Zoo Welcomes New Member to Gelada Troop

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Dudley Zoological Gardens would like to introduce the newest member of their Gelada troop!

The little male was born on March 6 to eleven-year-old mum, Jimma, and 14-year-old dad, Ebano. According to keepers, this is the sixth Gelada to be born at the Zoo since 2014.

Senior Keeper, Jodie Dryden, said, “This is Jimma’s second baby, so she’s already an experienced mum and the newborn looks to be thriving!”

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The new little boy has been given the name “Jinka.” The name is inspired by a market town in southern Ethiopia – the native homeland of the species. Keeper, Stephanie Ballard, was the first to find the newborn and gave the infant the moniker.

Section Leader, Jodie Dryden, shared, “We let Stephanie choose his name as it was her first ever zoo baby discovery, so he’s extra special!”

“And Jinka’s perfect, as it’s also a town near Jimma, which is his mum’s name. She’s still keeping a close hold of Jinka at the moment, but the other youngsters are beginning to get more inquisitive around him, although it won’t be long until he’s also gamboling around the bank with them all.”

The troop at Dudley is part of a European Endangered Species Programme. Prior to the latest birth, they had four juvenile boys: Billie, Ambo, Gimbi and Dendi, as well as Kadida, their only little girl. Ebano is father to all of the juveniles in the troop.

Jimma is joined by fellow adult females: Tana and Addis (who also both have two offspring each).

Gestation for Gelada’s is usually around six months. Mothers will carry the baby on their stomach for the first few weeks before transferring it to their back. The youngster will begin to gain more independence around five-months-old.

The Gelada (Theropithecus gelada), sometimes called the bleeding-heart monkey or the gelada baboon, is a species found in the Ethiopian Highlands. It is largely terrestrial, spending much of its time foraging in grasslands.


Cuddly Toy to the Rescue at Edinburgh Zoo

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An eight-month-old Koala joey at the Royal Zoological Society’s Edinburgh Zoo was weighed with the special assistance of a cuddly toy last week.

Kalari, whose Aboriginal-inspired name means ‘daughter’, is one of the UK’s only Queensland Koalas. She is also the first female of her kind to be born at the Zoo.

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4_Kalari_3_Lorna_HughesPhoto Credits: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) /Images 1,2,6: Kirsty McFaul /Images 3-5: Lorna Hughes

Like all young joeys, she spends most of her time clinging to mum, Alinga, so keepers use a soft toy to give her something to hold on to during health checks.

As well as being members of a worldwide Koala breeding programme, RZSS also supports conservation projects in Australia that help to rehabilitate sick and injured Koalas and release them back into the wild.

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Baby Lemur Twins Are Ready For Adventure

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Twin Black and White Ruffed Lemurs born on February 19 are ready to explore their world at the United Kingdom’s Dudley Zoo.

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Photo Credit: Dudley Zoo

The babies were born to 17-year-old Olivia and her 25-year-old mate, Broom. Since birth, the twins  have been snuggled in their nest box with Olivia. But last week, one of the twins attempted a bold escape from the nest box when Olivia wasn’t looking! A nearby zoo keeper caught the escapade on camera. The babies now regularly explore their indoor habitat under mom's watchful eye. 

The birth of these twins is significant because Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Found only on the island of Madagascar, these Lemurs have experienced a severe decline in population in the last few decades – up to an 80% drop by some estimates. Their large size (compared to other Lemurs) makes then a prime target for poachers and hunters who are trying to feed their families.

Efforts to reintroduce captive-born Lemurs to the wild have been suspended because there is little suitable habitat left for reintroduction. Madagascar’s forests and natural areas have been drastically altered due to human activity, including slash-and-burn agriculture.  


African Painted Dog Pups Are Zoo Miami's First in 20 Years

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Zoo Miami proudly announces the debut of a litter of highly endangered African Painted Dog puppies.  The litter of one male and four females was born on January 23 and has been in seclusion in a den with their mother since until last week.  Because this was the first litter two-year-old mother Little Foot, extreme caution was exercised in ensuring that mother and puppies were not disturbed for the first several weeks of the puppies’ lives.

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These pups are the first successful births of this species at Zoo Miami in nearly 20 years. The births are part of a carefully planned breeding program to help ensure the survival of these endangered carnivores. 

Until now, mother and puppies have been observed through a closed-circuit television camera to minimize disturbance. After the staff determined that Little Foot was caring for her puppies properly, neonatal exams were performed on each of the five pups. Until this exam, none of the staff had handled the pups. The exam included collecting blood, general physical exams, deworming treatment, and the placement of a microchip for identification.  At six weeks of age, the puppies ranged in weight from 6 – 7.5 pounds.  There will be another appointment in the near future to administer vaccinations.

Following the exams, the puppies were given access to the exhibit with their mother and father Evander for the first time. After initial trepidation, they followed their mother out onto the habitat. Though Evander showed extreme interest in the pups, Little Foot did not allow him to get close to the puppies. Instead, Evander observed the pups intently from afar. 

