Woodland Park Zoo’s new red-crowned crane chick is on a mission, living as an ambassador for cranes facing habitat loss and life-threatening, human-wildlife conflicts in their Asian range. Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is home to a new male red-crowned crane chick! The fluffy, brown chick, hatched on May 13, will play an integral role in the survival of the species. Red-crowned cranes are severely endangered, with only 2,700 cranes remaining in the Amur Basin of Northeast Asia.
The zoo works with Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use and the International Crane Foundation, through the zoo’s Partners for Wildlife, with the goal to bring the red-crowned crane population back from the brink of extinction.
“Muraviovka Park gives red-crowned cranes a chance to flourish; it’s a safe haven for them to breed, nest and raise their young,” says Fred Koontz, Woodland Park Zoo Vice President of Field Conservation. “This wildlife sanctuary is the first nongovernmental protected area, and the first privately run nature park in Russia since 1917, and it’s making a tremendous difference for the future of cranes and many other species.”
If you would like to help red-crowned cranes, you can get involved with Woodland Park Zoo’s efforts at zoo.org/conservation.
Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo
Feline baby boom at the Nashville Zoo! Pictured above is a baby clouded leopard (left) and a baby Eurasian lynx (right). Photo credit: Amiee Stubbs, Nashville Zoo.
The Nashville Zoo experienced a feline baby boom recently, welcoming two clouded leopard cubs and one Eurasian lynx cub!
The two female clouded leopards were born on April 30 and are currently being hand-raised by zoo staff.
Newborn clouded leopard cubs. Photo credit Amiee Stubbs, Nashville Zoo.
Said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president. “Once they get a little older, these cubs will leave us and serve as ambassadors for clouded leopard conservation at zoos across the country.”
The Nashville Zoo participates in the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, which aims to conserve these rare cats. Breeding clouded leopards is difficult because males are often aggressive and kill potential female partners.
On May 4, the zoo welcomed a female Eurasian lynx, who is also being hand-raised by animal care staff. This little cub will eventually join an educational outreach program at another zoo.
Newborn Eurasian lynx shows some personality at the Nashville Zoo. Photo credit Amiee Stubbs.
Eurasian lynx are the largest of the lynx species and inhabit Central Asian, European and Siberian forests.
Baby black and gold howler monkey named Donatello. Photo credit: Twycross Zoo.
The Twycross Zoo in England welcomed a baby black and gold howler monkey, which is the world’s loudest primate! The little howler monkey has been named Donatello, and he and his mother are doing very well.
Howler monkeys have a very loud, distinctive call that can be heard up to 3 miles away. Male howler monkeys have special throat sacs that allow them to produce such a loud noise. The calls are used to mark their territory.
In the wild, black and gold howler monkeys live in South and Central America. They are threatened by loss of habitat due to agricultural development.
The white rhino calf at one day old. Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo. See more photos below.
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia celebrated the arrival of a healthy male white rhinoceros calf last week. The calf’s birth represents a major conservation achievement!
Said Senior White Rhino Keeper, Pascale Benoit, “Everyone is just over the moon with the arrival of the white rhino calf, especially given the tragic of the loss of four members of this herd to disease last year, and the plummeting numbers of all rhino species in the wild.
“This calf is not only an important birth for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, but for the species as a whole. Mopani [the new calf's mother] had never bred before so to produce an offspring has created a new genetic line and greater genetic diversity within the White Rhino population throughout Australasia.”
In Africa, wild white rhinos are threatened by poaching. Nearly 2000 rhinos have been slaughtered since 2006.
The baby white rhino, yet to be named, with mother Mopani. Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed three Malayan tiger cubs on March 31st. There were two males and one female, each weighing around 6 pounds.
These births were part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Malayan tiger births are rare in captive breeding programs. There was only one successful birth in 2012, and this is the first Malayan tiger birth at Busch Gardens Tampa. The animal care team is monitoring the cubs and parents around the clock.
According to the IUCN Redlist, Malayan tigers are considered endangered in the wild. There are only 500 Malayan tigers living in their native habitat, which is the southern tip of Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Threats include habitat fragmentation and poaching.
To learn more about the Malayan tiger cubs, see BuschGardensTampaBlog.com.
The new porcupette at one day old at the Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo
The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA welcomed a baby North American porcupine on April 18. The male porcupette (baby porcupine) and his mother Molly are living in a den and are being monitored by zoo staff. The pair will be on exhibit in just a couple weeks!
Porcupettes are born with soft quills that harden a few hours after birth, providing quick protection against predators. After a few weeks, the babies develop their tree-climbing abilities. Once they wean themselves off their mother’s milk, they climb trees to forage for leaves, twigs, and bark.
Learn more about the porcupette at the Woodland Park Zoo blog.
Photo by Oakland Zoo.
Three meerkat pups were born at the Oakland Zoo. Their names are African in origin and are Ayo (joy), Rufaro (happiness), and Nandi (sweet). The pups are approaching six weeks of age and are doing well.
According to Victor Alm, Zoological Manager:
“It has been wonderful watching the mob [group of meerkats] raise the pups. It has truly been a collective effort and all the adults are taking their turns caring for and teaching the new pups their different roles and jobs needed to be a productive meerkat.”
In the wild, meerkats inhabit the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. They are physically adapted to living in the harsh desert environment. Dark patches around their eyes help them be effective lookouts by reducing the glare of the sun, much like a baseball player who paints dark lines beneath his eyes.
To learn more about meerkats, see our our Meerkat Facts page.
Discovery Cove in Orlando, FL welcomed a male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin calf on Monday. The calf weighs 44 pounds and measures 44 inches long.
The baby calf swims and bonds with his mother Kendall. Photo by Discovery Cove.
To learn more about bottlenose dolphins, see our Bottlenose Dolphin Facts Page.
Do you know how many times have you been swimming at the beach in the vicinity of a great white shark? Thanks to a team called Ocearch, now you can find out if there’s a great white near you. Using GPS-satellite tagging technology, Ocearch is tracking the movement of around 40 great white sharks.
A screenshot from Ocearch’s Global Shark Tracker tool. This shows the path of a great white shark called Mary Lee, who has swum along the east coast as far north as Cape Cod.
You can view the movement of these sharks at the Ocearch Global Shark Tracker website.
To learn more about great whites, see our Great White Shark Fact Page.
On February 14, a small asteroid known as the Chelyabinsk object hit southwestern Russia. The next day, a 40-meter-long asteroid called 2012 DA14 passed by the earth, coming closer than our own satellites. These recent encounters with large space rocks bring to mind one of the theories of what killed the dinosaurs millions of years ago: an asteroid strike.
A painting by Donald E. Davis that depicts an asteroid crashing into the Yucatan Peninsula in southeast Mexico.
By studying a 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide crater in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, scientists have determined that the asteroid that struck the earth 66 million years ago was 6 miles in diameter. The collision with Earth would have caused wildfires, tsunamis, and particles in the atmosphere. These particles would have blocked the sun, killing the plant-life and causing temperatures to drop significantly. Many scientists believe this series of events led to the demise of dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs may have been killed by a series of volcanic eruptions in what is now India. Credit: National Science Foundation, Zina Deretsky
But perhaps this wasn’t the only cause of extinction. Many scientists believe that a series of volcanic eruptions that occurred 60-68 millions of years ago in what is now India began killing off the dinosaurs before the asteroid strike. These eruptions would have caused dramatic climate change that would threaten many dinosaur populations.
Learn more about these theories at National Geographic.