On Wednesday, September 25th, a Caribbean flamingo hatched at Zoo Miami! This is the first hatching of this iconic species since 2011 and is the first time that a chick has hatched since the flock was moved to their new exhibit in the zoo’s entry plaza.
Zoo Miami's newest baby Giraffe recently made her exhibit debut!
The female calf, which was born on July 22, walked out onto the exhibit with her mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring her new surroundings. The newborn had been held inside a holding area with her mother to give them time to bond and to allow staff to slowly introduce her to the herd.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami
Shortly after birth, she received a neonatal exam where, in addition to a general physical, she was weighed, had her blood collected and received a microchip for identification. She weighed in at 149 pounds and is the fourth baby born to Sabra, her nearly 9-year-old mother. The father is a 6-year-old named Titan. This is the 56th Giraffe born in the zoo's history!
Giraffe have a pregnancy of approximately 15 months, and the mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor where it receives quite an abrupt introduction to the world! Newborns stand nearly 6 feet tall at birth.
The status of the Giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from a “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years.
An endangered Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo joey from New Guinea has begun to peek out of its mother’s pouch at Zoo Miami. It is still basically confined to the pouch, where it will continue to develop for the next several months before venturing away from its mother. It will not be totally weaned until it is around a year old.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill
Though it is just now revealing itself on a regular basis, this joey was actually born October 14, 2018. As with most marsupials, Tree Kangaroos are born in an almost embryonic state after a pregnancy of about 44 days. The newborn is only the size of a jellybean and slowly crawls into the mother’s pouch where it locks onto a nipple and then the majority of development takes place. It takes several months before the joey actually sticks its head out of the pouch and is visible.
The mother, named Zayna, is 9 ½ years old and was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas and the almost 11 year old father, named Banyon, was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York. The sex of their new offspring has not been determined, but it will eventually become part of an international captive breeding program. Zoo Miami has been a long time contributor to Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo conservation efforts in the wilds of New Guinea. Though this is Zayna’s third baby, it is the ninth of its kind to be born at Zoo Miami.
Matchie’s Tree Kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) live at high elevations in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea where they spend most of their time up in trees feeding on a variety of leaves, ferns, moss, and bark. They are believed to be solitary animals, and the only strong social bond formed is between a mother and her offspring.
After a 15-month pregnancy, Zoo Miami's seven-year-old Greater One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, Akuti, gave birth to a calf on April 23!
This is the second successful birth of this very rare species in the zoo’s history. However, what makes this birth truly historic is that it is the first successful birth of this species anywhere in recorded history to be the result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination!!
This is also the first baby for Akuti, whose name means “Princess” in Hindu. She was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January of 2012 and arrived at Zoo Miami in February of 2016. The father is 18-year-old Suru, which means “a start” in Bengali. He was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and arrived at Zoo Miami in October of 2003.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill
After several attempts at natural breeding with no success, a special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr. Monica Stoops from the Cincinnati Zoo, met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on January 8, 2018, and then artificially inseminated Akuti on January 9, 2018. SEZARC is dedicated to increasing the populations of rare and endangered species through reproductive science and has worked with several zoos and aquariums around the country.
Once Zoo Miami keepers were able to confirm that Akuti had indeed conceived, she was trained to receive regular ultrasound examinations, which enabled zoo staff to closely monitor the development of the fetus. Because they knew the exact date of conception, they were able to accurately estimate the birthdate and for the last several days, Akuti has been under 24-hour observation awaiting this very exciting event.
Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well, but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam. This will be performed when the staff feels that it can safely separate the infant from its very protective mother for the few minutes that the exam will take. It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond, which can sometimes be a challenge for first time mothers. Because of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, there will be no media access until zoo management has determined that everything is stable and the new mother and baby have been able to adjust. If everything goes well, it will probably be a few weeks until mom and baby are on public display.
There are currently less than 3,000 Indian Rhinos left in the wild, occurring in small protected areas of Nepal, India, and Assam. Over the years, they have been poached extensively for their horn, which is used for medicinal purposes and for dagger handles that are revered in some Asian cultures. They are the world’s fourth largest land mammal, sometimes reaching a weight of 6,000 pounds.
This very rare birth is not only significant for Zoo Miami, it is incredibly important to the international efforts to maintain a healthy population under human care of this highly vulnerable species throughout the world.
Last week, Zoo Miami’s newest litter of endangered African Painted Dogs received their 8-week exam which included getting weighed, having blood drawn, and receiving vaccinations for distemper. This exam represents only the second time that the puppies have been separated from their mother Little Foot, who is providing excellent care. The care team proclaimed all five of the puppies healthy and on track with their growth and development.
Photo/Video Credit: Ron Magill/ZooMiami
These pups represent the first successful births of these endangered carnivores at Zoo Miami in nearly 20 years. You can read about their public debut here on ZooBorns.
The breeding of Little Foot with Evander, the pups’ father, was carefully planned as part of a program designed to ensure genetic diversity among zoo-dwelling members of this species, which is among Africa’s most endangered carnivores. Fewer than than 6,000 individuals remain in the wild.
The greatest threats to African Painted Dogs are being shot by land owners who consider them a threat to their livestock, fragmented habitat, and transmission of rabies and distemper from domestic dogs.
Zoo Miami proudly announces the debut of a litter of highly endangered African Painted Dog puppies. The litter of one male and four females was born on January 23 and has been in seclusion in a den with their mother since until last week. Because this was the first litter two-year-old mother Little Foot, extreme caution was exercised in ensuring that mother and puppies were not disturbed for the first several weeks of the puppies’ lives.
Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami
These pups are the first successful births of this species at Zoo Miami in nearly 20 years. The births are part of a carefully planned breeding program to help ensure the survival of these endangered carnivores.
Until now, mother and puppies have been observed through a closed-circuit television camera to minimize disturbance. After the staff determined that Little Foot was caring for her puppies properly, neonatal exams were performed on each of the five pups. Until this exam, none of the staff had handled the pups. The exam included collecting blood, general physical exams, deworming treatment, and the placement of a microchip for identification. At six weeks of age, the puppies ranged in weight from 6 – 7.5 pounds. There will be another appointment in the near future to administer vaccinations.
Following the exams, the puppies were given access to the exhibit with their mother and father Evander for the first time. After initial trepidation, they followed their mother out onto the habitat. Though Evander showed extreme interest in the pups, Little Foot did not allow him to get close to the puppies. Instead, Evander observed the pups intently from afar.
With fewer than 6,000 individuals left in the wild, the African Painted Dog is one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent. Found in isolated pockets of eastern and southern Africa, they occur in packs of six to 20 individuals. African Painted Dogs’ cooperative hunting methods are one of the most successful of any carnivore. Only the alpha pair reproduce within the pack and the female can have as many as 20 puppies which are raised cooperatively by the other pack members.
The largest threats to African Painted Dogs, which are also known as African Wild Dogs, are being shot by land owners who consider them a threat to their livestock, fragmented habitat, and disease transmission such as rabies and distemper introduced by domestic Dogs.
Zoo Miami's newest baby Giraffes recently made their exhibit debut!
For the first time, the handsome male that was born on February 13th and the lovely female that was born on February 20th, walked out onto the exhibit with their mothers and other members of the herd. The soon-to-be-named young duo curiously explored their new surroundings.
The two newborns had been held inside a holding area, with their mothers, to give them time to bond and to allow staff to slowly introduce them to the herd.
The male weighed 123 pounds and is the first baby born to his four-year-old mom, Zuri. The female weighed 161 pounds and is the sixth baby born to 12-year-old mom, Mia. The father to both calves is six-year-old Titan, who has since left Zoo Miami to join another herd at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
Photo Credits: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami (For identification purposes: the baby with the dark thick, tufted horns is the female, and the adult giraffe with her in any photo is her mother, Mia. The lighter colored baby is the male, and the adult seen with him is his mother, Zuri.)
Giraffes have a gestation period of approximately 15 months and a mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor, where it receives quite an impactful introduction to the world! Newborns usually weigh more than a hundred pounds at birth and stand nearly 6 feet tall!
Due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years, the status of Giraffes in the wild has recently been elevated from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
An endangered male Pygmy Hippo was born on August 4 at Zoo Miami. After several weeks of private time, bonding with his mother, the yet unnamed calf recently made its public debut.
Zoo staff were very careful to ensure that the infant’s introduction to the exhibit was done slowly and with an abundance of caution. The exhibit pool is being kept at a reduced level until staff are confident that the baby is a good swimmer and can navigate the exhibit well.
Initial indications were that this baby would have no trouble adjusting as once he was given access to the pool with his mother, they both jumped right in! In very little time, he was swimming quite well and soon started to jump and dive freely, seeming to thoroughly enjoy his new surroundings! The plan is to give mother and son access everyday beginning at approximately 10:00AM and then bring them back into their sleeping area at approximately 3:00PM. As the infant becomes more independent and comfortable in the exhibit, he and his mother will gradually be given access for longer periods of time.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami / Ron Magill
This is only the second Pygmy Hippo birth in Zoo Miami’s history, with the last one being born in 2010 and both belonging to 26-year-old Kelsey. Kelsey was born at the Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana and arrived at Zoo Miami in May of 1993. “Ralph” is the 5-year-old first time father. He was born at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska and arrived at Zoo Miami in March of 2017. Ralph will remain separated from mother and son as in the wild, Pygmy Hippos are solitary and the father has no role in raising the young and could be a potential threat to the baby should he have access.
Pygmy Hippos are a much smaller version of their well-known cousins, the common River Hippo, and usually weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, whereas River Hippos can reach 6,000 pounds. In addition, they are less aquatic than River Hippos and are usually seen alone or in pairs rather than in large groups.
Pygmy Hippos are also more rare and are classified as endangered with only about 3,000 individuals believed to be in the wild, where they feed on a variety of plants and fruits. They are restricted to small isolated populations within the interior forests and rivers of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast, where they are threatened by deforestation and hunting for meat. Because of their rarity and shy behavior, very little is known about their habits in the wild.
Zoo Miami is proud to announce the birth of four Warthogs!
The two males and two females were born on June 29, and they recently had their first neonatal exam. The exam confirmed their sex and helped to insure that they have an excellent start in life. The preliminary report was that all four piglets appeared to be healthy and are developing well.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/ Ron Magill
The four-year-old mother is from the Indianapolis Zoo, and the four-year-old father is from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This is the second litter of for both parents, but it is the third successful birth of Warthogs at Zoo Miami, with the first one occurring back in 1995.
The mother will remain off exhibit with her piglets for an undetermined amount of time to insure that they have bonded properly and are well acclimated to their surroundings prior to going on public display.
Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) are found through much of sub-Saharan Africa. Though not naturally aggressive, these wild pigs are quite capable of protecting themselves with large, powerful tusks, which they normally use to tear up the ground in search of roots and grubs and to establish dominance between them.
Males develop considerably larger tusks than the females. The name Warthog is a bit misleading because the protrusions that come out of the sides of the head are not actual warts but rather fatty, granular tissue.
Zoo Miami celebrated the birth of a critically endangered Somali Wild Ass on June 16. The foal was born to 10-year-old dad Hakim and 13-year-old mom Stella.
The unnamed foal, the 8th born at Zoo Miami, is now in the zoo’s exhibit habitat with Stella and seems to be integrating well into the small herd. A neonatal exam determined that the foal is a male and appears healthy, weighing 46 pounds.
Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami
Somali Wild Asses are the world’s most critically endangered Asses with less than 1,000 believed to still exist in the rugged, rocky deserts of eastern Africa. This species is the last remaining ancestor of the modern Donkey and is the smallest of the wild Equids. Adults weigh approximately 500 pounds and mares typically give birth to a single foal after an 11-month gestation.
Somali Wild Asses are characterized by a smooth gray coat and striped legs, which are a clue to their close relationship to zebras.
Zoo Miami began exhibiting the highly endangered Somali Wild Ass in 2011. All the adult animals are on loan from the San Diego Wild Animal Park and arrived here as part of a carefully planned breeding program designed to maintain healthy populations of these extremely rare animals for generations to come.