With fewer than 6,000 individuals left in the wild, the African Painted Dog is one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent.  Found in isolated pockets of eastern and southern Africa, they occur in packs of six to 20 individuals.  African Painted Dogs’ cooperative hunting methods are one of the most successful of any carnivore. Only the alpha pair reproduce within the pack and the female can have as many as 20 puppies which are raised cooperatively by the other pack members. 

The largest threats to African Painted Dogs, which are also known as African Wild Dogs, are being shot by land owners who consider them a threat to their livestock, fragmented habitat, and disease transmission such as rabies and distemper introduced by domestic Dogs.

See more photos of the pups below.

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OKC Zoo Debuts ‘Mountain Lion Cub Cam’

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The Oklahoma City Zoo’s 11-week-old Mountain Lion cubs are ready to make their public debut, and fans can watch the wild fun unfold live, daily on the Zoo’s “Mountain Lion Cub Cam”!

The OKC Zoo is excited to officially launch its new “Mountain Lion Cub Cam,” online at www.okczoo.org . Tune in and watch as young siblings, Toho, Tanka and Tawakoni, explore their new habitat at the Zoo’s Oklahoma Trails and get ready for all the pouncing, playing and sibling bonding you can handle!  

The Mountain Lion cubs arrived at the OKC Zoo in late January after being orphaned in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Game officials with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks found the cubs and contacted the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to locate a permanent home for the litter because recovered cubs cannot return to the wild according to South Dakota state protocol. Learning of the cubs’ situation, the Zoo made the decision to provide a forever home for both Toho and Tanka. Tawakoni will be relocating to her permanent home at AZA-accredited Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, later this summer. Until then, she will remain with her brothers at Oklahoma Trails.

ZooBorns shared news of the cubs’ arrival at OKC Zoo in an earlier feature: “Orphaned Mountain Lion Cubs Thrive at OKC Zoo”  

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4_OKC Zoo Mountain Lion Cub (1 of 3)Photo Credits: Candice Rennels /Oklahoma City Zoo

The OKC Zoo’s new webcam provides a ‘purr-fect’ opportunity for virtual guests to get a live look at the cubs and stay connected with them as they grow. After completing a 30-day quarantine at the Zoo’s Joan Kirkpatrick Hospital, the cubs moved to Oklahoma Trails where they can be seen daily in the current bobcat habitat. The Zoo’s carnivore caretakers determined the bobcat habitat would be an easier space for the cubs to navigate at this time and cub-proofed the habitat before allowing the adventurous youngsters access. When the siblings are bigger, they will “graduate” to the mountain lion habitat. In the meantime, Cody, the Zoo’s bobcat, can be seen daily in the Mountain Lion habitat.

“Cub Cam” viewers will enjoy watching as the Mountain Lion cubs become familiar with their new environment and curiously explore it. The rambunctious trio is a sight to see as they investigate all the new smells and sounds around them. The “Mountain Lion Cub Cam” will be live at www.okczoo.org – 24/7 with optimal viewing of the cubs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting.


Birth of Giraffe Caught on Camera at Chester Zoo

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Zookeepers at Chester Zoo have released CCTV footage showing the incredible birth of an endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe – as well as his adorable first steps!

The leggy new arrival was born March 5 to twelve-year-old mum, Dagmar, and eight-year-old dad, Meru.

Giraffe experts at the Zoo monitored the three-and-half-hour labour live on camera as Dagmar dropped her new calf six feet to the floor, landing on a bed of soft straw.

The healthy male youngster, who is yet to be named, was then up on his feet and suckling for the first time just over an hour later.

Sarah Roffe, Giraffe Team Manager at Chester Zoo, said, “When a Giraffe mum drops her calf to the floor it can look a little dramatic – but it’s not such a long drop when the baby is six foot tall. Nevertheless, to see the birth and the very first steps of an animal as rare of the Rothschild’s Giraffe is an incredibly special thing.”

Roffe continued, “Dagmar is so far being the model mum. She’s staying close to her calf and letting him suckle, which of course is vital in these early few days. The milk is filled with important nutrients like colostrum, which will help the little one to grow and reinforce an inseparable bond between mum and baby.”

“This new arrival is a special addition to the international breeding programme for this endangered species, which is working to boost numbers in zoos and safeguard its future.”

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Rothschild’s Giraffes are highly threatened in the wild and have suffered a 90% decline in numbers in recent decades, making them one of the world’s most at-risk mammals. Estimates indicate that fewer than 2,650 now remain across Africa.

Conservationists from the zoo are currently working in Uganda as part of a vital project to protect Rothschild’s Giraffes in the wild. The team – working with partners The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Uganda Wildlife Foundation (UWA) – are fighting to protect the last remaining wild populations of Rothchild’s Giraffes.

