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September 2021

BIOPARC Valencia Says Goodbye To Summer With The Birth Of A Blesbok

The last calving of the year of this antelope completes the herd cycle with four young and consolidates BIOPARC in the program for their conservation. This little-known species was slaughtered in the 19th century to near extinction and today is an example of a successful recovery process.

Septiembre 2021 - BIOPARC Valencia - Blesbok recién nacido_4

Valencia, September 24, 2021.- The last days of summer have continued to bring joy to the entire BIOPARC team. A new birth, in this case a blesbok, has brought new life to one of the most admired spaces in the Valencian park, the area that recreates the savannah in the rainy season. The delivery took place at dawn on the 20th and since then the technical team has decided that the mother and the calf, accompanied by another female and her calf from a few months ago, remain in a limited area of ​​the outer enclosure. The objective is to guarantee their well-being and that the upbringing continues to develop normally, ensuring maximum tranquility for the dedicated mother. Given the positive evolution, the first routine veterinary check has already been carried out, which includes the identification of the animal with a microchip and ear tag, and it has been confirmed that it is a female.

If everything goes according to plan, next week we will be able to see how the beautiful blesbok stands out among giraffes, different species of antelopes such as impalas, Kobos or Thomson's gazelles and exotic birds such as jabirus, Cape teal or sacred ibis. The goat is easily recognizable by its cream color much lighter than the adults, which have an intense reddish-brown hue. The little girl will continue her running around the meadow, imitating hers "brothers" of hers and always under the watchful eye of the mother who will continue to give her all the attention for a while.

The BIOPARC group of blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) is made up of ten individuals: one male, four adult females and five young, and with this last calving the annual cycle of births is concluded. It actively participates in the international program for its conservation (ESB) with several births each year that, upon reaching adults, move to other parks to continue the process of preservation of the species. This antelope is included in the red list of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the moment cataloged as “Least Concern”. It was on the brink of extinction in the 19th century, when it was an attractive trophy in mass hunts. The total number became critical, with about 2,000 individuals. The international alarm against this situation and the efforts for its preservation have motivated that it is now an example of successful recovery, with a population of more than 55,000 individuals that continues to increase.

Blesboks are distinguished by the striking white markings that we see on their faces and by both males and females having long, curved lyre-shaped horns.

Celebrating a Positive Year for Piping Plovers

As the weather cools in Michigan and we bid summer farewell, a very special community of shorebirds takes wing on their annual southward migration. Piping plovers are small, endangered birds who are commonly found in the northern Great Lakes region and return here each summer to breed.

Piping 2

Breeding pairs camouflage their small clutches of eggs in the pebbles along the beach. Development of shorelines, human encroachment, dogs off leashes and high-water levels all reduce the odds that their eggs will hatch. Only one out of four chicks typically fledge and for this species to survive, piping plovers require a significant conservation effort.

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) leads a piping plover recovery program with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to help bolster the population of wild piping plovers. Eggs that are abandoned or found in compromised locations are collected, incubated and hatched on the DZS campus and chicks are later released back to various Michigan shorelines. This program has been very successful, showing an increase from 17 breeding females in 1986 to 74 breeding females in 2021.

“Last year (2020) was a super successful year for our team, but if we have large numbers of abandoned eggs that come to our facility that means it is a bad year in the field,” said Bonnie Van Dam, associate bird curator for the DZS. “This year it is completely opposite, which is what we want.”

This season, the piping plover captive rearing program successfully returned 13 chicks, a low number compared to 2020 when 39 were released. This decrease shows high hopes for the stability of the piping plover population and that rescue efforts are paying off.

Since the launch of the DZS-led piping plover salvage-rearing program in 2001, 312 birds have been successfully reared and released. In 2018, the USFWS recognized the DZS for its leadership in the recovery of this endangered species.

The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.  With an annual regional economic impact of more than $167 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually.  Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,800 animals representing 239 species.  The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.  For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

It’s One Boy and One Girl For Amersfoort Zoo’s Red Panda Family!

The sex of the two newborn red pandas is known: a male and a female. “There are now two female and two male pandas living in Amersfoort Zoo”, says zookeeper Mirthe Wesbonk. “The cubs are doing really well. They are growing like weeds. They’re are still in the nest with their mother, but they could go outside at any moment.”

Het gaat erg goed met de pandajongen

“The animals were born in early July. Now the young were old enough to weigh, vaccinate, sex and microchip them. The chipping takes place so that in the future we can quickly find out what the animal's medical history is," explains Mirthe. Although pandas are often in the treetops, mating often takes place on solid ground.

