Four Furry Featurettes — Cheetah, Tapir, Leopard & Civet Babies
October 06, 2021
Vinnie the Banded Palm Civet
Vinnie the Banded Palm Civet was born to a pair of civets living behind the scenes at the Zoo and is just about a month old. Nashville Zoo’s veterinary team is hand-rearing Vinnie. The hope for Vinnie is that he will become an ambassador animal. Civets are nocturnal so Vinnie spends the majority of his day napping. He will be hand-reared until he is fully weaned, and the vet team estimates that it will be in about a month. Full-grown Civets can weigh around 6 pounds. You can come see Vinnie in the window of the neonatal room at Nashville Zoo's HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center.
Amur Leopard Cub
On August 6th at 4:05 am, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Amur leopard, Ajax, gave birth to her first cub, and the two are doing well and currently bonding behind the scenes. The cub is a female and has been given the name Marta by her Premier Foster Feeder sponsors, Marta Holsman Babson and Henrietta Holsman Fore. The cub weighed in at 517 gms (1.1 lbs) at its first medical examination on August 6.
This is the first Amur leopard birth at the Santa Barbara Zoo in more than 20 years. Ajax is the most genetically valuable female Amur leopard in North America currently, so this first cub from her will contribute valuable genetics to the population in human care. Amur leopards are the most endangered of all the big cats, with less than 100 remaining in the wild, and the Zoo has been attempting to breed the species for several years now as part of the conservation efforts for this species. This is the fourth litter for Kasha, who arrived at the Zoo in March 2020, just prior to the first coronavirus closure. The pairing of Ajax and Kasha was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as part of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to maintain genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) are hand-raising a male cheetah cub for several weeks before placing the cub with a foster cheetah mother at another zoo. The cub was one of a litter of three born to 7-year-old female Sukiri Sept. 16; the other two cubs were stillborn. Keepers report the cub is strong, active, vocal and eating well. The Cheetah Cub Cam is offline as the cub is no longer in the den.
While Sukiri nursed the surviving cub overnight, providing critical warmth, colostrum and hydration, she started to ignore the cub the morning of Sept. 17. She did not appear agitated when the cub was removed by keepers from her yard later that day and continues to behave and eat normally. Sukiri ate the two stillborn cubs, which is not unusual for a carnivore and in line with wild female cheetah behavior as a dead cub invites predators.
Animal care staff are staying around the clock to feed the cub every 2 to 3 1/2 hours in SCBI’s veterinary hospital. The cub is being fed a formula used successfully to hand-raise cheetah cubs at other zoos. In the coming weeks, a female cheetah at another AZA-accredited zoo is set to give birth. At the recommendation of the SSP, this cub will be introduced to that litter pending any other developments.
SCBI spearheads research programs in Virginia, the Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.
Linton Zoo, UK
On Thursday 19th August, Linton Zoo’s female Tapir Tiana gave birth to a healthy female calf after a normal 13-month gestation. We are pleased to say that Mum, Dad and new baby, as yet un-named, are all doing well.
The Brazilian tapir is a large heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance. The tapir is in fact so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years. It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest where, because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has already become extinct in part of its range. The tapir is a shy creature taking to water when threatened where it is able to stay submerged for hours using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.
Although tapir have survived for millions of years, living in harmony with nature, their future in the wild is by no means secure. A European breeding programme will provide a safeguard against extinction for these wonderful creatures.