SOUND ON! We didn't want you to miss the cutest crunching in town. Kansas City Zoo's tree kangaroo joey Poppy is learning quickly from mom Nokopo, and that includes snacking style! Currently around eight months old, Poppy can be seen outside of the pouch from time to time. For this crunch session, however, Poppy stayed comfortably inside mom's pouch!
It’s three times the cuteness at the Kansas City Zoo’s ‘Tiger Trail’. Red Panda parents, Randy and Kate, welcomed three cubs on July 11.
According to the zoo, the youngsters will stay in the nest box for a few months, but guests may be able to get a glimpse of them on a monitor outside the exhibit.
Kate and Randy are both first-time parents. Although it’s pretty rare to have three cubs born at once, Mom is said to be doing a great job caring for them. Just 24 hours after birth, a neonatal exam was performed. Red Pandas typically have high mortality rates, but the three cubs are doing well thanks to Kate and her caregivers. The smallest of the cubs has been receiving supplemental feedings from zookeepers to ensure that it gains weight at a healthy rate.
Photo Credits: Kansas City Zoo
Adult Red Pandas grow to be about the size of a house cat. They have mostly white fur at birth, but it soon turns a reddish-brown color when they are around 50 days old. In the wild, Red Pandas often move their cubs to ensure safety. At the Kansas City Zoo, Kate has three nest boxes behind the scenes so she is able to move the cubs around to whichever she thinks is the best at that time. Guests may occasionally see them on exhibit when she is moving the cubs from one nest box to another. She will keep them in the nest box for three to four months. They will likely make their exhibit debut around October.
There is a camera on the nest boxes so zookeepers can keep an eye on the cubs. Zoo visitors can check out this same view on a monitor in front of the Red Panda exhibit on Tiger Trail. The cubs’ sexes are unknown at this point. All three cubs’ eyes are now open, and they are also beginning to vocalize when keepers make their daily checks.
With the Midwest in the grip of a brutal winter, the Kansas City Zoo has welcomed two King Penguin chicks.
Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo
The first chick hatched on January 13 during a blizzard and was given the name “Blizzard” by the care team. A second King Penguin chick hatched on February 2 during the polar vortex which brought below-zero temperatures to Kansas City. The zoo solicited name suggestions for the second chick on Facebook, and fans suggested wintry names for little ball of fluff. Top names included “Pothole,” “Snowball,” “Icee,” “Chilly,” and “Vortex.” Vortex was chosen as the winning name.
You can see the entire Penguin habitat and all its residents every day on the zoo’s Penguin Cam.
There, you’ll see “play pens” separating the two chicks and their parents from the rest of the flock. This allows the other penguins to see and hear the new arrivals, but gives the new families some privacy. Blizzard, the older of the two Penguin chicks, has his very own Blizzard Cam. On that camera, you’ll see Blizzard, who is covered in fuzzy gray feathers and stands almost as tall as his parents.
At up to 39 inches tall, King Penguins are the second largest of all Penguin species. They nest on temperate islands in the South Atlantic Ocean and on the coast of Antarctica. Diving to depths of more than 300 feet, King Penguins forage for fish, squid, and krill in the cold Antarctic waters. King Penguins as a whole are not under threat at this time, but certain populations, including those on Pig Island, have declined 90% in recent years. Scientists are not certain if this is due to changes in the ecosystem, or if the Penguins have dispersed to new breeding grounds.
While fluffy snow was recently blanketing Kansas City, Missouri and knocking out power metro wide, including at the Kansas City Zoo, something exciting was happening inside the Helzberg Penguin Plaza. The first King Penguin egg to be laid at the Zoo hatched on Sunday, January 13. The name “Blizzard” was chosen for this chick since it made its entrance into the world during one big snowstorm!
Photo Credits: Brian McCarty/Kansas City Zoo
Helzberg Penguin Plaza opened its doors in October 2013 and became home to several King Penguins. But it wasn’t until this winter that those penguins formed love connections. In late November, the Zoo’s first King Penguin egg was laid, and parents Jilly and Dwayne kept dutiful watch over it. For king penguins, that required them to hold the delicate egg on their feet to keep it warm, taking turns doing so for the 53-day incubation period. On January 13, the new chick was finally ready to hatch!
Zookeepers have been keeping an eye on the chick, weighing it periodically to make sure its gaining weight. Jilly and Dwayne are first-time parents but are doing a great job feeding and caring for little Blizzard.
Visitors can see the chick, Blizzard, and the rest of the flock in Helzberg Penguin Plaza.
The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is a large species of penguin, second only to the Emperor Penguin in size. There are two subspecies: A. p. patagonicus and A. p. halli; patagonicus is found in the South Atlantic and halli found at the Kerguelen Islands and Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island.
Kansas City Zoo’s Masai Giraffe herd just got bigger! On Sunday, September 30, at 11:29 pm, six-year-old Makali gave birth to a male calf. The calf weighed 135 pounds and already stands 5 feet, 5 inches tall. A neonatal exam showed that the calf is in good health.
Right now, the calf is bonding with his mom behind the scenes, but fans can see him on the zoo’s Giraffe Cam. He has not yet been named. Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo
The new calf already has a playmate: female calf Dixie is eight months old and is sure to become fast friends with this youngster.
The calf’s father is nine-year-old Hamisi, the only male in the zoo’s herd. Hamisi has fathered several calves at his previous zoo and this is his second calf at the Kansas City Zoo. He also fathered Dixie.
