Sedgwick County Zoo

Catching Up with 4-month-old Alizeti

Sedgwick County Zoo excitedly welcomed a new member of the chimpanzee troop – a baby girl born August 20. Her name is Alizeti which means “sunflower” in Swahili.

Chimpanzee Chuckie gave birth in the presence of the troop during the early morning hours. The animal care team at SCZ observed mom and baby for a short time before coming to the conclusion that Chuckie was not exhibiting appropriate maternal behavior. In order to give Alizeti the best chance of survival, the team made the life-saving decision to remove her from the troop and provide human-assisted rearing during this first crucial stage of her development.

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Kucheza The Chimp Is Back By Popular Demand And This Time He Meets Dad!

Sedgwick County Zoo's Chimp Mom Mahale was a bit apprehensive, which is exactly what the keepers expected. She wanted Father Moshi to meet Kucheza but only if he kept his distance!

She has allowed him to get closer since the initial introduction but he continues to be incredibly respectful of her space.

***a note about the background noise: there are fans throughout the behind the scenes area for circulation and one of them is right next to this spot. they are not as loud as they seem on camera - microphones just have a way of amplifying wind noise and this happens to be the best spot for filming!

Yep. He’s Still Perfect. And He’s Got a Name!

Yep. He’s still perfect.  The whole world has fallen in love with Mahale and Kucheza, after catching a glimpse of their emotional reunion. Chimpanzees in AZA-accredited institutions like Sedgwick County Zoo receive the highest level of care to meet their physical, emotional, and social needs - including the life-saving decision to deliver Kucheza via emergency C-section.

All of the animals in their care serve as important ambassadors for their species. Mahale and Kucheza have reminded us all that chimpanzees are smart, charismatic, and amazing animals. And they need our help! Small actions - like recycling your old cell phones and using only sustainably-sourced (certified) palm oil and paper products - can help save chimpanzees like Mahale and Kucheza in the wild.


Learn more about how you can make a difference in chimpanzee conservation:

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Chimpanzee Mother Mahale Reunited With Baby!

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After almost 2 full days,  Sedgwick County Zoo's (Wichita, KS) Chimpanzee Mom Mahale and baby were reunited this morning!

Sedgwick County Zoo’s (Wichita Kansas) Chimpanzee Mahale gave birth to a baby boy two days ago, Nov. 15, via C-section performed by Drs. Whisler and Chibry of College Hill OB-GYN along with the Zoo Veterinary team.

Baby had a bit of trouble getting enough oxygen at birth, so he was being treated in the Zoo’s Vet hospital by animal care staff. Today he was reunited with mom!

We’ll keep you updated on his progress!

Chimpanzee baby

It’s a BOY!

Sedgwick County Zoo’s (Wichita Kansas) Chimpanzee Mahale gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, Nov. 15, via C-section performed by Drs. Whisler and Chibry of College Hill OB-GYN along with the Zoo Veterinary team.

Baby had a bit of trouble getting enough oxygen at birth, so he is being treated in the Zoo’s Vet hospital by animal care staff. Today he is doing extremely well and should be able to be reunited with mom very soon!

Chimpanzee baby

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Sedgwick County Zoo Celebrates Lovely New Flower


A Sumatran Orangutan named Daisy gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 8:14 a.m. on September 7 at Sedgwick County Zoo.

Daisy began labor during the afternoon of September 6. After laboring naturally through the night, she encountered complications and the decision was made to deliver the baby via C-section.

Dr. Laura Whisler and Dr. Janna Chibry of College Hill, OB-GYN have consulted with the Sedgwick County Zoo on all great ape pregnancies since 2013, and they were on hand to perform the delivery of Daisy’s baby on September 7. In keeping with the flower theme, the new baby has been named Lily.

Following Lily’s birth, Daisy was in quite a bit of pain from the delivery, and both mom and baby were at high risk for infection and other complications. Lily required close medical observation and daily injections of antibiotics to treat a systemic bacterial infection. Daisy required time for her incision to heal. A team of three keepers has been taking shifts to care for Lily day and night.

