Vinnie the Banded Palm Civet
Vinnie the Banded Palm Civet was born to a pair of civets living behind the scenes at the Zoo and is just about a month old. Nashville Zoo’s veterinary team is hand-rearing Vinnie. The hope for Vinnie is that he will become an ambassador animal. Civets are nocturnal so Vinnie spends the majority of his day napping. He will be hand-reared until he is fully weaned, and the vet team estimates that it will be in about a month. Full-grown Civets can weigh around 6 pounds. You can come see Vinnie in the window of the neonatal room at Nashville Zoo's HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center.
Amur Leopard Cub
On August 6th at 4:05 am, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Amur leopard, Ajax, gave birth to her first cub, and the two are doing well and currently bonding behind the scenes. The cub is a female and has been given the name Marta by her Premier Foster Feeder sponsors, Marta Holsman Babson and Henrietta Holsman Fore. The cub weighed in at 517 gms (1.1 lbs) at its first medical examination on August 6.
This is the first Amur leopard birth at the Santa Barbara Zoo in more than 20 years. Ajax is the most genetically valuable female Amur leopard in North America currently, so this first cub from her will contribute valuable genetics to the population in human care. Amur leopards are the most endangered of all the big cats, with less than 100 remaining in the wild, and the Zoo has been attempting to breed the species for several years now as part of the conservation efforts for this species. This is the fourth litter for Kasha, who arrived at the Zoo in March 2020, just prior to the first coronavirus closure. The pairing of Ajax and Kasha was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as part of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to maintain genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) are hand-raising a male cheetah cub for several weeks before placing the cub with a foster cheetah mother at another zoo. The cub was one of a litter of three born to 7-year-old female Sukiri Sept. 16; the other two cubs were stillborn. Keepers report the cub is strong, active, vocal and eating well. The Cheetah Cub Cam is offline as the cub is no longer in the den.
While Sukiri nursed the surviving cub overnight, providing critical warmth, colostrum and hydration, she started to ignore the cub the morning of Sept. 17. She did not appear agitated when the cub was removed by keepers from her yard later that day and continues to behave and eat normally. Sukiri ate the two stillborn cubs, which is not unusual for a carnivore and in line with wild female cheetah behavior as a dead cub invites predators.
Animal care staff are staying around the clock to feed the cub every 2 to 3 1/2 hours in SCBI’s veterinary hospital. The cub is being fed a formula used successfully to hand-raise cheetah cubs at other zoos. In the coming weeks, a female cheetah at another AZA-accredited zoo is set to give birth. At the recommendation of the SSP, this cub will be introduced to that litter pending any other developments.
SCBI spearheads research programs in Virginia, the Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.
Linton Zoo, UK
On Thursday 19th August, Linton Zoo’s female Tapir Tiana gave birth to a healthy female calf after a normal 13-month gestation. We are pleased to say that Mum, Dad and new baby, as yet un-named, are all doing well.
The Brazilian tapir is a large heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance. The tapir is in fact so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years. It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest where, because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has already become extinct in part of its range. The tapir is a shy creature taking to water when threatened where it is able to stay submerged for hours using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.
Although tapir have survived for millions of years, living in harmony with nature, their future in the wild is by no means secure. A European breeding programme will provide a safeguard against extinction for these wonderful creatures.
Two five-month-old African Lion cubs at Great Britain’s Linton Zoo recently enjoyed outdoor playtime with their mom and dad.
The cubs, a male and a female, were born September 30 to parents Safina and Zuri. As you can see from the photos, the energetic cubs keep mom and dad busy playing and snuggling. Of course, so much play can wear out the little cubs, so they take naps several times a day.
As the cubs grow, interacting with their parents and each other through play helps to hone their survival skills. Because Lions live in social groups called prides, it’s important for cubs to learn Lion etiquette so they can succeed as adults. So far, Safina and Zuri are proving to be excellent parents.
The cubs have not yet been named, but the zoo plans to hold a naming contest in conjunction with Lion Guardians, an Africa-based conservation organization, this spring.
African Lions are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to habitat loss and persecution in non-protected areas. The population is believed to have fallen by up to 50% in the last 50 to 60 years. Many conservation organizations are working to protect the remaining Lions in eastern and southern Africa, and zoo breeding programs aim to maximize genetic diversity in the captive population.
