Budapest Zoo

Nile Bat Buddies Hang Out at Budapest Zoo

Bat 1

The Budapest Zoo has had this species of Nile Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) for over twenty years. These fruit-eating bats form large colonies in which there is regular breeding. They mate generally from June to September, and after a four month gestation, one bat is born -or a rare set of twins - around October to December. It takes just a few months to wean them. As a result of the zoo'slarge colony, there are babies and sometimes a pup or two may need special assistance from the staff. Just recently two baby bats were in need of extra care. They were nursed through the stage of learning to eat solid food successfully and have now been happily feeding on the fruits offered and "hangin'" out together! 

Unlike most fruit bats, Egyptian bats use echolocation: when flying in darkness they utter high-pitched buzzing and listen to its echo off of nearby objects. They use this echo to located and identify objects.

Also known as the Egyptian Bat, The Nile is one of the most well-known of fruit-eating bats. They are found in the wild not only along the Nile but in many parts of Africa, Asia Minor and the Middle East. Males are larger than females. They grow up to 7 inches in adulthood, weighing up to 6 ounces. An interesting fact: the Nile Bat is mentioned in the oldest written records - heiroglyphics - and again were described by French scholar, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844) in the wake of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign.

Bat 2

Bat 3

Photo Credit: Budapest Zoo

Mhorr Gazelle Learns to Trust Its Legs in Hungary

Gazelle 1

Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden recently welcomed its newest resident, a newborn Mhorr Gazelle. The newcomer, a male, was born to Evita, a thirteen-year-old female who is an experienced mother. The baby has been named Ebo. Ebo is receiving a special milk formula every two and a half hours, as this has been shown to be an effective way to make sure young Gazelle receive proper nutrition.

The Mhorr Gazelle is a subspecies of Dama Gazelle, which is native to Northwest Africa. It is one of the most endangered ungulates in the world as there are none left living in their native habitat. As a result, the Budapest Zoo has been participating in a breeding program for the gazelle to help conserve this vanishing species since 2008. This birth, along with the many others that have come as a part of this successful breeding program, can be considered a huge success for their conservation.

Gazelle 2

Gazelle 3
Photo credits: Kis Tiygriss

See many more photos after the fold!


Continue reading "Mhorr Gazelle Learns to Trust Its Legs in Hungary " »

Indian Lion Quadruplets Make Hungarian History at Budapest Zoo


Quadruplet Indian Lion cubs made history at the Budapest Zoo. Born on February 15th, the cubs were the first of their species born in Hungary. The cubs, born to mother Shirwane and father Basil, made their public debut over the weekend. 




Photo Credit: Budapest Zoo and Gruff78

Indian Lions, also known as Asiatic Lions, are a critically endangered subspecies of lions. Indian Lions are smaller and less genetically diverse than their African counterparts. Native to India, these big cats are found in the Gir National Park and Sactuary in Western Gujarat. The subspecies was driven to near extinction due to hunting and habitat destruction. About three hundred cats live in protected habitats with another three hundred living in zoos throughout Europe and Asia.  

See many more picture below the fold...

Continue reading "Indian Lion Quadruplets Make Hungarian History at Budapest Zoo" »

Budapest Zoo Welcomes a New Baby Elephant - Their First Since 1961

Ele - CU trunk

This baby Asian Elephant was born early in the morning on Valentines Day at Zoo Budapest, after a 22-month gestation. The mother is 12-year-old Angele, and her father is named Assam. A public vote held on the zoo's website to name the baby just wrapped up. The choices all began with the letter A, to mirror her parent's names. They were: Asha, Anita, Angyalka, Amelie, Aishwarya, Aurora. The winning moniker was announced just today: She will be called Asha!

Budapest Zoo considers this a very important baby, as this is the first Elephant birth there since 1961. She can be seen out in her exhibit with mom as weather permits, but the hours outside will be short, as the baby is still bonding with mom. 

Ele CU

Ele nurse

Ele w mom
Photo Credit: Zoltan Bagosi

Watch the baby out in the exhibit, nursing and following Mom around:

Happy Outcome For Wallaby Joey

CU 05

The good people at Zoo Budapest have been hand-rearing a male tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) that they have aptly named Frodo Baggins. Unfortunately he fell out from his mother’s pouch on March 13, 2011, when he was just five months old, and it was impossible to put him back into the pouch.

Normally a newborn kangaroo -- or joey, as they are called -- is born after a gestation period of just 39 days. The joey’s hind limbs are not yet developed enough at this stage, but its forelimbs are. This allows it to crawl into its mother’s pouch to nurse and continue to develop.

Today Frodo is nine months old and the hand-rearing process is almost completed. During the daytime, he lives in the outdoor enclosure together with the other members of the tammar mob, but durning the night he sleeps yet in an artificial pouch -- the textile bag you see here. He can now eat solid food, but he is still being fed milk four times per a day.


Keeper feeds

Feed CU

Photo Credit: Zoo Budapest

Mom Palms Prairie Dog Pup at Budapest Zoo


Hungary's Budapest Zoo is home to a large family of breeding Prairie Dogs. These pictures are a mashup of this year's litter as well as last year's. Prairie Dog "towns" can be easily identified by the large mounds of dirt which contain their tunnelled homes beneath. According to the San Diego Zoo, when a female Prairie Dog is ready to give birth, she goes to the nursery burrow. The young, called pups, are born hairless and with eyes closed. In the nursery, the mother will take care of her pups until they are about six weeks old and ready to venture aboveground. At about one year of age, the young Prairie Dog may leave to start a new coterie by taking over abandoned tunnels or by digging new ones.



Photo credits: Budapest Zoo

Three Little Stars in Budapest - Amur Tiger Cubs


Visitors to Budapest Zoo in Hungary were introduced to the latest "stars" - their new Amur (or Siberian) Tiger cubs. Three little ones were born on May 10, 2011, all males, whose names are Virgil, Manu and Thrax. They went on exhibit July 7 after their first veterinary exam. Mother Niva is doing well caring for her rambunctious trio. After they wear her and themselves out, they can be seen resting together in the shade. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden is an EAZA (and WAZA) member zoo, and the breeding of Tigers is a part of the European Tiger breeding program (tiger EEP) in the framework of the EAZA.




Photo credits: Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden

Who's the Baby Gorilla Daddy?

The Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden kicked off this new year with the birth of a baby Gorilla. While it is not uncommon for zoo staff to be unsure of who the father of a baby gorilla is, in this case two males are behaving as if they are the father, which is strange. To sort things out, zoo staff administered a paternity test to determine who the baby's daddy actually is, although we're guessing the gorillas aren't too interested in the results.


The infant was born on Tuesday morning, January 5th, and is the institution's first gorilla born in 10 years. The baby and mother are doing well, but for now, are off limits to the public. 



Photos: MTI - Kovács Attila