Idaho Falls, ID – Are you ready for incredible cuteness? Staff at Idaho Falls Zoo are happy to announce the birth of a cotton-top tamarin!
The cotton-top tamarin is a small new world monkey native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America (predominately Colombia) that bears an uncanny resemblance to a tiny Einstein due to its fluffy white hair head and serious facial expressions. “Ash” was born to parents Tunda and Chad on March 11. This is the first successful birth for the pair.
Idaho Falls, ID – Visitors to the Idaho Falls Zoo are in store for a very special treat this season. An adorable male sloth bear cub was born the week before Thanksgiving 2021, completely hairless and weighed about as much as a can of soda. When full-grown, he will weigh over 300 pounds!
Since his birth, the cub has been under the constant care of the zoo’s “super mama bear,” Priya, as well as staying under the watchful, ever-diligent eyes of the Idaho Falls Zoo animal care and veterinary staff to ensure he remained in good health.
The baby red pandas born in July at Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park are thriving and can even be seen out on exhibit. As of Friday Oct. 29, Paprika is 2.4kg and Saffron is 2.0kg. They’re growing steadily and are very healthy. They have started to venture out on exhibit and are showing more and more independence.
Idaho Falls Zoo is thrilled to announce the extraordinary birth of a male African Lion cub! The cub was born February 17 to first-time parents, Kimani and Dahoma.
“Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, the cub had to be removed from his mom to be treated for a medical issue. We are pleased to report that he has completely recovered and is almost ready to be returned to his mother,” states Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Rhonda Aliah.
Because of the advanced age of the parents and the unique genetics of the couple, this adorable little guy is extremely important to the captive African Lion population in North American zoos. Although reintroducing this genetically valuable cub to his parents is essential for his development, the process is not simple or straightforward.
To lessen any risk, the cub will be returned to his mother when he is bigger and more mobile. The AZA and other zoo professionals explored all possible options for the cub. “Everyone agreed that the only option available was to keep the cub at the Idaho Falls Zoo and eventually reintroduce him to his parents,” states Aliah.
When the time comes for the cub to re-join his family, a Lion manager from the Denver Zoo, who has experience with conducting these types of reintroductions and who serves as an advisor to the AZA’s Lion SSP, will be onsite during the reintroduction. The Lion manager will help interpret behaviors and guide zoo staff during what will be a very stressful and potentially dangerous, yet important, time in the cub’s life.
In the meantime, the cub needs to be socialized. Lions are the most social of the big cat species, and sociability is incredibly important for behavioral and psychological reasons. Young cubs rely on other members of their pride to teach them how to be adults. A cub that has been away from his parents is at risk for not being easily accepted back into the pride and could be injured or killed when reintroduced.
So, how do you keep a Lion cub social without being around other Lions? ...meet Justice, another new member of the zoo family.
Photo Credits: Idaho Falls Zoo (Images 1 & 4) / City of Idaho Falls News (Images 2,3,5)
Justice is a not a lion, but a Great Pyrenees with wonderful mothering instincts. Two-year-old Justice is a rescue dog that has had at least one litter of puppies. When rescued, representatives with the Humane Society of the Upper Valley found her alone caring for her puppies, as well as a weak sheep. Her puppies have all been rehomed, and now Justice has a new role: nursemaid to a rambunctious two-month old African Lion cub!
Zoo Curator, Darrell Markum, explains, “An important aspect of animal development, particularly with baby carnivores, is having an adult animal teach ‘animal etiquette.’ This includes not biting other animals hard enough to injure them and not using your claws to climb on your elders. Justice is a very patient teacher.”
Given the unique situation, the use of domestic dogs to raise young carnivores is an accepted practice in modern zoos.