The animals are native to the slopes of the Himalayas in Asia. With their fluffy fur and dark brown eyes, they have a great appeal to people. Sadly, they are illegally kept as pets and their numbers in the wild suffer as a result. Also, due to poaching and felling, only 10,000 red pandas are left in the wild. The DierenPark Amersfoort Wildlife Fund therefore supports the Red Panda Network, which trains the local population to become forest rangers. These 'forest police' keep control of the panda's habitat. Mirthe: “Since things are unfortunately not going well for the species in their original habitat, we are extra happy with this double panda birth in DierenPark Amersfoort .”

Baby Chimp Maisie with Males Louie & Alex

Out of all of the troop members, baby chimp Maisie has recently become the most comfortable around male chimps Louie and Alex. The three of them have had epic play sessions and we are noticing lots of happy vocalizations and facial expressions. Maisie has even been seen belly riding on Louie in the outdoor yard.

Overall, female Bunny still takes interest, but Maisie prefers to be with the males right now, especially at night. She has been sleeping both in their nests and on them. When Louie is around, Maisie shows more confidence with other members of the troop, and the chimp care team has noticed growth in overall attitude and playfulness from Louie and Alex as well.

An Antelope That Can Only Be Seen At BIOPARC Valencia Is Born In Public View

The Valencian park is the reference center in Europe for the “ex situ” conservation of the Natal red duiker. Included in the IUCN Red List, this almost unknown antelope can only be seen in Spain at BIOPARC.

Nace una cría de Duiker en BIOPARC Valencia - septiembre 2021 (11)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021.- The miracle of life has once again surprised the visitors of BIOPARC who have been excited to attend the delivery of a very little-known African antelope, the red duiker of Natal. It all happened last Friday afternoon, when wild nature once again showed its most tender and hopeful face and many people felt on a trip to the distant African jungles to experience a “live documentary”. The diligent mother's demeanor was impressive when, following her instinct not to arouse the interest of potential predators, she ate the placenta. It also stimulated the young, facilitated lactation and was protective. It was also moving to see the goat's first steps and the curiosity it aroused among the rest of the animals that inhabit the same enclosure.

Continue reading "An Antelope That Can Only Be Seen At BIOPARC Valencia Is Born In Public View" »

Birth Of Cheetah Cub Brings Hope To Vulnerable Species

The population of cheetahs, classed as vulnerable in the wild, has just grown by one as Africa Alive in Suffolk, UK celebrates the birth of a new female cub.

Keepers were overjoyed to discover the newborn cheetah cub nestled with first-time mother, Kilima (aged 10), on the morning of 1 August 2021. After spending a few weeks settling into new surroundings, the cub has been vaccinated, microchipped and sexed by keepers, revealing her to be a female.

Continue reading "Birth Of Cheetah Cub Brings Hope To Vulnerable Species" »

Baby Blue Duiker Born at San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo Animal Care Specialists welcomed a baby blue duiker in late June to the Big Cat Valley area of the zoo. Animal Care Specialists named the baby Viazi, otherwise known as “potato” in Swahili. 


Blue duikers are a small species of forest-dwelling antelopes found in central, eastern, and southern Africa. The calf is the fourth born to parents, Stumpy and Kate, who previously had calves in 2014, 2015, and 2017. 

“We are excited to announce this addition to our zoo family,” said President & CEO San Antonio Zoo Tim Morrow. “This has already been a fantastic year as we have welcomed many new births throughout the zoo, and this is just one more reason to celebrate. I am very proud of our Animal Care Specialists and veterinary teams for their hard work and dedication in securing a future for wildlife.” 

Blue duikers weigh up to 20 pounds as full-grown adults. The blue is named for the color their fur appears in the dense forest shade, and duiker is an Afrikaans word for “diving buck,” which describes its behavior in the forest as it dives into bush and brush undergrowth. Blue duikers are on the Species Survival Plan and have a conservation status listed as Least Concern.

San Antonio Zoo has a long history of working to preserve species worldwide. The zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research seeks to fulfill the zoo’s Mission Statement through various approaches, including fieldwork and captive husbandry of rare and threatened species. The scope of efforts includes projects on three continents, transnational research, and projects throughout the United States, with particular emphasis on Texas. For more information on the zoo’s conservation programs, visit

Meerkat Pup Trio Born At Dubbo Zoo

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the birth of three Meerkat pups on 16 August 2021 to parents Midra and Howell.

This is the second litter for Midra and Howell, having welcomed five pups in late November 2020. This new litter comprises of one male and two females. The pups are yet to be named and have recently emerged from their den.


