Edinburgh Zoo

Musk-Ox Calf is a First for Highland Wildlife Park

72x7xdSZU2iDtG7MzWVYWwo3a_NiYaE6xmnDzVQJdWg

Highland Wildlife Park’s female Musk-ox, Karin, has given birth to the Zoo's first ever Musk-ox calf. Born on Wednesday, May 15th, little Belle has spent her first few weeks of life off-show with mom, but has now started to venture out into her outdoor enclosure.

Belle’s mother Karin was born in the Czech Republic in 2002 and came to the Park only 18 months ago in January 2012. Three-year-old father Myse arrived a few months later in May.

72x7xdSZU2iDtG7MzWVYWwo3a_NiYaE6xmnDzVQJdWg

MSwyAYGtb6S_esDEkSJlmNgQ3A3B_1XyiTJBfJCyZUI

CUq3qA5sSbhAcU5oPB7TL9356-S1ONSfSPVdwOaZdAs
Photo credits: Alex Riddell

Belle is not only a little cutie, but this hooved newbie is also a significant step in the Musk-ox breeding program– she is the first Musk-ox to be born in the UK in 17 years, an important achievement for the Zoo’s expert animal husbandry team. 

Musk-oxen have an extremely thick coat which consists of two parts: long course outer hairs and a soft dense undercoat called qiviut (pronounced kiv-ee-ut). Qiviut wool is highly prized for its softness, length, and insulation; it is considered to be one of the lightest and warmest wools in the world.


Three New Wallaby Joeys Play Peek-a-boo at Edinburgh Zoo

Wallaby head 1

New babies have Edinburgh Zoo jumping for joy, as the three bouncing bundles have been welcomed into the Swamp Wallaby enclosure. Whitson Woods, home to the Zoo’s group of Swamp Wallabies, is hopping with Wallaby joeys as a trio of new moms – Darri, Allora and Arinya – welcomed their newborns in July. At just under four months old, the Wallaby youngsters will remain securely snuggled in their moms pouch for a while to come, although a small head or foot can often be spotted peeking out!

These marsupials have a very short gestation period of around 33 days, after which mom gives birth to a tiny, hairless, pink joey. The joey then moves into the pouch where it will develop fully over the next eight months. After that time, the joey will only return to the pouch if it senses danger.

Members of the Kangaroo clan, Swamp Wallabies are natives to Eastern Australia. Wallabies may be slightly smaller than their relatives, but they have the same characteristic long tail which is similar in length to their body. Ideal for balancing, along with large feet and strong hind legs, their tails enable them to hop great distances -- up to ten feet.

Wallaby 2

Wallaby 3

Wallaby 4 meh
Photo Credits: Katie Paton

Lorna Hughes, hoof stock keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “We’ve had great success when it comes to our Swamp Wallabies, and theses newest joeys are really exciting for us. We won’t be able to sex them and name them until they emerge fully.

Hughes added, "It will be great in a few months’ time when these joeys take their first few hops out and about!”


You Otter See These Pups!

Otter_Pups_5_10_12

Edinburgh Zoo's Oriental Small-clawed Otters welcomed five new borns to the raft in July this year - and now the 10 week old pups have started venturing out and about in their enclosure. The quintuplets were born to mum Elena and dad Ray - their third litter since arriving at the Zoo, making them experts when it comes to rearing pups. The youngsters have only recently started to explore their new surroundings under the watchful eyes of their older sisters, Eliza and Aisha, and of course their protective parents. Keepers have sexed the 10 week olds as three females and two males, who have yet to be named.

Otter_Pups3_5_10_12

Otter_Pups7_5_10_12

Otter_Pups4_5_10_12
Photo credit: Edinburgh Zoo

Lorna Hughes, hoof stock keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "Asian Short-clawed Otters are the smallest Otter species in the world and the pups are around 10 weeks old now, so they still have a fair bit of growing to do. This species is under threat in the wild, so it really is brilliant news that Elena and Ray have had another litter together.  Their offspring will go on to play an important part in the conservation program."

Continue reading "You Otter See These Pups!" »


Edinburgh Zoo's New Curious and Playful Baby Dwarf Mongoose Trio

Mognoose 2

Edinburgh Zoo’s group of dwarf mongoose grew by three recently, when they welcomed a trio of new babies. Doting dwarf mongoose mom and dad, Elvina and Elmo, are being kept busy with their adventurous offspring. This is their first litter of kits since the pair arrived at the Zoo in January. The newborns are keeping mum and dad on their toes with their antics; the trio have quickly taken to exploring the different tunnels around their enclosure.

These playful and curious characters are incredibly social animals that can live in groups of between two and 20. In the wild dwarf mongoose can be found inhabiting the dry grassland and bush lands of Africa. Small by name and size, they are usually around seven to 11 inches (28 cm) in length and are Africa’s smallest carnivore, as well as the smallest of the mongoose species.

