A tiny Endangered pygmy hippo calf has been born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo to visitor favourites Otto and Gloria.
The female calf arrived on Saturday 17 April and staff at the wildlife conservation charity will be keeping a close eye on the family as viewing gradually opens to visitors from today (Monday 3 May).
Jonny Appleyard, hoofstock team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Our new arrival is doing really well and is growing stronger and more confident every day.
“As she is still so young, we are limiting opening hours and numbers in our indoor viewing area to give the calf and mum Gloria some time to get used to visitors. The first 30 days are critical for her development, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them both at this sensitive time and plan to name her in the coming weeks.”
Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa where populations are declining rapidly due to habitat destruction caused by logging, farming and human settlement among other threats. RZSS support for the species includes publishing the first ever genomic study of pygmy hippos through work in the RZSS WildGenes laboratory.
After reopening to local visitors earlier this year, Edinburgh Zoo was able to welcome back people from across the UK and open indoor areas again on 26 April, with a wide range of safety measures in place including restricted numbers and online advance booking required.
Jonny added, “It has been great to be able to welcome our wonderful visitors back to the zoo and hope it won't be long before they can spot our little calf.
“Every visit helps care for our amazing animals, like our pygmy hippos, and protects threatened species in Scotland and across the world.”
On Saturday, April 24, at 5 a.m., the long-awaited birth of a little elephant at the Budapest Zoo occurred. The calf is the third for twenty-something Angele, and the eighth born at Budapest Zoo. Thanks to night vision cameras placed in the “maternity room,” Zoo Budapest was able to capture the moments of birth. These were also closely monitored by the newborn’s brother, three-year-old Arun. Although it seems as if Angele was trying to kick the newborn, this behavior is natural for elephants: this is how they help the little one get out of the placenta. Shortly after his birth, the little one got to his feet well and began to nurse. Although Zoo officials can't measure the calf’s weight exactly, experienced experts estimate it to be around 80 kg.
Visitors to Woodland Park Zoo are oohing and aahing as they catch their first sightings of baby girl gorilla, Zuna (zoo-nah). The 11 week old is now with her mom and family in the public outdoor habitat on a limited schedule: 12:30-3:30 p.m. daily (weather dependent).
Zuna, which means “sweet” in the African language, Lingala (lin-gah-lah), is the second baby for 25-year-old mom Nadiri (naw-DEER-ee) and the first between her and the dad, 21-year-old Kwame (KWA-may).
“We continue to bottle feed Zuna for her nourishment while mom Nadiri provides maternal care. She’s doing an excellent job. Once Zuna’s feedings are reduced, we’ll be able to extend her time outdoors,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo.
The baby gorilla is becoming more active and steadily becoming stronger and more observant. “Zuna’s watching the other gorillas in her family with growing curiosity. Kitoko, our 1-year-old boy, is especially interested in her,” said Ramirez. “Once Zuna becomes more mobile, our zoo visitors are going to be in for a real treat watching these youngsters romp and play. As symbols of hope for their cousins in the wild, our gorillas can inspire our community to care about and take action on behalf of these gentle giants and other wildlife.”
The other members of Zuna’s family are: Nadiri’s 5-year-old daughter, Yola, Akenji and Uzumma, the mom of Kitoko.
Stay tuned to updates and milestones by visiting zoo.org/growingupgorilla and following the zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #GrowingUpGorilla.
Every visit to Woodland Park Zoo supports conservation of animals in the wild. Join the zoo by recycling old cell phones and other used handheld electronics through ECO-CELL to help preserve gorilla habitat. Funds generated from ECO-CELL support the Mondika Gorilla Project and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
ZooParent adoptions are the perfect way to pay tribute to Zuna. ZooParent adoptions help Woodland Park Zoo provide exceptional care for all of its amazing animals and support wildlife conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
Baby Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo
Woodland Park Zoo is jumping for joey over its 8-month-old Matschie’s tree kangaroo! The male joey (a baby marsupial), born last August to mom Omari and dad Rocket, is just beginning to venture outside the safety of his mom’s pouch. To the surprise of no one, he’s positively precious.
