Seven Wolf Pups Emerge at Longleat Safari Park

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After the newest litter of European Wolves began emerging from their den a few weeks ago, keepers at Longleat Safari Park weren’t exactly sure how many pups were in the litter. They eventually determined that parents Eliska and Jango were raising seven pups!

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64483804_2984612788246287_842814699648057344_nPhoto Credit: Longleat Safari Park

Once it was known that pups had been born, the care team allowed the family to bond without any interference from staff. Keepers would occasionally glimpse the pups when Eliska and Jango moved the pups between three separate underground dens in their woodland enclosure.

“As the pups spend their first few weeks underground it makes it very difficult to work out exactly how many there are. Initially we thought there were only five, so to discover there’s actually seven of them was a wonderful bonus,” said Longleat’s team manager for carnivores, Amy Waller.

The pups, which weighed less than a pound when born, are now able to eat small amounts of meat but will not be fully weaned until eight to 10 weeks of age.

This is the second litter born at the Safari Park in the last year and boosts the pack size to 14.

“The pups’ older siblings have also been getting involved with transporting them from den to den but have still not entirely got the hang of holding them the right way up so mum and dad do have to occasionally intervene,” added Amy.

Wolf packs have a highly complex social structure and each individual knows its place in the pack hierarchy. In the wild, wolves depend on cooperation within the pack for survival, both in hunting and in raising offspring.

Wild Wolves were eradicated from most of Western Europe in the 19th century and they have been extinct throughout the United Kingdom for more than 250 years.

Thanks to several Wolf reintroduction programs, the wild Wolf population in Europe is now thought to include 12,000 individuals in 28 countries.

There are established packs in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain and Italy with numbers also on the rise in parts of France and Germany. In 2011, Wolves were also reported in Belgium and the Netherlands.

See more pup pics below!

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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 .


Red Wolf Pups Named for Native Plants and Trees

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Now that they’re starting to venture outside the den, the eight endangered Red Wolf pups born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are ready for names!

The pups, who were born May 10, are now known as: Chester, Cypress and Hawthorn for the three boys; Camellia, Magnolia, Myrtle, Peat and Willow for the five girls.

Members of the public overwhelmingly picked the slate of flower, plant and tree names for the puppies. The list of flora was compiled by the zoo’s Red Wolf keepers from among flowers, plants and trees from the wolves’ native range in North Carolina. More than 4,500 people participated in the voting.

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During a recent exam by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Kadie Anderson, the eight healthy pups weighed between 3 and 4 pounds.

“They’re growing fast, and they all appear to be healthy,” Anderson said. “It’s a joy to have them at Point Defiance Zoo and to watch them grow. They are the future of their species.”

If guests of the afternoon keeper chats are fortunate, the pups and mom Charlotte might make an appearance. Whether – and how far – they venture out into their habitat is all up to them, though. Puppy sightings aren’t guaranteed.

“We’ve seem more activity from them over the last week or so,” said Jenn Donovan, the senior staff biologist in the Kids’ Zone/Red Wolf Woods area of the zoo. “Charlotte is being a fantastic mother. She’s been nursing and bonding with them.

“As they become more mobile and independent, she’ll spend less time with them, but will continue to keep a watchful eye on her eight pups,” Donovan added.

North American Red Wolves are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, with only about 40 in the wild and just over 250 in zoos and wildlife centers across the nation.

The pups are part of a cooperative effort that helped bring these iconic American animals back from the brink of extinction four decades ago. Point Defiance Zoo has been at the forefront of the program, and these eight pups represent another success in the survival of the Red Wolf species.

For more information about Red Wolves and Red Wolf conservation, go to www.pdza.org//animals/red-wolf-woods .

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Woodland Park Zoo's Otter Pups Have Names

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Woodland Park Zoo’s ‘otterly adorable’ North American River Otter pups officially have names! The two boys have been named Tucker and Nooksack, and the two girls were named Piper and Tahu.

According to Woodland Park staff, Nooksack, Piper, and Tahu were thoughtfully named by three families who are great friends of the zoo, and Tucker’s name was voted on by zoo-goers that attended the zoo’s “Bear Affair: Living Northwest Conservation Day”.

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3_unnamed (5)Photo Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Swimming doesn’t come naturally to otters. Keepers report that first-time mom, Valkyrie, has been a phenomenal teacher, masterfully showing her babies the ins and outs of navigating the water in their exhibit’s pool. The pups are mastering the art of diving, and with four pups to teach at once, that’s no easy feat for mom. The babies quickly took to the water, and their initial splashing and paddling has now blossomed into graceful diving and gliding through the pool.

All four otter pups, and mom Valkyrie, are in their outdoor habitat, located at the zoo’s Northern Trail, daily between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If they’re not visible, they’re most likely napping — all that swimming can really wear a pup out!

