Asheboro, N.C. – May 24, 2023 - The North Carolina Zoo is excited to announce a soaring addition to its family. The Zoo’s 13-year-old giraffe Leia gave birth to her calf—already about six feet tall—on Saturday, May 20.
The 145-pound calf was born to parents Leia (cow) and Jack (bull). The first-time mom and her offspring are healthy and currently bonding behind the scenes. The Zoo has had 12 previous giraffe births, making this one lucky 13.
The Zoo's animal care team will determine when mom and calf will join the herd—or tower (group of giraffes) on habitat and in public view. The public is encouraged to tune into the Zoo's social media channels for photos, updates, and information about how the calf will be named.
Three Critically Endangered Red Wolf brothers were born on April 20th to mom, Ayita, and dad, Denali at North Carolina Zoo. The pups are also joined by their sisters, Alli and Roan, who were both born last year. Red wolves live in family groups, often with a mother and father and several years of offspring. The pups will remain behind the scenes as a part of the Zoo's red wolf breeding program.
The North Carolina Zoo fills a central role in efforts to save the American red wolf from extinction. Once the southeastern United States’ apex predator, American red wolf populations have declined so dramatically that the species now depends on breeding under human care to maintain a healthy, genetically viable population. By housing the second-largest pack of breeding American red wolves in the world, the Zoo is helping to ensure the survival of this species. The Zoo also plays a coordinating role in the larger Red Wolf Recovery Program that includes 45 other institutional partners. This role involves spearheading landowner outreach in eastern North Carolina where the last 15-30 wild American red wolves live, and searching for a second recovery area where this iconic species can once again fill its rightful place in the wild.
A Brother and Sister Bear Cub pair was found orphaned by North Carolina Wildlife Resources and brought to The NC Zoo for care. NC Wildlife resources partners with NC Zoo for orphaned black bear rehabilitation and wildlife release. The fate of the cubs mother is not known. They are estimated to be about 6-7 weeks old. They are in good health and will likely remain in Zoo care learning to be a “bear” throughout the Fall.
Please consider a gift to the cubs and other injured wildlife via the Zoo’s Baby Bear Cub Registry Wishlist at Amazon: https://amzn.to/36YZZZk
The North Carolina Zoo announces the birth of three litters of critically endangered American red wolves as part of its red wolf breeding program. The litters comprising 12 pups were born during three days from April 28 to April 30. All pups and their mothers are healthy and doing well. This is the first time in the Zoo’s breeding program that three litters were born in one spring.
The newest pups bring the number of red wolves currently in the Zoo's breeding program to 36, making it the second-largest pack in the U.S. after Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.
Only 15-20 red wolves remain in the wild, and they're all in eastern North Carolina. They're considered the most endangered canid in the world.
For the first time in two decades, one of the litters was born on the red wolf public habitat, giving Zoo guests a rare chance to view the pups for a limited time. The pups most likely will be visible starting in mid-June, when they begin to venture outside of the den. The wolf family will be moved to the non-public breeding area when the pups are older and weaned from their mother. The other two litters were born in non-public viewing areas of the Zoo.
The parents of two females born April 28 are Denali (male) and Ayita.
The parents of two males and two females born April 30 are Solo (male) and Taylor.
The parents of six pups – two males and four females born April 30 - are Flint (male) and Sassy. This is the pack born on the public habitat.
The Zoo will be announcing a public naming poll for one of the litters within the next month.
"Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for playing an essential part in the survival of this critically endangered species," said Secretary Reid Wilson, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. "These births are important because many of our wolves, once matured, have been moved to other breeding packs to continue to help bring this species back from near extinction. Our hope is that more and more red wolves can soon be placed into the wild."
Once common throughout the southeastern United States, the wolves were driven to near extinction during the late 1960s, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began an aggressive conservation effort – the American Red Wolf Recovery Program – that led to new ways to track and protect the species. Those efforts led to increasing numbers of wild red wolves in eastern North Carolina, but changes in how the recovery program was managed have resulted in the wild population again plummeting in recent years.
