On July 15, a male South American Sea Lion pup was born at Schönbrunn Zoo after a gestation period of almost a year. Young South American Sea Lions can swim and dive from birth. The offspring have already made their first swimming attempts together with the group - always at the side of their mother, who takes good care of them. “Sea lions are excellent swimmers and can dive underwater for up to 15 minutes. For the little one, it's all still a bit exhausting, so they sleep a lot now. He is suckled by his mother for the first 6-8 months, only then do sea fish such as herring, mackerel or sprat appear on his menu. As an adult seal, it will eat around six kilos of fish or even more per day. However, it will be a few years before the young male has reached his father's impressive weight of over 300 kg," reports Zoological Department Head Folko Balfanz.
In case you missed it, Zoo Vienna welcomed the arrival of a baby Orangutan on June 19th. She has since been integrated into the troupe.
We are now sharing a compiled clip which features Zoo staff interviews and visual highlights. The infant has been named Kendari, after the Indonesian City.
Below are links to the raw videos we already released. This compilation is made from two shorter clips. The first part, announcing the birth, was translated by Franziska Graumann. The second, announcing baby‘s name, was translated by automated assistance.
Raw Birth Announcement Clip
Raw Naming Announcement Clip
For the third time in a row, Schönbrunn Zoo can look forward to two offspring of white-nosed coatis this year. In mid-May, the two cubs were born blind and deaf and were nursed and cared for by their mother in the nest for the first few weeks. “Meanwhile, the approximately six-week-old twins, a male and a female, have left their safe nest and are out and about throughout the indoor facility. The two currently spend most of the day sleeping snuggled up to their mother," reports animal keeper Michaela Hoffmann.
In the last weeks of spring, a total of six Rockhopper penguin chicks have hatched. You can now see the offspring in the "kindergarten" of the Polarium. Twice a day, the young birds are fed with fish and their weight is constantly monitored. Each chick squeezes up to 20 small herring and sprats per day. "They already weigh around one and a half kilograms. Their weight gain is ensured by our keepers so that the young animals can develop healthily. The chicks are still wearing a dune dress that is not water-repellent. Therefore, their enclosure has no access to the water basin. Only when they have the first moult behind them, swimming attempts are dared. Then they come back to the group, because even in the wild they live together in large breeding colonies," reports Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck.
The kid season has already begun for the pied goats called Tauernscheckenziegen and it is almost over. Only one goat is still expecting. The kids are all well and very agile. They already try to climb rocks and tree trunks and savor the first rays of sun.
This goat breed serves multiple purposes. Their claws are very sturdy which is ideal for alpine landscape management. Their udders are very high to minimize the risk of injury. They are very long-living and robust and please with their unique and attractive coat which makes them easily recognizable on alpine pastures during the summer and fall.
The giraffe calf at Zoo Vienna continues to develop well thanks to the intensive care of the animal care team. It explores its surroundings with interest and dashes through the giraffe park. The little one's main food is still Holstein cow's milk, but she also nibbles on hay and leaves that were frozen for the giraffes to feed in the winter. “Our giraffe girl has shown real willpower and perseverance over the past few weeks. The animal care team has thought a lot about what the little one could be called. In the end, the decision was made to use the name "Amari" - which means "the strong one" in the African language Yoruba," reports Eveline Dungl, the head of the zoological department responsible.
LOTS MORE PICS BELOW THE FOLD!
A female giraffe calf was born in Schönbrunn Zoo on Sunday afternoon. Great concern quickly mixed with the joy: the first-time mother Fleur has been reluctant to let her offspring drink. “The birth went quickly and without complications, which is anything but a matter of course. Unfortunately, Fleur still keeps her young animal at a distance and only nurses it very irregularly," explains Eveline Dungl, the responsible zoological department head. “For Fleur it is the first offspring. Unfortunately, inexperienced mothers often find themselves overwhelmed with rearing in the wild. Unfortunately, especially with first-time mothers, there is never a guarantee that everything will go well from the start.”
The Giant Panda twins at Schönbrunn Zoo are 18 days old and keepers report they are developing splendidly.
Mother Yang Yang is confident and relaxed in her care of the two young ones. Staff daily observes her (via a den camera) suckling them, cleaning them and keeping them warm. The babies also get more and more active every day. “The young Pandas stretch, wave their little paws in the air, and make first tentative efforts to crawl on their mother’s tummy,” explains the zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter. Their pink tinge is also increasingly being replaced by black and white fur, resulting in their looking more like miniature Pandas every day.