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Naples Zoo Celebrates Birth of Clouded Leopard Sisters

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Naples Zoo is celebrating the birth of two endangered Clouded Leopard kittens. First time mother, Tika, gave birth to kitten one at 7:49 am Friday, February 22, and kitten two arrived at 8:32 am. Both kittens are female. The first-born kitten weighed 262 grams, and kitten two weighed 244 grams.

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Clouded Leopard kittens are born with their eyes and ears closed. They typically open within 10 to 14 days. The kittens are being bottle-fed and will be hand-reared by Naples Zoo's animal care staff. This has proven to be the best practice for the species and has generated the best results in terms of the health and well being of Clouded Leopard kittens. The kittens are not yet named, but the Zoo will announce their names soon. Currently, the kittens are not on exhibit at the Zoo.

Clouded Leopards are listed as “Endangered” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, under the United States Endangered Species Act. They are classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. The species is under significant pressure in the wild from human encroachment and destruction of its habitat, as well as poaching. The cats, which live in the forests and trees of Southeast Asia, are elusive, and it's difficult to know how many remain in the wild.

The Clouded Leopard parents, Tika and Masala, arrived at Naples Zoo in September of 2016 from two different facilities to contribute to the future of their species. The pair was specifically matched by the Species Survival Plan(r) (SSP) based on their ancestry, in an effort to create the greatest genetic diversity in the population over the next century. Naples Zoo is pleased to be a part of this critical program to sustain the Clouded Leopard population in Zoos.

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Penguin Chick Gets A "Cool" Name

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With the Midwest in the grip of a brutal winter, the Kansas City Zoo has welcomed two King Penguin chicks.

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The first chick hatched on January 13 during a blizzard and was given the name “Blizzard” by the care team. A second King Penguin chick hatched on February 2 during the polar vortex which brought below-zero temperatures to Kansas City. The zoo solicited name suggestions for the second chick on Facebook, and fans suggested wintry names for little ball of fluff. Top names included “Pothole,” “Snowball,” “Icee,” “Chilly,” and “Vortex.” Vortex was chosen as the winning name.

You can see the entire Penguin habitat and all its residents every day on the zoo’s Penguin Cam.

There, you’ll see “play pens” separating the two chicks and their parents from the rest of the flock. This allows the other penguins to see and hear the new arrivals, but gives the new families some privacy. Blizzard, the older of the two Penguin chicks, has his very own Blizzard Cam. On that camera, you’ll see Blizzard, who is covered in fuzzy gray feathers and stands almost as tall as his parents.

At up to 39 inches tall, King Penguins are the second largest of all Penguin species. They nest on temperate islands in the South Atlantic Ocean and on the coast of Antarctica. Diving to depths of more than 300 feet, King Penguins forage for fish, squid, and krill in the cold Antarctic waters. King Penguins as a whole are not under threat at this time, but certain populations, including those on Pig Island, have declined 90% in recent years. Scientists are not certain if this is due to changes in the ecosystem, or if the Penguins have dispersed to new breeding grounds.


Red River Hoglets Born at Toronto Zoo

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Photo Credit: The Toronto Zoo

A pair of Red River Hogs was born at The Toronto Zoo on February 17, and the zoo announced their arrival on National Pig Day, March 1.

The two hoglets were born to mom Tisa and dad Sir Philip Pigglesworth III. The care team says Tisa is providing expert care for her babies. This is the first litter for both parents, and the third litter of Red River Hogs born in the zoo’s history.

Tisa and her hoglets are behind the scenes in a maternity den, so they can’t yet be seen by zoo visitors. The hoglets spend the day nursing and exploring the den.

Red River Hogs are one of the most colorful members of the Pig family. They are native to western and central Africa, where they search for roots and tubers on the forest floor. As their name suggests, these Hogs often live near lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Red River Hogs live in small harems, with a single adult male and a few females with their young.

At this time, Red River Hogs are not under threat and populations are stable.


Dynamic Giraffe Duo Debuts at Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami's newest baby Giraffes recently made their exhibit debut!

For the first time, the handsome male that was born on February 13th and the lovely female that was born on February 20th, walked out onto the exhibit with their mothers and other members of the herd. The soon-to-be-named young duo curiously explored their new surroundings.

The two newborns had been held inside a holding area, with their mothers, to give them time to bond and to allow staff to slowly introduce them to the herd.

The male weighed 123 pounds and is the first baby born to his four-year-old mom, Zuri. The female weighed 161 pounds and is the sixth baby born to 12-year-old mom, Mia. The father to both calves is six-year-old Titan, who has since left Zoo Miami to join another herd at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

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4_1Photo Credits: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami   (For identification purposes: the baby with the dark thick, tufted horns is the female, and the adult giraffe with her in any photo is her mother, Mia. The lighter colored baby is the male, and the adult seen with him is his mother, Zuri.)

Giraffes have a gestation period of approximately 15 months and a mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor, where it receives quite an impactful introduction to the world! Newborns usually weigh more than a hundred pounds at birth and stand nearly 6 feet tall!

Due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years, the status of Giraffes in the wild has recently been elevated from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

More amazing photos below the fold!

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