Milwaukee County Zoo

Harbor Seal Pup Born at the Milwaukee County Zoo

It’s a Girl! Harbor Seal Pup Born May 24, 2022 at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Stop by to say hi to Milwaukee County Zoo’s newest addition! A female harbor seal pup was born on May 24 to first-time mom, Cossette and Ringo. The pup was born on land and was swimming after 30 minutes.

Video filmed on May 24, 2022

Video Credit to the Milwaukee County Zoo

Joel Miller

Photo and Video Production Coordinator

Milwaukee County Zoo


Monkey Baby Boom!

The Milwaukee County Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a Japanese macaque. The baby, whose sex is not yet known, was born May 1 to 9-year-old mom, Usagi, and 7-year-old dad, Kota. This marks the first offspring for Usagi and the fourth for Kota. Visitors can see the baby in the Macaque Island habitat. Japanese macaques are also known as snow monkeys, a terrestrial Old World monkey species native to Japan.

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Zoo Marks Third Giraffe Calf in Three Years

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The Milwaukee County Zoo proudly announced details of a Reticulated Giraffe birth on July 13. The new youngster marks the third giraffe calf born at the Zoo in the last three years.

The male was born to mom, Ziggy, and dad, Bahatika (also known as Baha). This is Ziggy and Baha’s third calf together; Tafari was born in 2015, and Kazi was born in 2017. This newest calf has been named Desmond.

Giraffe Baby 07-2019-5203 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

Zoo veterinarians completed Desmond’s first exam, and they recorded an initial weight of about 152 pounds and a height of approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall.

It was reported that the calf got his balance quickly after birth, seemed very strong, and was able to stand up within 55 minutes of birth. Ziggy was also said to be an attentive mother.

Ziggy is 9-years-old, and arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Bahatika is 14-years-old, and arrived at MCZ in 2006 from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado.

The Zoo currently houses seven giraffes: adults Bahatika, Marlee, Ziggy, Rahna; youngsters Kazi and Maya; and the newborn.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, and are typically between 14-19 feet tall and weigh between 1,750-2,800 pounds. Giraffes use their long necks to reach leaves and buds in trees that other herbivores can’t reach.

Of the nine subspecies of giraffes, two are considered endangered: the Reticulated and the Masai.

In the wild, the Reticulated Giraffe population has dropped by 80 percent in the last decade and the Masai Giraffe population has dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last three decades. However, all giraffe populations are declining, with hunting and habitat loss as the major threats. Due to their current status, every giraffe birth is very important for the population.


Milwaukee County Zoo Welcomes Second Red Panda

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The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a female Red Panda cub.

The new cub, named Kiki, was born June 7 to mother, Dr. Erin Curry, and father, Dash. This is the pair’s second cub; she is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps to maintain genetic diversity within Red Panda populations in AZA-accredited zoos. Dr. Erin is a very attentive mother, and Kiki is developing as expected.

Kiki weighed 160 grams two days after birth and, and at a little more than one month old, weighed approximately 906 grams. Her most recent reported weight was 1,192 grams at 46 days old.

3_Red Panda Baby 06-2019-4280 E (3 weeks)Photo Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

Zookeepers comment that Kiki spends most of her time eating and sleeping, and that she’s “adorable.” She is currently developing off exhibit, but should be visible to guests at the Red Panda habitat sometime in September.

Blind for the first 21-to-31 days after birth, cubs are safely hidden in nests for the first 2 to 3 months. The Zoo’s new cub has relied on mom for milk, and will stay with her mother for about one year. Then, she’ll learn important life skills, such as hunting and climbing.

Dr. Erin and Dash had their first cub, Dr. Lily Parkinson, in June 2018. Dr. Lily was the first Red Panda cub born at the Zoo. She was transferred to the Nashville Zoo last spring as recommended by the Red Panda SSP.

Red Pandas are easily identifiable by their reddish-brown color, white face markings and speckling of black around their ears and legs. They begin to get adult coloration at around 50 days old, which acts as a camouflage in their natural surroundings.

In the wild, they live in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching, and trapping. Reliable population numbers are difficult to find due to their secretive nature, but it is estimated that only around 10,000 individuals exist in the wild. Because of this low number, every birth is very important.


New Bactrian Camel at Milwaukee County Zoo

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The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a male Bactrian Camel on June 7. The calf, named Jethro, was born to parents Addie-Jean (better known as A.J.) and Stan.

Mother, A.J., is 7-years-old, and father, Stan, is 6-years-old. This is A.J. and Stan’s second offspring. Their other son, George, was born in 2017.

Camel Baby 06-2019-4403 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

Jethro weighed 85 pounds at birth, which is underweight for a newborn calf. Zookeepers also noticed that the he had trouble nursing due to his lower jaw being longer than his upper. Because of his low weight and inability to adequately feed on his own, zookeepers began providing supplemental bottle feedings for the calf.

