Lincoln Park Zoo

Rare Baby Geckos' Tails Look Like Leaves

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Five Henkel’s Leaf-tailed Geckos (Uroplatus henkeli) have arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo – the first-ever successful hatch at the zoo for this rare Lizard species. The hatchlings will be on exhibit at Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House in the coming weeks.

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20181011_CB_leaf-tailed gecko_898x477Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo

The zoo’s Henkel’s Leaf-tailed Geckos were given a breeding recommendation from the Leaf-tailed Gecko Species Survival Plan® (SSP), which manages the species’ population throughout zoos accredited by the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP recommendations – which determine the exact individuals that  should breed with each other – are made using demographic and genetic analyses conducted by population biologists at the AZA Population Management Center, which is based at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Geckos are named for their distinctive namesake tail. That remarkable appendage and their rough brown and green skin helps these Lizards camouflage themselves against tree bark with uncanny ease.

Tiny pads on the feet of Henkel's Leaf-tailed Geckos produce a strong adhesive effect, enabling them to climb and cling to a variety of surfaces. In the wild, these Lizards spend most of their time in the treetops, feeding on insects. They descend to the ground only when laying eggs in leaf litter on the forest floor.

Although adults can grow to 11 inches long, hatchlings are much tinier, as you can see in the photos. The newcomers are welcome arrivals for a species that is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

These Lizards are found only in Madagascar, where they face threats from logging operations and from deforestation as people burn the forest to make small farms. They are also collected illegally to supply the pet trade and are routinely taken from protected areas within Madagascar.

See more photos of the hatchlings below.

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Lincoln Park Zoo’s New Exhibit Welcomes First Chick

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The first-ever endangered African Penguin chick has hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo’s new Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove. After a 38-day incubation period, the chick emerged on February 10.

At a recent wellness exam, veterinary staff deemed the chick healthy. During the exam, veterinary staff also drew blood, which will be sent for lab analysis to determine the chick’s sex. Once that is revealed, keepers can decide on an appropriate name.

The chick is the offspring of mom, Robben, and dad, Preston. According to Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds, Sunny Nelson, the first-time parents are proving to be naturals.

“Our keepers are constantly monitoring both the parents and the chick to ensure that the parents are meeting the chick’s needs as it reaches developmental milestones,” said Nelson. “Both Robben and Preston are performing parental duties as expected, sharing brooding and feeding responsibilities.”

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4_20180403_CB_penguin chick-13Photo Credits: Lincoln Park Zoo / Chris Bijalba (Image 1)

African Penguin chicks typically fledge around 70 to 80 days after hatching. The chick will retain its downy feathers until it molts into waterproof juvenile plumage. After one to two years, African Penguins molt into their iconic tuxedo-like adult plumage.

Animal Care staff plans to give the chick access to a behind-the-scenes pool to ensure that its feathers are waterproof before introducing the chick to the rest of the exhibit.

The chick’s parents were paired as a part of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative population management effort among institutions within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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New Langur Is Lucky Number Seven for Parents

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A bright orange, endangered Francois’ Langur was born February 6 at Lincoln Park Zoo and is now on exhibit at Helen Brach Primate House.

The infant is the seventh successful offspring for Lincoln Park Zoo’s breeding pair, Pumpkin (dam) and Cartman (sire), and a part of the Francois’ Langur Species Survival Plan ® (SSP), which cooperatively manages the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited-zoo population. Lead Keeper Bonnie Jacobs serves as Vice-Chair of the Francois’ Langur SSP and has been managing the studbook for this population in the AZA for the past 15 years.

The sex and measurements of the infant are yet to be determined, as the newborn is still clinging tight to mom.

“Pumpkin is an experienced and attentive mother and the entire troop is being supportive,” said Curator of Primates, Maureen Leahy. “We recently updated the Langur exhibit to include more dynamic elements such as vines, sway poles and pulley feeders, so it will be exciting to see the newest addition of the troop grow more independent and explore the habitat.”

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4_20170107_JF_Francois_Langur-7Photo Credits: Julia Fuller / Lincoln Park Zoo

Francois’ Langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List due to habitat degradation and hunting. They’re native to the southern Guangxi province of China, northern Vietnam and west-central Laos.

Adults display black body coloration with a white marking from ear-to-ear and a black crest atop the head. Infants are born with a bright orange hue, which scientists believe encourages alloparenting, or ‘aunting behavior,’ among females in the group. Infants’ fur turns black within the first three to six months of life.

With its parents, the Langur infant joins sisters Kieu and Orla, brothers Vinh and Pierre, and adult female Chi on exhibit at Helen Brach Primate House, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park Zoo. For more information, visit www.lpzoo.org .


Lincoln Park Zoo Celebrates ‘White Christmas’

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It was a “White Christmas” at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. A Black-and-white Colobus Monkey was born December 25, and the snowy-white infant is now on exhibit at the zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.

The Colobus baby not only joins its 12-year-old mother Kutaka (koo-tah-kah) and 23-year-old father Keanjaha (key-an-ja-ha), it also shares home with 15-month-old female infant Nairobi and two other adult females.

The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined, as the baby is clinging tight to mom and a health check isn’t possible just yet.

The zoo’s Colobus infant is a part of the Black-and-White Colobus Species Survival Plan ® (SSP), which cooperatively manages the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited-zoo population.

The baby is the second successful offspring for this breeding pair. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology carefully monitored the progesterone levels in Kutaka’s urine samples to estimate a due date window and ensure that the mother and baby were healthy for the entire duration of the expected pregnancy.

“Kutaka is an extremely attentive mother,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We’re excited for the newest member of the multi-generational Colobus troop to interact with the entire family from juvenile to geriatric members. In fact, we’ve already observed the infant’s aunt and older sister briefly carrying the new infant, a species-typical behavior called alloparenting or ‘aunting behavior.’”

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One of five species of Colobus Monkeys, the Black-and-white Colobus is an arboreal species native to equatorial Africa.

Lincoln Park Zoo Animal Keeper, Jade Price, recently traveled to Diani Beach, Kenya with Colobus Conservation Limited to participate in conservation efforts focused on the nationally threatened Angolan Colobus Monkey.

At birth, Colobus Monkeys have white hair and pink skin in stark contrast to the black-and-white adults. Around 3-weeks-old, the face and ears start to darken until the infant is almost completely black-and-white at around 3 to 4 months old.

The Colobus infant and parents, Kutaka and Keanjaha, can all be seen on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House.

For more information on Lincoln Park Zoo or new arrivals, visit www.lpzoo.org .


Chicago’s Other Cubs Gear-Up for ‘Fall Fest’

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The Chicago Cubs baseball team is currently on track for their first World Series appearance in 71 years, and fans of the team will definitely have a big win at Lincoln Park Zoo this weekend (October 21-23, 2016) for the zoo’s Fall Fest. The event also offers a chance to catch a glimpse of Chicago’s other famous cubs…the zoo’s Red Panda cubs, Sheffield and Waveland (named after Wrigley Field’s cross-streets).

Born June 24, the pair of Red Panda cubs, Waveland (female) and Sheffield (male) have spent the last few months behind the scenes in their nest box. The cubs have grown more independent and have ventured out on exhibit intermittently as they continue to acclimate to ‘the friendly confines’ of their ivy-covered habitat.

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4_20161004_CB_Red Panda_waveland_25Photo Credits: Lincoln Park Zoo /Christopher Bijalba

Thanks to a breeding recommendation from the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which cooperatively manages the endangered population, these cubs are the second set in two years for Lincoln Park Zoo’s breeding pair: Leafa (dam) and Phoenix (sire). Last year, the zoo celebrated its first-ever Red Panda cub litter including, Clark (male) and Addison (female), now thriving at San Diego Zoo and Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo, respectively.

“In the last year, Red Pandas have gone from a threatened to endangered species due to human impacts including habitat loss,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “These playful, curious, arboreal cubs here at the zoo serve as ambassadors to encourage learning and inspire visitors to help protect this species in the wild.”

For more information on Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest or the Red Panda cubs, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lincolnparkzoo/  

...and the Zoo's website: www.lpzoo.org

More pics below the fold! 

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Father’s Day Zebra Birth at Lincoln Park Zoo

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Father’s Day was celebrated the ‘zoo way’ at Lincoln Park Zoo, with the arrival of a female Grevy’s Zebra foal. It is the first zebra birth at the zoo since 2012.

Animal care staff arrived at about 7 a.m. Saturday, June 18 to find mom and foal standing in the yard together. This is the first offspring for 5-year-old sire, Webster, and the third foal for 9-year-old dam, Adia. Her most recent offspring, Kito, resides in the yard next door.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this new foal to Lincoln Park Zoo,” said Curator Diane Mulkerin “Like all the animals in our care, zebras play an important role in educating our guests about wildlife.”

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The Grevy's Zebra is endangered in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Grevy's Zebra Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Grevy's Zebra is native to eastern Africa, where it ranges from Ethiopia to Kenya.

“Research tells us that fostering an emotional connection between humans and animals is key to creating a real commitment to wildlife conservation,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Vice President of Education and Community Engagement Dana Murphy. “Species like zebras, with which we are relatively familiar—and become so at an early age—help us forge that connection and inspire our guests to care about their future.”

