Cat

Visitor Captures Cincinnati's Charming Cheetah Cub

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Cincinnati Zoo visitor Spera captured these compelling images while visiting the zoo's nursery in late July. Savannah, the baby Cheetah, born June 22, is seen playing with Dawn Strasser, the Head Nursery Keeper. Savannah is now out of the nursery and is living with the rest of the Cheetahs at Cincinnati's Cheetah Encounter. Currently she is not on exhibit.

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Photo credit: Spera, taken at Cincinnati Zoo

 


Point Defiance Zoo Steps In To Hand-rear Tiny Sumatran Tiger Cub

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Last week, vets and zoological staff at Tacoma, Washington's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium decided to hand-rear it's then 6-day-old Sumatran Tiger cub. The cub appeared to be losing weight and was not getting enough milk from his mother.

“It’s in his best interest so he can receive round-the-clock feedings with special formula,” head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said. Wolf made the decision to move him from the den box in which his mother, Jaya, gave birth and put him in the zoo’s Animal Health Care clinic after she consulted with zoological staff in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.

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Photo credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

About 200 Sumatran tigers live in zoos around the world. They are native only to the island of Sumatra. There are an estimated 300 in the wild.

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Extinct in Israel, Sand Cat Kittens Emerge at Zoo Tel Aviv

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In early August, keepers at Zoo Tel Aviv Ramat-Gan were thrilled to discover that mother cat, Rotem, had given birth to four wriggly little kittens. Initially there was concern that Rotem would be unable to care for so many kittens, but she has proven to be a capable mother for her curious youngsters. Now at three weeks old, the kittens have just begun to emerge from the den to the delight of visitors.

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Specially adapted for desert life, Sand Cats can thrive in some of the world's driest areas beyond, the range of any other feline. Much like the Fennec Fox, Sand Cats sport big furry pads between their toes to dance along the hot sand and oversized ears, which act like radiators to disperse heat.

Despite these unique feline characteristics, the Sand Cat has not been able to outrun the triple threats of habitat destruction, inadvertent trapping by farmers, and predation and disease from domestic animals. Today they are extinct in the wild in Israel and on the decline throughout their native range of deserts in Asia and North Africa.

Mother Sand Cat and Her Pile of KittensPhoto credits: Tibor Jäger


Spotted At Cincinnati Zoo's Nursery: New Cheetah Cub!

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A three-week-old female African Cheetah cub is now on exhibit in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Nursery.  She was born at the zoo’s regional Cheetah breeding facility in Clermont County on June 22, but she had to be moved to the zoo’s Nursery after her mother, Lucy, (this is her first litter) could not provide adequate care. In an effort to get the cub back up to speed, zoo nursery keepers are bottle feeding the cub six times a day, every 2.5 hours.

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Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo

 

To survive, Cheetahs need large tracts of land where they can find enough prey to hunt.  Illegal hunting of the small antelope on which they depend has dramatically diminished Cheetah numbers in the wild.  Local farmers in East and Southern Africa must learn to maintain their livestock and coexist with wild Cheetahs.   Methods including the use of fencing, guard dogs, and donkeys to protect livestock and have helped to conserve the wild prey base and habitat.

The Zoo’s breeding facility is one of only four similar facilities in the United States managed by the Species Survival Plan. In total, there have been 64 cheetah cubs born in Cincinnati.


First Leopard Cubs, Now a Baby Lion For Jacksonville Zoo!

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There is more cause for celebration at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. On the heels of the arrival of two Amur Leopard cubs comes a 3 and one-half pound bundle of joy. A tiny female lion cub was born June 30th to second time mother Tamu and father Mshoni. Mshoni is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' most genetically valuable Lions, making this a significant addition the AZA's population. With so little maternal experience, Tamu is unable to adequately nurse the newborn. Zookeepers and veterinarians have stepped in to supplement the cub's diet with formula bottle feedings and to closely monitor her to ensure her good health. This is first surviving lion birth at Jacksonville Zoo since 1974.

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Photo credit: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens


Scottish Wildcat Kitten Twins Debut

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Meet Merida and Brave, Highland Wildlife Park's 10 week old Scottish Wildcat twins. Born April 8th, the brother and sister pair are quite adventurous, exploring their exhibit, wrestling, and practicing their pounce. The kittens are certainly keeping proud parents, five year old mum Seasaidh and eight year old dad Hamish, busy.

