Denver Zoo

Meet Siska the Baby Sumatran Orangutan!

Berani, you ARE the father! Since legendary talk show host, Maury Povich, announced her paternity a few weeks ago, the internet is going APE for baby Siska and the entire Denver Zoo Sumatran orangutan family. Come meet the adorable viral sensation in person and learn more about Denver’s Critically Endangered orangutans! 🦧 🧡 Get your tickets now:

Finally!  A Baby Sloth Arrives

Please join us in welcoming the newest addition to Denver Zoo’s animal family—a highly-anticipated sloth baby! After months of patiently waiting, officials are delighted to share that their Linne’s two-toed sloth baby finally made its debut on Thursday, January 26 to parents Charlotte and Elliot. This healthy birth is a conservation win for the slow-moving species, and Denver Zoo gives a huge shoutout to their Tropical Discovery animal care and veterinary medicine teams who provided specialized care throughout Charlotte’s pregnancy to ensure both mom and baby were thriving. A recent neonate exam confirmed that Charlotte and her adorable new baby continue to thrive in their Tropical Discovery home and that this little one is strong, healthy, and nursing like a pro. Charlotte does have access to the public-facing part of her treetop habitat, so you may be able to catch a glimpse of mama and her tiny bundle during your next visit the Zoo! While sloth babies usually cling to their mothers for six months and may continue nursing up to a year, you can take a look at this cutie in the Zoo’s latest Baby Bulletin, presented by SCL Health, now Intermountain Healthcare. Stay tuned for more updates, including how you can take part in naming Denver’s newest resident!


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Introducing Chickpea!

In honor of International Primate Day, Denver Zoo has a special announcement about their baby golden lion tamarin. After watching this little one grow for the last few months, keepers have decided to name them Chickpea! Based on their appearance and tiny body size, Chickpea is the perfect name for their little chickpea. Keepers haven't needed to separate the baby from their parents, so they don't know their sex yet. The animal care team reports that this cutie is growing well, eating solid foods, and is spending more time away from mom and dad exploring their habitat in Emerald Forest. Golden lion tamarins are listed as Endangered by the IUCN, so this birth is a wonderful conservation win for the species! Watch Chickpea and dad Chino try to enjoy some fruit (before Chickpea accidentally drops it!).


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Baby Mandrill's First Six Months!

We can’t believe how quickly Denver Zoo's baby mandrill is growing up! Akili is getting more vocal by the day and loves exploring her home in The Zoo's Congo Basin.

Even though Akili is becoming more independent, mom Kumani is still very protective and keeps her within arm's reach at all times (literally!). Akili turned nine months old on February 6, but check out the video below to see her first six months at the Zoo!  

Video Credit: Keeper Christa K.

Baby Bulletin: Meet Denver Zoo’s New Chilean Flamingo Chicks!

If you’re looking for adorable flamingo fluffs to make your day even better, look no further! Denver Zoo is delighted to share that they had not one, not two, but THREE Chilean flamingo chicks hatch a few weeks ago! These curious chicks are being hand-reared in the Avian Propagation Center, and while they’re still waiting on official names and sexes, they have affectionately been nicknamed Big, Middle and Little based on their hatch dates and current sizes. After completing a flamingo family tree, Keeper Anton realized that they also happen to be Swift and Legend’s nieces/nephews, which is fun for fans of Denver’s two-year-old boys! Meet the newest members of the flock in this latest edition of Baby Bulletin, presented by SCL Health.

Video credit: Keeper Anton M.

Orangutan Dad Steps Up After His Mate's Death

You are witnessing the unusual bond between a 3-year-old Sumatran Orangutan (Cerah) and her father, Berani at Denver Zoo.


After Cerah’s mom and Berani’s mate Nias passed away suddenly from fatal heartcomplications, Berani stepped in as the most doting parent.

In the wild, male orangutans are not known to be involved in the raising of offspring at all. 

​Berani has always been an exception to the typical role of a male orangutan.

Well before Nias' (the mother) death, Berani was known for treating Hesty, Nias' first daughter, like his own offspring.

Hesty is not Berani's biological daughter, but he always treated her as such.

So it's no surprise now that he's stepped in to take care of Cerah. 

Since Nias’ December death, Berani continues to be a source of comfort for Cerah.

The whole troop is doing well, and 11-year-old Hesty, who is only a few years away from being able to start having her own children, is doing a good job playing with Cerah throughout the day.

Denver Zoo Roars With Pride Over Newborn Lion

African lion cub 1

There’s a lot to roar about this summer at Denver Zoo with the arrival of an African Lion cub. The cub, whose sex has yet to be determined, was born on July 25 to mom Neliah, 7, and dad Tobias, 3. Animal care staff say mom and cub are both healthy and active, and bonding behind the scenes. Although the cub won’t make his or her public debut until later this summer, zoo guests can still catch a glimpse of Neliah and her cub on TV screens near the exhibit.

African lion cub 4
African lion cub 4Photo Credit: Denver Zoo

“This is Neliah’s second time around as a mom, so we were confident she’d show all the correct behaviors with her new cub,” said Assistant Curator of Predators Matt Lenyo. “She immediately started grooming and nursing the cub, which is exactly what we hoped she would do.”

Half of Africa’s Lions have disappeared in the past 25 years and the species faces growing threats from poaching, loss of prey, and habitat destruction. The cub’s birth is a huge success for the Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures healthy, genetically diverse populations of Lions within Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. The SSP recommended Tobias move to Denver in 2018 as a potential mate for Neliah and her daughter, Kamara.

