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December 2021

Audubon Zoo Consulting With Children’s Hospital New Orleans To Treat Newborn Orangutan

Audubon Zoo’s newborn male orangutan is receiving around-the-clock care by the Zoo’s veterinary and primate care staff under consultation from specialists from Children’s Hospital New Orleans and AZA Orangutan Species Survival Plan advisors.

On December 27, the infant showed signs of weakness and lack of nursing. Based on concerns about the infant’s body temperature and weight, the team intervened to hand-rear and bottle-feed the infant until it can safely be reunited with Menari.   

Menari7 (1)

“The infant’s care team also noticed that his suckling response was weak and inconsistent,” said Audubon’s Senior Veterinarian Bob MacLean. “Children’s Hospital New Orleans offered their support for the critically endangered infant by providing the expertise of a clinical speech pathologist and lactation specialists. The lactation specialists are working with the infant to assess his suckling reflex and train our team to stimulate the appropriate suckling response. So far, this has been very successful.”  

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A Fifth Porcupette To Round Out the Year!

All is well at ZOO Planckendael in the Netherlands. On Christmas Eve, they welcomed their fifth African Cape Porcupette this year! The baby joins siblings Wafa and Winga, born in February, as well as Willie and Wonka, born in June.


After 25 years without baby porcupettes at Planckendael, the 5 are a most welcome addition. Mom Stekeltje (Stake-el-che), the newborn baby, and siblings Willie and Wonka are bonding and adapting to the new family situation. Once the baby’s sex is known, he or she will receive a “W” name to match those of its siblings.

Despite appearances, porcupines are still fluffy at birth. Their quills harden over the first several weeks of life.

A Christmas Cub – World’s Rarest Tiger

Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo have shared the first footage of an adorable Christmas arrival - a Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger cub, born at 02:19 on Sunday 12 December.  

Remarkable footage captured by the Zoo’s hidden ‘cubcam’ shows ten-year-old mum Gaysha cleaning and feeding the rare newborn just hours after the birth - before the determined youngster takes its first wobbly steps on the soft straw of their cosy behind-the-scenes den.  

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Manatee Birth Caught On Camera!

Arnhem, 30th December 2021 – A West Indian manatee was born at Royal Burgers' Zoo on Thursday, December 30th at 09:18am. Father, mother and calf live in the Mangrove at the Arnhem zoo. There are only nine European zoos with manatees, housing a total of 39 animals—24 bulls, 14 cows, and Arnhem's new addition. 

Calves are more than welcome

As there are only 39 of these extraordinary mammals in Europe, calves are more than welcome as part of the European West Indian manatee population management program. Bulls are clearly in the majority, so it would be excellent news if the calf turned out to be a female. With the calf's birth, there are now three manatees living at Burgers' Zoo. 

Expensive boarders

Manatees are very demanding in terms of their environment and are expensive boarders. Together, the two adult manatees eat around 60–70 kg of food per day. Endive is their main food source—the large mammals eat around 18–22 kg of endive per adult per day. They also eat bok choi, celery, Chinese cabbage and alfalfa every day, along with a varied supply of spinach, broccoli, chicory, lettuce, Swiss chard and kale. The calf’s father was born at ZooParc de Beauval in France and is almost 20 years old, while the mother was born at Odense Zoo in Denmark and is almost 8.5 years old.

Deadly boat propellers and fishing nets

West Indian manatees are mammals, so they regularly need to surface to breathe. Manatees in the wild are often fatally injured by motorboat propellers when they lift their heads above the water to breathe. When a manatee gets stuck in a fishing net, it will die from suffocation. Fortunately, countries around the world are increasingly listing manatees as a protected species. The IUCN Red List classifies the animals as 'vulnerable'. 

Timelapse Of A Baby Palm Cockatoo Growing Into A Total Stunner!

Nyx the Palm Cockatoo chick was hatched on 5/8/21 at San Antonio Zoo. This timelapse takes place from 5/8/21 - 8/22/21, 105 days in all.

Day 1

Day 105

Since 2017, San Antonio Zoo has been the only AZA facility to successfully breed palm cockatoos, both by hand and parent rearing. 