Sharon Hatton, carnivore keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “It’s great news for us that Elvina and Elmo have successfully bred already, after only arriving at the beginning of the year. We were hopeful that they would produce a litter this year, however realistically we thought it would take them a little longer to settle in. It was a bit of a surprise…but a good surprise." 

Mongoose 1

Mongoose side

Mongoose 3
Photo Credit: Katie Paton


Baby Pygmy Hippo Takes Her First Steps Outdoors

Mom and baby

A Baby Pygmy Hippo named Eve was the last birth of 2011 for Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo, with mom Ellen giving birth right on New Year’s Eve. Mom and baby seem to have a really strong bond. An excellent parent, Ellen gave birth to her first calf, another girl called Leishan, in 2009. Eve is a little shy and tends to stick close to her. Just this week something new happened -- the little one started venturing into her outdoor enclosure from the cozy pygmy hippo house, under the protective gaze of her mother.

Baby Eve grows in confidence every day, having tackled swimming lessons from mom just a few days after she was born. Surprisingly, given their love of water, pygmy hippos have to be taught how to swim.Very strong swimmers, Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa, and can often be spotted paddling around and making a splash in their enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. Perfectly adapted to this love of the water, they have muscular valves that close their ears and nostrils when submerged.

Donald Gow, senior primate and hoofstock keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Pygmy hippos are endangered in the wild and numbers are declining, so it’s fantastic that Edinburgh Zoo has such a natural mom like Ellen. She’s got great maternal instincts."

Baby

Bums
Photo Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Read pygmy hippo facts after the jump:

Continue reading "Baby Pygmy Hippo Takes Her First Steps Outdoors" »


Baby Tapir Has Stripes AND Spots!

Baby_tapir 1

A beautiful new baby Malayan Tapir has come into the world - well, she's come to the Edinburgh Zoo!  The baby’s name is Nadira, which means  ‘precious gift’ in Malaysian. She was born on October 3, the fourth baby born to Edinburgh Zoo’s adult tapir pair, mum Sayang and dad Ka.  She's turning heads with her unique look. 

Hoofstock team leader Lorna Hughes said: “We’re really pleased with how both mum and daughter are doing. Sayang is an experienced mum and she’s brilliant, she has been protective and attentive, but still relaxed about everything. Nadira is feeding well and going outside to explore.  We’ve begun to introduce dad Ka for short periods of time so he and Nadira can become more familiar with one another. Ka is good natured male and we don’t expect any problems when we eventually bring the family together for longer stretches of time."

Baby_tapir2.2
Photo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

Continue reading "Baby Tapir Has Stripes AND Spots!" »


Little L'hoest Monkey, Big Personality!

11 1

Visitors to the monkey house at Edinburgh Zoo have been meeting the Zoo’s latest arrival, an inquisitive orange-eye baby L’hoest’s monkey. It's birth has special significance, as the baby’s mum, Tumbili, brought new genetics to Edinburgh from North America.

Animal Team Leader Lorna Hughes said: “Every birth is special, but this one has been really exciting. Tumbili came to Edinburgh from San Diego Zoo about eight months ago, bringing new genetics with her which will strengthen biodiversity here and in zoos throughout Europe.” 

Born on June 26 to mum Tumbili and dad Kizizi, the new arrival is already developing a big personality. “The baby is quite a confident little one. It comes right up to the window to have a look at visitors," Hughes added. "We’ll check to see if it is a boy or girl when it is about three months old, once the baby has started venturing away from mum a bit more. Once we know, we’ll be able to choose a name.”

  L'hoest 3

L'hoest Monkey 2
 Photo Credit: Edinburg Zoo

Continue reading "Little L'hoest Monkey, Big Personality!" »


Tiny Tapir ‘Perfection’ Spotted at Edinburgh Zoo

A new addition to Edinburgh Zoo has been officially announced today (Thursday 27 May). Born just over a month ago on 23 April 2010, the male baby Malayan tapir called Kamal, whose name means ‘perfection’, can now be seen exploring his enclosure under the watchful eye of his mum Sayang.

Tapir-sniff2

RZSS_Mum&Baby_small

RZSS_Kamal_faceOn_small

Tapir-sniff
Photo Credits: RZSS

Continue reading "Tiny Tapir ‘Perfection’ Spotted at Edinburgh Zoo" »


Endangered Baby L’Hoest’s Monkey

Born on April 19, 2010 and now nearly a month old, a new baby L’Hoest’s monkey has gone on exhibit at the Edinburgh Zoo. This birth was part of the European Endangered Programme (EEP), designed to build up a potential rescue population of L’Hoest’s monkeys due to their vulnerable conservation status. This baby brings the count to 32 individuals held at just seven zoo sites across Europe with five monkeys at the Edinburgh Zoo. In the wild, populations are expected to decline by 30% in the next three decades and conservation authorities believe this species faces a high risk of extinction.

L'hoest-baby-2a

L'hoest-baby-3a

L'hoest-monkey-baby-1a
Photo Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Continue reading "Endangered Baby L’Hoest’s Monkey" »