Babette the baby Jaguar met her first pumpkin this week – and the event was caught on camera by Tulsa Zoo staff.
Babette has been practicing her big-cat skills (as seen in this recent ZooBorns post) and she put those formidable talents to use attacking two large pumpkins delivered by zoo keepers. The mighty little Jaguar bit, pounced, swatted and successfully subdued the large orange vegetables.
Photo Credit: Aaron Goodwin Video Credit: Beth Wegner Why did zoo keepers give pumpkins to the Jaguars, which eat only meat? The pumpkins served as enrichment for the cats. Zoos provide novel items like new foods, scents, boxes, and “toys” as enrichment to stimulate animals physically and mentally.
As a cub, Babette is naturally curious and energetic. She has become a fan favorite since her birth was announced in September when she was about six weeks old. Born June 29 to female Ixchel, Babette was named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April.
Babette will play an important role in the future of her species by someday breeding with an unrelated male as part of the Species Survival Plan managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Jaguars are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to the loss of rain forest habitat in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
This is the third successful reproduction of this species for the Tulsa Zoo. Jaguar mom, Ixchel, has been consistently attentive and protective. Staff says she never lets her little one out of sight. The pair went on exhibit in October, and Zoo visitors now have a chance to see the lovely mother-daughter duo.
Zoo staff voted to name this new cub in honor of her late father, Bebeto, who was humanely euthanized in April due to age-related complications.
In the wild, Jaguars prefer to stalk and ambush their prey, and Babette currently practices her developing skills in playtime with her mother. As with mothers of all species, this can be a test of patience, and Ixchel endures annoying moments of her daughter awaking her from naptime to play with her tail. Babette also like to ambush mom from inside boxes.
Staff reports that the young Jaguar is also working to perfect another important big cat skill—climbing. According to Keepers, she learned to climb out of the nest box earlier than previous Jaguar cubs in their care, and once she was given access to the exhibit, it took no time at all before she was climbing up into the trees and onto the higher perching.
Despite her dabbling with independence, Babette is still a ‘mommas-girl’ and is taking a bit longer to wean. This includes being a bit particular and picky with the solid food she is given as well.
Photo Credits: Dr. Jen Kilburn/ Tulsa Zoo
The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. The Jaguar is the third-largest feline after the Tiger and the Lion, and the largest in the Americas. The Jaguar's present native range extends from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, across much of Central America, and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
This big cat closely resembles the Leopard physically, although it is usually larger and its behavioral and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger.
Its preferred habitats are usually rainforests, swamps, and wooded regions, but Jaguars will also live in scrublands and deserts.
The Jaguar enjoys swimming, and it is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain (an apex predator).
The Jaguar is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. Although international trade in Jaguars or their parts is prohibited, humans frequently kill the species (by poachers and farmers who view them as pests).
The birth of Babette at the Tulsa Zoo was in conjunction with the Jaguar SSP, or the Species Survival Plan®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos across the nation. There are currently more than 100 Jaguars in North American-accredited AZA zoos, while it is estimated that 10,000 Jaguars currently exist in the wild.
A female Jaguar cub born June 29 at the Tulsa Zoo has been named Babette by zoo staff.
Babette is still behind the scenes in a private den with her mother, Ixchel, where keepers observe the pair via remote cameras to ensure that the cub is nursing and developing properly.
Photo Credit: Jenna Schmidt/Tulsa Zoo
In the wild, Jaguar cubs remain in the den for several months and begin accompanying their mothers out of the den when they are about six months old. So far, Ixchel is proving to be an attentive mother, which is no surprise given that this is her third litter.
Babette is named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April.
Jaguars’ predatory prowess is well known. These big cats have extremely powerful jaws, and typically kill their prey by biting through the skull into the brain.
Despite their formidable physical abilities, Jaguars are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in their native range of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Jaguars prefer tropical rain forests, which are shrinking due to human activity. Experts estimate that only about 10,000 Jaguars remain in the wild.
There are about 100 Jaguars in North American zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The AZA oversees the Species Survival Plan, which manages the Jaguar population for optimum genetic diversity. Babette will be an important part of the breeding program when she reaches adulthood.
Thirteen Chimps have been born at the Tulsa Zoo in the last 65 years, but that doesn’t make the newest baby any less special. A healthy male infant arrived on November 23 and was welcomed by the entire troop.
Mom Jodi was carefully monitored by zoo keepers during her 32-week pregnancy. Her care included routine ultrasounds to make sure the baby was developing normally.
Chimpanzees live in complex social groups, so the new baby is an important addition to Tulsa’s troop. The troop includes the new infant, his mother Jodi, Morris, Hope, Susie, Bernsen, and Vindi. After the first few months of the baby’s life, which will be spent clinging to Jodi, other members of the troop will participate in the baby’s care.
The birth of this baby was recommended by the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is administered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The SSP seeks to maintain genetically healthy populations of zoo-managed species, with an emphasis on animals that are endangered in the wild.
Chimpanzees are native to West Africa and Central Africa, where populations are under pressure from poaching and habitat loss. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Tulsa Zoo is celebrating the birth of three endangered Malayan Tiger cubs. The cubs were born at the Tulsa Zoo on Aug. 8 to mom, Jin, and dad, Gahara. This is the second successful birth for the tiger pair.
Photo Credits: Photo 1, Ali Kalenak; Photo 2 & 3, Tulsa Zoo; Photo 4, Dr. Jen Kilburn
While the three cubs are doing well, unfortunately, one of their siblings did not survive long after it was born. This is not uncommon in a large litter of cubs. Staff continues to observe Jin and the cubs through closed circuit cameras, which allows staff to monitor them at all times without disturbance.