The 2-pound joey is named Havam (hay-vam) which is the word for “tree kangaroo” in one of the many languages of the YUS Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea, home to wild but endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroos. YUS is home to Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, whose amazing work for the people and wildlife of Papua New Guinea would not be possible without support from donors and organizations like the Shared Earth Foundation, which ensures that all creatures have an enduring claim to sustainable space on this planet.
This joey’s journey may surprise you: Tree kangaroos are born hairless, blind and only the size of a jelly bean. In order to survive, the joey must quickly crawl from the birth canal, through its mother’s fur and into her pouch to immediately start nursing. At first, Havam did get a little bit too eager to make his debut, explains animal keeper Beth Carlyle-Askew.
“Havam exited Omari’s pouch a little early — we actually had to put him back in to finish growing for a few more months. Luckily an animal keeper saw him outside the pouch and knew exactly what to do. She kept him warm by putting him in her shirt, then put him in a fabric pouch with a heated pad until he could be returned to Omari’s pouch,” said Carlyle-Askew.
As each day passes, little Havam is familiarizing himself with the world around him. He makes short trips out of the pouch to explore his new home, but he still prefers the warmth and safety of Omari’s pouch. When he’s not nursing, Havam is starting to try solid foods, sampling all of his mom’s food to figure out what he likes best. He’s even been learning to climb up and around his enclosure! At 14 months old, Havam will wean from nursing and eventually become fully independent.
Havam is the third joey for dad Rocket, who fathered Havam’s half-siblings Ecki and Keweng, born to the zoo’s other female tree kangaroo Elanna in 2018 and 2020, respectively. This is the fourth joey for Omari, who had three other joeys at Santa Fe Teaching Zoo before coming to live at Woodland Park Zoo. All of the zoo’s tree kangaroos are currently living in a habitat that is off view to the public.
Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo and help maintain the unique biodiversity of its native Papua New Guinea in balance with the culture and needs of the people who live there. Consider supporting the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program here: www.zoo.org/tkcp/donate.
Terra the Southern tamandua gave birth to a healthy female pup on Friday, April 23 behind the scenes at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater area. The pup, like all of its species, was born with very little fur, and with its eyes closed for the first day. It’s Terra’s second pup, and only the second tamandua ever born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The pup weighed just over half a pound and can fit onto a human palm.
Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor yesterday announced the public debut of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s latest addition – a baby Black Rhinoceros calf.
“The little female rhino was born on 17 February to first-time mother Bakhita,” Mr Sartor said.“It is the second generation born in the zoo’s breeding program.“It’s terrific that this baby Rhino has become available for public viewing in time for the school holidays.”
A public competition will be announced shortly to name the baby Rhino.
The zoo is widely recognised as a world-class open range zoo, which has an international reputation in Black Rhinoceros breeding, research and conservation. Since the 1990s, the Zoo’s breeding program has produced 11 Black Rhinoceros calves, supporting the survival of this critically endangered species. In total, the zoo is home to almost 1,000 animals.
Mr Sartor said Taronga Western Plains Zoo has been experiencing a recent baby boom – currently on display are four Cheetah Cubs, three Giraffe calves and a Przewalski's Horse foal.
“This baby boom is fantastic for conservation and tourism with 70% of visitors to Dubbo going specifically to visit the zoo,” Mr Sartor said. “Visitors to Dubbo will also be able to see four Cheetah cubs, including two King Cheetah, believed to be two of only 60 King Cheetah in the world.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keepers, such as Nick Hanlon have been monitoring Bakhita and her calf closely to ensure the pair is bonding.
“Bakhitais a fantastic first time mother, doing everything right from the moment she gave birth,” Mr. Hanlon said. “The calf is quite confident and inquisitive but still doesn’t venture too far from mum’s side. “She is quite active and loves a run around the paddock, but like most youngsters she gets tired pretty quickly. “At birth the calf weighed about 30kg and now would be around 40kg. “In time the calf will also play an important role in the international breeding program, either here or at another Zoo.”