While this species is a popular pet trade animal, it’s still crucial that their populations are managed in zoos. Management in Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) facilities via Species Survival Plans (SSPs) ensures that a healthy, genetically diverse population exists in human care. 

They’re just one of the many animals the zoo is helping secure a future for through participation in AZA Species Survival Plans!

Infant Night Monkey Clings Tight To Dad

In early December, an infant Night Monkey was born at Amersfoort Zoo in The Netherlands! This is dad whom we see baby clinging so tightly to. As with many small monkey species, it’s not just mom, but also dad who takes care of the babies. In the wild, this type of night monkey is found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Rainforests are under threat. The habitat of many creatures, including that of the Night Monkey, is in peril. Check out the link in the video description and consider a donation to help protect their native habitat.

In het wild komt de doeroecoeli voor in de tropische regenwouden in Centraal- en Zuid-Amerika.

Donate now to protect the night monkey’s native habitat:

Nubian Giraffe Born in Safaripark Beekse Bergen

Hilvarenbeek, 7 December 2021 – A giraffe was born on the savannahs of Safaripark Beekse Bergen. It is a Nubian giraffe, one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffe.

The calf, which has been given the name Shanna, is doing well. "Mother Thejuli is experienced and does a great job with Shanna. We have already seen her drink well," says head animal caretaker Rolf Veenhuizen.

Giraffe Shanna met moeder Thejuli 1

For the time being, Theluji and Shanna are staying in the indoor residence due to the weather conditions. "The visitor area of this residence opens for an hour every day, so that visitors can see our newest addition," says Veenhuizen.


The Nubian giraffe is found on savannas in Africa. This species is threatened because their habitat is getting smaller and smaller. This is partly due to deforestation. In addition, the Nubian giraffe is hunted.

27 Babies Mean A Banner Year For Endangered Ferrets

The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC)/Phoenix Zoo is caring for 27 black-footed ferret kits at the Zoo’s Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Conservation Center, making this the most successful breeding season in twenty years. The first litter was born in May and the last just in June.

“It has certainly been a banner year for ferret kits at the Conservation Center,” says Dr. Tara Harris, Director of Conservation and Science at the Phoenix Zoo.

The Zoo is one of six facilities worldwide breeding black-footed ferrets for release to the wild. The species is considered one of North America’s most endangered species. Once thought to be extinct in the wild, the black-footed ferret has returned to its native habitat through reintroduction efforts facilitated by state, federal, tribal and non-governmental wildlife conservation partners. The Zoo has produced over 500 black-footed ferrets in our 30 years of involvement with the breeding program, with many released into the wild in prairie grasslands in Arizona and other parts of their native range.

The six litters of kits at the Zoo are raised inside their specially designed nest boxes, tended by moms Mandolin, Lazuli, Ridley, Sedona, Vermillion and Yoshi, who are all doing a fantastic job caring for the little ones.

“Many of these kits will likely go to release sites in North America designated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program, while others may stay here at the Phoenix Zoo or go to one of the other five breeding centers for participation in the managed breeding program,” says Harris. “We are hopeful that the kits produced at the Phoenix Zoo will be valuable contributors to the recovery of their species.”

Zoo Knoxville Celebrating The Birth Of Two African Lion Cubs

Zoo Knoxville is celebrating the birth of two endangered African lion cubs, who were delivered by emergency Cesarean section surgery on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The cubs, one male and one female, are the first offspring of father Upepo and mother Amara and the first lion cubs born in Knoxville since 2006.

The survival of both cubs and their mother is due to the quick action of her care team at Zoo Knoxville. Amara was expected to give birth in mid to late December, and she was being closely monitored. When she began showing signs of labor but delivery was not progressing, Amara was put under anesthesia and transported to the zoo’s animal clinic so an ultrasound could be performed. It revealed that a cub was lodged in the birth canal in a breech position, endangering Amara and the other cubs. The care team, which included veterinarians from UTCVM-University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, made the decision to perform emergency surgery. Four cubs were delivered, but two did not survive. The quick intervention saved two of the cubs, who are healthy, vocal, and being cared for around the clock by zoo staff with expertise in natal care.

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