Sao Paulo Zoo

Zoológico de São Paulo Cares for Orphaned Opossums


Zoológico de São Paulo recently became home to a pair of Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum joeys. The siblings were orphaned when their mother was attacked and killed, in their forest, by a domestic dog. The joeys were found, unharmed, clinging to their mother’s body.

Zoo technicians have been hand-rearing the brother and sister. Initially they required milk, but they have now progressed to solids and are now feeding themselves pureed fruit with insects.



4_12711313_1109650209069365_5662784713940919874_oPhoto Credits:Paulo Gil - Zoo / SP

The Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum (Caluromys philander), also called the White-eared Opossum, is a species from South America. Its range includes Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is a species restricted only to moist forests.

Like other members of the genus Caluromys, the Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum is a strongly arboreal species of marsupial, differing from other didelphid opossums in having a comparatively large encephalization quotient and smaller litter size. Its name comes from its naked, prehensile tail.

It feeds on fruits, nectar, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Bare-tailed Woolly Opossums actively climb through the upper canopy of trees as they look for fruit and insects.

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Swimming Swan Cygnets at São Paulo Zoo

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Since September, the São Paulo Zoo, in Brazil, has welcomed fifteen Black and Black-necked Swan cygnets. The snowy babies can be seen swimming alongside their graceful parents…or being chauffeured.

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3_Black Swan cygnets and parents Sao Paulo ZooPhoto Credits: Paulo Gil /São Paulo Zoo (Image 1: Black-necked Swan cygnet / Images 2-6: Black Swan cygnets and parents)

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The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. The species was introduced to various countries as an ornamental bird in the 1800s.

The Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) is the largest waterfowl native to South America. However, they are the smallest member of their genus.

Black Swans are mostly black-feathered, with white flight feathers. Their bill is bright red and legs are greyish-black. An adult can measure between 110 to 142 cm (43 to 56 in.) in length and weigh 3.7 to 9 kg (8.2 to 19.8 lb.). Their wingspan is 1.6 to 2 meters (5.2 to 6.6 ft.).

Black-necked Swans have a black neck and head, greyish bill, and white body plumage. They have a red knob near the base of the bill and white stripe near the eye. In comparison to the adult Black Swans, the Black-necked species is slightly smaller. Adults average 102 to 124 cm (40 to 49 in.) and weigh 3.5 to 6.7 kg (7.7 to 14.8 lbs.) Their wingspan ranges from 135 to 177 cm (53 to 70 in.).

The Black Swan utters a musical, bugle-like sound and they are known to whistle when disturbed while breeding or nesting. Like the Mute Swan, the Black-necked Swan is relatively silent.

Both species are almost exclusively herbivorous. They feed in a similar manner to other swans, dipping their head and neck underwater.

Like other swans, the two species are largely monogamous, pairing for life. Their nest is a large mound of reeds, grass and weeds and is built in shallow water or on islands. It is reused every year and rebuilt as needed.

Both parents share the care of the nests, and a typical clutch of 4-8 eggs are incubated for 35 to 40 days. Both sexes participate in incubation. After hatching, the cygnets are tended-to by both parents and are fledged at about 9 months.

Cygnets may ride on the parent’s back for trips into deeper water, but Black Swans are less known for the behavior than Mute or Black-necked Swans.

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Meet The First Lear's Macaw To Hatch In A Latin American Zoo


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The first Lear’s Macaw to hatch in captivity in Latin America popped out of its egg on April 13 at Brazil’s São Paulo Zoo.  These photos show the chick’s growth from hatching to age three months.

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Filhote de arara-azul-de-lear_Foto Paulo Gil - ZooSP 6Photo Credit:  Sao Paulo Zoo

This was not the first egg for parents Francisco and Maria Clara. They had laid some eggs in the past, but they were not successfully incubated and the eggs were broken.  This time, zoo keepers moved the egg to an incubator, where temperature and humidity could be carefully controlled.  When the little macaw hatched, it weighed only 22 grams and was fed by zoo keepers every two hours around the clock.  As you can see in the photos, the little chick grew rapidly and its feathers came in.

Zoo staff named the chick Teobaldo, or Téo for short, after a popular character in Brazilian folk literature.

At three months old, Téo weighed 750g and still received liquid food twice a day. Téo also nibbles on seeds and fruit and recently learned to fly short distances.

For more than 150 years, Lear’s macaws were known only from the pet trade until a wild population was found in eastern Brazil in 1978.  Today, about 1,100 Lear’s Macaws are known to live in only two locations in the wild.  Though their numbers are increasing thanks to intensive conservation efforts, these parrots are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to their restricted range and illegal hunting for food and wildlife products.  

See more photos of Téo below.

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Giraffe Calf Enters The World With Keepers' Assistance

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On July 7, Sao Paulo Zoo welcomed a baby that was over six feet (1.85 meters) tall: a giraffe, of course! The calf is a healthy male, born to parents Mel ('Honey') and Palito ('Stick'). The delivery started around midnight, when security staff noticed and called in the vets, biologists and keepers. Because the mother was having difficulties in delivering, the vets decided to assist by tying a rope to Mel's front legs and pulling. 

Giraffe Keeper, Laurindo, who has worked at Sao Paulo Zoo for 33 years, says he has never seen such a strong and healthy baby giraffe. Within his first two weeks, the calf was already looking for things to eat, and hopping and kicking with energy. The zoo has a tradition in breeding this species: this is their 24th giraffe born since their first in 1977.