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Meet the Fluffiest Cubs In Chicago

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After growing in size and strength, Lincoln Park Zoo’s first-ever Red Panda cubs Clark, a male, and Addison, a female, are now in their outdoor exhibit!

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Photo Credit:  Lincoln Park Zoo
 
ZooBorns has reported on the cubs’ progress in stories here and here. Born June 26, Addison and Clark have spent the last few months behind-the-scenes with their mother, Leafa. The Red Pandas will be on and off exhibit intermittently as they continue to acclimate from their nest box behind-the-scenes.

“We’re excited to see the cubs explore their outdoor exhibit space and to be able to share their playful nature with our guests,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “The Red Panda cubs continue to grow in size but also in how vocal they are, their activity level, and curiosity levels.” 

Red Pandas are Raccoon-like in appearance and have Panda in their name, but are not related to either species – genetics indicate that Red Pandas belong to a unique family. Red Pandas are native to the Himalayan mountain range and due to habitat loss and poaching, Red Pandas are considered a Vulnerable species.

See more photos of the cubs below.

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First Chilean Flamingo Hatchling for Lincoln Park Zoo

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Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, is thrilled to announce its first-ever Chilean Flamingo hatchling.

The flamingo chick emerged on September 11, and the zoo is cautiously optimistic that several remaining incubating eggs may hatch within the coming weeks.

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4_Lincoln Park flamingo_9Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

“We are absolutely elated to welcome our first Chilean Flamingo chick,” said Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson. “As a first hatching for Lincoln Park Zoo and for the flock, the chick is currently raised behind-the-scenes and will be re-introduced to the flock once the chick is more independent.”

The sex of the first-born chick has yet to be determined but shell fragments have been collected and will be sent for DNA testing as a non-invasive method of determining the sex. While a Chilean Flamingo can weigh up to 3.5 kg, the chick was 95 g at hatch--roughly the weight of a bar of soap.

The zoo received breeding recommendations, for its flock, as part of the Chilean Flamingo Species Survival Plan, which cooperatively manages the accredited population.  

Currently, the flamingo chick remains behind-the-scenes, receiving around-the-clock care. In the meantime, the flock of adult Chilean Flamingos is on exhibit daily at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Waterfowl Lagoon.

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Threatened Ornate Box Turtles Hatch in Chicago

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The last of 26 Ornate Box Turtles hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo, in Chicago, this past week, as part of an effort to restore native populations in Western Illinois. The hatchlings come from nine different clutches provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“Each year we learn more about Ornate Box Turtles and their preferred temperature for incubation and what conditions best enable them to grow before returning to their native habitat,” said Diane Mulkerin, curator for Lincoln Park Zoo. “The collaboration among conservation organizations enables us to take the head-start program one step further by increasing the number of turtles we re-introduce each year.”

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4_Ornate Box Turtle-4 (©Chicago Zoological Society)Photo Credits: CZS/Brookfield/Chicago Zoological Society (Images: 1 - 6);Lincoln Park Zoo/Christopher Bijalba (Images: 7 - 12)The turtles will remain at their respective zoos for the next several months where they can thrive without the threat of predation or disease. Once the animals grow both in size and strength, they will be re-introduced into sand prairies protected by the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Savannah, Illinois.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Lincoln Park Zoo on this hatch and head-start program for the Illinois state-listed threatened Ornate Box Turtle,” said Andy Snider, curator of herps and aquatics for the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo. “Assisting in cooperative conservation projects for local species, such as this, is one of many ways zoos can contribute to the overall health and welfare of wild populations.”

The Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata) is one of only two terrestrial species of turtles native to the Great Plains of the United States. It is one of the two different subspecies of Terrapene ornata, and it is the state reptile of Kansas.

The Ornate Box Turtle is listed as “Threatened” in the state of Illinois, and it is a protected species in six Midwestern states: Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wisconsin. The IUCN Red List classifies the species as “Near Threatened”.

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Lincoln Park Zoo’s Red Panda Cubs Surpass Milestones

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The Red Panda cubs at Lincoln Park Zoo are one step closer to leaving their den. The two-month-old “Rookie Chicago Cubs”, Clark (male) and Addison (female), born June 26, were featured on ZooBorns back in early August.

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4_3Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park ZooThey recently had their second physical, and since their initial exam on July 10, Clark’s weight has doubled and Addison has roughly tripled in weight. Both cubs have surpassed milestones such as nursing, opening their eyes, and they have begun changing from their pale yellow fur into the iconic auburn coloration of the Red Panda.

“The Red Panda cubs continue to be healthy and curious of their surroundings. The cubs are often seen trying to explore outside of the den before quickly being scooped up by their mother Leafa,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “With this behavior, we anticipate the cubs will be ready to make their public debut within the next several weeks.”

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