LA Zoo

Orange is In This Fall!

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Los Angeles Zoo's little Bornean Orangutan baby is the star attraction these days. She's the second baby for mom Kalim, who is one of four adult females in their Red Ape Rainforest. Father to the new arrival is Minyak, one of two Orangutan males at the Zoo. 

Orangutans are native to the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.  In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest.  Decked out in long, shaggy, orange-red hair, orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered.  In the last 60 years, it’s estimated that there has been more than a 50 percent decline in the orangutan population.  This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss.

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Photo Credit: Tad Motoyama


Zoo"Born"ean Orangutan at L.A. Zoo!

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Orange is everywhere to be found at the Los Angeles Zoo this Halloween season starting with the newest orange-red, shaggy haired addition to the Red Ape Rainforest – a newly born Bornean Orangutan. This is the second baby for the Zoo’s female Bornean Orangutan, Kalim. She is one of four adult females in the Red Ape Rainforest. Father to the new arrival is Minyak, one of  two orangutan males at the Zoo. Guests can see the baby Orangutan and her older sister Berani who was born in 2005.

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Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

 

Orangutans are native to the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.  In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest.  Decked out in long, shaggy, orange-red hair, orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered.  In the last 60 years, it’s estimated that there has been more than a 50 percent decline in the orangutan population.  This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss.


Sumatran Tiger Cubs Are L.A.'s Newest Angelinos!

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On August 6, Los Angeles Zoo welcomed 3 baby Sumatran Tiger cubs. This makes experienced mother Lulu's third litter. The birth of these Sumatran Tiger cubs is a cause for celebration for zoos and an important milestone in the conservation of the species. Due to continued habitat destruction, poaching, and killing of tigers that come into contact with villagers, the wild population of Sumatran Tigers has suffered, and the species is classified as endangered.

Sadly, one of Lulu's cubs didn't survive. Zoo director John Lewis had this to say about the loss, "As excited as we are in this moment of celebration, we are equally saddened to announce that one of the three tiger cubs has unexpectedly passed. This is the third litter at the L.A. Zoo from our experienced mother who has successfully raised a total of five cubs. While the loss of this cub is unfortunate, we plan to continue to share the growth of the two cubs with our community until they are introduced to their exhibit. I hope you’ll share the adventure with us."

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Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

While the cubs spend a majority of their time with mom, their keepers at the Los Angeles Zoo also spend time with them each day in order to foster a trusting relationship with them. Human interaction with the cubs from an early age allows zoo keepers and veterinarians to safely examine them during routine check-ups.


L.A. Zoo Baby Boom Kicked Off With Rare Otter Pups

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On July 10, L.A. Zoo welcomed the birth of two Giant Otter pups. Zoo staff are currently caring for the Otters at the Winnick Family Animal Care Center. They can be viewed through nursery windows. Once they have matured enough they will go out on-exhibit. Giant Otters are extremely rare in zoos and are exhibited in only five U.S. institutions. Native to the slow moving streams, lakes and swamps in the Orinoco, Amazon and La Plata river systems of South America, the IUCN endangered mammals face challenges from illegal poaching and chemical water pollution. Keep an eye out for L.A. Zoo's other current critters!

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Photo credits: Tad Motoyama


Los Angeles Zoo is Bursting with Babies!

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Photo credits: Tad Motoyama

The Los Angeles Zoo’s Koala joey, Peninsular Pronghorn twins and desert Bighorn Sheep made their media debut yesterday.

The Zoo’s baby boom kicked off last year with the July 6 birth of a female Koala. Since newborn Koalas spend about six months developing in the mother’s pouch, this joey has just recently begun to emerge. Baby Koalas are commonly referred to as joeys. When a Koala is born, it is just three-fourths of an inch long. After birth they climb into the mother’s pouch and stay there for six months. For the following six months, they are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves. After a year, they leave the pouch for good.

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Although they are often referred to as a “Koala bear,” Koalas belong to the marsupial family. Marsupials are mammals whose females typically rear their young in a pouch through early infancy. Other members of the marsupial family are Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wallaroos, Wombats and Opossums. Native to Australia, Koalas have a very low metabolic rate requiring them to conserve energy and to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. They spend about three of their five active hours eating a diet that consists entirely of eucalyptus leaves. Koalas consume 2 ½ pounds of leaves per day and rarely drink water due to the moisture found in eucalyptus leaves.

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March 20, brought the birth of a female Desert Bighorn Sheep. This species is native to the high mountains and deserts of the south western United States and northern Mexico. Preferring to reside in places with rocky terrain and access to water, they completely avoid forested areas.

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Bighorn Sheep can be seen in our local San Gabriel Mountains, though their population is threatened by many factors including drought, predators, disease and fires. The most recognizable characteristic of the Bighorn Sheep is the male’s massive, spiraled horns and their majestic faces. These horns may add up to one third of their total body weight when they’re full grown. Females have much smaller horns.

