Potawatomi Zoo

Potawatomi Zoo Happy to Be 'In a Pickle’

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On November 12, Potawatomi Zoo staff discovered their female Giant Anteater had given birth.  The new male pup was born to parents Corndog and Jo Hei and has been nicknamed “Pickle”.   

The healthy pup weighed in at just over 3lbs at birth, and at his latest veterinary check, on December 28, 2016, weighed over 12lbs. Pickle has been observed nursing, riding on mom, and most recently, being encouraged by mom to stand and play.  

Pickle will spend most of his time for the next year, clinging to mom. Keepers report that it would not be unheard of for the youngster to be half as big as mom and still be catching a ride at his first birthday!   

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DSCN0205Photo Credits: Potawatomi Zoo

Pickle’s mom, Corndog, was born at Fresno Zoo in January 2006, and first arrived at Potawatomi Zoo in June 2007. She left for Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI, in June 2011 on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, where she was introduced to Jo Hei.  Together, they produced two offspring: one female in 2012 and one male in 2014.

Still under recommendation from the AZA’s Species Survival Plan, Corndog returned to Potawatomi Zoo in December 2015 and brought her mate Jo Hei along with her.  

Jo Hei and Corndog were observed breeding in the Spring of 2016, and subsequent ultrasounds confirmed pregnancy.  Corndog successfully received numerous ultrasounds from veterinary staff during her pregnancy, to monitor both the health of mom and baby.   

As South American natives, Giant Anteaters prefer warmer weather and mom and baby may not be seen, in the outdoor exhibit at Potawatomi Zoo, until consistently warmer temperatures are reached.

However, the Zoo reports that their adult male anteaters, Jo Hei and Barques, are already acclimated to the cooler local climate, and will be available for outdoor viewing when outdoor temps near 50 degrees.   

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. They can live between 15 to 20 years in protected conservation facilities.

The species is currently listed as “Vulnerable” to extinction by the IUCN. Shockingly, Giant Anteaters are among the top species killed on the roadways in their native environments in South America, and as a result, their population is listed as decreasing.  

The Potawatomi Zoo is a sponsor of the conservation project Anteaters & Highways (www.giantanteater.org) in support of research to address the threats to Giant Anteaters and help save this iconic species in the wild.   


Amur Leopard Twins Debut in Indiana

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The Amur Leopard cubs at Potawatomi Zoo have been kept from view and safely tucked away with mom Pearl, since their birth on July 26th.

Just prior to Christmas, Zoo guests were treated with a glimpse of the little ladies exploring their outdoor exhibit, on their official public debut.

According to staff, each cub has her own personality. One of the girls is a bit more reserved, while the other sister is more eager and bold.

While the sex of the cubs is known, the Zoo has yet to choose names. Keepers anticipate recruiting the public’s assistance in selecting names, after the winter season.

Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in Indiana, USA. In an effort to protect the animals and guests from the sometimes-brutal cold of the winter season, the Zoo implemented “Winter Days”. The facility will be closed for regular hours during the season, but visitors can still experience some of the Zoo and its residents on specially selected days. For more info, please see the Zoo’s website: https://potawatomizoo.org/events/winter-days-at-potawatomi-zoo.

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3_5855a65145fc9.imagePhoto Credits: Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune

Potawatomi Zoo residents, 14 year-old Pearl and 18 year-old Sergei, are the parents of the cubs. The twins represent the fourth and fifth Amur Leopard cubs born at Potawatomi Zoo within the last two years. They are incredibly significant for both the Amur Leopard population and the Zoo. The remarkable birth marks nine successful Amur Leopard cubs born, through four litters, at the Zoo since 2007.

The Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and the Jilin Province of northeast China. They are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with approximately 70 individuals remaining in the wild and just over 200 in Zoos worldwide. They are on the brink of extinction in the wild due to poaching and loss of habitat.

Efforts at breeding Amur Leopards in captivity have been marginally successful at best, with just a handful of births in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities last year. The significance of Potawatomi Zoo’s twin cubs arriving 16 months after triplets, which were born in March of 2015, puts the Zoo on the conservation field map in terms of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) program’s breeding efforts. In the last year and a half, over 60% of viable Amur Leopard cub births in North American accredited zoological institutions took place at Potawatomi Zoo.

The Potawatomi Zoo, a participant in the AZA’s SSP program for Amur Leopards, is actively engaging in breeding genetically healthy Amur Leopards to help populate the critically endangered species. Amur Leopards are only found in Far Eastern Russia and Northeast China.


Amur Leopard Twins Born in Indiana

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Potawatomi Zoo residents, 14 year-old Pearl and 18 year-old Sergei, are new parents again! The South Bend, Indiana zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of extremely rare Amur Leopard cub twins, born July 26th. Keepers report that both mom and cubs are doing great.

The twins represent the fourth and fifth Amur Leopard cubs born at Potawatomi Zoo within the last year and a half. They are incredibly significant for both the Amur Leopard population and the Zoo. The remarkable birth marks nine successful Amur Leopard cubs born, through four litters, at the Zoo since 2007.

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3_13957994_10153795030608176_3021858569571799799_oPhoto Credits: Dr. Kim Thompson

 

The Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and the Jilin Province of northeast China. They are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with approximately 70 individuals remaining in the wild and just over 200 in Zoos worldwide. They are on the brink of extinction in the wild due to poaching and loss of habitat.

Efforts at breeding Amur Leopards in captivity have been marginally successful at best, with just a handful of births in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities last year. The significance of Potawatomi Zoo’s twin cubs arriving 16 months after triplets, which were born in March of 2015, puts the Zoo on the conservation field map in terms of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) program’s breeding efforts. In the last year and a half, over 60% of viable Amur Leopard cub births in North American accredited zoological institutions took place at Potawatomi Zoo.

To add to the excitement of this landmark birth, the cubs received their first veterinary check up on August 6th, and were given a clean bill of health by Zoo Staff Veterinarian, Dr. Ronan Eustace, D.V.M.

“These little cubs are making their mark already. For Potawatomi Zoo to have five very rare Amur cubs born in the last year and a half is absolutely amazing,” says Potawatomi Zoo Executive Director, Marcy Dean. “This is such a remarkable birth and an incredible contribution to the population of a critically endangered species.”

The Potawatomi Zoo, a participant in the AZA’s SSP program for Amur Leopards, is actively engaging in breeding genetically healthy Amur Leopards to help populate the critically endangered species. Amur Leopards are only found in Far Eastern Russia and Northeast China.

The Amur Leopard cubs will not be available for public viewing for another four months, due to both age and size. They will spend the next several weeks in the nest box with mom, Pearl.

Visitors can stay up to date on how the cubs are doing by going to the Zoo’s website at: www.potawatomizoo.org , and at the Potawatomi Zoo’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHn4RNCDrrQYy9fxWUmjsdQ/feed to see pictures and video. The Zoo will continue to update nest box footage so visitors can watch the cubs grow before they are on exhibit.