The next big step in the development of the Panda twins is the formation of their auditory senses, which takes place at about five weeks of age. On top of this, the young animals are still blind and will only open their eyes when they are approximately 40 days old. It will be the end of the year before they can really crawl and leave the breeding box.
As we previously shared, the Panda mother will rear her babies in their breeding box, behind the scenes, which is out of sight of Schönbrunn Zoo visitors. At about four months old, the young Pandas will make their first excursions to the indoor enclosure, where the visitors will be able to watch them. The Zoo will do its best to keep Panda fans all over the world informed. At regular intervals, videos from the breeding box will be published on Schönbrunn Zoo’s website: https://www.zoovienna.at/ …YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thezoovienna … and other social media pages. There is also a public video screen in the Zoo that allows visitors to peek in on the new family.
The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) also known as “panda bear” or simply “panda, is a bear native to south central China. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the Giant Panda's diet is over 99% bamboo. Giant Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.
The Giant Panda is native to a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in neighboring provinces (Shaanxi and Gansu). As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, the Giant Panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. It is classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.
Giant Pandas give birth to twins in about half of pregnancies, and generally, only one twin will survive. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker will die. Experts believe that the mother is unable to produce enough milk for two cubs, since she does not store fat. (The father has no part in helping raise the cub.)
When the cub is first born, it is pink, blind, and toothless, weighing only 90 to 130 grams (3.2 to 4.6 ounces). It nurses from its mother's breast six to 14 times a day for up to 30 minutes at a time. For three to four hours, the mother may leave the den to feed, which leaves the cub defenseless. One to two weeks after birth, the cub's skin turns gray where its hair will eventually become black. A slight pink color may appear on cub's fur, as a result of a chemical reaction between the fur and its mother's saliva. A month after birth, the color pattern of the cub's fur is fully developed. Its fur is very soft and coarsens with age.
The cub begins to crawl at 75 to 80 days of age. The cubs can eat small quantities of bamboo after six months, though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year. Giant Panda cubs weigh 45 kg (100 pounds) at one year, and live with their mothers until they are 18 months to two years old. The interval between births in the wild is generally two years.
The Giant Jellyfish, Rhizostoma luteum, has a bell diameter of up to 60 cm (2 ft) and can reach a max weight of 40 kg (88 lb).
Zoo Vienna has now successfully bred this rare sea dweller for the first time in captivity. The baby jellyfish are about 4 centimeter tall and are now on exhibit in the Zoo’s Aquarium.
“The Giant Jellyfish was first discovered in the Western Mediterranean Sea in 1827. It is such a rare species that some scientists even doubted its existence. During the last couple of years, some specimens were stranded on the beaches of Morocco and Spain, and it could finally be proven that Rhizostoma luteum does indeed exist,” said Dagmar Schratter, director of Zoo Vienna.
The story behind this breeding success is as spectacular as the jellyfish itself. Schratter continued, “The marine researcher Karen Kienberger from Jellyfish Research, South Spain, collected an adult Giant Jellyfish in the coastal waters of South Spain for her scientific research. At the laboratory, she discovered that the jellyfish was sexually mature and collected planula larvae which she sent to Zoo Vienna.”
Almost nothing is known about this jellyfish. It was a real challenge even for the jellyfish experts at Zoo Vienna to successfully breed this species. But they were successful and raised 30 baby jellyfish from the planula to the polyp--- and finally to the jellyfish.
The Zoo successfully took photos of all developmental stages and collected important data, which will be forwarded to Kienberger for further collaborative research.
French naturalists, Quoy and Gaimard, first described the Giant Jellyfish, Rhizostoma luteum, in 1827. Since its discovery, it has only been mentioned in scientific literature six times due to its rarity. Some researchers even doubted its existence until the recent discovery of specimens off the coast of Southern Spain.
Named for the word “snow” in Finnish, Lumi the female Reindeer calf was born on April 25 at Austria’s Vienna Zoo. Only minutes after the 11-pound (5 kg) calf was delivered by female Reindeer Helmi, Lumi stood up on her thin and wobbly legs.
Vienna Zoo’s Reindeer herd includes five adult females and one male named Hank. With Lumi’s birth, Hank has become a father for the fifth time. Lumi is the second calf born to Helmi.
Unlike other members of the deer family, where only the males have antlers, both male and female Reindeer have antlers. Little Lumi will begin to grow her antlers when she is about seven months old.
Reindeer are widespread across extreme northern North America and Eurasia, but many herds are shrinking in numbers, possibly due to climate change and habitat disturbance.
See more photos of Lumi below the fold.