“Tobias hasn’t fathered any cubs previously, which makes his genetics important to the AZA Lion population,” said Colahan. “The fact that he’s already successfully mated with one of our females speaks to the work our Lion team put in to make Tobias feel comfortable in his new home in such a short period of time.”

Neliah and the cub will stay behind the scenes for at least one to two months to give them time to bond and gradually introduce the cub to the rest of the pride. They'll primarily stay in their den box, which the animal care team provides to mimic the space Neliah would seek out to give birth in the wild. Neliah will still have access to other holding areas behind the scenes, but the addition of the den box provides a sense of security for mom and cub.


Denver Welcomes First Mandrill in Sixteen Years

1_Baby Mandrill Kesi 3

Denver Zoo’s female Mandrill, Kumani, gave birth to a healthy female on May 10.

The baby, who her caretakers have named ‘Kesi’, is the first for seven-year-old Kumani and her mate, 11-year-old Jelani. The zoo’s animal care team says Kumani has already proven to be a great mom, providing Kesi with the care and attention she needs to thrive.

Kesi’s arrival marks the first Mandrill birth at the Zoo since 2003, when Denver Zoo went through a Mandrill baby boom with two females born in two years. Jelani joined the troop in 2013 followed by Kumani, who arrived in 2018 at the recommendation of the Species Survival Plan. At the end of 2018, the zoo’s animal care staff suspected Kumani might be pregnant, which was later confirmed via ultrasound.

2_Baby Mandrill Kesi 4

3_Baby Mandrill Kesi 2

4_Baby Mandrill_Kesi 1Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

Mandrills, which are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are found in the rainforests of central West Africa. You can spot mandrills by their bright blue and red face, and long teeth. Males are larger and usually have brighter coloring. They’re a social species and travel in groups known as “troops.”

Guests at Denver Zoo are encouraged to visit Kesi and the whole Mandrill troop in the Congo Basin area in Primate Panorama. Animal care staff says the best time to catch these colorful primates and catch a glimpse of Kesi is first thing in the morning or at lunchtime, when they are foraging for food. Be sure to follow the zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates on Kesi!

Denver Zoo’s Sloth Baby Finally Arrives!


After what felt like an eternity for the Denver Zoo, their long-awaited Linne’s Two-toed Sloth baby finally arrived on April 11.

The new baby, whose name and sex are yet to be determined, has been deemed “very healthy” by the Zoo’s veterinary team. The infant was born to 23-year-old mom, Charlotte Greenie, and her 28-year-old mate, Elliot. The little one is said to be bonding and resting with Charlotte in their Bird World habitat, while dad and older sister, Baby Ruth (who was born in January 2018), are temporarily off-exhibit to give mom and baby time and space to bond.



BabySloth4Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

When Denver Zoo announced Charlotte’s pregnancy in December, they estimated that the baby would be born as early as January. However, Sloth due dates are notoriously challenging to predict because they are primarily active at night and breeding is rarely observed. The Zoo’s animal care team closely monitored Charlotte for months to ensure that she and the baby were healthy and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. According to keepers, the baby clung to Charlotte immediately after birth and will remain attached to her almost exclusively for at least six months.

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus)---also known as the Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth or Southern Two-toed Sloth---are found in the rainforests of South America, primarily in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. They are a nocturnal species that spend 15 to 20 hours per day sleeping, and become active about an hour after sunset until about two hours before sunrise. Linne’s are among two types of sloth: two-toed and three-toed—and six different species, including the Pygmy Three-toed, Maned, Pale-throated, Brown-throated, and Hoffman’s. Although the Linnaeus’s Two-toed is not currently considered threatened, two other species, the Pygmy Three-toed and Maned, are “critically endangered” and “vulnerable”, respectively.

Denver Zoo keepers say the best time to visit the new baby and mother is late in the afternoon when mom, Charlotte, is more likely to be moving around. Keepers ask that visitors keep their voices low while the baby adjusts to life in its new world.

Be sure to follow the Denver Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular baby sloth updates!

Rare Baby Aye-aye Debuts at Denver Zoo


Denver Zoo was one of the first zoos in North America to care for Aye-ayes and is home to three of the only 24 Aye-ayes in the U.S. The Zoo’s newest Aye-aye, Tonks, who was born on August 8, has now emerged from the nest box and is starting to actively explore her habitat.

Visitors will be able to see Tonks, along with her mom, Bellatrix, and dad, Smeagol, in their exhibit in Emerald Forest at Denver Zoo.

However, seeing these elusive, nocturnal lemurs isn’t always easy. Lead Primate Keeper Becky Sturges offered the following three tips for visitors to help spot the Aye-aye family in the Zoo’s exhibit:

Visit Early…and Late: The best times to spot the Aye-ayes is soon after the Zoo opens around 10:30 a.m. and late in the afternoon, when Tonks tends to play and explore to burn off her last amount of energy before bedtime. Let Your Eyes Adjust: Spend at least five minutes letting your eyes adjust to the darkness in the exhibit and keep cell phone lights off. Look Up: Tonks is very adventurous and likes to explore the entire habitat, but she tends to spend more time on branches in the higher areas.”


3_Tonks1_EditedPhoto Credits: Denver Zoo

Aye-ayes are (Daubentonia madagascariensis) a rare species of lemur that are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are native only to remote parts of Madagascar. They are also one of the most distinctive looking animals on the planet due to a number of unique adaptations, including coarse dark hair, long bushy tails, rodent-like teeth, piercing eyes and skeletal hands that feature extra-long middle fingers with hooked claws. Aye-ayes are born weighing just a few ounces and reach up to 5 lbs. as adults. They have been known to live up to about 20 years.

For more information about Tonks and Denver Zoo’s history with Aye-aye, visit the Zoo’s website: