Franklin Park Zoo’s new Baird’s Tapir made her exhibit debut last week, and now the sweet calf needs a name!
Zoo New England is running a naming contest via CrowdRise, with donations supporting Global Wildlife Conservation’s Nicaragua Tapir Project. With a $5 minimum donation, members of the public can vote for their favorite name for the calf, now through January 31. Follow this link to vote: https://www.crowdrise.com/babytapir
The female calf was born on January 1 to 28-year-old dad, Milton, and 13-year-old mom, Abby. This is the fourth offspring for both parents.
Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo / Zoo New England
Zoo New England participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. Because the AZA managed Tapir population is so small – 29 males and 20 females (including the new calf) – every successful birth and survival helps to secure the captive population. The new female calf at Franklin Park Zoo helps to balance out this small, but male skewed population.
New Year’s Day was extra special at Franklin Park Zoo… a Baird’s Tapir, named Abby, gave birth to a female calf.
The calf was born on January 1 to 28-year-old dad, Milton, and 13-year-old mom, Abby. This is the fourth offspring for both parents.
The soon-to-be-named calf recently had her first vet examination. The exam included blood work and a general physical. The calf weighed-in at 20.5 pounds and appears to be in good health.
“Abby is an experienced mother, and she is being very attentive to her new baby, who is strong and has been nursing well. As with any new birth, we are carefully monitoring the health of the new calf and the mother,” said Dr. Alex Becket, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian in the department of Animal Health.
The baby’s arrival was long awaited by the Animal Care staff, as the gestation period for Baird’s Tapirs is thirteen months. Similar to a deer fawn, Baird’s Tapir calves are distinctly marked with watermelon like white stripes and spots, which help to camouflage them in the dappled light of the rainforest. The stripes begin to fade between five and six months of age.
“We are thrilled to share this wonderful news,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Given the small size of the North American captive population, this is a very important birth for this endangered species. Zoo New England is committed to Tapir conservation and has supported important field work being done on behalf of Baird’s Tapirs in Nicaragua.”
Photo Credits: Zoo New England/Sarah Woodruff
ZNE participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. Because the AZA managed Tapir population is so small – 29 males and 20 females (including the new calf) – every successful birth and survival helps to secure the captive population. The new female calf at Franklin Park Zoo helps to balance out this small, but male skewed population.
Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii), also known as the Central American Tapir, is a species of native to Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America.
They are the largest land mammal found in South America and are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List. While they are hunted for food and sport, their greatest threat to survival is habitat destruction due to logging and clearing of land for agriculture and development. In addition to humans, jaguars are the only other significant threat to this animals’ survival in the wild.
The Baird’s Tapirs, at Franklin Park Zoo, make their home in the ‘Tropical Forest’ exhibit. The new baby is expected to make her public debut within a few weeks.
Five Prairie Dog pups recently emerged from their burrows at their exhibit located in Franklin Park Zoo’s ‘Nature’s Neighborhoods’, the new George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo.
The pups’ birth date is estimated to have been around April 1. Prairie Dog pups are born blind and hairless, and do not make an appearance outside of the burrow until they are about six weeks old. The pups can now be seen exploring the exhibit alongside the adult Prairie Dogs.
“It’s hard not to be amazed by these incredible little creatures. Prairie Dogs are highly social animals, and it will be fascinating for our guests to watch the pups grow up,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.
Photo Credits: Zoo New England / Franklin Park Zoo
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are not actually dogs at all. They are small, stout, tan rodents with a lightly white or buff-white belly. They have short black tails, small ears, dark eyes and long claws used for digging.
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are found in short-grass prairie habitats of western North America, from southern Saskatchewan down to northern Mexico. They form complex, widespread underground burrow systems, and avoid areas of heavy brush or tall grass due to reduced visibility.
They live in what are called “towns” or colonies. These colonies are further divided into territorial neighborhoods called wards. Within the wards are coteries, which are family groups comprised of a male, one to four females and offspring that are under two years old. They do not hibernate and can be seen emerging from burrows in mid-winter.
Their towns are known to be quite expansive, and they are considered to be pests by ranchers (burrow entrances become hazardous to livestock). In 1901, scientists in Texas reported finding a Black-tailed Prairie Dog town that allegedly covered about 25,000 sq mi (64,000 km2) and included 400,000,000 individual residents.
The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. Prior to habitat destruction, this species may have been the most abundant Prairie Dog in central North America.
On April 27, Annakiya, an Eastern Bongo, gave birth to a female calf at Franklin Park Zoo.
The morning after her birth, the 42-pound-calf had her well-baby examination, which included a general physical examination and blood work.
