New Giraffe Calf Honors His Father’s Legacy


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens welcomed an exciting addition to the Reticulated Giraffe herd on May 15. The Zoo’s 42nd giraffe calf was born to mother, Naomi.

Many visitors of Jacksonville Zoo will remember that the patriarch of their giraffe herd, Duke, passed away in December 2018 at 21-years-old from age-related degenerative disease. At the time of his death, keepers were hoping that one or two of the females in the herd were pregnant…and they were! The birth of this youngster is a touching tribute to the high-profile bull that was so well known by the Jacksonville community. This special calf is Duke’s 18th offspring.

“The arrival of our beloved Duke’s son is an especially moving way to honor his amazing legacy. We’re all looking forward to watching this little guy grow and develop,” shared Dan Maloney, Deputy Zoo Director.



4_IMG_0005Photo Credits: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

On the day of the calf’s birth, keepers monitoring the overnight cameras noticed birth activity around 4:30am, so they rushed to the Zoo to supervise the significant birth and make sure everything progressed smoothly. Zoo staff were also watching when the calf stood up for the first time at 6:20am. Their excitement continued when they saw healthy nursing behavior at 7:11am. According to keepers, Naomi is a calm and experienced mother, with this being her 7th calf.

Veterinary staff examined the calf soon after the birth and determined it to be a boy in good health. He weighed in at 187 lbs. and was nearly 6’4” tall.

Naomi and the calf were allowed to bond behind the scenes after the birth, but they are now on exhibit with the rest of their herd.

More incredible photos, below the fold!

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Baby Giraffe Goes Outside And Shows Off New Shoes

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A baby Giraffe born May 2 at Woodland Park Zoo reached three milestones in the past two weeks: he was given a name, got new shoes, and went outdoors for the first time.

The little Giraffe will be called Hasani, after his paternal grandfather. The name was chosen by zoo staff for this handsome calf who has already stolen hearts across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Then, on May 17, Hasani went outdoors for the first time to show off custom-made therapeutic shoes designed to correct a foot problem.

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2019_05_12 giraffe new shoes metal-3Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Immediately after female Giraffe Olivia gave birth to her calf, the zoo’s animal health team noticed that the baby’s rear feet were not in normal alignment. The condition, known as hyperextended fetlocks, is well documented in Horses and has been reported to occur in Giraffes. One day after the Giraffe was born, the zoo’s animal health team applied casts on both rear legs to help stabilize his limbs. 

A week after the calf's birth, Woodland Park Zoo’s exhibits team constructed temporary therapeutic shoes for the baby Giraffe. Meanwhile, the zoo’s veterinary team consulted with a Kentucky-based equine veterinarian who specializes in foot conditions. He visited the zoo to evaluate the calf, and crafted new custom shoes based on the zoo’s specifications. He modified a design that he has used to successfully treat numerous foals with the same condition. The shoes will do the heavy lifting in the next phase of treatment of the baby’s rear leg abnormalities. Huge thanks to Dr. Scott Morrison and Manuel Cruz of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for their support and expertise with this shoe design. 

The new shoes are made of metal with a textured bottom for extra grip. An acrylic molding wraps around to secure the shoe to the hoof. “This whole-toe wrap binds the toes more snugly to stabilize the shoe and provide a stronger grip to the hoof,” says Dr. Tim Storms, associate veterinarian at Woodland Park Zoo. The shoes are more water-resistant than the previously made wooden shoes. “This will be better for walking outdoors on wet ground and will allow him to exercise more, which is critical to his development.” 

Kinesiology tape – often used by runners and athletes – helps to stimulate and support Hasani’s muscles and replaces the bandages that were put on his legs right after birth.

Hasani’s treatment may last several months. “While we are happy with Hasani’s response so far and these new shoes, he’s not out of the woods yet. His condition is still guarded and we’re keeping him under close observation. We’ll continue assessing the best course of action to help him walk and grow normally, and to find a good balance between supporting his limbs and strengthening his tendons,” adds Storms. 

Other than the abnormalities in his rear legs, Hasani remains in good health and is nursing and bonding with mom. He weighed 155 pounds at birth and now weighs 180 pounds, so he is growing and growing!

