ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Baby Camel Born at Whipsnade Zoo 

A fluffy camel calf has been born at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, for the first time in eight years. 

The baby, named Sally, was born to 12-year-old mum Izzy and four-year-old dad Oakley, in the early hours of April 11, after a 13-month pregnancy.  

Whipsnade Camel keeper George Spooner said: “Despite their reputation for being grumpy, camels are actually very patient, nurturing parents and it’s been great for us to see first-time mum Izzy attentively caring for her newborn daughter." 

Domestic-Bactrian-camel-calf-Sally-at-Whipsnade-Zoo-(c)-Whipsnade-Zoo

Continue reading "Baby Camel Born at Whipsnade Zoo " »


Zookeepers Fawn Over Tiny Deer

Zookeepers at Whipsnade Zoo hand rear baby ‘vampire’ deer before they move to London Zoo next month 

Four three-week-old ‘vampire’ deer who measured just 12cm at birth, are being hand-reared by zookeepers at the UK’s largest conservation zoo – protecting an important population of the Vulnerable species.  

Known as vampire deer due to their set of sharp ‘fangs’, the tiny Chinese water deer weighed just over 400g when they were born - the same as a can of soft drink - and are being cared for by zookeepers around the clock to protect them from passing predators.  

Chinese water deer fawns being hand reared by Zookeepers at Whipsnade Zoo 3 (c) Whipsnade Zoo

Continue reading "Zookeepers Fawn Over Tiny Deer" »


Two Dads Raise Flamingo Chick At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo  

A baby flamingo is being successfully raised by two fathers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, after its biological parents vacated their nest. 

Zookeepers at the UK’s largest Zoo initially placed the lone American flamingo egg (Phoenicopterus ruber) in an incubator to increase its chance of survival but were keen to find ‘adopted parents’ for the egg before it hatched.  

Flamingo chick at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo cZSL (1)

Continue reading "Two Dads Raise Flamingo Chick At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo  " »


A Mega Meal For A Mighty Mum

Mother’s Day came early for Southern white rhinoceros Tuli, after zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo prepared a heart-shaped, breakfast banquet for her and her calf, Nandi. 
 
The rhino mum and her seven-month-old calf were treated to a feast of their favourite hay and pellets, arranged in the shape of a heart, for Mother’s Day. 

Nandi and Tuli at Whipsnade Zoo March 2022 c ZSL (5)

LOTS MORE PHOTOS BELOW THE FOLD!

Continue reading "A Mega Meal For A Mighty Mum" »


First Big Adventure For A Little Giraffe 

A giraffe calf takes her first steps outside as UK families head back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for the first time in months

A giraffe calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has taken her first steps outside, just in time to greet visitors returning to the UK’s largest Zoo after it re-opened last week. 

While many people in the UK left their homes for their first family days-out of 2021, four-month-old reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) Margaret had her own first adventure outdoors last week. 

A-Margaret-the-giraffe-calf-takes-first-steps-outside-at-ZSL-Whipsnade-Zoo-c-ZSL

Born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on 8 December at the same time as the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination was being administered – the reticulated giraffe calf was named Margaret by keepers, after the first recipient Margaret Keenan. Until last week, the baby giraffe has stayed inside the warmth and familiarity of the Zoo’s giraffe house with mum Luna and their close-knit family.  

B-Margaret-the-giraffe-calf-takes-first-steps-outside-at-ZSL-Whipsnade-Zoo-c-ZSL

Last week, however, the young giraffe was filmed by zoo staff venturing outdoors for the first time and exploring the herd’s spacious enclosure at the 600-acre Zoo. In the footage, Margaret can be seen tentatively following her mother and other members of the herd past a lake, before striding off to explore her environment alone, ‘checking in’ with mum Luna from time-to-time. 

C-Margaret-the-giraffe-calf-takes-first-steps-outside-at-ZSL-Whipsnade-Zoo-c-ZSL

Team leader Mark Holden said: “Once again, Margaret seems to be capturing the mood of the nation. First, she was born – a huge boost for the population of her Endangered species - on the same day that the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered, and now, here she is, taking her first steps outside just as the rest of the UK is venturing back out on family adventures, like coming here to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. 

“With 600 acres to explore, we are the perfect place for anyone looking to blow off the cobwebs of lockdown and head into the countryside, where Margaret and the world’s most incredible animals wait to be discovered.”  

Families and animal lovers can book tickets for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at www.zsl.org  


Amur Tiger Cubs Hit the Ground Running

1_38823927_2196282313721160_772298393279004672_o

Four endangered Amur Tiger cubs at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have finally taken their first steps outside.

The cubs, born June 23, were finally snapped stepping out as a family after mum, Naya, spent several days carrying them around in her mouth, one-by-one, to help them discover their surroundings. (ZooBorns shared photos of their first outing in a July feature: “Amur Tiger Mum Takes Cubs for First Outing”)

Team leader, Donovan Glyn, said, “Seeing all four of these endangered tiger cubs out and about, playing in the grass together, is the perfect way for us to begin the summer here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. They are just as energetic and playful as one-month-old kittens would be, and we can’t wait to watch them learn and grow under their mum and dad’s watchful eyes over the next few months.”

“Naya has been such a patient, dedicated mum, picking up each cub in her mouth, and giving them little one-on-one tours of the enclosure, to help them get to know their surroundings and build their confidence.”