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Photo Credits: Sao Paul Zoo / Carlos Nader (1, 2, 4 through 10); Juliana Tolentino (3)

See a video of the calf below:


See and read more after the fold!

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The zoo and a major weekly magazine in Brazil promoted a public vote to choose his name based on ten names that were chosen by the zoo staff. The calf is now called Girafales, the name of a character in a Mexican TV show that is very famous in Brazil, and alludes back to the species name.

Meet Leo and Lisa, Sao Paulo's Leopard Geckos


Two little Leopard Geckos, named Leonardo and Mona Lisa, hatched on May 10 at São Paulo Zoo in Brazil. They are very healthy and lively, according to the zoo’s staff.



Photo Credits:  Carlos Nader (1,2,4); Cybele Lisboa (3)

Leonardo and Mona Lisa were born after 89 days of incubation, weighing only about 0.1 ounce (3 g) each. Leopard Geckos are solitary animals, thus their parents were together only during mating season. Females can lay up to 10 eggs per season, always in pairs, with an interval of about 15 days between each laying.  Incubation time varies with temperature, and lasts from 36 to 107 days.

The hatchlings are already showing different preferences for their meals: Leo prefers mealworms and Lisa prefers crickets. The biologists weigh the lizards every week, and in the first month, they gained about .03 ounce (1g).  As adults, Leopard Geckos weigh 1.7 ounces (50 g).

Leopard Geckos inhabit the deserts of Asia. As adults, they have "fat" tails that are used to store energy, because food is scarce in their environment. A Gecko can detach its tail at will, and the tail will twitch for a long time to deceive predators as the Gecko runs away from danger. Although they would prefer to keep the tail and energy supply, this mechanism will most likely save the Gecko's life, and it will eventually regrow a new tail.

See more photos of Leo and Lisa below the fold.

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Meet Milo, São Paulo Zoo's Collared Peccary Piglet

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On March 24, São Paulo Zoo in Brazil welcomed a new Collared Peccary to the park! The male piglet was named Milo by the biologists who take care of him. Milo was born weighing only 740 grams, and in his first days, he was bottle-fed with milk specially prepared with all the appropriate nutrients needed for his healthy growth. Now three months old, he already eats tubers, fruits, seeds, and leaves. Peccaries can reach up to 55 pounds (25 kg) when adults, and gestation lasts about 145 days, with the mother giving birth to one or two piglets.

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Photo credits: São Paulo Zoo / Carlos Nader

See and learn more after the fold.

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Can You Say Oncilla?


On January 14th, the Sao Paulo Zoo in Brazil welcomed a new resident, a male baby Oncilla named Poli. (It's pronounced AWN-sill-uh, by the way.) The cub’s mother, Luiza, is one of the last melanistic Oncilla remaining in captivity today. Melanism is a genetic mutation causing dark pigmentation, so rather than being spotted, Luiza’s coat is entirely black. Despite the mother’s mutation, Poli was born with the more common spotted fur pattern. 

Soon after the birth, Luiza rejected her baby, so Poli was bottle-fed by zoo staff. Now at four and a half months old, Poli is already fully weaned, healthy, and continues to grow strong. (These photos were taken on March 15th and May 21st). 




Photo Credits: Carlos Nader / Sao Paulo Zoo

See and learn more after the fold!

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Endangered Ornate Hawk-eagle Hatches at San Paulo Zoo

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A new Ornate Hawk-eagle hatched at Sao Paulo Zoo, on April 15. The chick is a male, and has been named Chronus by the biologists of the park. Like most birds, this species grows very fast. It was hatched weighing around 50 grams, and after just one month he weighs 10 times as much! Since the first day, the hatchling has been fed a diet of mice. At this stage of development, he's comsuming meals 3 times a day, and is expected to grow to an adult weight of close to 1000 gms.

Once fully grown, this bird will have strikingly colored plumage and piercing golden eyes  He will also develop strong muscular feet bearing long, sharp talons, used along with a sharp, hooked bill to tear the flesh and break the bones of it's prey. The Ornate Hawk-eagle is a highly endangered species in the state of Sao Paulo, and not many zoos in the world have the privilege of keeping and breeding this formidible animal.

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Photo Credit: Carlos Nader

Click here to see this fuzzy chick strengthening his legs taking wobbly steps and coming out of the incubator to get a snack. (The narratoin to the video below is in Portugese)

See more pictures after the jump:

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Three Swans A-Swimming at the Sao Paulo Zoo


A trio of Black-necked Swans hatched on August 15, 16, and 17 at Brazil's Sao Paulo Zoo.  When the adult Black-necked Swans were unable to incubate their eggs, zoo biologists moved the eggs to an incubator, where they remained for the 35-day incubation period. 

Now that the cygnets have hatched, zoo keepers weigh them daily to monitor their growth.  Every day, the cygnets enjoy sunbathing and practice their swimming skills.

Black-necked Swans are native to South America's lakes and marshes, where they feed on plant material, insect larvae, and other invertebrates.  They nest and lay eggs from June through September.  Both parents participate in building the nest, incubating the eggs, and rearing the cygnets.  Both parents will carry the cygnets on their backs.  Black-necked Swans are the largest waterfowl species in South America.



Photo Credit:  Carlos Nader / Sao Paulo Zoo