Zoo Wroclaw

A Baby Bear Cuscus, One of Earth's Most Endangered Animals, Is Born at Poland's Wroclaw Zoo


A bear cuscus has been born at Zoo Wrocław!

Why is this birth so special? Only 4 zoos in the world house this species and only in Wrocław has it been bred successfully. In nature, bear cuscuses live only on the island of Celebes in Indonesia, and soon they may become completely extinct. The bear cuscus is one of the rarest, least known, and most endangered species of animals on Earth!

ZOO04384 Duza and baby
ZOO04384 Duza and baby

This animal has a massive body reaching up to 10 kg and 60 cm in length. Its bear-like fur is soft and dark. It has a large head with a short snout, piercing eyes and a pink nose, paws with sharp claws, and a long prehensile tail. It resembles a miniature bear but it is a marsupial. It lives in the rainforests on the island of Celebes. The bear cuscus is an arboreal animal but moves slowly, carefully reaching branches. It feeds mainly on leaves but also likes flowers, buds, and unripe fruits. These animals are not very social, they live in pairs or small groups and communicate via scents and vocalizations. They reproduce as they live-slowly. Although little is known about this process, it has been established that the female usually gives birth to one underdeveloped young per year that lives in her pouch for 6-7 months. The bear cuscus prefers to live in areas untouched by humans. Its inability to adapt to changing conditions makes all the obvious problems such as climate change, deforestation, or poaching even more threatening. It also hampers the research and conservation efforts. Despite such complications, the employees of the Wrocław zoo have successfully bred this species for the fourth time. This is a huge success on a global scale and a confirmation that the bear cuscus can be saved from extinction thanks to zoo breeding programs.

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ZooBorns' Top 10 Newest, Cutest Baby Animals (Vol. 6)

Tell us which are your favorites in the comments!
10. African Elephant - Reid Park Zoo
9. African lion - Dallas Zoo
8. Manatee - ZOO Wrocław
7. Sumatran Tiger - Zoo Wroclaw
6. Klipspringer - Brevard Zoo
5. Canada Lynx - Queens Zoo
4. Two-toed sloth - ZSL London Zoo
3. North American Sea Otter - Alaska SeaLife Center
2. Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew - Zoo Leipzig
1. Orangutan - Budapest Zoo

Bottle Feeding a Brand New Baby Manatee at Zoo Wroclaw


The second manatee born (September 11, 2020) in Poland this year and the fourth in three years is a female! This is important for conservation programs run by zoos. There are only 8 such facilities in the Europe and 20 in the world. At the moment the mother (Ling) is not nursing, so ZOO Wrocław had to step in. The baby gets special milk formula for manatees, which Wroclaw imports from Australia.

Two Playful Baby Capybara Babies Arrive at Zoo Wroclaw


Two capybaras were born in front of visitors to Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw on Sunday, August 23. They are the first babies of this species born here since 2014. The reason for the long break was the zoo’s 7-year-old female Kiler J. After many failed attempts to pair her with a suitable mate, she finally chose 3-year-old Hans as her partner. The sex of the pups is not yet known, but caretakers say that if at least one pup is female, she will be named for the visitor who first reported the birth.


The capybara (Latin Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest rodent in the world. Males reach a body weight of about 30 kg. In the wild, its range is almost all of South America.

If it resembles a guinea pig, that’s because the species are closely related.

The capybara population in the wild is currently stable, but in South America, soybean cultivation threatens its natural habitat. Like all wild animals, Capybaras make terrible pets.

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DSC00340 Kapibara ZOO Wrocław - maluchy dwa

Baby Fur Seal Winning Fans in Poland

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An African Fur Seal born on June 17 at Poland’s Zoo Wrocław is already charming zoo guests and her care team with her winning personality.

The pup was named Zuri by her fans on social media. The name comes from Shona, a language used by the Bantu peoples in the Seals’ native African home.

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DSC_4029-Edit kotik małyPhoto Credit: Zoo Wrocław

A minor health issue resulted in Zuri requiring extra care from her keepers. Fortunately, Zuri turned out to be perfectly healthy, but her care team now has a special bond with the little Seal.

Zuri still nurses from her mother Nabi. She is the fourth African Sea Lion pup to be born at Zoo Wrocław. Her three siblings provide her with plenty of playmates. Zuri is still learning to swim, so she has yet to join the group in the main pool, preferring instead to practice swimming in a mini-pool behind the scenes.

The zoo’s Seals participate in daily training sessions, which zoo guests can watch. The training sessions allow the Seals to participate in their own medical care and permit the care team to monitor the animals closely.

African Fur Seals inhabit the coastlines of southwestern and southern Africa. For most of the year, the Seals live in the ocean, where they dive up to 600 feet to capture fish. Fur Seals come ashore only during the breeding season.

African Fur Seals are not threatened at this time, but other marine species are under pressure from reduced fish populations, caused when humans overharvest fish. Fur Seals are still legally hunted in Namibia for their fur and other body parts.

Zoo Wroclaw Welcomes Eleventh L’Hoest’s Monkey


The L'Hoest's Monkey family group at Zoo Wrocław is maintained at the level of eight to ten individuals to prevent inbreeding and overcrowding. Over the years they’ve successfully raised ten offspring, mostly females.