Jin has been a very attentive mother to the cubs, which are continuing to thrive. The new family will remain in an off-exhibit area as they continue to bond. Eventually, when the cubs are strong enough, they will be allowed to explore within the safe confines of the zoo’s current tiger exhibit. The Tulsa Zoo will soon break ground on a new tiger exhibit, which will feature an immersive, naturalistic habitat for the tigers, allowing guests to see these endangered animals up-close.
In 2008, the IUCN Red List classified the Malayan Tiger as “Endangered”. Native to the Malay Peninsula, there are fewer than 500 Malayan Tigers left in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Once considered to be part of the Indochinese Tiger subspecies, the Malayan Tiger was recognized, in 2004, as a new tiger subspecies when genetic analysis found that they were distinct from the Indochinese Tiger.
The Tulsa Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a Jaguar cub, marking the third Jaguar birth at the zoo. This new addition was born on March 26 to mom, Ixchel, and dad, Bebeto. This is the second successful birth for the Jaguar pair, and another important contribution to Jaguar populations.
This birth was in conjunction with the Jaguar SSP, or the Species Survival Plan®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos across the nation. Native to the tropical rainforests of Mexico, Central and South America, Jaguars are considered near threatened due to habitat loss. There are currently more than 100 Jaguars in North American-accredited (AZA) zoos, while it is estimated that 10,000 Jaguars currently exist in the wild.
Photo credits 1 and 2: Dr. Jen Kilburn
While the cub is doing well, its sibling did not survive the birthing process. The cub appeared to be stillborn as animal health staff closely watched the internal monitoring camera.
Staff continues to closely monitor Ixchel and her cub from remote cameras to ensure proper development and nursing. The cub’s first 30 days are critical, so both mom and cub will remain in a private, off-exhibit den in the Tropical American Rainforest.
Nine Aldabra giant tortoises have hatched at Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma! The hatchlings started to pip, or cut through their shells, on February 9. Several of the tortoise hatchlings are on now exhibit at the zoo.
The hatchlings started out weighing a tiny 50 grams each, but they will get much bigger. Aldabra tortoises are the world's second largest tortoise species. The zoo has three adult males and two adult females. The adult male tortoises weigh nearly 400 pounds (181 kg), while the adult female tortoises weigh around 175 pounds (79 kg). Their ages range from 31 to more than 100 years old.
The incubation period for these tortoises lasts from 95 to 120 days. Once the tortoises pip, it can take up to five days to fully emerge from the shell, and usually two to three more days before they are ready to be taken out of the incubator and placed on a substrate on exhibit.
Aldabra tortoises live on the islands of the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles. They are classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
Tulsa Zoo has now successfully hatched 109 Aldabra tortoises since it began its breeding program in 1999. The Tulsa Zoo is the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institution that has an Aldabra tortoise breeding program, and the zoo is one of only two U.S. institutions to currently breed this species. Their first Aldabra tortoise hatchling emerged from its egg in the winter of 1999 and they have continued to collect fertile eggs every two to three years since that time.
The Tulsa Zoo welcomed little Niko, an endangered Snow Leopard cub, born on May 10to mother Sherab and father, Rajan. Niko is being hand-reared behind-the-scenes. At 7 weeks of age, he is thriving, and currently weighs more than 6 lbs (2.72kg). Mother Sherab is doing well and is back on exhibit.
Niko’s birth was in conjunction with the Snow Leopard SSP®, or the Species Survival Plan, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited zoos across the nation. Ranging in mountainous areas of Central Asia from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan, and Russia to northern India and China, there are only 4,000-6,500 Snow Leopards left in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss.
Photo Credit: Dr. Jen Kilburn
While Niko is doing well, his two siblings did not survive the turbulent first weeks. One cub died during the birthing process and the other died just 9 days later due to bacterial sepsis in its blood. Sherab, an experienced mom, provided excellent care for the cubs in the first 24 hours. However, it soon became apparent that due to complications from the birth, Sherab would need to be moved to the zoo’s veterinary hospital and allow the Tulsa Zoo’s expert staff to hand-raise the Endangered cubs.
Dumai, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's Sumatran Tiger cub, is getting a new buddy. Meet Berani, a 5-week-old Malayan male cub scheduled to arrive at Point Defiance this week from Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum. Each was the only cub in a litter and pulled from mom within days of birth because the tiny Tigers were not thriving. Once Berani arrives and is checked out, you will be able to see him in the cub den playing and pouncing with Dumai.
Sumatran Tigers, listed as critically endangered, are the smallest subspecies of Tiger and their fur is a darker orange than that of Malayans. Sumatran Tigers also are the only remaining Tiger subspecies that lives on an island. As few as 300 live in the wild on the Indonesian island.
Photo Credit: Tulsa Zoo and Living Aquarium
Malayan Tigers, a bit bigger, lighter in color and lankier in body conformation, are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia. The Tiger Conservation Campaign estimates that fewer than 500 remain in the wild.
Each of the tigers will reach 275-300 pounds when fully grown. They’ll eventually be placed into zoo-based breeding populations of their respective subspecies to maintain genetic diversity and increase their numbers.
Bringing the Malayan cub to Tacoma is a wonderful example of the cooperative Species Survival Plan work in action. To learn more about the tigers, the Tiger Conservation Campaign and what you can do to help them, visit www.pdza.org.
Born at the end of March, these two little lion cubs are finally ready for public adoration at Oklahoma's Tulsa Zoo. The two cubs were delivered by C-Section and unfortunately their mother, Shatari, did not let them nurse when they were born, so keepers have been functioning as surrogate lion moms for the last few months. The first photo and video are from April, while the additional photos are more recent.