2_Mum Naya and her cubs (5)

3_Mum Naya and her cubs (2)

4_Mum Naya and her cubs (4)Photo Credits: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The cubs were born only 121 days after seven-year-old tigress, Naya, arrived at the UK’s largest Zoo and was introduced to male mate, Botzman, as part of the European Endangered Species breeding Programme (EEP) which works with zoos across the continent.

Donovan Glyn continued, “There are only 500 Amur Tigers left in the wild, so we are delighted to have four incredible little Amur cubs here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. It’s great news for the breeding programme, and we know our visitors will be thrilled to see them for themselves and learn more about the importance of protecting endangered species like these.”

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Thanks to the conservation efforts of organisations like ZSL (Zoological Society of London), which works with Amur Tigers in the Russian Far East, there are now an estimated 500 Amur Tigers left in the wild, ten times the number that were estimated to exist in the 1940s.

More pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Amur Tiger Cubs Hit the Ground Running" »


Amur Tiger Mum Takes Cubs for First Outing

37065375_2152168148132577_5344059770112311296_o

Four endangered Amur Tiger cubs, born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on June 23, were recently seen being taken for a first look at the world by mother, Naya.

The as-yet unsexed cubs were born to their seven year-old mum after 108 days of pregnancy and only 121 days (four months) after Naya “met” the dad, Botzman.

Naya and one of her cubs outside

Tiger cub outside the den at ZSL Whipsnade ZooPhoto Credits: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Keepers at the UK’s largest Zoo had been anxiously monitoring second-time mum, Naya, using remote camera technology as she gave birth to the first tiger cub at 7.25pm on June 23, and they were then elated to see her give birth to three further cubs over the subsequent five hours.

Team leader, Donovan Glyn, said, “It’s incredible news for us to have endangered Amur Tiger cubs born here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, but to have four of them is just amazing, especially when you consider there are only 500 left in the wild.”

Naya and her cubs have been getting to know each other in a birthing den in the middle of the Zoo’s large tiger enclosure, with mum only venturing away from her babies occasionally to have a drink.

Donovan Glyn continued, “Having cameras in her den is allowing us to keep a close eye on how they’re all getting on 24/7, and it’s also letting us share in the magic of them taking their first steps.”

“Naya is very attentive, cleaning the cubs regularly and letting them suckle whenever they want to. She has also stayed very calm and relaxed throughout, even when dad Botzman went in to see what was going on. He seemed to take one look at the first cub and decide to give them some space!”

Mum Naya and dad Botzman have been getting on extremely well since Naya arrived at the Zoo in February, and the cubs are a success for the European Endangered Species breeding Programme (EEP) which works with zoos across the continent to breed the endangered species.

Amur Tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Thanks to the conservation efforts of organizations like ZSL (Zoological Society of London), which works with Amur Tigers in the Russian Far East, there are now an estimated 500 Amur Tigers left in the wild, ten times the number that were estimated to exist in the 1940s.

Zookeepers will also be revealing exclusive footage of the cubs on ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s social media channels over the next few months. Check their website for more info: www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo   


Sea Lion Pups Double the Excitement at UK Zoo

3_Hanno (3)
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s keepers have a couple of exciting new additions to care for, with the arrival of two California Sea Lion pups.

Adventurous male pup, Hanno, was born to first-time mum, Lara, on June 10. Laid-back male, Oakley, was born to second-time mum, Bailey, on June 23.

After giving birth at the UK’s largest Zoo, ten-year-old, Lara, and eleven-year-old, Bailey, have taken to motherhood swimmingly and are already proving to be doting mums to the lively pups.

Team Leader, Tim Savage, is overjoyed at the new arrivals and said, “The first pup was immediately so curious and adventurous, we decided to name him Hanno, after the fifth century oceanic explorer. At night he goes on little missions and explores the sea lion house!”

“Lara’s always been the cheekiest member of the group, but she’s so attentive with Hanno, never letting him out of her sight. Every time Hanno tries to go near the water, she pulls him back. This isn’t Bailey’s first pup, so she’s much more confident and relaxed. She leaves Oakley to snooze while she goes off for a swim.”

Tim continued, “They’ve both had a little splash in the pool, but neither of the pups are strong swimmers yet. Over the next month they will learn to dive, and practice holding their breath, and soon visitors will see them confidently swimming around the pool with their mums, and dad Dominic.”

2_Lara and pup Hanno

1_Hanno (1)

4_Hanno (2)Photo Credits: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (Images 1-4: Hanno /Images 5-8: Oakley)

Covered in fur, the pups will eventually grow to be over two meters long. The new pups are a valuable addition to the colony of California Sea Lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and the European conservation breeding programme for the species.

Originating from the rocky coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, along the west coast of the USA, California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) live in large colonies, led by a dominant male and his harem of female mates.

Tim shared, “After a birth, male Sea Lions guard their harem of females, which means they do not leave to get food. Although Dominic has no competition and plenty of food available to him here, he acts in exactly the same way, fasting for a month and making a lot of noise to show this is his territory! Don’t feel too bad for him though, he prepared for his fast by eating lots before the births!”

Summer visitors to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will be able to see Hanno and Oakley learning to swim alongside the rest of the Sea Lion clan. Visit www.zsl.org to find out more.

5_Bailey and her pup Oakley 2 (3)

6_Bailey and her pup Oakley 2 (2)

7_Oakley

8_Bailey and her pup Oakley