See more photos of the cubs below.
On April 11th, ‘Tiana’, a Brazilian Tapir, gave birth to a healthy male calf, at Linton Zoo!
Mom, ‘Tiana’, and dad, ‘Thiago’, are both part of a European Breeding Programme aimed at saving them from extinction. The birth of their yet-to-be-named son is extra exciting for keepers, as it represents a second generation of this family at Linton. Tiana was born at the UK zoo in 2010, and Thiago was born at nearby Paradise Wildlife Park, in Hertfordshire. The latest little one is the 14th Tapir calf to be born at Linton Zoo.
The Brazilian Tapir is a large, heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance. The Tapir is, in fact, so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years. It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest, and because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting, it is has already become extinct in part of its range. The Tapir is a shy creature, taking to water when threatened, where it is able to stay submerged for hours, using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.
The coloring is a dark reddish brown, but offspring are covered in a beautiful pattern of white spots and stripes, which they will retain until about six months of age. This provides a very efficient camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest.
The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.
More amazing pics, below the fold!
When keepers at the United Kingdom’s Linton Zoo first saw the oddly-colored joey peeking out of Red-necked Wallaby Kylie’s pouch on February 8, they affectionately named it ALF (Alien Life Form). But as the pale-colored joey grew, they realized its dramatic white coloring was truly stunning! These photos show the joey’s progression from pouch-dweller to snow-white juvenile. Though the joey is now half-grown, it still tries to squeeze into its mother's pouch for a little TLC.
Albino animals (including humans) lack pigment for coloring, which means the joey has pink eyes and white fur. Red-necked Wallabies are usually grey-brown in color, but on rare occasions, a white or albino is born, even after generations of normal-colored individuals. The Linton Zoo staff believes their Wallaby mob is descended from the group of Wallabies given as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II while she was on a state visit to Australia in 1962. This joey is the first albino Wallaby to be born at the Linton Zoo.
See more photos of the albino Wallaby joey below the fold.
Arnie, a stray cat who became known for his extraordinary talent as a “babysitter” of abandoned newborn animals brought to the Linton Zoo, passed away peacefully last week. Arnie’s favorite creatures were lion cubs, and he babysat all four of the zoo’s adult lions as well as some of their cubs.
Photo Credits: Linton Zoo
Arnie wandered onto the zoo property in 2000 and quickly worked his way into the hearts of the zoo staff. Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnie gained fame after photos of him with a lion cub made international headlines. Even after his moments in the spotlight, Arnie didn’t let fame go to his head. He continued in his role as a friend to all, greeting zoo guests (especially those who were carrying tasty treats), controlling pests, and cheering up anyone who was feeling down.
Linton Zoo staff described Arnie as a “real live Garfield” whose outstanding personality will be missed by not only the people who loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo - especially the animals that he babysat over the years. Rest in peace, Arnie.
Just when the staff at Linton Zoo thought that they were done with baby animal births for the year, they were delighted to discover this tiny bundle on the 10th of December, sporting more prickles than a Christmas tree! The baby African Crested Porcupine was born to first-time mom Halla and dad Henry, who are proving to be the perfect parents, regularly feeding and grooming the little porcupette and keeping it nice and warm under the heat lamp. The gestation period is approximately 112 days and a baby is born looking just like a miniature adult.
And now the public has been invited to suggest names on Linton Zoo's Facebook page. Since the baby's gender is not yet known, they ask for names that are suitable for either a male or female. The person who suggests the chosen name will receive an annual sponsorship of the porcupette. A sponsorship pack can be mailed anywhere in the world.
African Crested Porcupines come from Sub-saharan Africa and live in rocky outcrops and hills. They are nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping, waking occasionally to eat. Their quills, which are simply modified hairs, detach easily, giving rise to the myth that they ‘fire’ the quills... but that is untrue. If a predator approaches, the Porcupine will rattle the hollow quills in its tail, followed by a series of growls, grunts and foot-stomping. Only if this fails to deter the attacker will it charge backwards to impale the threat with their spikes.
