 10 p.m. EST. Stay tuned to Georgia Aquarium’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for updates as the calf continues to grow.

The Aquarium is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the Aquarium reopens there are numerous factors to consider before opening the beluga whale habitat for public viewing of Whisper and her calf. There may be periods when the calf is not visible, or the habitat is closed.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Adorable 7-month-old Joey Just Got Her Name!


World, meet Keweng (kay-wing), or “Kay” as she is affectionately nicknamed for short! This sweet female Matschie’s tree kangaroo, born to mom Elanna and dad Rocket in January, is named after a village in the YUS Conservation Area (YUS) in Papua New Guinea. YUS is home to Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, and Keweng is one of the main villages in YUS.  

“Keweng is the home of Mambawe Manauno, the first landowner and former tree kangaroo hunter, who showed me tree kangaroos for the very first time in 1996,” explained TKCP founder and Director Lisa Dabek, PhD (also WPZ’s Senior Conservation Scientist). “Manauno was also the 2003 recipient of the Woodland Park Zoo Conservation Award. It’s so great to be able to pay tribute to his work with the naming of this special joey.” 

Day by day, little Keweng is becoming more familiar with the world around her. She was first spotted poking her head out of Elanna’s pouch in June, and since then, animal keepers have seen her climbing completely out of the pouch for quick bursts of exploration.  

“Keweng is doing great,” said animal keeper Amanda Dukart. “Elanna is doing a great job and is very attentive, and it looks like Keweng is going to be zesty just like her mother!” 

In a few months, Keweng will leave her mother’s pouch for the last time and learn to be entirely independent while “at foot” by her mom’s side. Joeys stay with their moms for about 18 months. For now, she enjoys her time close to mom, nibbling on greens and browse that Elanna is eating.

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