San Antonio Zoo

Timelapse Of A Baby Palm Cockatoo Growing Into A Total Stunner!

Nyx the Palm Cockatoo chick was hatched on 5/8/21 at San Antonio Zoo. This timelapse takes place from 5/8/21 - 8/22/21, 105 days in all.

Day 1

Day 105

Since 2017, San Antonio Zoo has been the only AZA facility to successfully breed palm cockatoos, both by hand and parent rearing. 

While this species is a popular pet trade animal, it’s still crucial that their populations are managed in zoos. Management in Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) facilities via Species Survival Plans (SSPs) ensures that a healthy, genetically diverse population exists in human care. 

They’re just one of the many animals the zoo is helping secure a future for through participation in AZA Species Survival Plans!


Zander The Baby Roo Finds His Footing!

San Antonio Zoo officials are pleased to report that Zander, the farthest along (by quite a bit) of 8 confirmed joeys in the zoo’s Kangaroo Krossing area, is about 6 months old. His mother’s name is Marble.

This was the first time Zoo officials witnessed him out and about on his own. Typically, if he popped out, he’d immediately head back into the pouch. As we can see, he still hasn’t quite found his sea legs! 

As time goes on, visitors will see him and the others hopping around much more!


Baby Dragons!

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS  – San Antonio Zoo® is proud to announce the hatching of 10 Komodo dragons. The hatchings occurred between October 17 and October 27, hatching two boys, four girls, and four yet to be determined dragons.

“This monumental hatching is a testament to the zoo’s persistence and commitment to conservation,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. “The hatchlings are thriving, and we are looking forward to watching them grow and help preserve the existence of Komodo dragons.”

There are over 3,000 lizard species, but the Komodo dragon wins the prize for being the largest living lizard in the world! It is a type of monitor lizard, an ancient group of reptiles with ancestors that date back more than 100 million years.

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Baby Blue Duiker Born at San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo Animal Care Specialists welcomed a baby blue duiker in late June to the Big Cat Valley area of the zoo. Animal Care Specialists named the baby Viazi, otherwise known as “potato” in Swahili. 

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Blue duikers are a small species of forest-dwelling antelopes found in central, eastern, and southern Africa. The calf is the fourth born to parents, Stumpy and Kate, who previously had calves in 2014, 2015, and 2017. 

“We are excited to announce this addition to our zoo family,” said President & CEO San Antonio Zoo Tim Morrow. “This has already been a fantastic year as we have welcomed many new births throughout the zoo, and this is just one more reason to celebrate. I am very proud of our Animal Care Specialists and veterinary teams for their hard work and dedication in securing a future for wildlife.” 

Blue duikers weigh up to 20 pounds as full-grown adults. The blue is named for the color their fur appears in the dense forest shade, and duiker is an Afrikaans word for “diving buck,” which describes its behavior in the forest as it dives into bush and brush undergrowth. Blue duikers are on the Species Survival Plan and have a conservation status listed as Least Concern.

San Antonio Zoo has a long history of working to preserve species worldwide. The zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research seeks to fulfill the zoo’s Mission Statement through various approaches, including fieldwork and captive husbandry of rare and threatened species. The scope of efforts includes projects on three continents, transnational research, and projects throughout the United States, with particular emphasis on Texas. For more information on the zoo’s conservation programs, visit https://sazoo.org/zoo-conservation-efforts/.


One of the World's Most Endangered Animals Needs Help Hatching

San Antonio Zoo is excited to share this very special and rare footage: their Aviculture team welcoming a Micronesian kingfisher chick – one of the world’s most endangered animals – to the world!

Day 1 vs Day13

This is the youngest of the 2 Micronesian Kingfishers hatched this year.  

He was malpositioned in the egg, and was not going to be capable of hatching on his own.

San Antonio zoo specializes in moments like this where "assisted hatches" are necessary. 

Support their new babies by donating to their Baby Shower Fundraiser at ow.ly/BbYy30rGBrO


Second Largest Clutch of Komodo Dragons for SA Zoo

1_Komodo dragon babies

Halloween was extra “egg-citing” at the San Antonio Zoo when four Komodo Dragons hatched, making them the second largest, successful clutch of their kind to hatch at the zoo.

Laid in the spring by 14-year old mom, Tiga, the baby reptiles are spending a few weeks in a behind-the-scenes nursery.

“This monumental hatching is a testament to the zoo’s persistence and commitment to conservation,” said Tim Morrow, the zoo’s CEO and Executive Director. “The hatchlings are thriving and we are looking forward to introducing them to zoo guests.”

2_Komodo dragon egg

3_Komodo dragon egg_eye

4_Komodo dragon mom_TigaPhoto Credits: San Antonio Zoo

Komodo Dragons are listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, and their numbers are declining in the wild due to limited range and fragmented populations. Known as the largest living lizard in the world, they are native to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar, Flores, Gili Motang, and Rinca. These carnivores can grow up to be 8.5 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds in adulthood. In the wild, Komodo Dragons can live up to 30 years.

Animal care specialists at San Antonio Zoo will continue to monitor the new Komodo Dragons as they continue to grow. Within the coming months, the Komodo Dragons can be viewed at the zoo’s Reptile House.

San Antonio Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Komodo Dragon Species Survival Program and actively supports conservation global projects that impact Komodo Dragons through funding and boots-on-the- ground work.

Komodo dragon mom_Tiga(2)


Tiger Twins Debut at San Antonio Zoo

Sazootigercub3The San Antonio Zoo is celebrating the debut of twin female Sumatran Tiger cubs.  Born on August 3, the sisters are healthy and playful.  The photos chronicle their growth, from their first checkup to playing with pumpkins at Halloween.

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Photo Credit:  San Antonio Zoo

The zoo staff waited a few weeks before announcing the birth because the cubs’ mother, Kemala, was a first-time mom.  This gave the new family time to bond in their den – similar to how mothers with newborn cubs behave in the wild – without disturbances from staff and guests.  The cubs’ father, Raguno, has been moved to a separate enclosure since the birth.

Because Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered, these cubs represent an important contribution to the future of this species.  The breeding of Kemala and Raguno was recommended by the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan, which seeks to ensure genetic diversity in zoo-managed populations of threatened species.   

Fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where they are threatened with habitat destruction and poaching for their body parts.

See more photos of the cubs below the fold.

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Meet Thelma... and Louise, the Baby Two-headed Texas River Cooter

Cooter hero

The San Antonio Zoo welcomed a very special arrival to their aquarium: a two-headed (bicephalic) Texas River Cooter named Thelma and Louise! Thelma and Louise were part of a quartet of Texas Cooters hatched at the zoo on June 18 that made their public debut on June 25.

Craig Pelke, Curator of Reptiles, Amphibians, and Aquatics, notes that while this is uncommon, it is not unheard of in both the wild and captive populations. Bicephalic animals are actually twins that did not separate, resulting in two or more heads on one animal. Bicephaly occurs most commonly with snakes and turtles, without any accompanying health issues. Pelke said, “At this time, Thelma and Louise are doing well on exhibit and eating with both heads!”

Cooter size 2

Cooter duo

Cooter hand
Photo Credit: San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo is no stranger to two-headed reptiles. A two-headed Texas rat snake named Janus lived there from 1978 until it passed away in 1995. Visitors can see the Cooter hatchlings in the Friedrich Aquarium located inside the zoo.

See more photos below the fold:

Continue reading "Meet Thelma... and Louise, the Baby Two-headed Texas River Cooter" »