The Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand welcomed a rare baby bird on Sunday. The white kiwi chick, named Mauriora – meaning “sustained life” in Maori - is the second of its kind to be born in captivity. The first white kiwi born in captivity hatched in May and is name Manukura.
The two white kiwis are North Island brown kiwi who carry a rare white gene. They are not albinos.
In the Greater Mekong region of Asia, which covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, scientists have recently discovered over 200 new species. The list includes 145 plants, 28 reptiles, 25 fish, 7 amphibians, 2 mammals, and 1 bird.
One interesting find is the snub-nosed monkey, which has to keep its head between its knees when it rains so water doesn’t get into its nose. Another noteworthy discovery is a self-cloning lizard, which is an all-female species.
For more information and a photo slideshow of more of these fascinating species, see:
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a male baby Coquerel’s sifaka on November 12 and named him Nero. At birth, the baby lemur weighed 94 grams, about the weight of a deck of cards. According to Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager, “Sifaka are born with sparse hair and resemble tiny gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in, and they begin to resemble their parents.”
In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka inhabit the island of Madagascar. They are endangered as a result of habitat loss from deforestation. Sifaka are different from other lemurs in the way they hop through treetops in an upright posture using only their hind legs. They propel themselves on the ground by side-hopping on their hind legs.
Although she is over a hundred years old, Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens resident Alberta didn’t let her age stop her from motherhood. Alberta, a Santa Cruz Galapagos tortoise, hid her eggs and nest from keepers for months while they incubated. On Thursday, the zookeepers made a surprising discovery of four hatchlings in a buried nest. A fifth baby was later found wandering around the exhibit.
The babies are currently small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. But Galapagos tortoises can reach 400 kg (880 lb.) in their long lifetime.
Galapagos tortoises are the largest species of tortoise. In the wild, they inhabit the Galapagos Islands, which are located 1,000 km (620 mi) west of Ecuador. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Redlist.
Ok, so cheetahs don’t actually eat pumpkins. (They are strict carnivores.) But the zookeepers at Busch Gardens provided some pumpkins for the cheetahs to investigate for some Halloween-themed fun. New sights and smells provide enrichment to animals, keeping them engaged and stimulated.
A mother leopard grooms her cub. You can help big cats like these with "Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats".
This Halloween, you can make the holiday extra special by helping big cats! National Geographic has organized a campaign called Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats, which encourages kids to collect donations for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative as they trick-or-treat.
According to Alexander Moen, VP of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society, “The Big Cats Initiative is working with scientists and conservationists around the world to halt the decline of these iconic animals. By supporting their work, together we can ensure that future generations won’t talk about big cats the way we now talk about dinosaurs.”
Free Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats collection boxes are available at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide, participating schools, National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at causeanuproar.org, where people can request boxes sent directly to homes, schools, clubs and other community locations.
Everyone who participates is eligible to receive a thank-you gift, including magazine subscriptions, apparel and digital downloads (eligibility based on the amount of funds submitted by November 30, 2011). Detailed information on gifts and how to participate can be found at www.causeanuproar.org.
Semeru, a zoo-born Sumatran orangutan, will be released into a national park in Indonesia to help save the species from extinction.
Semeru, a six-year-old male Sumatran orangutan who was born and raised in the Perth Zoo in Australia, will be released into Bukit Tigapulah National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild, and Semeru’s introduction into the park would increase the genetic diversity of the orangutan population there.
To ensure Semeru will be able to survive in the wild after living his whole life only in captivity, zoo keepers and veterinarians spent a year preparing him for the transition.
According to Environment Minister Bill Marmion, “Semeru will be closely monitored and supported on a daily basis with two dedicated trackers for two years and longer if necessary while he adjusts to life in the forest.
“Semeru’s pre-release preparation has included the introduction of Indonesian fruits, enrichment items to sharpen his foraging skills and access to a large fig tree to increase his fitness and hone his climbing and nest-making skills.
“Semeru has also been fitted with a radio transmitter implant which will help trackers monitor him in the dense terrain of Bukit Tigpauluh.”
Sumatran tiger cub at Oklahoma City Zoo. (Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman and Newsok)
The Oklahoma City Zoo recently put its four Sumatran tiger cubs, which were born on July 9, out for public display. According to Oklahoma City Zoo’s Mammal Curator Laura Bottaro, “These beautiful cats are a critically endangered species and every birth enables us to further the health and conservation of the species.” In the wild, Sumatran tigers live on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and are the smallest subspecies of tiger. To learn more about the Sumatran tiger cubs, see the Oklahoma City Zoo website.
The Toledo Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of two Amur tiger cubs, which were born September 26. They will go on public display in January. Amur tigers (aka Siberian tigers) are endangered and reside in a small region in southeast Russia. They are also located in small numbers in China and North Korea. Amur tigers are the largest subspecies of tiger. To learn more about Amur tigers, see Animal Fact Guide’s article, Siberian Tiger. To learn more about the new tiger cubs, see the Toledo Zoo website.