Dr. Alex Becket, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian in the department of Animal Health and Conservation Medicine, remarked after the exam, “The calf appears healthy. She is bright, alert and responsive, and is also very strong and active. As with any new birth, we are monitoring the mother and baby closely. Annakiya is an experienced mother and is doing everything a mother bongo should.”
The calf is expected to be on exhibit for short periods of time for Mother’s Day weekend, weather permitting.
Photo Credits: Kayla St. George (Images 1-3) / Zoo New England (Images 4, 5)
The Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) is herbivorous and mostly nocturnal. It is among the largest of the African forest antelope species.
Bongos are characterized by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiraled horns (both sexes have horns).
Bongos are classified into two subspecies. The Western or Lowland Bongo (T. e. eurycerus) faces an ongoing population decline, and the IUCN classified it as “Near Threatened” on the conservation status scale.
The Eastern or Mountain Bongo (T. e. isaaci) is found in Kenya. It has a more vibrant coat than the Western Bongo.
The IUCN Antelope Specialist Group has classified the Eastern Bongo as “Critically Endangered”. There are currently more specimens in captivity than in the wild.
Franklin Park Zoo has played a key role in growing the North American captive population through successful breeding. Since 1984, 17 Bongo calves have been born at Franklin Park Zoo.
Zoo New England participates in the Bongo Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This latest birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Patrick (age 6) and Annakiya (age 14). This is Annakiya’s third calf, but it is her first with Patrick.
Bongos are the largest, and often considered the most beautiful, forest-dwelling antelope found in the rainforests of equatorial Africa. Shy and elusive, Bongos are known for being almost silent as they move through dense forests.
Morning walks, three feedings a day, and attentive care are all part of an Ostrich chick’s daily routine at Franklin Park Zoo.
The chick, hatched on September 3, weighed about 2 pounds at hatching and measured about eight inches tall. By the time it is six months old, the chick will weigh around 150 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. The hatching is a first for Franklin Park Zoo.
Photo Credit: Franklin Park Zoo
Because the zoo’s adult Ostrich pair has not been able to reproduce, staff decided to obtain an egg from another zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, incubate it, and hand raise the chick once it hatched.
The not-so-little chick requires a lot of one-on-one time with keepers. Daily walks are important to encourage proper bone development. Diet, consisting of grain, greens, and chopped egg, is carefully monitored so that the chick does not gain weight too rapidly, which also ensures strong, straight leg development.
The male chick will be introduced to the adults when it is five to six months old. In the wild, Ostriches live in flocks that can number 100 birds.
There are four surviving subspecies of Ostrich, all native to Africa. Although all subspecies are in decline, only the North African Ostrich, which has disappeared from most of its original range, is listed as Critically Endangered.
Zoo New England supports the Sahara Conservation Fund’s work in Niger to protect the North African Ostrich.
Ostriches, which live on Africa’s grasslands, are flightless birds built for running. They use their wings for balance as they run. Their long powerful legs, flexible knees, and two-toed feet help them outpace predators and maintain speed over long distances. Ostriches can deliver powerful kicks in self-defense, and each of their toes has a long, sharp claw. Reaching speeds of 45 miles per hour, Ostriches the world’s fastest two-legged animal.
Male Ostriches are black with white primary flight feathers and tail. Females are gray-brown and white. At nearly two inches across, Ostriches’ eyes are the largest of any land animal. With eyes on the sides of their heads, Ostriches have a 350-degree view of their environment.
There’s a new kid at Franklin Park Zoo… a Nigerian Dwarf Goat kid, that is.
The new kid was born February 16 inside the barn at Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm. Shortly after birth, the little female was standing, and within hours she was observed nursing. This is the second offspring for mom, Leia, and dad, Lucky.
The kid recently underwent a medical exam, and she appears bright, alert and active. The goat kid, who has been named Chewbacca, weighed about four pounds at birth.
“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and we hope people will stop by during this school vacation week to see this adorable new addition,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.
Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are noted for their wide range of color patterns, which include combinations of black, brown or gold mixed with white, as well as for their easy-going temperaments.
Adult males can reach a maximum size of 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm), and females can grow to about 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm).
These herbivorous miniature goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) are of West African descent. They have been domesticated as dairy goats and can be found all over the world. Highly adaptable, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can live in climates ranging from cold to hot and dry.
Despite their size, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for expressing a high quantity of milk. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, making Nigerian Dwarf Goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are gentle, friendly, and can easily be trained to walk on a leash. Their size and temperament enable them to be excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals.
The staff at Franklin Park Zoo, in New England, is pleased to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe Calf!
Photo Credits: Amanda Giardina/Zoo New England (1,2,3,4,5); Sarah Woodruff (6,7,8,9,10,11)
After a labor and delivery that lasted about an hour, mother, ‘Jana’, gave birth to the female giraffe calf, on October 2nd, inside the Giraffe Barn. Within 40 minutes of birth, the calf was standing, and she was observed nursing about an hour and a half after birth.