The youngest addition to the Zoo’s family came into the world recently---on Christmas Day. The mother is Hermione, and the father is the dominant male, Heos. The sex of the toddler is still unknown, but the caregivers suspect it to be a female.

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4_DSC06982Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

The L'Hoest's Monkey (Cercopithecus lhoesti) is one of the least common monkeys in zoological gardens in the world. Only 14 zoos have it in their collection. The species is found in the upper eastern Congo basin. They mostly live in mountainous forest areas in small, female-dominated groups.

The species is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. However, the ongoing military conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (over 20 years already) prevents an accurate estimation of the population size in the wild. In this situation, conservation breeding in zoological gardens becomes a necessity for the survival of the species. Zoo Wrocław plays an important role in the conservation efforts.

“It is believed that the L'Hoest's Monkey’s Red List status of ‘vulnerable’ is not accurate anymore, and the population may be actually close to extinction. Even if the conflict in the Congo is over, it is hard to say what we will find there. Hence, breeding programs in zoos ensure a safe population, which will hopefully make possible the reintroduction of the species to the natural environment in the future,” said Anna Mękarska, specialist in the conservation of species from Zoo Wrocław.



Zoo Wroclaw Welcomes Birth of First Cuscus


Zoo Wrocław says that the tiny Sulawesi Bear Cuscus born there recently is the first documented zoo birth of this rare species.

According to the Zoo, only four zoological gardens in the world are part of its conservation-breeding program. This is a truly extraordinary birth, because the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus is a little-known species, it has been extremely difficult to breed.      

On March 16, 2018, Zoo Wroclaw’s small mammal keepers noticed a newborn in the pouch of the female Cuscus. Although it had been suspected for a few weeks, this discovery electrified all employees and caused an explosion of joy.

This is a milestone in saving the species, giving hope for its survival. There are only 13 Cuscus in four zoos around the world: in Batu Secret in Java (Indonesia), Pairi Daiza in Belgium, Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic and at Wrocław, in Poland.

The cub rarely comes out of the mother's pouch, usually only sticking out its head and tiny hands, or sometimes just the tail. For now, its diet consists only of mother's milk.

Zoo staff also confidently stated they are “99% sure the baby is a male”.



0934_Tangkoko_2013Photo Credits: Zoo Wroclaw

The birth of the tiny Cuscus is a global breeding success. A success like this takes time and team effort to create optimal living conditions – a proper enclosure, special diet and professional caregivers. As previously mentioned, Cuscus biology is unknown. The Zoo says little is known about their diet, and almost nothing about reproduction. It is only suspected they are monogamous, so a happy match is neither simple nor reliable.

Now, the keepers are excited to collect data on Cuscus rearing and share this knowledge with colleagues from other zoological gardens, to help ensure effective breeding, and the stability of the population of these amazing marsupials in the future.

The Sulawesi Bear Cuscus (Ailurops ursinus) is a species of arboreal marsupial in the family Phalangeridae. It is endemic to Sulawesi and nearby islands in Indonesia.

It lives in tropical moist lowland forest and is diurnal, folivorous and often found in pairs.

The species is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. It is threatened by hunting, collection for the pet trade and deforestation. According to the IUCN: “It is widespread and common in suitable habitat. A density estimate (based on line transects) of 2.0 individuals/km2 was reported for North Sulawesi in the 1993-1994 (O'Brien and Kinnaird 1996). This species, however, was at one time much more plentiful. From 1979-1994, there had been a 95% decline in Tangkoko-DuaSudara Nature Reserve due to hunting and this decline may be indicative of trends for North Sulawesi (O'Brien and Kinnaird 1996). This decline is only getting worse due to hunting and the pet trade (M. Kinnaird pers. comm.).”


Zoo Wroclaw Welcomes First Manatee Calf


Zoo Wroclaw has been preparing for the arrival of their new Manatee calf since this past November, when it was confirmed their female was expecting.

After consultation with other zoos, keepers at Wroclaw installed a special pen in their Manatee pool. They also stocked-up on special milk formula in preparation for the possibility that new mother, Ling, might have difficulty bonding with the calf.

When Ling’s labor began on March 3rd, staff members at Zoo Wroclaw were more than prepared for the new arrival. The little female entered the world at 10:41 a.m., and the Zoo managed to capture the beautiful scene on video.

According to keepers, right after birth, the female measured about 115 cm, and weighed about 20 kg.

The new Manatee calf is the first of her kind to be born at Wroclaw, so her caretakers opted to give her a fitting name—Lavia (from the word Vratislavia).

The Zoo’s prenatal preparations proved beneficial when it became apparent to keepers that Ling was not nursing her new calf as they had hoped. Staff began utilizing the special formula soon after the calf was born.



4_DSC_2123Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals (also known as “sea cows”). They are found in the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (Trichechus manatus, West Indian manatee), the Amazon basin (T. inunguis, Amazonian manatee), and West Africa (T. senegalensis, West African manatee).

Manatees are classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. Because they are large, slow-moving animals that frequent costal waters, they are vulnerable to hunters seeking their hides, oil, and bones. They are often accidentally hit by motorboats and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets. Due to their threatened status, captive breeding in zoos plays an important role in manatee conservation. According to Zoo Wroclaw, these docile giants live in only 19 zoological gardens in the world, including 10 in Europe.

Each calf born is treasured, and each Manatee birth is a celebrated stepping-stone to the survival of the species.

(More pics below the fold!)

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