Cotton Flower and Little Snow, the baby panda twins at ZooParc de Beauval, will be celebrating their 2 month birthday! Not only are they active and moving, but... they are starting to open their eyes! Little by little, their eyelids are finally opening. Their bodies are now abundantly covered in black and white fur.
Their weight is perfectly on track: it has more than doubled in 1 month: 2.8 kg and 2.7 kg. Still a little way to go before arriving at the 105 kg of their mother Huan Huan!
The atmosphere is always calm and apart from all the hustle and bustle behind the scenes of the pandas. Beauval's teams of healers and veterinarians as well as the 2 healers from China take care of it as much as possible because Huan Huan is quite sensitive at the moment: nothing can distract her from her role as a mother.
Babies spend around 3 to 4 hours on their mother in turns and nurse twice a day. A daily bottle was added because Huan Huan does not have enough milk for her 2 little ones. It should be remembered that in nature, the mother panda would probably have abandoned her weakest baby.
Mother and young are not visible to the public, only via screens in the ZooParc. The babies are still far too fragile to go out into the outdoor enclosure. We will have to wait a few months.
With so much pandamonium happening at Zoo De Beauval (two baby Pandas were born there last night!) we thought it was a good time to turn up the cute even more. Here’s a short video of the first year of Panda Cub Yuan Meng’s life. Born in August of 2017, this cub was France’s first ever baby Panda!
The long-awaited happy event at ZooParc de Beauval has finally arrived!
After long hours of waiting, female Panda Huan Huan, gave birth to twins on Monday, August 2.
The first was born at 1:03am, the second at 1:10am. They are very bright, pink and plump.
The first weighs 149 g. The second weighs 129 g. Everything happened very quickly: the birth took place about thirty minutes Huan Huan’s water broke. Huan Huan is taking great care of her cubs. She took them in her mouth to lick them and clean them. Little cries could be heard! After 8 hours of labor for Huan Huan, the ZooParc team erupted with joy at the sight of these little bears.
This double birth is the happy outcome of a gestation that began last March, following the contact between Yuan Zi and Huan Huan followed by artificial insemination carried out by animal reproduction specialists from Leibniz-IZW Thomas Hildebrandt and Frank Goeritz and by Jella Wauters, Belgian veterinarian from Ghent University and Leibniz-IZW.
At 5 p.m., installed in her farrowing lodge, Huan Huan began going into labor. Then begins the setting up of teams to ensure the best calving conditions for the female. In a corridor, in front of the lodge, the two Chinese carers constantly watch over her and scrutinize her every gesture and attitude. They speak Chinese to her, and gently encourage her. Mao Min took care of Huan Huan and Yuan Zi when they were 6 months old. Both carefully note all observations on a statement. At the same time, they check all the equipment and incubators that will accommodate the little ones.
The veterinarians, Baptiste M and Antoine L, are also at the bedside of Huan Huan to analyze the progress of the labor. They interpret signs and changes in posture. Some healers from the panda sector and an ethologist are also present to note in real time all the attitudes: back against the wall, rolling in a ball, putting on the back ... In the screening room, concentration and tension are palpable as the birth approaches. All eyes are on the monitors. Calm is felt. Only whispers break the silence.
“Everyone is focused and knows exactly what to do. You don't always need to talk to understand each other between caretakers and veterinarians,” declares Delphine Delord, associate director of ZooParc de Beauval, at peace knowing birth can mean waiting long hours.
But suddenly, Huan Huan's behavior changes. The first contractions appear. They intensify over the hours. The female remains in a seated position most of the time with her head between her paws. The hours pass then, suddenly, the the first baby is born takes place!
Huan Huan reacts very quickly and immediately takes care of her first baby. Her gestures are sure.
“More experienced than 4 years ago, she knows how to go about it, she protects him. Moreover, we see that she does not want to let go,” rejoices Rodolphe Delord, very moved by this double birth. Then after a few minutes, the second is also born very quickly, so much so that it is difficult to see it on the screens.
How many does Huan Huan have in her mouth?!
Finally, the doubt is quickly removed: Huan Huan has 2 babies!
A round of applause then arose.
“We have just experienced a moment of rare intensity. These births are still exceptional, but they also have their share of surprises! We rejoice in the liveliness of babies, felt from their first moments. These births are also the fruit of the efforts of all our teams, who do their utmost to provide the animals with maximum welfare,” explains Delphine Delord, associate director of the Zooparc de Beauval.
Now the night is well under way. A few cries of nocturnal animals can be heard in the distance. It is now time to let Huan Huan rest and let the little ones experience their first moments… under the watchful eye of the teams.
ZooParc de Beauval announced that Sheila, one of its three female Gorillas, gave birth to a baby on October 27 in full view of zoo visitors. The infant is the first Great Ape born in France this year.