The female calf had her first examination, the following day, by the Zoo’s veterinary staff. She weighed 160 pounds and stood at 6-feet tall.
The calf’s parents, ‘Beau’ and ‘Jana’, are very genetically valuable within the North American captive Masai Giraffe population. Since 2006, Beau and Jana have had five successful births, including the new calf. The pair are also grandparents as well, with offspring at zoos up and down the eastern United States.
“We are so thrilled to share the news of this exciting birth,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Jana is an experienced mother and she is doing everything a mother giraffe should do. As with any new birth, we are continuing to monitor the mother and baby closely.”
Giraffes are more temperature sensitive than other savannah animals, and are kept indoors when temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. However, on October 8th, the new calf was able to enjoy a beautiful Boston day and explore the outdoor area with her mother!
Beau and Jana were bred as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo New England is an active participant in this program. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.
A baby Red Panda has arrived at Franklin Park Zoo! Born on June 19, the male cub stayed in the nest box for about 90 days with his mother, Carys, and is just now peeking out to greet zoo visitors.
Photo Credit: Franklin Park Zoo (1,2,4); Melissa Durham (3)
The cub was recently given access to the outdoor exhibit, which means he can choose to stay indoors or outdoors. A video monitor allows zoo visitors to see the cub in the nest box if he is not outdoors.
“We are thrilled to announce this exciting birth. Carys has proven to be an excellent mother and she is doing everything an attentive Red Panda mother should,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, who added, “The cub is very curious and it is fun to watch him explore and learn new skills from his mother.”
Zoo New England participates in the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Carys and her mate, Yang. This is the first cub for Carys.
Red Pandas live in the cool temperate bamboo forests in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan in China, as well as in the Himalayas and Myanmar. Red Pandas have a small bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks, which make up a significant portion of their diet. This species is declining and threatened by habitat loss in the wild. Red Pandas are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Franklin Park Zoo, in Boston, is pleased to announce the birth of a Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth!
Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo/Zoo New England (1,3,7), Sarah Woodruff (2,4,5), Katelyn Deaton (6)
The baby, born August 12, is the offspring of Nero, age 8, and Lunesta, age 10. The baby can be seen on exhibit with its mother, Lunesta, in the Little Critters building within the Children’s Zoo. The baby, whose sex is not yet known, underwent its first medical examination on August 14 and appears healthy, bright and alert.
Linne's Two-Toed Sloths are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but efforts to preserve that status are essential to future survival. Franklin Park Zoo, part of the Zoo New England Corp, participates in the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.
Linne’s Two-Toed Sloths are large, furry mammals that live in trees and are found in the tropical forests of South America. They spend almost their whole lives dangling upside-down from branches that they hold on to with all four clawed feet. While these animals move really well through the branches, once they are on the ground they are very slow and vulnerable to predators as they are not built for walking.
Sloths eat mainly a vegetarian diet of leaves and shoots, and they spend roughly 15 hours a day sleeping. Although they live in trees, sloths are not related to monkeys; rather, their closest relatives are the anteater and the armadillo.
Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts has announced the successful hatching of a rare Siberian Crane chick. Hatched on May 6, the chick is the offspring of Sneetch, age 20, and Shakti, age 22.
In the wild, Siberian Cranes breed in the high Arctic regions of Siberia. These Endangered birds stand about 4 feet (120 cm) tall and are noted for their pure white plumage and black flight feathers. It is estimated that only 3,000 of these birds remain in the wild.
There are only 21 Siberian Cranes in captivity in four North American institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Franklin Park Zoo has six Siberian Cranes including the new chick. Since 1999, there have been eight chicks, including the newest chick, hatched at the zoo.
Photo credit: Franklin Park Zoo
This success is the result of a lot of hard work and technical expertise. The chick at Franklin Park Zoo is a result of artificial insemination. The chick’s parents, a breeding pair, have resided at Franklin Park Zoo since 1996. Because these birds hail from the high Arctic regions, each year on February 14 the zoo staff increases the amount of light in the birds’ exhibit by one hour a week to simulate the light cycle in their native environment. The light is increased until the birds receive 21 to 22 hours of light a day. Once the light cycle reaches this point, the birds typically begin breeding. Franklin Park Zoo is actually the first zoo in North America to have successfully bred this endangered species.
“Siberian Cranes are an incredible species with an important conservation story to tell. Every successful hatch is important as it helps to hedge against this species’ extinction,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England president and CEO. “With any new birth or hatch, there is always risk but we are hopeful that this new chick will continue to thrive and will contribute to the survival of its species.”