Giraffes are widespread across southern and eastern Africa, with smaller isolated populations in west and central Africa. New population surveys estimate an overall 40 percent decline in the Giraffe population; fewer than 100,000 exist today. Of the currently recognized subspecies of Giraffe, five have decreasing populations, while three are increasing and one is stable. 

Itsy-bitsy Spiders Find A Home at Brevard Zoo

Whiteknee with quarter

Eight young Tarantulas, or “Spiderlings,” were brought to Brevard Zoo after being confiscated from an importer by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The small Spiders, which are each about the size of a quarter, include four Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas (shown above on quarter and in bottom photo) and four Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Tarantulas (below).

Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula
Tarantula arrival
Tarantula arrivalPhoto Credit: Brevard Zoo

The Spiders came via Woodland Park Zoo, which took in a total of 250 Tarantulas from USFWS. It is likely that the Spiderlings were bred from illegally wild-caught adults because Brazil does not permit the export of fully-grown Tarantulas. The Spiderlings were most likely headed to the pet trade.

“We hope to use these Arachnids to help zoo guests learn more about the importance of Spiders and the impacts of wildlife trafficking,” said Michelle Smurl, the zoo’s director of animal programs.

The Spiderlings are currently housed in a behind-the-scenes area, but plans are to introduce them to zoo guests during keeper chats later this year. 

Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas can grow to a leg span of eight-and-a-half inches. Unlike many larger Tarantulas, this species is very colorful in appearance due to the white stripes that adorn its knees.

Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Tarantulas are among the largest in the world, reaching a leg span of 11 inches. Aside from what its name suggests, this species also feeds on various Insects, Lizards and Frogs.

‘Baby Makes Three’ at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


First there was Walnut, a male Beaver living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Then came Nutmeg, a female who arrived from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park as a companion for Walnut…and now baby makes three!

Born April 29, the new kit is thriving and growing daily. Fuzzy brown, around 13 inches long and weighing just under 24 ounces, the baby Beaver is a nursing champion, taking every chance it can get to nestle up to mom. He or she also eagerly explores the habitat behind-the-scenes at the zoo’s Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater. The kit is not yet viewable by the public.

Staff aren’t yet sure about the sex of the kit. Beavers’ genitalia are hidden inside, making it impossible to determine their sex just by looking. In a few weeks, the veterinary team will send a blood sample for genetic testing, which will reveal the sex. At that point, the Wild Wonders staff will choose a name.



4_BeaverKit_09Photo Credits: Katie Cotterill/PDZA

Beavers are born precocial, meaning they are a miniature version of adults, seeing well and moving independently.

The new baby spends most of each day snuggled up with mom and dad in their maternity suite at the zoo, where Nutmeg and Walnut have been crowd favorites in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater live animal show. They’re also popular during Close Encounters, where guests can get up-close views of various animals.

Meanwhile, the zoo’s veterinary team is visiting daily, weighing the Beaver kit to track growth and check on its health.

“It’s doing very well,” said Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Head Veterinarian, Karen Wolf. “Since birth, this kit has been an ‘eager beaver’ – if you’ll excuse the pun! – stomping around and looking for a nipple to nurse.”

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Help Name Cleveland's Baby Sloth Bear


After waiting four months for its new Sloth Bear cub to emerge from the den, staff at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo gave the cub its first checkup. They learned that the cub is a female!

59932330_10161821048925002_6008209370754580480_nPhoto Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Born on January 14, the cub is the first to be born at the zoo in 30 years. The cub’s parents are mom Shiva and dad Balawat, and this is the first cub for both. ZooBorns reported on the cub’s birth here.

Fans are invited to help name the little cub by visiting the Sloth Bear habitat at the zoo, or by going online and make a donation to the Future for Wildlife Fund. You can choose one of the following names by midnight on May 27:

  • Lali, meaning darling
  • Nisha, meaning night
  • Shala, an homage to mom Shiva and dad Balawat

The names reflect the native home of Sloth Bears in India.

The cub stays close to Shiva for now, and she will ride on mom’s back until she is about six months old. As an adult, the cub will weigh around 300 pounds.

Sloth Bears have flexible snouts which help to suck up grubs and termites from trees. Sloth Bears also feed on fruits, flowers, sugar cane, and honey.

