Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo's New Curious and Playful Baby Dwarf Mongoose Trio

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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." 

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Photo Credit: Katie Paton


Baby Pygmy Hippo Takes Her First Steps Outdoors

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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."

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Photo Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Read pygmy hippo facts after the jump:

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Baby Tapir Has Stripes AND Spots!

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A beautiful new baby Malayan Tapir has come into the world - well, she's come to the Edinburgh Zoo!  The baby’s name is Nadira, which means  ‘precious gift’ in Malaysian. She was born on October 3, the fourth baby born to Edinburgh Zoo’s adult tapir pair, mum Sayang and dad Ka.  She's turning heads with her unique look. 

Hoofstock team leader Lorna Hughes said: “We’re really pleased with how both mum and daughter are doing. Sayang is an experienced mum and she’s brilliant, she has been protective and attentive, but still relaxed about everything. Nadira is feeding well and going outside to explore.  We’ve begun to introduce dad Ka for short periods of time so he and Nadira can become more familiar with one another. Ka is good natured male and we don’t expect any problems when we eventually bring the family together for longer stretches of time."

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Photo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

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Little L'hoest Monkey, Big Personality!

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Visitors to the monkey house at Edinburgh Zoo have been meeting the Zoo’s latest arrival, an inquisitive orange-eye baby L’hoest’s monkey. It's birth has special significance, as the baby’s mum, Tumbili, brought new genetics to Edinburgh from North America.

Animal Team Leader Lorna Hughes said: “Every birth is special, but this one has been really exciting. Tumbili came to Edinburgh from San Diego Zoo about eight months ago, bringing new genetics with her which will strengthen biodiversity here and in zoos throughout Europe.” 

Born on June 26 to mum Tumbili and dad Kizizi, the new arrival is already developing a big personality. “The baby is quite a confident little one. It comes right up to the window to have a look at visitors," Hughes added. "We’ll check to see if it is a boy or girl when it is about three months old, once the baby has started venturing away from mum a bit more. Once we know, we’ll be able to choose a name.”

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 Photo Credit: Edinburg Zoo

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Tiny Tapir ‘Perfection’ Spotted at Edinburgh Zoo

A new addition to Edinburgh Zoo has been officially announced today (Thursday 27 May). Born just over a month ago on 23 April 2010, the male baby Malayan tapir called Kamal, whose name means ‘perfection’, can now be seen exploring his enclosure under the watchful eye of his mum Sayang.

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Photo Credits: RZSS

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Endangered Baby L’Hoest’s Monkey

Born on April 19, 2010 and now nearly a month old, a new baby L’Hoest’s monkey has gone on exhibit at the Edinburgh Zoo. This birth was part of the European Endangered Programme (EEP), designed to build up a potential rescue population of L’Hoest’s monkeys due to their vulnerable conservation status. This baby brings the count to 32 individuals held at just seven zoo sites across Europe with five monkeys at the Edinburgh Zoo. In the wild, populations are expected to decline by 30% in the next three decades and conservation authorities believe this species faces a high risk of extinction.

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Photo Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

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Day-Old Gentoo Penguin Chicks at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo celebrated the hatching of its first Gentoo Penguin chicks of the year this weekend.  Photographer Debbie Grant snapped these little ones on Saturday. Gentoos are known for their unique circular nests that they build out of piles of stones. Some penguins give each other stones as gifts, typically to curry favor with the opposite sex. Kind of a penguin Valentine's Day.

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4596904070_6497abcdecPhoto Credits: Debbie Grant taken at the Edinburgh Zoo


Britain's Bush Baby Twins

Keepers at Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the birth of their first female bushbaby to a breeding pair they received in 2005. The little girl also has a twin male sibling. Born January 5th, the Mohol bushbabies just reached an age when they could be examined by keepers without undue stress, so it was not until this week that zoo vets confirmed the babies' genders.

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Photo Credits: RZSS


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March of the Baby Penguin

Spoiler Alert: plot elements from the film Happy Feet revealed below! ;) Keepers at The U.K.'s Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a King Penguin chick. The chick, which is almost two months old, is the first King Penguin to be born at the Zoo in five years.

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King penguins lay one egg per breeding season and, instead of keeping it on a nest, the parents tuck the egg under their belly and rest it on their feet. The parents take turns to look after the egg and gently roll it between them to transfer it. After 56 days the eggs will hatch. Newly hatched chicks stay on the parent’s feet for the first month.

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Read on for more pics and a video...

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