Edinburgh Zoo

“¡Qué Rica!”, Edinburgh Zoo Introduces Baby Armadillo

14_8_28_Armadillo_Baby_2_JP

Edinburgh Zoo is proud to introduce, Rica, a baby Southern Three-Banded Armadillo!  She was born to mother, Rio, and father, Rodar, on August 24th.  

14_8_28_Armadillo_Baby_1_JP

14_9_1_Armadillo_Baby_3_JP

14_9_4_Armadillo_Baby_6_JPPhoto Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Although, Rica was a mere 81 grams (less than 3 oz) at birth, and was around the size of a golf ball, she has already quadrupled in weight during the first month of life.

Both parents arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in March 2014.  Given the short length of time the two have been at the Zoo, it is an amazing achievement and testament to the specialist skills of their keepers, that both Rio and Rodar felt comfortable enough to make a family in their new home.

Southern Three-Banded Armadillos are native to South America. They are found in parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. This armadillo and the other member of the genus ‘Tolypeutes’, the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, are the only species of armadillos capable of rolling into a complete ball to defend themselves.  The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing protection from predators.  They are currently classified as ‘Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

See more great pics below the fold!

Continue reading "“¡Qué Rica!”, Edinburgh Zoo Introduces Baby Armadillo " »


Keepers Step in to Hand Rear Little Pudu Fawn

14_6_18_ Southern_Pudu_Scarlet_feeding_JP_3

Scarlet the Pudu fawn at Edinburgh Zoo has been keeping her keepers busy with around the clock bottle feeds.

The newborn Southern Pudu sadly lost her mother at two and a half weeks, but her dedicated keepers stepped in to hand-rear the tiny fawn. Hoofstock keeper,Liah Etemad, said: “Sadly Scarlet lost her mother at a really young age after birth exasperated an underlying untreatable condition. It was touch and go for a while for the fawn as she was being mother reared, but her keeper’s have worked around the clock to nourish and nurture the little fawn and she is doing so well now.

14_6_18_ Southern_Pudu_Scarlet_JP_2

14_6_18_ Southern_Pudu_Scarlet_Normski_JP_2

14_6_18_ Southern_Pudu_Scarlet_feeding_JP_5

 

“Scarlet started on seven to eight bottled feeds of milk each day, getting her first feed early in the morning, throughout the day and then into the early hours. She is steadily gaining weight each day. During the first week after mum died she was cared for solely by her keepers, but then at four weeks she was reintroduced to her dad Normski. We were all delighted how well it went and the two were soon cuddled up together in the evenings and he maintains a watchful eye over her during the day. The fact she and her father have bonded so well means that he is teaching her natural Pudu behaviour."

“It has taken a lot of time and commitment from keepers, and at seven weeks old we are still giving her a small number of bottles during the day, but we could not be happier to see little Scarlet thrive. She has done so well that visitors are able to see her with dad at our Pudu enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.”

Southern Pudus are normally found in southern Chile and south-western Argentina and are actually the world’s smallest deer. When fully grown they stand only at 38cm high and weigh around 9 to 15kg. Adults are reddish to dark brown and fawns have spots until they are a few months old. Females tend to give birth to a single fawn weighing around 1kg, which is weaned at around two months. Pudu are classified as a vulnerable species as their numbers have declined due to their primary rainforest habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments.


Koala's Big Adventure at Edinburgh Zoo

1st Birthday in May 2014The only Koala ever born in the United Kingdom ventured outdoors for the very first time this week.

Yooranah is a male Koala joey born at the Edinburgh Zoo to mother Alinga and father Goonaroo in May 2013. In late 2013 he first emerged from the pouch. On his first outdoor adventure, Yooranah scaled the outdoor climbing frame for the first time on his own.  Before this, he needed help from his keepers!  He is one of four Koalas at the zoo.

14_6_17_Koala_Yooranah_Outdoors_JP_3
14_6_17_Koala_Yooranah_Outdoors_JP_8
14_6_17_Koala_Yooranah_Outdoors_JP_1Photo Credit:  Edinburgh Zoo

When the weather is warm, keepers take the Koalas out of their special heated enclosures to spend time in an outdoor amphitheater at the zoo, complete with climbing frames and eucalyptus leaves. This outdoor time is important – the Koalas get their vitamin D from sunlight, and they can also enjoy the sights and sounds of the zoo.