Naturally the new arrival is proving to be bit of a distraction. Due to infrared lamps, it’s easy for staff to see into the nest box without the porcupines knowing they are there. They find it fascinating to watch the interaction between the parents and their new baby. Both Mom and Dad are very attentative, especially Henry, who’s often left to babysit while Halla goes forraging for food.
Watch this video to see for yourself; it shows how really tiny the porcupette is!
On March 29, Harriet, one of the White Collared Lemurs at Linton Zoological Gardens, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Jako, one of the Malagasy words for monkey. Every lemur has its own distinct personality, and with Jako being such an energetic, playful, comical little bundle of fun, they thought ‘monkey’ was a very apt name.
There are only 13 White Collared Lemurs in captivity in Europe, nine of which are at Linton. This mischievous new baby lives with his Dad Jeepster, mom Harriet and sister Mirana, born last year. This species has been listed as one of the top 25 rarest primates in the world; every captive birth will help to ensure it does not become completely extinct!
The White Collared Lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps), also known as the Grey Headed Lemur, is from the South West of Madagascar, and highly threatened in the wild. Despite being protected, it is still hunted for food and continued habitat destruction and alteration is a major problem. It has a total remaining habitat area of less than 270 square miles (700 km²), which is very fragmented and partly shared with the Red Fronted Lemur. This has resulted in hybridization between the two species therefore lowering the genetic diversity of the wild population.
Meet Linton Zoo's newest and fluffiest little addition: a Turkmenian Eagle Owlet named Hüwi, which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl.” When keepers noticed that Hüwi's owl mom, named Rohan, wasn't quite as attentive as she should be, they stepped in to hand-rear the chick. In addition to the human care, the Linton Zoo's gentle resident tabby, Arnie, has also stepped in to befriend the chick, who appears cautiously curious (more on Arnie at the bottom). Weighing just 50 grams (<2 ounces) at birth, three weeks later the chick weighs a healthy, and hefty, full kilo (2.2lbs).
The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg (10lbs) and is closely related to the slightly larger European Eagle Owl. Sadly, this spectacular bird may now be extinct in its native range in Central Asia. Very few pure bred birds remain in captivity so Hüwi is an invaluable addition to the survival of this species.
Both of Hüwi's parents were also hatched at Linton Zoo. Dad, Pip, will be 23 years old this year and Rohan is now 5. Two of last years owlets, Igor and Misha, remain at Linton Zoo and a third brother has gone to live at Woburn Wild Animal Park.
Linton Zoo's Parma Wallaby females are pouch full of Wallaby joeys! The troupe was introduced to a new male last year and they have been breeding with much success! By the end of the 1800s the Parma wallaby was declared extinct. It was not until 1965 that a small surviving population was found on Kawau Island (near Auckland). Another wild population was later found in Gosford, New South Wales in 1967. It is from these few animals that the entire current population of Parma Wallabies descends.
Below is a shot of one of the joeys in Mom's pouch when it is still hairless and too small to peek out!
These are a few of some 45 hatchlings from the Linton Zoological Gardens in the UK. They are African Sulcata Giant Tortoises, also knowns as Spurred Tortoises -- the third largest tortoise in the world, second only to the Galapagos and the Aldabra Tortoises. Some babies hatched in August, but most did in September, making them about 8 weeks old. All are eating well and growing. Hatchlings begin at 2-3 inches (.08-1.2 cm), quickly reaching 6-10 inches (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. Adults are usually 24 to 36 inch long (60–90 cm) and can weigh 100-200 pounds (45 – 91 kg).
A representative from the Linton Zoo reported, "Getting these newly hatched all looking the same way proved to be an impossible task. Babies are not normally kept loose in the paddock with the adults, but enjoy the comfort and safety of nice warm vivariums with UV and Infra-red lamps, but we wanted to try to get a nice family portrait!"
Below they are with their mom, Kali, who is 30 years old, and one of the possible fathers of the four males at the Zoo. Each year their herd of six African Sulcata Giant Tortoises produce a few young, but this year they had a bumper hatch --which is how they ended up with over 40 babies from the two clutches.
This species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List, but fortunately zoological collections have mastered the art of breeding them in captivity. They are native to the Sahara in Africa.