Antwerp Zoo

After tragedy, Okapi calf represents hope

6 okapi 6
Following a devastating blow to Okapi conservation efforts this summer, a ray of hope arrived for this threatened species:  a healthy Okapi calf was born on September 15 at the Antwerp Zoo.

Conservationists were stunned when poachers raided the Okapi Wildlife Resrve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in June, wiping out the entire breeding herd of 14 Okapi and killing 19 people.   But far from the scene of the attack, the staff of the Antwerp Zoo was closely monitoring Sofie the Okapi during her pregnancy.

4okapi 4

7 okapi 7

5 okapi 5

During Sofie’s pregnancy, which was her sixth, the zoo’s veterinary staff took advantage of her easygoing demeanor to learn all they could about her developing calf through frequent ultrasounds, hoping that the knowledge gained will improve captive Okapi breeding success.

Zoo breeding programs are more important than ever in light of the June attack.  Okapi are found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Clearing of rain forest for agriculture and tropical hardwoods, mining, poaching and the political and socio-economic unrest in the region contribute to the Okapi’s uncertain future.

The Antwerp Zoo oversees the breeding program for Okapi in European zoos in an effort to maintain genetic diversity in the captive population.  Okapi are related to giraffes, as evidenced by their long tongues and long necks.  The bold stripes are unique to each Okapi, much like a person’s fingerprints.  These stripes provide ideal camouflage in their native jungle habitat.

Photo Credits:  Antwerp Zoo

Meet Nuru the Aardvark Baby


ZOO Antwerp welcomed a baby Aardvark on the 6th January. The Belgian Zoo has given the young "earth pig" (yes, Aardvark means earth pig!) the name Nuru, meaning born in the daylight. Producing enough mother's milk is a challenge for four time Aardvark mom Curly. So far, so good for baby Nuru, however. Keepers have noted Nuru's ears standing upright as an indicator of great health.





Photo credit: ZOO Antwerp


Baby Hippo Hits the Pool

Mother hippos give birth underwater so it's perhaps no surprise that baby hippopotamuses like to spend most of their day submerged. This little hippo, pictured at just one week old, was born at Zoo Antwerp in Belgium on May 22nd. The calf might look like a little tyke but baby hippos can weigh over 100 lbs (45kg) at birth!

Baby hippo calf zoo antwerp 1

(Note the Shrek-ears and water spouting)

Baby hippo calf antwerp zoo 2

Baby hippo calf antwerp zoo 5

Baby hippo calf antwerp zoo 4

Baby hippo calf antwerp zoo 6

Baby Tamarin Monkeys in Belgium

Belgium's Antwerp Zoo recently welcomed Golden Headed Lion Tamarin twins. These little Brazilian monkeys are endangered in the wild and, while the population decline seems to have been stabilized thanks to conservation efforts in Brazil's União Biological Reserve, continued habitat destruction outside of the park makes the prospects of reintroduction beyond União bleak.

Baby golden marmosets antwerp zoo 1 rs

Baby golden marmosets antwerp zoo 1 rs2

Baby golden marmosets antwerp zoo 3 rsBaby marmoset or gremlin? You decide...


Asian Olifant in Antwerp

Oliftanje means "little elephant" in Dutch, and this adorable bundle of trumpeting joy was born yesterday at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium. After 38 hours of labor, mother Phyo Phyo gave birth to a healthy 176 lb (80 kilo) girl.

Baby olifant 5

Baby olifant 3

Baby olifant 2

Looking bashful

Baby olifant 1

If you speak Dutch or French, you can follow the development of the new baby on her dedicated site. If you speak English, feel free to click about randomly and hope for the best.

Continue reading "Asian Olifant in Antwerp" »