Zoo Knoxville welcomes three Roti Island snake- necked turtles that hatched in mid April. This critically endangered turtle is endemic to Indonesia. Since the mid-1990s, the population in the wild have suffered disastrous declines of more than 90% and are now ecologically extinct.
The Seba Python is the largest snake in Africa, with an average size of 3 to 5 m in length and a maximum of 8 m. They have a triangular head covered in irregular scales, which are usually blackish-gray brown in color. The head also has two light-colored bands that form a spearhead in the shape of the mouth.
Like many other species of snakes, they are quite solitary, seeking out members of their own species only during the breeding season. They mostly stay on the ground, but sometimes climb trees in a pinch. They can swim well and stay submerged for a long time, to avoid potential threats.
Although they are mainly nocturnal when they are adults, Seba pythons can be active during the day to sunbathe and thermoregulate. Juveniles, however, are usually active at dawn and dusk, preferring to retreat to the safety of a rock formation or hollow tree for the day and night.
They have a reputation for being particularly aggressive. If they cannot escape when threatened, they bite and contract with great ferocity. They have large, recurved teeth and their bites are very painful.
The Seba python is now confined primarily to game reserves, national parks, and isolated sections of the African savanna. Due to hunting for their meat and skin, there has been a great decline in this species in recent years.
After more than twenty years, three meerkats have been born at Amersfoort Zoo.
“A very special moment, because a meerkat birth is no easy feat,” explains animal caretaker Marc Belt.
“Before meerkats form a love couple, they have to like each other very much. After two decades there is a match between a male and a female and that now results in three youngsters that are doing very well.”
These African predators have been living in the zoo for many years, but births have been delayed for a long time.
Meerkats are choosy in choosing their love partner.
There has to be a strong click between the two before they end up on a pink cloud.”
A pregnancy lasts about 2.5 months in these animals.
“At birth, the young are initially still blind, deaf and bald. After about ten days their eyes and ears open and they explore the world. When mom goes looking for food, the rest of the group babysits; they are very caring animals”, says Marc.
The birth of these three meerkats gives hope. Marc: “Love is in the air, so maybe we can expect more births soon.
Hopefully the park will be able to open its gates again on 11 May and visitors can come for a maternity visit in Amersfoort Zoo .
An endangered Bactrian Camel calf was born at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota on March 10. After a 13-month gestation period, The Zoo’s 16-year-old female Cindy Lou, gave birth to an unusually large baby. On average, camel calves weigh between 80 and 100 lbs. at birth. This hefty male, affectionately coined Token, weighed in at a whopping 124 lbs.
Due to his size he had a hard time standing after birth and therefore could not nurse from his otherwise attentive mother. Due to the impending blizzard, the decision was made to separate mom and calf in a back corral area and start him on a bottle of colostrum. Between his unsteadiness and the weather, the decision was then made to bring him inside and begin the process of hand raising full-time.
Token has had some ups and downs, but proves to be resilient. One day the zookeepers noticed he was weak and unsteady and would not stand to eat. When they finally got him up and walking, he was gentle with his rear right leg and it seemed painful when it was bent up towards his belly. He was immediately taken to the vet. After bloodwork, four radiographs (which were very challenging) and urine tests the results showed he had a high white blood cell count, and his right knee was more swollen and he seemed to be favoring it more. It was determined he had an infection in the joint (probably from birth) and he was started on injections. Thankfully, he continued to drink readily during his treatment. The following week he became constipated and was straining to go to the bathroom. A little mineral oil in his bottle did the trick.
Token is now much stronger and weighs approximately 145 lbs. at his 1-month milestone. He is drinking four bottles a day totaling 232 oz. He is getting spunkier and learning camel things, such as how to kick and spit.
The Bactrian camel, Camelus ferus, is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Restricted to the Gobi and Gashun Gobi deserts of northwest China and Mongolia, it is one of the rarest large mammals on Earth (currently numbering fewer than 1,500 individuals).