Akron Zoo white-cheeked gibbon baby, Lolani, is growing leaps and bounds! She recently turned 4 months old and is starting to explore more and be a little adventurous. Parker, being the good mom that she is, is letting Lolani learn on her own while keeping an eye on her.
Lolani is hitting her milestones right on time, if not early! She has starting eating solid food and soon she'll get to venture outside once the weather warms up consistently. You can visit Lolani and her parents, Parker and Milo, daily!
AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Zoo is holding a naming contest for its new white-cheeked gibbon infant. The contest, presented by Akron Children’s Hospital, runs Wednesday, Jan. 12 – Wednesday, Jan. 26. The public can vote on a name at akronzoo.org/naming-contest.
The five names are gender-neutral as the sex of the baby is unknown at this time. Gibbon infants cling to their mothers for the first few months, and zoo staff is hands-off with the baby. The names choices are Lolani, Keo, Kanoa, Rou and Jinzi.
There are many different phrases that could be used to describe 2021. For Ohio’s Akron Zoo, the phrase is 'baby boom!' They welcomed 13 babies this year!
The first little ones to arrive were two penguin chicks - Ernesto hatched on March 12 and Xiomara on April 5.
They were soon followed by the birth of 8 red wolf pups on April 22. This was the first time they had ever had pups. The species is critically endangered, with fewer than 20 wolves remaining in their native habitat. Akron made history when it was able to reintroduce four of the pups into their native habitat through a partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Another first for Akron was the hatching of an Andean condor chick on July 23. Luca was one of only two condor chicks hatched in a facility accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
A week later, a female Speke's gazelle calf, Sagal, was born on July 30.
The last little one to be born this year was a white-cheeked gibbon baby on Dec. 9. This infant was another first for us here at the Akron Zoo, and he or she is also the first birth in Akron’s brand-new area, Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia!
Here's to continuing to grow the Zoo family in 2022!
Parker the Gibbon gave birth at Ohio’s Akron Zoo on Thursday, Dec. 9 at around 9 p.m. White-cheeked gibbons are arboreal, which means that they live high in trees. Gibbons are more likely to give birth high up, and Parker is protecting her baby from the beginning as she catches the infant during the delivery. She immediately begins grooming and cleaning the baby.
Parker is a very attentive and caring mother. She nurses and cuddles her infant while dad, Milo, watches from afar. Parker is very protective of her baby and does not let Milo get too close. Gibbon fathers do play a role in rearing, so this is temporary for our gibbon family!
Parker has established strong bonds with her care team since she arrived here at the Akron Zoo at the end of 2020. While our staff is hands-off with the baby, Parker is willing to show the baby to her keepers and our veterinary staff, who can then take a look at the baby to make sure everything is going well.
After a few days, Parker allows Milo to sit next to her and meet the baby for the first time. He gently reaches out to touch the infant and after begins to groom Parker.
For primate species, grooming is a good indicator of a strong bond. Parker and Milo are often seen grooming each other. When the baby is one week old, Milo grooms the infant for the first time!
Gibbon babies will hold on to their mom from the time of birth. At two days old, Parker brings the baby to show members of her care team while Parker enjoys some food.
Sound on for this video! While Parker is eating, the baby is finding his or her voice and vocalizing before beginning to nurse!
Parker was very excited to show off her baby during their first time in the indoor gibbon habitat.
AKRON, Ohio – For the first time in its history, an Andean condor chick has hatched at the Akron Zoo. The male chick hatched on Friday, July 23 and is doing well. His parents are the zoo’s two Andean condors, Grock and Carlotta.
The chick is being hand-raised in the zoo’s animal hospital by the animal and vet care teams. The egg was pulled for incubation due to Grock and Carlotta’s history of accidentally crushing eggs. As the chick gets older, staff will use a condor hand puppet for feedings and social interactions.
The Andean condor is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN Red List. Populations are decreasing due to the species’ low reproductive rate, human conflict and competition from invasive species, such as black vultures.
Andean condors are native to the Andes Mountains in South America. They are the largest flying bird in the world, weighing 20-30 pounds and measuring 4 feet tall. An adult condor’s wingspan is 10-12 feet wide.