The four pups were born in March and are all still nursing with their mom. Their current weights are between 4 and 6 pounds each. The pups are the first offspring for mom, Valkyrie, and dad, Ziggy (both 5 years old). It’s also the first-ever documented River Otter birth in Woodland Park Zoo’s 119-year history!

North American River Otters (Lontra Canadensis) are semi-aquatic members of the weasel family. Their habitat ranges over most of North America in coastal areas, estuaries, freshwater lakes, streams and rivers; they can be found in water systems all over Washington State. River Otters consume a wide variety of prey such as fish, crayfish, amphibians and birds. At the top of the food chain, River Otters are an excellent reflection of the health of local ecosystems.

All otter species are considered threatened, while five of the 13 species are endangered due to water pollution, overfishing of commercial stock, and habitat destruction.

To help Woodland Park Zoo contribute information to sustainable breeding, husbandry and public awareness of the River Otter, patrons can adopt the species through the zoo’s ZooParent program. For more information, see the zoo’s website: https://www.zoo.org/


Meet Flash The Gentoo Penguin Chick

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The pitter patter of tiny flippers is being heard at the National Sea Life Centre in the United Kingdom as the staff celebrates the hatching of a Gentoo Penguin.

The chick was named Flash due to its speedy arrival just 12 hours after it began ‘pipping’ – the term used to describe how baby birds peck their way out of their eggs.

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The hatching is extra special because the parents traveled thousands of miles by airplane to pair up under a global breeding program.

Parents Prince, age one, and four-year-old Hyacinth are providing excellent care for Flash. The chick’s gender is not yet known.

Prince was unlucky in love during last year’s mating season, so the staff was happy to see Prince find a partner in Hyacinth.

Gentoo Penguins are difficult to breed in zoos, because they are particularly sensitive to their surroundings. The staff at the National Sea Life Centre worked hard to get every detail just right within the birds’ habitat.

In the wild, Gentoo Penguins nest on ice-free areas of Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands. Some populations of Gentoo Penguins have declined rapidly in recent years suggesting that the birds could experience a larger decline from habitat loss, pollution, and illegal collection of their eggs.

See more photos of Flash below.

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Baby Giraffe Ditches His Corrective Shoes

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Baby Giraffe Hasani was born with rear leg abnormalities that prompted Woodland Park Zoo staff to fit him with custom-made shoes to improve his condition.  A few weeks later, he upgraded to newer shoes and went outdoors for the first time.

Now, his legs have improved and he no longer needs corrective shoes. He still wears kinesiology tape to stimulate and stabilize his leg muscles.

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61381532_10157606871717708_5661963096059543552_nPhoto Credit: J. Laughlin/Woodland Park Zoo

Immediately after Hasani’s birth on May 2, the zoo’s animal health team noticed each rear foot was not in normal alignment. The condition, known as hyperextended fetlocks, is well documented in horses and has been reported to occur in Giraffes. One day after the Giraffe was born, the zoo’s animal health team applied casts on both rear legs to help stabilize his limbs. 

The zoo’s veterinary team consulted with a Kentucky-based equine veterinarian who specializes in foot conditions. He visited the zoo to evaluate the calf, and crafted new custom shoes based on the zoo’s specifications and a modified design he has used to successfully treat numerous foals with the same condition.

After a few weeks, one of the shoes dropped off and Hasani appeared to be walking well without it so the staff did not intervene. Later that week, the veterinary staff removed the other shoe and cast material. “We’re pleased to report there is marked improvement in both rear limbs. Hasani’s walking well and continues to readily stand and lie down. He remains active like a calf his age should. We will continue to closely observe his gait, foot position, any limb and foot changes, energy and nursing,” says Dr. Tim Storms, associate veterinarian. 

The baby Giraffe continues to wear kinesiology tape to help stimulate and support his leg muscles. “If his condition regresses, we’re prepared to outfit him with another pair of shoes but we’re optimistic we won’t have to. So far he’s showing remarkable progress,” adds Storms. 

Hasani made his debut to zoo visitors a couple weeks ago. Since then, he has been introduced to Tufani, his aunt and Dave, his dad. Hasani remains curious and active, according to his care team.

Hasani's parents, Olivia and Dave, were paired under a breeding recommendation made by the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, a cooperative, conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of Giraffes. Woodland Park Zoo participates in 111 Species Survival Plans, overseen by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Giraffes are widespread across southern and eastern Africa, with smaller isolated populations in west and central Africa. New population surveys estimate an overall 40 percent decline in the Giraffe population; fewer than 100,000 exist today. Of the currently recognized subspecies of Giraffe, five have decreasing populations, while three are increasing and one is stable. 

See more photos of Hasani below.

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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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Four Endangered Brothers Born at Jacksonville Zoo

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is excited about their continued baby boom. They recently announced the birth of four Black and White Ruffed Lemurs on May 19.

