Zoo Miami

The Eagle Has Landed!!!

It is with great excitement that Zoo Miami, in collaboration with Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, announces that after an incubation period of 37 days, the wild pair of bald eagles, named “Rita” and “Ron,” have successfully hatched their first egg!!!  What an amazing way to bring in the New Year!!!

For over two months, Rita and Ron have worked together to build a new nest on an artificial platform constructed through the combined efforts of Lloyd Brown from Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and Ron Magill from the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment at the Zoo Miami Foundation.  The platform was constructed to provide a more stable foundation after the pair had their original nest at that location destroyed during a storm. 

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54th & 55th Giraffe Born At Zoo Miami!

Yesterday, Zoo Miami's newest baby giraffe made his exhibit debut! 

For the first time, a yet unnamed male calf that was born on April 2nd, walked out onto the exhibit with his mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring his new surroundings.  Until yesterday, the newborn had been held inside a holding area with his mother to give them time to bond.

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On Sunday, the calf received a neonatal exam where in addition to a general physical, he was weighed, had his blood collected and received a microchip for identification.  He weighed a whopping 181 pounds and is the seventh baby born to Mia, his 14 year old mother.  The first-time father is a 4 year old named Malcolm.  This is the 54th giraffe born in the zoo's history!

As this newborn was making his exhibit debut, Zuri, a 6 ½ year old female was giving birth behind the scenes to the 55th giraffe born in the zoo’s history!  The baby, Zuri’s second, was born yesterday at approximately 10:30AM, and has been observed nursing very well.  Malcolm is also the father making this his second calf.  A neonatal exam was performed this morning and it is confirmed to be a healthy female weighing 119 pounds.  Should everything continue to go well, this baby and mother will join the herd on exhibit tomorrow.

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 giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from a “species of 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.  


Giant Anteater Born at Zoo Miami!

Sometime during the early morning hours of December 8th, Laura, a 7 year old female giant anteater whose birthday happens to fall on the same day, gave birth to what is believed to be a male baby.  Unfortunately, this happened to be one of the coldest nights of the year in Miami and the newborn was found abandoned in the corner of its holding area, weak and cold.  Upon discovery, it was immediately transported to the zoo hospital where the animal health team placed it into intensive care.

Though there was significant doubt that the newborn would survive, it slowly started to become more responsive after being heated up and receiving fluids.  Zoo keepers were able to collect natural milk from the mom which was supplemented with a formula substitute and was initially administered directly into the infant’s stomach through a tube that was carefully inserted through the mouth. 

Once the baby regained some strength over the first 48 hours, an attempt was made to reintroduce it to its mother.  Though the mother initially allowed the baby to be placed on her back, she soon became intolerant of it and her behavior indicated that she was not going to care for it and that it would need to be returned to the hospital for hand-rearing.

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Photos and video: Ron Magill

After being initially tube fed, the animal has become stronger and more active.  It is now regularly accepting a bottle and drinking on its own.  The staff continues work around the clock to feed the infant every 3 hours.  At the time of this writing, it continues to gain strength and its distinct black and white coat is beginning to grow in.  Zoo veterinarians are cautiously optimistic that the baby has overcome the most serious challenges of its first few days and are hoping that the improvements continue though there are still obstacles ahead as there would be for any infant in this situation.

Giant anteaters are the largest of the four species of anteaters and can reach a length of 6-8 feet.  They are found in Central and South America and are listed as vulnerable with their greatest threat being habitat loss.  Commonly called an “ant bear,” they have a 2 foot long tongue that can lick up 150 ants and termites per minute.  Though they have no teeth, they have powerful front claws which can be used to fend off many threats, including jaguars. 


Baby Camel Birth Caught on Camera at Zoo Miami!

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We missed this one back in June, and thought you'd like to see it! WARNING – beginning portions of the video which show the actual birth may be considered too graphic for some!

June 15, 2020 -Zoo Miami is very happy to announce the birth of a Bactrian camel! After a pregnancy of approximately 14 months, “Sunny,” a 3 year old female that arrived at Zoo Miami in November of 2017 from her birthplace at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, gave birth to what appears to be a healthy baby girl! The newborn weighed just over 96 pounds! The father is 9 year old “Bubba,” and he arrived from his birthplace at the Minnesota Zoo in 2012. This is the first offspring for both parents.
 
Bactrian camels are critically endangered in the wild where it is believed that less than a thousand remain. They are found in isolated pockets of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China and are distinguished from the Dromedary camel by having two humps as opposed to one. They can live up to 50 years and weigh over 1,500 pounds.
 
Contrary to popular belief, their humps are not full of water, but rather fat, which can enable them to go for long periods of time without any food. They rarely sweat and are extremely adept at conserving water which enables them to get much of the water they need from the vegetation they eat. When they do drink, they have the ability to drink up to 30 gallons at a time. They are also well adapted for living in extreme temperatures, growing a very thick coat to withstand winter temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit which they will shed in the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
Mom and baby will remain off exhibit until the staff feels that the two have bonded well and that the as yet unnamed newborn’s development is progressing well.

“HOPE” IS BORN AT ZOO MIAMI!

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Amidst the tragic news coming out of Australia due to the catastrophic fires that have caused great harm and death to many thousands of people and nearly half a billion animals, Zoo Miami is elated to announce some good news that is directly connected to the ravished continent.

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For the third time in the zoo’s history and the first time in over 28 years, a surviving koala has been born at the zoo!!  Though the actual “birth” took place on May 30th of last year, it was only yesterday that the joey (baby koala) first came completely out of the pouch!  Because koalas are marsupials, they have a very short pregnancy (around 30 days) and when the baby is born, it is practically in an embryonic state, totally hairless, with non-developed eyes, tiny limbs, and the size of a bumblebee.  Immediately after being born, the joey makes a difficult journey as it instinctively crawls into the mother’s pouch where it remains for approximately 6 months, continuing to develop, before emerging when it actually looks like a baby koala.  Those 6 months are the most precarious of the infant’s life (Zoo Miami lost several joeys during this period in the past) so it is not until it finally emerges from the pouch and is strong and healthy that zoo staff can breathe a sigh of relief and truly celebrate!!!

 

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The joey’s mother is “Rinny,” which is short for “Merindah koolawong” which are the Dharug aboriginal words for “beautiful” and “koala.”  She is 4 years old and was born at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina on October 21st, 2015.  She arrived at Zoo Miami on September 21st, 2018 and this is her first baby!

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The father is “Milo,” and he 8 years old and was born at the San Diego Zoo on July 2, 2011.  He arrived at Zoo Miami on May 3rd, 2016 and this is also his first baby!

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Though Zoo Miami are still not certain of the sex of the joey, because of what is happening in Australia, zoo staff, in collaboration with the Gail S. Posner Trust, and Sanford J. Schlesinger, Trustee, principal patrons of the Koala Exhibit, have decided to name the infant, “Hope.”  It is Miami's desire that this baby koala will help to bring a small ray of hope to all that are suffering in Australia and be a symbol for a positive future for the priceless wildlife that lives there.  In addition, Zoo Miami will be making a $10,000 donation to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund in support of the herculean efforts being undertaken to safe the countless animals being affected by this disaster.  Others interested in supporting this effort can make donations by clicking on https://www.zoo.org.au/fire-fund/ or directly to the Zoo Miami Foundation at www.zoomiami.org/donate and stipulate “Australia” in the memo section.  Those funds will be added to the initial $10,000 donation made through the Zoo Miami Conservation Fund.


New Giraffe at Zoo Miami Makes Her Debut

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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.

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4_DSC_2205Photo 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.  

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Tree Kangaroo Joey Makes Itself Known at Zoo Miami

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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.

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4_10Photo 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.

More great pics below the fold!

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History-Making Rhino Calf Born at Zoo Miami

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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.

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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.  

More amazing pics below the fold!

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Painted Dog Pups Get A Check-Up

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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.

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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.