Sloth Bears are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Factors such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict threaten Sloth Bears’ survival. The zoo participates in a project to protect Sloth Bears in Nepal, where populations have plummeted in recent years. Donations made through the naming contest go toward this project.

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Baby Aardvark The Newest Arrival at Bioparc Valencia

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On May 12, Bioparc Valencia announced a rare birth: a baby Aardvark was born!

The baby joins a family of mom, dad, and two siblings. For now, mom and baby have private living quarters so they can properly bond and rest. Keepers report that mom and baby appear to be doing well, and they check on the pair often during these critical early weeks. Twice a day, the baby is inspected and weighed to make sure it is gaining weight at a steady pace.

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Primavera 2019 - Nace una nueva cría de oricteropo en BIOPARC Valencia (6)Photo Credit: Bioparc Valencia

Eventually, mom and baby (who keepers suspect is a female) will join the family in the outdoor habitat, where they spend the evenings digging holes in search of insects as they would in the wild.

At birth, baby Aardvarks weigh about three pounds and have droopy ears and hairless, wrinkled skin. As the baby grows, the wrinkles gradually disappear and the ears are held upright.  Body hair starts to appear at five to six weeks of age.

Aardvarks are native to sub-Saharan Africa and spend their days hidden in burrows. At night, they emerge and search for ants and termites to eat. Aardvarks’ huge claws dig small trenches in the soil as they sniff and listen for insect activity. Using the long, sticky tongue, Aardvarks lick up thousands of ants and termites – as many as 50,000 per night.

Bioparc Valencia houses the only reproductive group of Aardvarks in Spain.

Tree Kangaroo Joey Makes Itself Known at Zoo Miami


An endangered Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo joey from New Guinea has begun to peek out of its mother’s pouch at Zoo Miami. It is still basically confined to the pouch, where it will continue to develop for the next several months before venturing away from its mother. It will not be totally weaned until it is around a year old.



4_10Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill

Though it is just now revealing itself on a regular basis, this joey was actually born October 14, 2018. As with most marsupials, Tree Kangaroos are born in an almost embryonic state after a pregnancy of about 44 days. The newborn is only the size of a jellybean and slowly crawls into the mother’s pouch where it locks onto a nipple and then the majority of development takes place. It takes several months before the joey actually sticks its head out of the pouch and is visible.

The mother, named Zayna, is 9 ½ years old and was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas and the almost 11 year old father, named Banyon, was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York. The sex of their new offspring has not been determined, but it will eventually become part of an international captive breeding program. Zoo Miami has been a long time contributor to Matchie’s Tree Kangaroo conservation efforts in the wilds of New Guinea. Though this is Zayna’s third baby, it is the ninth of its kind to be born at Zoo Miami.

Matchie’s Tree Kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) live at high elevations in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea where they spend most of their time up in trees feeding on a variety of leaves, ferns, moss, and bark. They are believed to be solitary animals, and the only strong social bond formed is between a mother and her offspring.

More great pics below the fold!

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Bison Calf Awes Visitors at Rosamond Gifford Zoo


While zoo visitors watched in awe, an American Bison calf was born on exhibit at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. New mother, Sue, went into labor around 11 a.m. and the baby was born at 12:30 p.m. on May 9.

The calf is the second Bison baby to be born at the zoo to Sue and male, Harley. Sue had their first calf, Abigail, in 2017. The new calf has been named Madison as part of the zoo’s “I Love New York” theme of naming new arrivals after New York cities and towns. Animal care staff are not yet sure of the calf’s sex.



60131115_10155968412741573_6488226220109463552_oPhoto Credits: Rosamond Gifford Zoo

American Bison once numbered in the millions, but they came close to extinction by 1900, when only about 1,000 remained. Conservation efforts led by the Bronx Zoo have restored the population to about 500,000 in zoos, preserves and protected parklands. In 2016, the American Bison was named the US National Mammal.

“With this second Bison birth, we are doing our part to contribute to the health of this species,” said Zoo Director, Ted Fox. “It is a great experience to participate in the conservation of this iconic animal.”

Onondaga County Executive, Ryan McMahon, said the birth represents another achievement for the zoo. “Our zoo is doing great things to help save endangered species, and this Bison calf is one more success story,” McMahon said. “My congratulations go out to zoo leadership, the animal care staff and the Cornell University Veterinary team that assists in medical care at the zoo.”