However, at 5 weeks old, he was gaining weight and began to have the energy levels for a camel his age. Vets are continuing to carefully monitor the camel’s weight and overall health.

Bactrian Camels (Camelus bactrianus) can grow up to 7 feet tall and weigh up to 1,800 pounds. They have long, wooly coats that range in color from dark brown to beige. Bactrians also have manes and beards of long hair on their necks and throats. They can be distinguished from other species of camels by their two humps—Dromedary camels only have one.

Bactrian Camels are native to central Asia. They migrate with flocks through harsh conditions; including, sparse vegetation, limited water sources, and extreme temperatures. They have several adaptations that allow them to survive in these conditions. For one, their humps allow them to travel long distances without food or water. It is a common misconception that the humps store water; however, they actually store fat, which can be used as energy when nutrients aren’t available. Another adaptation is their two rows of long eyelashes that block their eyes from sand and dust.

They are herbivores and have extremely tough mouths that allow them to eat almost any type of vegetation, even those with thorns. In times of environmental stress, they will eat fish, carcasses, and rope, among others.

Wild Bactrian Camels are considered “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. Their population is expected to decrease by 80 percent in the next three generations because of hunting and predation.


Meet Lily the Red Panda Cub

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The Milwaukee County Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Red Panda cub on June 6. The baby is the first Red Panda cub ever born at the zoo.

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Red Panda Baby 09-2018-6039 EPhoto Credit: Joel Miller/Milwaukee County Zoo

The video shows Dr. Lily's growth during the first few months of life. 

Since her birth, the cub has remained in a secluded nest box with her mother, Dr. Erin. The cub has been named Dr. Lily, in honor of the zoo’s veterinary resident, Dr. Lily Parkinson. It was Dr. Parkinson who first discovered the cub during an ultrasound on Lily’s mother.

Dr. Lily had her first weight check when she was just three days old. At that time, she weighed ¼ pound, or about as much as a banana. Now nearly four months old, Dr. Lily tips the scales at almost seven pounds.

Lily shares her June 6 birthday with her father, 6-year-old Dash.

Dr. Erin is already proving to be a great mother to her firstborn cub. Throughout Dr. Lily’s first year of life, Dr. Erin will teach her how to climb and gather food. So far, Dr. Lily has mainly relied on mom for milk, but is now nibbling on bamboo and tasting other foods.

In the wild, Red Pandas are found in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  due to deforestation, illegal hunting and expanding human settlement. Fewer than 2,500 adult Red Pandas remain in the wild. A high infant mortality rate, especially in the first 30 days of life, makes Lily’s successful birth and rearing important to the survival of this species.

See more photos of Dr.Lily below.

Continue reading "Meet Lily the Red Panda Cub" »


Milwaukee County Zoo Celebrates Red Panda Birth

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The Milwaukee County Zoo recently announced the birth of their first Red Panda cub! The yet unnamed female was born June 6, and she now shares a birthday with her father, Dash.

The cub was born to first time mother, “Dr. Erin Curry” (also known as Dr. E.). Mom is 3-years-old and is originally from the Cincinnati Zoo. First time father, Dash, is 6-years-old and originally from the Granby Zoo in Quebec, Canada.

Because the youngster is still getting acclimated to her new surroundings, animal care staff is allowing her plenty of time to become comfortable and bond with mom before her introduction to visitors. It’s the Zoo’s hope she will make her public debut in the next few weeks.

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Red Panda Baby 08-2018-3438 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

In the wild, Red Pandas live in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching and trapping. With an estimated adult population of less than 2,500 and an approximate mortality rate of 86 percent, every Red Panda birth is very important.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, only interacting during mating season. Youngsters develop at a slow rate, spending the first year or more with mom. Blind for the first 21 to 31 days after birth, the cubs are hidden in nests by their mother for the first two to three months. Mothers then teach the cubs how to climb and hunt.

Red Pandas rely on bamboo for most of their diet, specifically the most tender, young shoots and leaves. But, they are only able to extract one-fourth of the nutrients from the bamboo. They can spend up to 13 hours a day searching for and eating bamboo. During the summer months, they supplement their diet with fruit and insects. Cubs stop nursing around 13 to 22 weeks old.

Adult Red Pandas weigh up to 14 pounds and are around 2 feet-long, but their tails add extra length of up to 18-inches! This new addition weighed 166 grams at 3 days old and could fit in the palms of her keeper’s hands! She is now about 2,538 grams (5 pounds) and keepers say it takes both hands to pick her up.

Red Pandas are easily identifiable by their reddish-brown color, white face markings and speckling of black around their ears and legs. They begin to get this adult coloration around 50 days old, which acts as a camouflage. The fur covering their bodies also covers the pads on their feet. This helps Red Pandas keep the heat in their bodies during the cold winter months.

Zookeepers report that the new cub is doing very well, and first-time mother, Dr. E, is doing a great job raising her first cub. Details of her debut will be coming soon!