Photo Credit: ZooParc de Beauval
So far, the baby and Sheila appear to be doing well. The infant’s gender has not been confirmed, although the staff suspects it is a male. For now, the care team feels no need to intervene or interrupt the bonding process between mother and baby.
Though the baby is nursing and Sheila is exhibiting appropriate maternal behavior, the staff remains cautious because, as with all babies, the first few days are always precarious.
The baby’s arrival created great interest among the other members of the Gorilla troop, who often gather around Shelia and her new baby. The baby’s father is Asato, the troop's large male silverback.
Western Lowland Gorillas are classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Threats include Gorillas being illegally hunted for bushmeat and the prevalence of infectious diseases such as the Ebola virus. Past Ebola outbreaks have resulted in a 95% mortality rate in some Gorilla populations. Conservationists estimate that it could take up to 130 years for the Gorilla population to recover completely. The current population is estimated at a few hundred thousand individuals.
Gorillas’ dire scenario in the wild makes the birth of this infant at ZooParc de Beauval even more important to the survival of the species.
Zoo de Beauval is incredibly proud of two little Golden Lion Tamarins that were born on February 3rd. The infants are under the care of experienced mother, Maya, and their father, Maceio.
Dad, Maceio, is a survivor of an incredible incident that occurred at the French zoo in 2015. Organized thieves evaded security cameras and stole seven Golden Lion Tamarins and ten Slivery Marmosets. Unfortunately, the endangered animals were never recovered. According to Zoo de Beauval, Maya was introduced to Maceio after the 2015 incident and the two have parented several offspring.
Photo Credits: Zoo de Beauval
The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), also known as the Golden Marmoset, is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. The species is native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil. It is currently classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, as there are only around 1,000 left in the whole world.
The Golden Lion Tamarin has an omnivorous diet consisting of fruits, flowers, nectar, bird eggs, insects and small vertebrates. The monkey uses fingers to extract prey from crevices, under leaves, and in dense growth; a behavior known as micromanipulation, which is made possible by elongated hands and fingers.
The Golden Lion Tamarin is largely monogamous. In the wild, reproduction is seasonal and depends on rainfall. Mating is at its highest at the end of the rainy season between late March to mid-June. Tamarins have a four-month gestation period. Groups exhibit cooperative rearing of the infants, due to the fact that tamarins commonly give birth to twins and, to a lesser extent, triplets and quadruplets. In their first four weeks, the infants are completely dependent on their mother for nursing and carrying. By week five, the infants spend less time on their mother’s back and begin to explore their surroundings. Young reach their juvenile stage at 17 weeks and will socialize other group members. A tamarin first displays adult behaviors at 14 months of age.
Threats to the Golden Lion Tamarin population in the wild include: illegal logging, poaching, mining, urbanization and infrastructure development and the introduction of alien species. In captivity, the greatest threat to the species is organized crime. According to some experts, a breeding pair can fetch more than $30,000 on the “black market”.
The species was first listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN in 1982. By 1984, the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and the World Wide Fund for Nature, through the Golden Lion Tamarin Association, began a reintroduction programme from 140 zoos worldwide. Despite the success of the project, the IUCN classification was changed to “Critically Endangered” in 1996. By 2003 the successful establishment of a new population at União Biological Reserve enabled the classification of the species, once again, to “Endangered”. The IUCN warns that extreme habitat fragmentation from deforestation means the wild population has little potential for any further expansion.
Visitors to Zoo de Beauval have been enamored of a six-week-old West Indian Manatee, named Kali’na. The calf was born October 28 to her six-year-old mother, Lolita.
First-time mom, Lolita, originally gave birth to twin females. Typically, a Manatee calf will weigh around 20 kg at birth. Lolita’s calves weighed-in at 10 and 15 kg. Although veterinarians and keepers worked to save the smaller of the two females, she did not survive the first day.
Since that time, the remaining twin has been meticulously cared for by Lolita and keepers say they are both doing very well. Keepers named the new calf Kali’na in reference to a tribe native to Guyana.
Photo Credits: Zoo de Beauval
The West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), or "Sea Cow", is the largest surviving member of the aquatic mammal order Sirenia (which also includes the Dugong and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow). As its name implies, the West Indian manatee lives in the West Indies, or Caribbean, generally in shallow coastal areas.
The gestation period for a Manatee is 12 to 14 months. Normally, one calf is born, although on rare occasions two have been recorded. The young are born with molars, allowing them to consume sea grass within the first three weeks of birth. The family unit consists of mother and calf, which remain together for up to two years. Males contribute no parental care to the calf.
