Lincoln Park Zoo

Rhino Calf Makes Hesitant Debut at Lincoln Park Zoo

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The Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf at Lincoln Park Zoo had access to his outdoor habitat at Regenstein African Journey recently, making his zoo debut!

The calf appeared eager to explore the new sights, scents, and sounds, but was hesitant to explore his outdoor habitat. After a few steps, he ran back inside to be near his mother, Kapuki.

ZooBorns shared news of the new arrival in a previous feature: Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo. Since his birth on May 19, the calf and Kapuki (age 13) have been bonding behind the scenes at the zoo's Regenstein African Journey.

“The rhino calf has continually surpassed numerous milestones and is becoming inquisitive of his surroundings,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “It’s exciting to see that curiosity shine through as he begins to explore his outdoor habitat.”

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3_20190618_CB_rhino first day out-4Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“The Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan® (SSP) among accredited zoos is vitally important to this remarkable species, as numbers continue to dwindle in the wild due to poaching,” said Murray. “This calf not only represents hope for the species, but also serves as an ambassador for his wild counterparts.”

While the calf made his recent debut, rhino access to the outdoor habitat is weather dependent. For the health and safety of Kapuki and the calf, they will have the choice to explore their outdoor habitat if the weather is above 60 degrees, and dry, until the calf grows in size and strength. While the rhinos may have outdoor access, they may also choose to spend their time behind-the-scenes as they continue to adjust to the new changes.

Gestation for Eastern Black Rhinos is about 14-16 months with offspring weighing around 75 pounds at birth. Typically, Black Rhinos are a solitary species that only come together to breed. When full grown, Eastern Black Rhinos can stand up to 12 feet long and 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. They are a critically endangered species due to poaching for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal benefits despite being made of keratin – the same material that makes up human hair and nails.

For more rhino updates, follow Lincoln Park Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels and #RhinoWatch, along with the zoo blog and ZooMail, a biweekly news digest.

For more information about the species and Lincoln Park Zoo’s rhino conservation efforts, visit lpzoo.org. Those interested in helping care for mom and calf all year long may ADOPT a black rhino at lpzoo.org/adopt.

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Lincoln Park Zoo Welcomes Second New Gorilla

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Lincoln Park Zoo’s Western Lowland Gorilla troop welcomed another new face on June 12 at Regenstein Center for African Apes! Bana, 24, gave birth to a healthy infant, exactly one month after the arrival of a male infant that was born to mom, Rollie, on May 12.

The baby is staying tucked in close and clinging to mom, Bana, and has begun nursing. The infant is the second offspring for Bana, who gave birth to a female, named Patty, in 2012. Kwan, 30, the silverback of the family group, continues to closely watch Bana and the infant.

“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival. Bana is an experienced mother who is displaying appropriate maternal skills and care,” said Curator of Primates, Jill Moyse.

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20190613_CB_bana_gorilla-48Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba /Lincoln Park Zoo

The unsexed newborn joins a troop of eight individuals, including adult females, Bahati and Rollie, three juvenile females (Bella, Nayembi, and Patty), and the recent male infant. Both gorilla infants have yet to be named.

“Having two offspring born close together provides such an exciting time for guests and gorillas alike,” said Moyse. “The infants will have the opportunity to grow, develop, and explore their surroundings together and learn from one another.”

Animal Care staff will closely monitor Bana and the infant as they continue to surpass critical milestones. Kwan and Bana were recommended to breed as a part of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative effort among zoos accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Western Lowland Gorillas are classified by the IUCN as “Critically Endangered”, in their native Central Africa, due to habitat loss and poaching. Scientists with Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes are dedicated to saving this species with ongoing work both at the zoo and in the Republic of the Congo. This work has facilitated new strategies to mitigate the impact of human and consumer behaviors such as unsustainable logging and urbanization.

For more information about Lincoln Park Zoo’s ape conservation efforts and Western Lowland Gorillas, visit www.lpzoo.org . Those interested in helping care for mom and baby all year long may ADOPT a gorilla at www.lpzoo.org/adopt .


Black Rhino Boy Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

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After 15 months of gestation, Lincoln Park Zoo was excited to welcome a new arrival. On May 19, Kapuki, an Eastern Black Rhinoceros, gave birth to a healthy male calf at the zoo’s Regenstein African Journey. Since the birth, the calf has surpassed critical milestones, including: standing, nursing, pooping, and following mom, Kapuki.

The first days of a calf’s life are critical, and animal care staff are closely monitoring both Kapuki and the calf, around-the-clock, via remote camera system.

“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival,” said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “However, this calf stood successfully at only 53 minutes of age and was nursing by hour two. He is growing in size and strength each day.”

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4_20190524_CB_rhino-8Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Thirteen-year-old Kapuki was recommended to breed with Maku, age 33, as part of the Eastern Black Rhinoceros Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative population management effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. Kapuki and Maku had previously been successful in producing offspring with the birth of King in 2013. As part of an SSP recommendation for the solitary species, King was transferred to Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo in November 2016.

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos: Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.

“Although the calf is adorable, its birth means so much more than that,” said Murray. “Three rhinos are poached in Africa each day for their horns. At this alarming rate, this new calf gives us hope for the sustainability of the species.”

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Endangered Pack of Wolf Pups at Lincoln Park Zoo

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The arrival of spring brought a litter of four critically endangered Red Wolf pups to Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo.

“Scientists estimate there are less than 30 Red Wolves left in their native habitat of North Carolina, meaning species is on the very brink of extinction in the wild,” said Curator Dan Boehm. “We could not be more ecstatic for the arrival of these pups to help save this species and bolster the population.”

The pups, two male and two female, were born on April 13. The dam, Becca, and sire, Rhett, were recommended to breed as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a cooperative effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions to save species. This is the first litter for the Zoo since 2010.

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4_20190426_CB_red wolf pups-56Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Canine gestation is around 60 days, with litters ranging from 3-6 offspring. The cubs typically stay in the den for the first month as they surpass critical milestones such as nursing, opening their eyes, and gaining strength. The pups have yet to venture from the den but have received their first veterinary check-ups.

Since 2005, Lincoln Park Zoo has been involved in the Red Wolf Recovery Program to try and assist the wild population with cross fostering of zoo-born pups into wild family groups and other reintroduction efforts. Since that time, Lincoln Park Zoo scientists also conducted a Population Viability Analysis (PVA), a computer model that helped to evaluate different management scenarios for the zoo and wild populations and scientific advice to the Recovery Program. The future status of the North Carolina wild population is uncertain, but the Red Wolf SSP and Lincoln Park Zoo will continue to work toward long-term recovery efforts.

Zoo guests can support the pups and Lincoln Park Zoo in its care and conservation endeavors by purchasing an item from the zoo’s Wish List. Just in time for Mother’s Day, guests can also ADOPT a Red Wolf to support world-class care for Red Wolf, Becca, and her pups all year long.

Red Wolves (Canis lupus rufus) are named for their red-tinged fur and are typically smaller than their ‘cousin’ Grey Wolves, weighing in around 90lbs. Native to the eastern United States, Red Wolves were driven toward extinction due to hunting. The species was targeted as a perceived threat to livestock, but research has shown the wolves primarily pursue non-domestic prey such as rabbits, deer, and small mammals.

Learn more about Lincoln Park Zoo and the Red Wolf pups by visiting: www.lpzoo.org .

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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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