“The pups generally stay in the den for the first couple of weeks of life until they open their eyes and get stronger,” said Meerkat Keeper, Karen James.

“The trio has only recently emerged from the den and we are really happy with how they are growing and developing.”

The five older siblings play a very important role in helping to babysit and care for the new pups. Whilst they rely on mum for milk for now, they will start trying solid food at around four weeks of age.

“At six weeks of age the Meerkat pups will have their first of three vaccinations and we will conduct a quick physical examination at the same time,” said Karen.

“We are looking forward to watching the pups grow both in size and confidence as they start to explore their habitat more and more.”

Whilst it is temporarily closed, the Zoo will be provide regular updates on the new arrivals through its social media channels.

“No doubt when the Zoo does reopen a visit to see the Meerkats will be high on the list of things to do, as they don’t stay little for long,” said Karen.

This recent birth brings the total number of Meerkats at The Waterhole precinct to 10. There is also a second group of Meerkats next to the Black Rhinos at the start of the zoo circuit.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is currently closed. For more information visit

Ruby The Baby Red Panda Gets Her First Health Check

An endangered red panda cub born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo in July has been given her first health check and named Ruby, just in time for International Red Panda Day (Saturday 18 September).  

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Staff at the wildlife conservation charity voted for her name from a shortlist drawn up by keepers as a thank you for their hard work over the last year. 

Jo Elliott, animal collection manager, carnivore keeper at Edinburgh Zoo said, “We wanted to give our kit a name which pays homage to red pandas and would also fit nicely with our previous kit’s name, Ruaridh. The carnivore team came up with a shortlist of names and put it out to our colleagues as a vote. 

“Everyone at RZSS has worked so hard this last year, providing expert care for all of the animals at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park throughout the pandemic and working to connect the public with nature during lockdown. This was a small thing we could do to say thank you. 

“Red pandas are a visitor favourite here at the zoo and Ruby’s birth is significant for this endangered species, which is at risk due to habitat loss and poaching.” 

Although red pandas are protected in most of their native range, they are still hunted illegally for their fur and tail, which is seen as a lucky charm in some cultures. 

Visitors may have to wait a little while longer to spot two-month-old Ruby for themselves, as red panda kits stay in the den until around four months old when they will then start to explore outside. 

Jo continued, “As she grows, Ruby’s fur will become redder and her tail will grow bushier. She will start exploring outside with mum at first and then on her own as she becomes more independent. 

“Her parents, Bruce and Ginger, can still be seen exploring outside during the day. 

“The pair have previously proven themselves as good parents with Ruaridh, who was born here in 2019 and named by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who funded our red panda enclosure.” 

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Rare Baby Rhino Born on World Rhino Day at Lion Country Safari!  

West Palm Beach, FL – In a very special celebration on World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari welcomed a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on Sept. 22, 2021. 


This big baby is also a very big deal in the conservation world. She is a significant new part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a national collaboration to save this imperiled species from extinction. In celebration of the birth and in honor of World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari is making a donation to the International Rhino Foundation.  

Both the calf and mom are spending quality time bonding in a maternity area, which is visible to guests from their cars in the drive-through safari. Lion Country Safari is one of only a few drive-through safari experiences in the United States.  

The baby, named Aziza (meaning precious), is the second offspring born to 8-year-old mom Anna. She is the 37th rhino calf born at the park since 1979. During the 1970s, this species was teetering on the edge of extinction with less than 1,000 individuals left on the planet. Today, thanks to multi-national collaborative breeding and protection efforts, there are an estimated 20,000 white rhinos and each new birth contributes to their continued conservation.    

Lion Country Safari’s veterinary team monitored Anna’s health with regular ultrasound exams and blood tests to ensure that mom and calf were progressing well throughout the 16-month pregnancy. 

Rhino mothers give birth to a single calf weighing between 88 and 132 pounds (40-60 kg). Aziza is expected to gain 3-4 pounds (1-2kg) a day from her mother's milk, and will gain about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) a year for the first three years. Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years. 

Of the five species of rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan), the white rhino is the most abundant, but all 5 species are in peril due mostly to poaching. The Southern White Rhinoceros is the only species of rhino that eats just grasses; the others also browse on trees and shrubs.  

Lion Country Safari is home to 14 White Rhinos – 11 females and 3 males and is a proud participant of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP ensures that a genetically sound population of White Rhinos survives should threats worsen in the wild.  

For more information on rhinos, visit the International Rhino Foundation: and Save the Rhinos