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On March 1, two Peninsular Pronghorn, one male and one female, were born. Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, these graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk. Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this critically endangered species.

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Newborn Pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.

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Typically, a Pronghorn mother will have one or two fawns weighing in at around seven or eight pounds. When they reach adulthood, pronghorns weigh up to 125 pounds and reach a height of 35 inches. The females are usually 10 to 25 percent smaller then males.


Leaping Lizards in L.A. and Tampa Bay

My rock! Baby Giant Horned Lizard at the LA ZooToday we bring you back-to-back reptile babies, which means half of our readership just got really excited and the other half just got an uninvited lunchtime surprise! Huge kudos to the L.A. Zoo for breeding the first ever Giant Horned Lizards to be successfully hatched at a North American zoo. “This clutch is a milestone event for the L.A. Zoo and zoos across the continent. These lizards will serve as ambassadors for their species and aid in the study of this species,” said Los Angeles Zoo Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio. When they first hatched, the lizards weighed about one gram and were roughly the size of a nickel. “Giant” is a relative term, so don’t expect them to grow too large; these fierce-looking lizards will reach a maximum length of about 10 inches when full grown, large for this family of lizards.

Fresh out of the egg Giant Horned Lizard hatchling says hello

King of the hill, horned lizard styleAbove photo credits: Tad Motoyama / L.A. Zoo

Though little is known about the giant horned lizard, they are one of the species that is able to squirt blood out of their eyes as a defense mechanism. While this is an interesting and unique trait, Recchio says “L.A. Zoo reptile keepers haven’t witnessed it first hand and that’s a good thing. When horned lizards perform this action it means they are under stress and feel threatened. Since the lizards haven’t displayed this behavior at the Zoo, it indicates they are comfortable in their environment here.”

Mexican Beaded LizardStay away from my stick! - Mexican Beaded Lizard at Busch Gardens Tampa BayPhoto credits immediately above and below: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Next we have a baby Mexican Beaded Lizard, one of only two species of venomous lizards in North America, hatched on January 16, 2011 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Beaded lizards have venom glands in their lower jaws that allow them to chew venom directly into their prey. There is no anti-venom to counteract a beaded lizard bite. Zoo staff named the new beaded lizard "Gaspar" to honor Tampa’s annual pirate festival Gasparilla, during which beads are tossed out from parade floats.

See more photos below the fold

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Little Peccary Piglets in Los Angeles

On August 23, the Los Angeles Zoo welcomed two Chacoan Peccary piglets. This relative of the pig is native to Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. They were thought to be extinct until 1972 when biologists found the species hidden away in a secluded section of Paraguay. 

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Photo credits: Tad Motoyama / Los Angeles Zoo

In the wild, low growing species of cactus make up most of the peccary’s diet.  Like hogs, peccaries have a well-developed snout used to root out bulbs, roots, tubers and rhizomes of a variety of plants. Unlike the domestic pig, the peccary is a slow and dainty eater; they do not devour their food rapidly.


Golden Girl Goes for Dragons!

On August 8, the first of 22 Komodos hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.  Several of the young Komodos that hatched at the Zoo are currently exploring their newly renovated exhibit in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.

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CAPTION: Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee Betty White and Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio pose with a Komodo dragon hatchling at the Los Angeles Zoo on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, prior to releasing the hatchlings into their newly renovated exhibit located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.  Photo Credit: Tad Motoyama.

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L.A. Celebrates the Hatching of 22 Dragons!

On August 8, 2010 the first of 22 Komodo dragons hatched at the L.A. Zoo.  Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.

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Lima, the Zoo’s female Komodo dragon, laid 23 eggs back in January so hatching 22 was a huge success!. Fewer than 10 zoos in North America have been able to breed Komodos; this marks the L.A. Zoo’s first success at breeding them.

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Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama / L.A. Zoo

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LA Zoo Delivers Your Fennec Fox Fix

Here at ZooBorns we're no strangers to Fennec Fox kits. One we've dubbed Radar Ears holds court over our Facebook page. Today L.A. Zoo announced the debut of three new baby Fennecs. The three kits, born on May 24, are being raised by their parents in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.  It takes patience and a keen eye to spot the littermates as they are great hiders.

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Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama / Los Angeles Zoo

Fennec Foxes are the world's smallest wild canine, weighing in at just under 3.5 pounds in adulthood. In contrast to their small stature, Fennecs have distinctively large ears that can reach a length of up to six inches; about one-third of their body length.  Their ears serve as “radiators” that dissipate heat enabling the foxes to stay cool. They also enhance the fox’s acute sense of hearing, helping them detect prey.

Fennec Foxes are nocturnal animals native to the deserts of North Africa that hunt small rodents, birds, eggs, lizards and insects. Their cream-colored coats allow them to blend in with their desert surroundings.

And while we're at it, these pictures of juvenile Fennec Foxes from Germany's Zoo Darmstadt are too good not to share...

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Fennec fox baby  zoo darmstadtPhoto Credits: Joachim S. Mueller