With several school field trips visiting the zoo on May 9, a small crowd gathered at the Bison exhibit as onlookers realized an animal was giving birth. Zookeepers stood by, observing from several vantage points, while a couple of keepers answered visitors’ questions.

Many visitors refer to the Bison as “buffalo,” but only Bison are native to North and South America as well as Europe. According to Ted Fox, many people confuse the two species of hoofed mammal, but Buffalo only reside in Africa and Asia.

For information on the zoo, visit . For info on zoo events, visit .

Eight Red Wolf Pups Get A Check-Up


Over a 12-hour period on May 10 and 11, American Red Wolf mother Charlotte whelped a litter of eight healthy, squirming pups in a secluded den at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

This is the second litter of the Critically Endangered species to be born at the zoo in seven years.

60329666_10156510873084624_7746627933912956928_nPhoto Credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Zoo keepers monitored the young family over the weekend via cameras placed in their behind-the-scenes den. The pups are not viewable by zoo guests.

On May 13, staff biologists checked on and weighed the precious pups and discovered a ninth pup that did not survive, an occurrence that’s not unusual in large litters, according to zoo staff.

The pups are part of a Species Survival Plan© (SSP) that includes more than 40 zoos and wildlife centers across the country and has helped bring this iconic animal back from the brink of extinction.

These eight pups represent another big step in saving the American Red Wolf. On May 15, the staff gave the tiny pups a hands-on exam. The pups, which include three males and five females, weigh 11 ounces to 13 ounces each – roughly the weight of a can of soda.

The pups’ father hasn’t been introduced to his offspring yet. If he tries to come into the den, Charlotte warns him off with a low growl. Eventually she will allow him to meet the pups. Zoo staff members plan to propose prospective names for the pups and allow fans to cast votes for their favorites.

By the 1970s, only 14 red wolves were all that remained of this species that ranged across the Southeastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Texas. In 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Red Wolf biologically extinct in the wild.

Today, some 40 roam the Red Wolf Recovery Area operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in northeastern North Carolina where they were reintroduced to the wild three decades ago. Red Wolves remain one of the most endangered Wolf species on Earth.

See more photos of the pups below.

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Chester Zoo’s New Giraffe Calf is a 'Rare' Beauty

1_Look who just dropped in! Cameras capture the incredible moment a rare giraffe calf is born at Chester Zoo  (6)

The dramatic moment a rare giraffe entered the world was recently caught on camera at Chester Zoo.

Orla, a highly endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe, gave birth to the six-foot-tall female calf on May 8 after a two-and-half-hour labour (and 477 days gestation).

She has been named ‘Karamoja’. Keepers dedicated the new calf’s name to the people of Karamoja in Uganda, Africa. Karamoja is the region in Uganda where the zoo’s conservationists are working alongside The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), to protect some of the last remaining populations of wild Rothschild’s Giraffes in Kidepo Valley National Park.

2_Look who just dropped in! Cameras capture the incredible moment a rare giraffe calf is born at Chester Zoo  (7)

3_Look who just dropped in! Cameras capture the incredible moment a rare giraffe calf is born at Chester Zoo  (8)

4_Look who just dropped in! Cameras capture the incredible moment a rare giraffe calf is born at Chester Zoo  (2)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

The new birth – the second at the zoo in the space of just eight weeks - is another important boost for the global breeding programme for the endangered animals, with the wild population standing at just 2,650.

Sarah Roffe, Giraffe Team Manager at the zoo, said, “When you’re the world’s tallest land mammal, your entry into the world is a long one… and not always very graceful. But since giraffes give birth standing up, a calf starts off its life with a drop of up to two meters to the ground. This fall breaks the umbilical cord helps to stimulate its first breath.”

“Following the birth, Orla’s calf was then on its feet within 30 minutes – and is already towering above most of the keepers at nearly six feet tall. It’s so far looking strong and healthy and is another special new arrival, coming hot on the hooves of Mburo who was born just eight weeks ago,” Roffe continued.

“Mburo was clearly highly interested in the new thing that had landed near to him. Seeing the two young calves together is wonderful.”

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