The West Indian Manatee was placed on the Endangered Species List in the 1970s, when there were only several hundred left. The species has been of great conservation concern to federal, state, private, and nonprofit organizations to protect these species from natural and human-induced threats like collisions with boats. On March 30, 2017, the United States Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, announced the federal reclassification of the Manatee from “endangered” to “threatened”, as the number of Sea Cows had increased to over 6,000. On a global scale, the species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Zoo de Beauval is pleased to announce the birth of a male Brazilian Tapir. The handsome three-week-old has been named Diego.
Attentive mother, Chiquita, has been protectively caring for her sweet, striped son. The new family, including dad Farrusco, is at home in the Zoo’s South American exhibit.
Photo Credits: Zoo de Beauval
The South American or Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is one of five species in the Tapir family, including: the Mountain Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, the Baird's Tapir, and the Kabomani Tapir.
They are excellent swimmers and divers, but they can also move quickly on land and rugged, mountainous terrain. They have a life span of approximately 25 to 30 years. When frightened, they are known to run toward water to take cover.
Brazilian Tapirs are herbivores. Using their nose, they can feed on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches torn from trees, fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants.
They generally mate in late Spring through early Summer. Females go through a gestation period of 13 months (390–395 days) and will typically have one offspring every two years. Newborns weigh about 15 pounds and are weaned at about six months of age.
The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Dwindling numbers are due to poaching for meat and hide, as well as habitat destruction. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service designated the species as “Endangered” on June 2, 1970.
A White Rhino calf was born December 3 at Zoo de Beauval, in France. The young male was born to mom, Satara, and dad, Smoske, and has been given the name Hawii.
Hawii recently took his first steps onto his family’s African Savannah exhibit at the Zoo.
Photo Credits: Zoo de Beauval
The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), also known as the “Square-lipped Rhinoceros”, is the largest extant species of rhinoceros. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species.
The White Rhinoceros is considered to consist of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhinoceros, with an estimated 20,000 wild-living animals as of 2015, and the much rarer Northern White Rhinoceros. The northern subspecies has very few remaining, with only three confirmed individuals left (two females and one male), all in captivity.
White Rhinos are found in grassland and savannah habitat. Herbivore grazers that eat grass, preferring the shortest grains, they are one of the largest pure grazers. They drink twice a day, if water is available. If conditions are dry it can live four or five days without water. Like all species of rhinoceros, White Rhinos love wallowing in mud holes to cool down.
The White Rhinoceros is quick and agile and can run 50 km/h (31 mph), and they prefer to live in “crashes” or herds of up to 14 animals (usually mostly female).
Breeding pairs stay together between 5–20 days before they part their separate ways. Gestation occurs around 16–18 months. A single calf is born and usually weighs between 40 and 65 kg (88 and 143 lb). Calves are unsteady for their first two to three days of life. Weaning starts at about two months, but the calf may continue suckling for over 12 months. The birth interval for the white rhino is between two and three years. Before giving birth, the mother will chase off her current calf. White Rhinos can live to be up to 40–50 years old.
Adult White Rhinos have no natural predators (other than humans) due to their size. Young rhinos are rarely attacked or preyed upon due to the mother's presence and their tough skin.
The White Rhino is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN: “The reason for rating this species as Near Threatened and not Least Concern is due to the continued and increased poaching threat and increasing illegal demand for horn, increased involvement of organized international criminal syndicates in rhino poaching (as determined from increased poaching levels, intelligence gathering by wildlife investigators, increased black market prices and apparently new non-traditional medicinal uses of rhino horn)…One of the main threats to the population is illegal hunting (poaching) for the international rhino horn trade. Rhino horn has two main uses: traditional use in Chinese medicine, and ornamental use (for example, rhino horn is a highly prized material for making ornately carved handles for ceremonial daggers (jambiyas) worn in some Middle East countries).”
There are two boys, two girls, and …they are two-months-old! Meet the Lion cubs of ZooParc de Beauval, in France.
The healthy cubs were born at the Zoo and have been given the names: Virunga, Atlas, Lawaya, and Tswanga.
The quad of siblings are still too young for the outdoor exhibit. For now, they are sticking close to mom and can be seen through the windows of the Zoo’s Lion House.
Photo Credits: Zoo de Beauval / Image 5-"Proud Parents" by Bernadette Cumant
The Lion (Panthera leo) is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. The commonly used term African Lion collectively denotes the several subspecies found in Africa.
Lions do not mate at any specific time of year. The lioness has a gestation period of around 110 days, and generally gives birth to a litter of one to four cubs. Cubs are born blind, and their eyes open about a week after birth.
Usually, the mother does not integrate herself, or her cubs, back into the pride until the offspring are six to eight weeks old. Weaning generally occurs after six to seven months.