Tulsa Zoo

Tulsa Zoo's Chimpanzee Troop Grows

Jodi_InfantThirteen 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.

IMG_0956Photo Credits:  Erica Holeman (1), Maureen O'Leary (2,3,4)

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.  

Malayan Tiger Cubs Bonding with Mom at Tulsa Zoo

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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.

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Malayan tiger cub_Tulsa_2Photo 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 Malayan Tiger cubs’ birth, at the Tulsa Zoo, was in conjunction with the Species Survival Plan(SSP), which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos across the nation.

Tulsa Zoo Celebrates its Third Jaguar Cub Birth

Jaguar Cub

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.

Jaguar Cub 2

Jaguar cub 2 - Cam

Jags 2 - CamPhoto 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.

Aldabra Giant Tortoises Start Out Small

2 tortoise (Sarah Floyd)

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.

5 tortoise (Sarah Floyd)


4 tortoise (Aaron Goodwin)

1 tortoise (Sarah Floyd)

3 tortoise (Aaron Goodwin)

Photo credits: Tulsa Zoo / Sarah Floyd (1, 2, 4); Aaron Goodwin (3, 5)

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. 

Tulsa Zoo Welcomes a Snow Leopard Cub

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The Tulsa Zoo welcomed little Niko, an endangered Snow Leopard cub, born on May 10 to 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.

Cub nurse

Cub laugh
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.

Story and photos continue, after the fold:

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Dumai The Baby Tiger Is About To Make A New Friend


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.

Tulsa Zoo Debuts Tiny Cubs

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.

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Photo Credits: Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World