Scottish Wildcats, also known as Highland Tigers, are one of Britain’s rarest animals with as few as 400 thought to be left in the UK, mainly in the Scottish Highlands. These felines at first glance could be mistaken for a feral domestic cat, but have wider heads, distinctive striped coats, and blunt, bushy tails.

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Una Richardson, head keeper at the Highland Wildlife Park, said:

“As there are thought to be less than 400 Scottish Wildcats left in the Highlands, these cats are incredibly rare and endangered so this is a huge milestone for this species and the park. The kittens will play a vital role in the conservation of this historic Scottish species along withincreasing visitor awareness of the problems facing this most iconic Scottish animal.”


Minnesota Welcomes A Tiny Striped Bundle of Joy

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The Minnesota Zoo is hand raising a brand new bundle of joy. On June 17, two endangered Amur Tiger cubs were born to first-time mother Angara and father Molniy after a 105 day gestation period. After observing the mother with her cubs overnight, Zoo officials decided to pull the babies for hand-rearing. Angara wasn't displaying the quality of maternal care required to successfully raise the cubs. During the critical first days under round the clock human care, the smaller of the two cubs passed away. About two thirds of Amur Tiger cubs survive the first 30 days of life.

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Photo credits: Minnesota Zoo

The Amur Tiger’s home range, reputation as a threat to livestock and humans, and value to poachers has led to its population decline. Around 1940, the wild Amur Tiger population in Russia was estimated to be as low as 20 or 30. In 2005, scientists estimated that the population had recovered to 430-500 individuals, but it is thought that wild Amur Tigers have declined since then to about 350. Concerted conservation efforts help protect these remaining endangered Tigers from the persistent threats of poaching and habitat loss.

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It's Winter In Australia, But Spring Is In The Air

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It may be winter in Australia, but Monarto Zoo got a taste of Spring on June 2 when it welcomed its first Cheetah cub in several years. Keepers were surprised by the birth because recent pregnancy tests on mother Nakula came up negative. Anna Bennet, Team Leader of Carnivores, said the cub stayed with Mom until keepers decided it was best to hand raise her.

“Normally it’s very rare for Cheetah to raise a single cub as mum tends to not produce enough milk to feed just one,” Anna said.

“It’s hard to say why this happens, however the recommendations we’ve had from other institutions indicate that a single cub has the best chance of survival if it is hand-raised.

“Most importantly she’s strong, healthy and very cute! Our only problem now is deciding who gets to take care of the little fluff ball as she needs feeding every few hours.”

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Zoos South Australia Head of Life Sciences, Peter Clark, said the little cub will act as an ambassador for its species educating Australians on the plight of Cheetahs in the wild.

“In the last 35 years we’ve lost almost half of the wild Cheetah population. Currently there are approximately 7,500 Cheetah left in the wild whereas in the mid 1970s the population was estimated to be around 15,000,” Peter said.

“The decline is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and the killing and capture of Cheetahs to protect livestock against predation.”

Monarto’s little cub is not yet on public display, however it’s hoped visitors will get the chance to meet her in the not to distant future. Mum Nakula was born at Monarto Zoo in 2003. Dad Jala was born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in 2000 and arrived at Monarto Zoo in 2010.


National Zoo Heralds Its First Fishing Cat Births!

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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is closer to cracking the code for breeding one of Asia’s most elusive species with the birth of two Fishing Cats (Prionailurus viverrinus). Seven-year-old Electra delivered the kittens between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. May 18 in an off-exhibit den. Their birth marks an important milestone: this is the first time fishing cats have successfully bred and produced young at the National Zoo.

Keepers are monitoring the mother and her offspring through a closed-circuit camera, allowing the family time to bond. Although the kittens will not make their public debut until later this summer, Zoo visitors can see their father, two-year-old Lek, on Asia Trail.

“Many months of behavior watch, introductions and research allowed us to get to this point,” said Zoo Director Dennis Kelly. “It’s very rewarding that our efforts have paid off. The future of their wild cousins hangs in the balance, so it’s imperative that we do all we can to ensure their survival.”

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Photo credits: Courtney Janney / Smithsonian's National Zoo

Read the story of this exceptional breeding success and see tons of pictures below the fold!

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