The Zoo has been part of the American Red Wolf Recovery Program since 1994. The Zoo's red wolf pack has successfully bred 48 wolves since the program began.
The North Carolina Zoo led the successful efforts to have the American red wolf become part of the Association of Zoo and Aquariums SAFE (Saving Species From Extinction) program.
Under this program, the Zoo leads in conserving the species and growing the wild population and the animals under human care.
It had been 23 years since a baby Gorilla was born at North Carolina Zoo when on August 4th, "Bomassa", a healthy male, was born to 12-year-old "Jamani". Weeks later, on August 31st, a second yet-to-be-named baby Gorilla was born to mother "Olympia".
The rare births are cause for celebration not only for N.C. Zoo but also for the entire Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP®), the group responsible for the long-term sustainability of the western lowland gorilla population in North American zoos. With these births, the Gorilla SSP moves closer to its target population size of 360 individuals in 52 zoos.
We covered the arrival of baby Ebi, a female chimpanzee born at the North Carolina Zoo on January 16, on ZooBorns a few weeks ago. You can read all the details and see her earliest pictures there. In these new photos, little Ebi looks out at her new world from the safety of her mother's arms and eventually drifts off for a nap.
The baby chimp will be on exhibit occasionally, depending on the weather and her acclimation to the exhibit.
A baby chimpanzee was born at the North Carolina Zoo Monday evening. The little female has been named Ebi. This is the second baby for Mom Tammy, a 41-year-old female, who had previously given birth to Maki in March 1994.
Both mother and daughter are doing fine. Tammy is caring for her infant without any intervention from zoo staff members. The two are not on exhibit and will not be in the foreseeable future due to the cold weather and the infant-rearing process. According to General Curator Ken Reininger, it will be at least summer before the two will be on exhibit.
Ebi's arrival makes her the 12th chimp birth at the park since its opening in 1974 and the second since August 2010. The North Carolina Zoo's chimp troop is one of the largest in U.S. zoos.
On April 12th, The North Carolina Zoo welcomed two Ocelot cubs. The cubs underwent their first examination last Friday. The female now weighs 880 grams; the male now weighs 910 grams. This was the third litter for the mother, who has given birth to six cubs in total, all from the same father. A female Ocelot will mature to about 20 lbs. and an adult male can reach as much as 35 lbs. Ocelots are typically born with blue eyes, which eventually turn brown. Their fur patterns are unique like human fingerprints. The Zoo will likely keep the cubs for about a year and then transfer them to another facility determined by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' breeding management program.
Last month, keepers began introducing the North Carolina Zoo's baby Chimp, Nori, to her outdoor exhibit. Born August 2 at the Zoo, Nori is just beginning the process of learning to be outside with other members of her troop. As she adjusts to these new surroundings, she will be outside intermittently. Because Nori's appearance will depend on many factors outside the keepers' control, visitors will have to depend on good timing and a little bit of luck to catch an early glimpse of the infant. Keepers hope to have Nori on exhibit full time by late Spring.
As covered in August on ZooBorns, baby Nori's mom could not properly take care of her and North Carolina Zoo staff made the difficult decision to hand-raise her. Now three months old, baby Nori is doing well and the North Carolina Zoo Society is offering a special adoption package to commemorate this very special baby's birth. The $30 adoption package contains a copy of Nori’s birth certificate, a fact sheet about the young female, a button commemorating her birth and a photo. Proceeds from this special adoption will help support Nori and her companions at the N.C. Zoo as well as their wild relatives.
DO NOT MISS THE EXCEPTIONAL VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM
With 13 members in the troop, the N.C. Zoo has the largest chimp collection in any U.S. zoo. The zoo also has a strong conservation presence in Africa and supports conservation efforts in great ape range countries. We here at ZooBorns think adopting Nori would make a special gift for any animal lover this holiday season.
It's a long but exceptional video. Skip around if you get impatient, but don't miss it.
To learn more about adopting Nori, call the N.C. Zoo Society at 336-879-7250 or visit this site for more information.