Newborn Orangutans are born with the ability to hold themselves to their mothers by clinging to their fur. In order to help Lily hone this instinct, her three keepers wear handmade shirts with fleece fringe attached to simulate mom Daisy’s long fur.



4_42211158_10156632770353058_6441542360848400384_oPhoto Credits: Sedgwick County Zoo

Both mom and baby will remain behind the scenes for some time to allow for recovery and bonding. In the meantime, the Zoo will post regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.

This is the third baby for 36-year-old Daisy and the third for 22-year-old dad, Panji. This is also an important birth for the Sumatran Orangutan population. Sumatran Orangutans are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, largely due to deforestation for palm oil plantations.

(More great pics below the fold!)

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Coin Sized Carrot-tail Viper Geckos Are Hatching

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Sedgwick County Zoo currently has two tiny Carrot-tail Viper Gecko hatchlings.

The Zoo reports there are several more eggs incubating, and if all goes well, they expect two geckos to hatch every couple of weeks.

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4_carrot-tail viper geckoPhoto Credits: Sedgwick County Zoo

The Carrot-tail Viper Gecko (Hemidactylus imbricatus) is native to arid rocky regions of southeastern Pakistan. They can be found under rocks during the day. Their distinctive pattern provides excellent camouflage amongst stones and pebbles.

Only about an inch in length at hatching, adults reach a total length of about three and a half inches.

To avoid the heat of the day, these tiny desert dwellers hunt for insects in the early morning and late evening. Their oddly shaped tail stores fat and water for when food is scarce.

Females lay one to two eggs per clutch, each the size of a pea, and the eggs are produced every two to three weeks for as many as twelve clutches per year. Incubation takes from 50 to 60 days, at temperatures of 81 to 86F.

The Carrot-tail Viper Gecko is currently classified as “Least Concern” According to the IUCN Red List: “Hemidactylus imbricatus has been assessed as Least Concern. Despite some habitat loss and degradation, its population is unlikely to be undergoing significant declines to qualify for listing in a threatened category. Further research is needed to identify if a significant future decline triggers a higher threat category.”

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Sedqwick County Zoo Films Birth of Little-studied Amphibian Species

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On December 12, eight Kaup's Caecilians were born on exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas! Although they might look like earthworms or little snakes, Caecilians (pronounced seh-SILL-yens) are amphibians, related to frogs and salamanders. They are by far the least familiar group of amphibians for zoo visitors. The births are believed to be the first captive reproduction of this poorly known and virtually unstudied species. 

Ranging throughout the tropics of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, most Caecilians are blind and live entirely underground. However, a few Amazonian species are aquatic, such as the Kaup’s Caecilian. 

2 caecilianPhoto credit: Sedgwick County Zoo

Here's a video of the births. At the end there is a much clearer view of the swimming babies.


Rather than laying eggs, Kaup's Caecilians give birth to live, fully-developed young. The pinkish youngsters were born with large, sac-like gills which quickly detached from their bodies during the birthing process. Unlike the gills of other amphibians, the gills of Kaup's Caecilians are thought to serve a placenta-like function while in the mother's body, and are not used for respiration after birth.

The babies are currently in a behind-the-scenes area. However, the adults can be found in the zoo's Amphibian & Reptile building.

Naturally-Conceived Tiger Cubs Thrive at Sedgwick County Zoo

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Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas celebrated the birth of two Amur Tiger cubs on July 6! The cubs are believed to be a male and female, and so far are healthy and thriving. The cubs opened their eyes for the first time at 10 days old. According to their checkup at 15 days old, the cubs are growing in leaps and bounds. The female cub weighed three pounds at birth and had more than doubled her weight, weighing in at seven pounds. The male cub was slightly smaller, born at just under three pounds and weighing about six pounds at 15 days.

The birth of the two cubs is especially uplifting news for the zoo. Last year, two female Amur Tigers at Sedgwick County Zoo were artificially inseminated. One cub was born, but sadly did not survive. This year's cubs were conceived naturally by mother Talali, eight years old, and father Ivan, four years old. 

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Photo credits: Sedwick County Zoo 

See and learn more after the fold!

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