Masai Giraffe are one of nine Giraffe species and subspecies found in Africa. Masai Giraffes live primarily in Kenya and Tanzania, and number around 32,000 individuals. The overall Giraffe population in Africa is decreasing due to growing human population pressure and illegal hunting. Giraffes are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Two adorable Asian Small-clawed Otter pups were born the middle of March at the Kansas City Zoo.
For now, the fluffy male and female pups will remain behind-the-scenes with their parents and big brother, Otis.
However, the Zoo is happy to share updates of the duo via social media. Keepers also organized a naming contest, allowing the public to select the tiny otters new names. And the winning names are…Conner and Clover.
Photo Credits: Kansas City Zoo
Although the Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea syn. Amblonyx cinereus) is only listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, the species is seriously threatened by rapid habitat destruction for palm oil farming and by hunting and pollution. They are considered an “indicator species,” meaning their population indicates the general health of their habitat and of other species.
The species is the smallest Otter in the world and lives in freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps throughout Southeast Asia, including southern India and China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula. They prefer quiet pools and sluggish streams for fishing and swimming.
Unlike Sea Otters, they spend more time on land than in water, but they are skillful, agile swimmers and divers, with great endurance. They can stay submerged for six to eight minutes.
Four Arapawa Goats were born at the Zoo during the first week of April. Keepers have been able to determine there are at least one boy and one girl, and they will find out the sex of the other pair once a neonatal exam is performed.
Photo Credits: Kansas City Zoo
The Arapawa Goat is a New Zealand breed. They are medium-sized and of a non-aggressive temperament. The breed is also considered to be critically close to extinction.
According the American non-profit organization, The Livestock Conservancy: “The Arapawa goat is a breed of domestic goat whose ancestors arrived with European explorers or colonists in New Zealand, possibly as early as the 1600’s. The breed was originally only found on the rugged island of Arapawa, which is situated at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The origin of the goat population on this island has often been associated with the expeditions of Captain James Cook. Historical records indicate that goats were released by Cook on the island in 1777. According to local lore the present goats are directly descended from those original goats brought by the British explorers. The goats are thought to be descended from 'Old English', a common goat breed in Britain in the 18th century. This breed is a likely candidate to have been brought by British colonists as it is an all-purpose family goat suitable to meet the challenges of founding new colonies.
In England, over time, the Old English goat slowly fell out of favor on small farms. The Old English breed eventually became extinct as more productive breeds became popular and the practice of keeping yard goats diminished towards the end of the 19th century. If New Zealand goat lore is true, then the Arapawa represents the last remaining examples of the Old English goat, and it has been conserved due to the relative isolation of the island. While the origins of the Arapawa goat will continue to challenge historians and biologists, phenotypical evidence and DNA evidence seem to support the hypothesis of the relationship to the Old English goat.
The Arapawa goat population thrived on the island without major threat for over 200 years, until the 1970s. At that time, the New Zealand Forest Service came to the conclusion that the goats were too damaging to the native forest and therefore had to be removed. In reaction to the news, Arapawa Island residents Betty and Walt Rowe stepped in with friends and volunteers and created a sanctuary in 1987. They began conservation work with 40 goats returned to domestication. It is largely through their efforts that the breed gained international attention and survives today. The Arapawa goat remains one of the rarest breeds. As of 2011 there are approximately 150-200 domesticated goats in the United States, and this is thought to represent about half of the global population. Dedicated breeders are also working with the breed in New Zealand and the United Kingdom…”
The Masai Giraffe herd at the Kansas City Zoo just grew by four hooves! At 4:57 a.m. on February 2, Giraffe Lizzie gave birth to a female calf.
At the calf’s neonatal exam, the veterinary team determined that the baby is in good health and bonding well with Lizzie. The newborn weighed 105 pounds and stands about five feet tall.
Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo
This baby, which has not yet been named, is the first to be born at the zoo since 2015. The little girl’s parents are Lizzie, age 6, and eight-year-old Hamisi. Lizzie’s mother, Mahali, is part of the zoo’s herd, so the calf will soon meet her grandmother.
It’s too cold outside for Lizzie and her baby, so they’ll remain behind the scenes until the weather warms up. In the meantime, fans can see Lizzie and the baby inside the Giraffe barn on the Giraffe Cam.
There’s a new Penguin in the Kansas City Zoo’s ‘Helzberg Penguin Plaza’ exhibit!
Several months ago, the Zoo was fortunate to receive a King Penguin egg from the St. Louis Zoo. The Kansas City Zoo incubated the egg until it was ready to hatch, and on November 8, the new chick made its way out of his shell.
He was hand-raised, behind the scenes, by a group of dedicated Zookeepers until ready to acclimate to the temperatures and feathered friends that come with his permanent exhibit.
Now, through the course of voting via social media, the handsome young King Penguin has been given the very regal name “Louie”.
Photo Credits: Kansas City Zoo
The chick has grown a lot in two short months, and the Zoo encourages visitors to see him in his ‘penguin playpen’, right on the other side of the glass at the Helzberg Penguin Plaza.
The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is a large species, second only to the Emperor Penguin in size. There are two subspecies: A. p. patagonicus (found in the South Atlantic) and A. p. halli. (found at the Kerguelen Islands and Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island).
King Penguins eat small fish, mainly lanternfish, and squid. They are less reliant on krill and other crustaceans than most Southern Ocean predators.