This is the third litter for the parents, Hawk and Potter. Their first litter was born at the Jacksonville Zoo in 2015. Keepers were anticipating the birth and had worked with Hawk to allow voluntary sonograms and weight checks.

All four lemur infants are male; a fact that keepers like as this potentially allows the group to stay longer at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Female lemur offspring become incompatible with mom around two-years-old.

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Hawk has again proven herself to be a calm and capable mother with excellent instincts. Black and White Ruffed Lemur mothers do not carry their offspring around. Instead, they build a nest and leave the litter there, returning to nurse. The family will be bonding behind-the-scenes for the immediate future while the infants grow.

Four infants is a lot for any mother, and keepers are encouraging Hawk to eat and drink as much as possible and are supplementing her diet with foods items that support lactation. All of the little guys are nursing well and, because Hawk has such a calm disposition and trust in her keepers, she is allowing care staff to obtain regular weights to confirm their development.

Two of Hawk’s and Potter’s older offspring, a male named Pippen and a female named Frodo, are still at the Zoo and can be seen in a different group, often mixed with other lemur species, in the beautiful African Forest exhibit.

Like all lemurs, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are native only to the island country of Madagascar. They are classified, by the IUCN, as “Critically Endangered” in the wild due to habitat loss from deforestation. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps manage the population in AZA accredited facilities.

“We love seeing animal babies and the joy they bring our guests,” said Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio, “but seeing four babies, who are so important to their species, born into our new African Forest exhibit is a great feeling for everyone at the Zoo!”


Orphaned Mountain Lion Cubs Arrive At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Three orphaned Mountain Lion cubs arrived at their new home at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in late May after being found alone in a den in Washington state. The two sisters and their brother were estimated to be about six weeks old at the time of their rescue.

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CMZoo Mountain Lion Cub 6aPhoto & Video Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) responded to a human-wildlife conflict that resulted in the cubs’ mother’s death. WDFW staff members reached out to the zoo community to find a home for the young Lions, who were too small to survive on their own in the wild.

“We’re excited to provide a home for these young, playful cubs,” said Rebecca Zwicker, senior lead keeper in Rocky Mountain Wild, where the cubs will live. “Of course, these situations are bittersweet. We wish we didn’t have to find homes for orphaned cubs, but we’re grateful for our partnerships, because we can offer the cubs an amazing life of choices, care, and compassion.”

This is the second litter of orphaned Mountain Lion cubs that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has helped to rescue. The first litter came from Wyoming in 2006. Tocho, Motega and Yuma were all male members of the litter who have since passed. Kaya, the female Mountain Lion who lives in Rocky Mountain Wild, is the remaining member of the original litter. After the cubs earn a clean bill of health, the plan is to introduce them to Kaya.

“We’re hoping Kaya, who is blind and aging, will enjoy having company again,” Zwicker said. “We’ll take our time letting Kaya and the cubs have opportunities to interact from a safe distance, and then we’ll follow their lead. It would be ideal if they could live together, because the cubs can learn how to be Mountain Lions from Kaya.”

While the cubs are behind the scenes, they’ll receive vaccinations and veterinary checks to ensure they’re ready to explore their new home in Rocky Mountain Wild.

“Mountain Lions are part of our daily lives in Colorado,” said Zwicker. “These cubs will be ambassadors for their wild relatives, helping our guests learn about their species, their unique personalities and behaviors, their contributions to our ecosystem, and how we can live peacefully with them.”




 


Wild Dog Pups Thriving at Living Desert

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A litter of six African Wild Dog pups born on April 24 at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens got their first well-baby exam in late May and were proclaimed healthy and thriving.

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African-wild-dog-puppy_5.24.19_The Living DesertPhoto Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The pups, who represent the first litter for mom Beatrix and dad Kiraka, include five males and one female. This exam was the first time any of the zoo staff interacted directly with the pups. The African Wild Dog Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, recommends using a hands-off approach to allow for natural bonding and development of the pups.

Since birth, the pups have opened their eyes and become more coordinated. At their exam, each weighed between four and five pounds. They’ll soon begin weaning and will start nibbling on meat.  Any day now, the pups will start to venture out of their den and be visible to guests.

“We are so happy to learn that the puppies are healthy,” said Allen Monroe, President and CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. “Beatrix has done an outstanding job caring for her puppies, and we are excited to continue watching them grow.”

Following the well-baby exam, the puppies were returned to the den, rubbed with dirt to eliminate the human smell, and then reunited with their mom. The animal care and veterinary teams will continue to closely monitor the family’s activity through den cameras which allow Beatrix and the puppies plenty of space, comfort, and security. 

Currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), fewer than 5,000 African Wild Dogs remain on the African continent. As one of the most endangered African carnivores, African Wild Dog populations are in decline due to human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and canine diseases, like distemper and rabies. The Living Desert supports specific African Wild Dog conservation projects that work to bolster wild populations.

See more photos of the pups below.

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