Dublin Zoo

Third Elephant Calf Born at Dublin Zoo

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There is even more good news from Dublin Zoo with the announcement of the arrival of a third Asian Elephant calf! The healthy female calf was born to mother Bernhardine at 11.45 pm on September 17th, weighing in at 68kg (150 lbs).

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DublinZoo_Elephant_4Photo Credits: Patrick Bolger

This is the third elephant calf to be born at Dublin Zoo within a 10 week period. The first calf, Kavi, was born to mother Yasmin on July 17th, followed closely by Ashoka, named after one of India’s greatest emperors, born to mother Anak on August 19th.

Paul O’Donoghue, Assistant Director at Dublin Zoo said, “Our latest arrival is a wonderful addition to our breeding herd of Asian Elephants. It was a very quick and calm birth and Bernhardine’s daughter Asha (7 years old) stayed with her throughout. The calf was standing within ten minutes and has been suckling really well. Bernhardine is the oldest female and the herd’s matriarch. She is an experienced mother, and this is her fourth calf. It is just incredible for us to be announcing the birth of three Asian Elephants in the space of ten weeks.  It is an extraordinary achievement for the animal care team here at Dublin Zoo who is very proud of the expanding herd and of the significance of these births for the future of endangered Asian Elephants”.

The Asian Elephant is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The pre-eminent threats to Asian Elephants today are loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, leading in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants. They are poached for ivory and a variety of other products including meat and leather.

A naming competition will be hosted on Dublin Zoo’s Facebook page, and the Zoo is calling on the public to suggest a name for the latest arrival based on its Asian origins.

More great photos below the fold!

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Dublin Zoo's New Mane Man

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Dublin Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of an Asian Lion cub!  The male cub was born to mother, Zuri, and dad, Kumar, who arrived, last year, to Dublin Zoo from Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands.

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Asian lion cub_Dublin_1Photo Credits: Patrick Bolger

Also know as the Indian Lion, the entire wild population of the Asian Lion can be found in the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Gujarat, India.  Although, the lion was on the brink of extinction some 40 years ago, with wild population estimates at less than 200 individuals, the Asian Lion remains on the endangered list.  There are only estimated to be between 300 and 400 individuals in India. The birth of this Asian Lion cub is very significant for Dublin Zoo and the international breeding programme for this critically endangered species. 

According to the animal care team at Dublin Zoo, the lion cub is bonding well with his parents, first time mum Zuri and experienced dad Kumar.

Team leader Ciaran McMahon said, “We're thrilled about the arrival of the cub. He has a wonderfully playful and curious personality. It's lovely to see Zuri taking to her role as a new mum so well, and Kumar is as cool and calm as ever. At two months old, he now weighs an estimated 6.6kg (14.5 lbs).”

McMahon also said, “In the past, Dublin Zoo was very successful breeding African Lions. It is now of great conservation importance for zoos to maintain a viable population of critically endangered Asian Lions.”

See more photos below the fold.

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Rothschild Giraffe Calf Bonds with Mom at Dublin Zoo

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Dublin Zoo in Ireland is celebrating the birth of a male Rothschild Giraffe, born on May 7. The yet unnamed calf stands tall at five feet seven inches (1.7 m) and weighs an estimated 150 pounds (70 kg). He was born to experienced parents Maeve and Robin, and joins a herd of eight giraffes at Dublin Zoo. 

The successful birth of this calf is wonderful news as the Rothschild Giraffe is one of the most threatened subspecies of giraffe. 

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With only a few hundred left in the wild, Rothschild Giraffes (also known as the Baringo Giraffe or the Ugandan Giraffe) are close to meeting the International Union for Conservation of Nature's threshold as Critically Endangered. According the to The Rothschild's Giraffe Project, fewer than 670 individuals remain in the the wild today, in 13 small populations in Uganda and Kenya. They are threatened by poaching and habitat loss. 

Rothschild Giraffes can be identified by their slightly jagged and more lightly colored spot pattern, and by their light, unmarked legs below the knees. 

See more photos after the fold.

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Help Name Dublin Zoo's Red Panda Twins!

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Dublin Zoo's twin Red Panda cubs, born on July 14, are just starting to venture outside of their den at thee months old. The thriving cubs have a very strong bond with their parents, Angelina and Chota. The twins, one male and one female, weighed approximately .3 pounds (150 grams) at birth, but are growing steadily.

Team Leader Eddie O’Brien says, “Red pandas are endangered in the wild so we are over the moon that this is the third litter born to Angelina and Chota. The cubs are both doing very well and getting more adventurous and confident.”

Dublin Zoo is hosting a naming contest for the pair on their FaceBook page. They are looking for names that celebrate the Red Panda's Asian origin. To submit your ideas, just post a comment here

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6 red pandaPhoto credits: Patrick Bolger / Dublin Zoo

Red Pandas are not closely related to Giant Pandas; rather, they belong in their own unique group that is more closely related to weasels. They are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Fully grown, they are slightly larger than domestic cats. Red Pandas spend most of their time in trees, eating a variety of fruits, leaves and eggs. Their long bushy tails are excellent for balance, and also serve as a cozy wrap-around scarf for the Red Panda in cold weather. They also have fur on the soles of their feet to prevent them from slipping on wet branches. 

Although protected throughout most of their range, Red Pandas are threatened by poaching and habitat loss. They have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Species; it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 adult Red Pandas.