This chick hatched through a breeding recommendation from the Andean Condor Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a scientifically managed breeding program that promotes genetic diversity in endangered species. The Akron Zoo participates in 46 SSPs as an accredited facility through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Because the chick is being hand-raised, the chick is unable to make a public debut at this time. The zoo plans to share updates through their various social media channels. Parents Grock and Carlotta remain in the zoo’s condor habitat daily.
The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $10 for children ages 2-14. Children under two are free and parking is $3. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. For more information visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.
Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation zoo with over 1,000 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the zoo strives to connect your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.
The three Snow Leopard cubs, born March 5 at the Akron Zoo, made their first public appearance on June 3, 2016.
The cubs were also recently allowed to pick their own names! The two males are now named: Layan, (short for Himalayan Mountains), and Altai (named after the Altai Mountains). Snow Leopards are indigenous to both mountain ranges. The female cub is named Asha, which means “Hope” in Sanskrit.
The zoo had narrowed down the names to six possible choices and wrote each name on an enrichment item container. The six containers were placed in the Snow Leopard exhibit. The cubs were then released into the exhibit area and allowed to approach the toys. The cubs went to the enrichment items with ‘Layan’, ‘Altai’ and ‘Asha’ first, thus picking their own names. The people who submitted the winning names will be getting free admission to the zoo and a Snow Leopard prize pack.
Photo Credits: Akron Zoo
The cubs are 13 weeks old and weigh about 10-11 pounds. They will be on exhibit daily with their mother, Shanti, from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. As the cubs grow and become more comfortable with their surroundings they will be on exhibit for longer periods of time. When the cubs are not on exhibit, their father, Roscoe, will be outside in the exhibit.
This is the third litter for mom Shanti, but her first set of triplets. The triplets are also a first for Akron Zoo.
A leading Snow Leopard conservation organization, the Snow Leopard Trust, estimates population numbers of this elusive cat to be between 4,000 and 6,500 remaining in the wild. They inhabit high, rugged mountainous regions of central Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, China, Mongolia, and Russia. Their numbers are declining due to human influence, such as poaching for medicinal markets and hides, depletion of their prey base, retribution killing following livestock losses, residential and commercial development, and civil unrest.
Snow Leopards' long, thick fur not only keeps them warm in the cold climates of the mountainous regions they inhabit, but also helps camouflage them in their environment, allowing them to sneak up on their prey. A 40-inch-long tail aids Snow Leopards in balancing while navigating rocky terrain, and they wrap it around them to keep warm at night. Their large paws are covered with a cushion of hair that increases surface area and acts like insulating snow shoes.
Snow Leopards make sounds like other big cats, but they cannot roar. Instead, they make a sound called a “chuff.” They are solitary animals, although a male and female Snow Leopard may be seen during mating season or a female with her young cubs before they venture out on their own at about 2 years of age.
The species has a gestation period of 90 to 100 days. Offspring are fully weaned at about ten weeks of age but will remain with their mother until they become independent at around 18-22 months.
For the first time in Akron Zoo’s history, a set of Snow Leopard triplets was born at the zoo. The three cubs, one female and two males, were born March 5, 2016 and remain in a private cubbing area with their mother Shanti until late May or early June. Photo Credit: Akron Zoo
This is the third litter for mom Shanti, but her first set of triplets. At birth, the cubs weighed about one pound each, but they are developing right on schedule. At two weeks, they opened their eyes, and by four weeks, they had become mobile and started exploring the den. At about seven weeks, the trio began playing and climbing, and by eight weeks old they started tasting meat.
Snow Leopard breeding in accredited zoos is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). These cubs mark the first Snow Leopards born in the United States at an AZA accredited zoo this year. Managed breeding helps maintain genetic diversity within the zoo-dwelling population.
As in the wild, the cubs’ father, Roscoe, does not participate in the rearing process and will not have direct contact with the cubs.
Listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Snow Leopards are threatened by loss of habitat in their native Himalayan Mountains, and by illegal hunting for their pelts and body parts. Snow Leopards are sometimes killed by local herders when these cats prey on livestock. There are 153 Snow Leopards in the SSP in the United States, and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild.
A Chilean Flamingo chick that hatched on August 20 is the first of its species to hatch at Ohio’s Akron Zoo.
Photo Credit: Akron Zoo
The Flamingo egg was laid in the zoo’s exhibit on July 25. Keepers collected the egg and placed it in an artificial incubator to increase its chances of successfully hatching. After 26 days, the chick began to hatch, but it took 36 hours for the chick to fully emerge from the egg.
About 24 hours after the Flamingo chick hatched, zoo staff began to hand feed the chick an egg-based formula several times a day.
Eggshell membranes were sent for DNA gender testing, which revealed that the chick is a female. With a current weight of about two pounds, the chick is being raised behind the scenes until she is large enough to join the flock in the exhibit. The photos show the chick at two days old (top) and 48 days old.
Chilean Flamingos are native to South America, where they inhabit shallow lakes and feed on blue-green algae and brine shrimp by straining water through comb-like structures in their beaks. Flamingo chicks are covered in gray down at hatching, but as adults they sport pink plumage. The pink color comes from the high levels of beta-carotene in their food. Chilean Flamingos are plentiful in the wild and not under threat.
For just the second time in its history, Snow Leopard cubs have been born at the Akron Zoo. One male and one female cub were born on April 14, 2014. The cubs are currently off exhibit with their mother, Shanti, where they will remain for several more weeks.
The photo above shows the cubs at two weeks old; the photo below was taken when the cubs were two days old.
Photo Credit: Akron Zoo
The cubs currently weigh about six pounds; at birth they weighed around one -and-a-half pounds each. At six weeks old, the cubs’ eyes are open, they are able to walk and are starting to climb.
Shanti had been trained by staff, through protected contact, to allow them to perform ultrasounds. Once staff suspected Shanti was pregnant, they performed an ultrasound at 44 days after breeding and continued to do so weekly to monitor the cubs' development. For the first time in its history the zoo was also able to train Shanti to sit during x-rays so the cubs’ development could be even more closely monitored. This type of training is beneficial to Shanti, eliminating the need to anesthetize her for these procedures. The Akron Zoo is one of the few zoos in the country to use these techniques with Snow Leopards.
This is Shanti's and father Roscoe’s second successful litter at the Akron Zoo. Two male cubs were born at the zoo in 2012.
Snow Leopards are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Snow Leopards are an endangered species primarily due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching for their pelts and body parts, and killings by local herders when a Snow Leopard has preyed on their livestock. There are less than 150 Snow Leopards in the SSP in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild.
Akron Zoo in Ohio has announced the birth of a rare Pygmy Slow Loris! The baby, a male, was born August 21 and weighed less than an ounce (21 g) at birth. According to the zoo’s veterinary staff, the baby has been thriving and currently weighs about .4 pounds (185 grams). First-time mom Casey is doing an excellent job raising her baby behind-the-scenes in the zoo’s animal care center.
The pygmy slow loris is a highly threatened primate and listed as a Vulnerable species on the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
“The birth of this rare primate is critical to the future of this species,” commented Akron Zoo President & CEO L. Patricia Simmons. “Trying to save threatened species like the pygmy slow loris and educate people about them is the vital role we, as an accredited zoo through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, play. Births like this are extraordinary and I commend our animal care staff for their hard work.”
Photo credits: Akron Zoo
The Slow Loris gets its name in part from its slow, sloth-like movements. On average, full-sized adults weigh about 7-14 ounces (about 200-400 grams). The Pygmy Slow Loris is indigenous to Vietnam, Laos, China, Thailand, and Cambodia. Their diet generally consists of fruits, insects, vegetation and small mammals.They are primarily threatened due to deforestation, hunting and capture for pet trade.
The new baby is the second to be born at the zoo. Frank, the baby’s father, is the also the father of the zoo's first Pygmy Slow Loris baby, born in 2008.
The Akron Zoo keeps these primates as part of the Pygmy Loris Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. Through scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs, SSP’s are a proactive approach to preventing extinction. SSP's were formed back in 1981 to help ensure the survival of endangered species.