See more photos of Yooranah below.

Continue reading "Koala's Big Adventure at Edinburgh Zoo" »


Pygmy Hippo Calf Learns to Swim at Edinburgh Zoo

1 hippoPhoto credit: Edinburgh Zoo

Congratulations to Ellen and Otto, the latest Pygmy Hippo parents at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland! The calf, a healthy female, was born on October 27.  

The calf has been named Adana by her keepers, which is a West African name meaning ‘her father’s daughter’. For now, the little one is keeping warm indoors with mom. Although she is still a little shy, Adana has just started to venture into the indoor pool.

Lorna Hughes, team leader for primates and hoofstock at Edinburgh Zoo, says, “A very maternal animal, Ellen has proven herself to be a fantastic parent to her offspring. Baby Adana is just over a week old now and is feeding well from mum. Growing in confidence every day, Adana has ventured into the water under the watchful eye of mum. Even though Pygmy Hippos are incredible swimmers, it’s a little known fact the Hippo calves need to be taught how to swim by their mothers."

Native to West Africa, Pygmy Hippos are an Endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, likely with fewer than 3,000 left in the wild. Populations are declining rapidly due to habitat destruction caused by logging, farming and human settlement. Pressures from wars in the Hippos’ native range are another dire threat. Sadly, Pygmy Hippos are also increasingly being threatened by bushmeat hunters. Edinburgh Zoo has successfully been part of the European Breeding Program for this species for many years, with 18 offspring successfully reared at the zoo since the 1970s.

Ellen was born at Edinburgh Zoo in 2005, named after yachtswoman Ellen McArthur, and this is her third female youngster born to dad Otto. Leishan was born in 2009 and Eve on New Year’s Eve in 2011. 

Visitors can see baby Adana in the indoor Hippo house with Ellen, while Otto and big sister Eve are in their outdoor enclosure during the day.


Edinburgh Zoo Welcomes an Endangered African Hunting Dog Puppy

1 hunting dog

On October 23, carnivore keepers at Edinburgh Zoo announced the birth of an African Hunting Dog—a first for the zoo! The announcement coincides with the reopening of the hunting dog walkway, which keepers had closed to visitors in August as they suspected Jet, the pack’s non-dominant female, was pregnant. 

With less than 5,500 African Hunting Dogs left in the wild, the birth of this puppy is an immense achievement for Edinburgh Zoo. Habitat fragmentation is one of the biggest factors in the hunting dogs’ decline, as the packs need a large range in order to remain sustainable. Hunting Dogs are also heavily persecuted by farmers, even though the dogs rarely attack livestock. Education and conservation breeding programs, such as the one Edinburgh Zoo is part of, remain crucial to saving this species from extinction.

3 hunting dog

2 hunting dog

4 hunting dogPhoto credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at Edinburgh Zoo says, “We are all really excited about the arrival of this puppy. Hunting Dogs, like many other pack animals, are very difficult to breed successfully. Although we don’t know its sex yet, this pup is proving to be a real bundle of attitude. It’s very bold for such a young age and we’ve often spotted it tugging along joints of meat that are twice its size. All of the dogs have been seen feeding it and it looks like an established member of the pack."

He continues, “Most first-time mothers can be very nervous, so we decided to close the enclosure to visitors in order to give Jet and her pup the best chance of a successful birth. Hunting dogs have a very intricate social hierarchy and if they feel threatened this can cause the mother to reject her pups.”

In about a week, the puppy will be caught for its first health check and to be sexed. As Hunting Dog puppies are born black and white and only start to get their mottled markings at around two months old, the keepers will only name the feisty little pup once its colors have come through. 

Although Edinburgh Zoo’s pack has two males, Blade and Two Socks, only Blade, the dominant male, will breed with the pack’s females. Usually, the dominant female will be the one to have pups but it is not uncommon for lower-ranking females to also give birth. The zoo’s keepers are confident that this pup will be the first of many for their pack. 

 

 


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" »