Dublin Zoo Celebrates the Birth of Two White Crowned Mangabeys

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There's a lot of excitement at the Dublin Zoo's primate department. Two White Crowned Mangabeys were born just two weeks apart, one male and one female.  On April 5, expectant mother Malull gave birth to a male who the keepers named Jomoro, after the western region of Ghana, home to a majority of the world’s population of this rare species. Ten days later, mother Mangabey Monifa gave birth to a female who the keepers named Awiane, the capital of the Jomoro district. The half brother and sister were both sired by the dominant male Danzo.

White Crowned Mangabeys are Endangered in the wild and their numbers are rapidly declining. Dublin Zoo is one of twelve zoos in Europe participating in a breeding program and has a very successful breeding record.

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Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains exhibit says, “We’re delighted with the arrival of two Mangabeys, which brings the Dublin Zoo troop of these elegant monkeys up to eight. Jomoro and Awiane are thriving and get on very well as brother and sister. It’s a joy to watch them being playful together.

The new arrivals can be seen out and about with their family in the African Plains today.

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Help Name Dublin Zoo's Brazilian Tapir Calf

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Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a Brazilian Tapir! The male calf, born on July 1 to mom Rio and dad Marmaduke, is the breeding pair’s second calf. He has an older brother, Marmaduke Junior or "MJ", who was born at Dublin Zoo in June 2012. Dublin Zoo is inviting people to suggest names for the male Tapir calf based on his Brazilian origin. You can submit your suggestions through the zoo's Facebook page

“We are delighted with the birth of the Tapir calf," says team leader Eddie O’Brien. "He is already getting on really well with his older brother MJ, who is very protective of him. The calf was up and about quickly after he was born; he is already more adventurous than his older brother was at his age!”

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Photo Credits: Dublin Zoo

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Romping Rhino Calf Arrives at Dublin Zoo

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Dublin Zoo is celebrating one of its most exciting arrivals of 2013: a male Southern White Rhinoceros calf. The calf, who is yet to be named, was born to mother Ashanti on April 26 and weighs approximately 110 pounds (50 kg). 

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Photo Credit:  Dublin Zoo

The newborn is Ashanti’s third calf and is another significant success for the European Endangered Species Programme established to assist the survival of the near threatened Southern White Rhinoceros.

Scientists estimate that only 20,000 Southern White Rhinos exist in the wilds of South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.  They have been reintroduced into some areas where they had been eliminated.  The most significant threat to Rhinos is poaching:  Rhinos are killed for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine.

See more photos of the Dublin Zoo's Rhino calf below the fold.

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Deja Vu at Dublin Zoo: Red Panda Cubs Again!

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Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of two Red Panda cubs.  The twins were born in June, however before this week they only ventured out of their den at night. Both female cubs were born to parents Angelina and Chota, who gave birth to another set of twins this time last year.  Team Leader Eddie O’Brien said, “Red pandas are endangered in the wild so we are over the moon that this is the second litter born at Dublin Zoo within a year. They are both doing very well and getting more adventurous and confident as they can be seen exploring their habitat during the day now.”

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Photo credit: Dublin Zoo


Get the First Look at Dublin Zoo's Baby Meerkat Duo!

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Dublin Zoo has announced the arrival of two Meerkat pups to their family of four adults. Although the pups were born in July, visitors are only now getting their first glimpse of them, as mom and dad kept the pups hidden in burrows during the early stages of their lives. Throughout this period, their parents and two aunts kept watch over those secret passages, calling out and warning each other if there were any signs of danger or predators nearby. This is typical of Meerkats who demonstrate altruistic behavior within their colonies, where one or more Meerkats stand guard to warn others of approaching dangers.

Eddie O’Brien, team leader, said, “We are delighted with the arrival of the pups. It has been some time since Meerkats were born at the Zoo, so these are a welcome additions. We think the youngsters are female." Both pups are doing very well. They are still feeding from their mother but recently have also started eating solids.

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Meerkats are small mammals belonging to the mongoose family. They are found in various parts of southern Africa including the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, the Namib Desert in Namibia, southwestern Angola and South Africa. Primarily insectivores, they can also eat eat lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, eggs, small mammals, millipedes, centipedes and, more rarely, small birds. 

Visitors can see the Meerkat pups in the Meerkat Restaurant at Dublin Zoo.

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Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo


Dublin Zoo's New Baby Rothschild Giraffe a "Sweet One"

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Dublin Zoo announced that its newest arrival, a rare female Rothschild Giraffe, has officially been named Tamu! The name means ‘sweet one’ in Swahili, and was submitted to the zoo by Grainne Byrne of Summerhill, County Meath.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said,Tamu is doing very well standing tall at six feet with a pale tan coat which makes her easily recognisable among the herd. She is an extremely well adjusted and relaxed calf, following the herd wherever they wander. We received an overwhelming number of superb suggestions and picking the winning entry was not easy. We chose the name Tamu as it fits her personality perfectly!”

The Rothschild Giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species. Rothschild males grow to 19.5 feet (six meters) in height and can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds (2000kg)! Their coat is a distinct mix of dark patches that are broken up by bright cream channels. Fewer than 700 now live in the wild.

Live footage of the giraffe herd can be seen anytime on Dublin Zoo’s African Savanna webcam.

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Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo