A white, wispy blanket of spider webs coated a city in Australia. Photo by Lukas Coch, EPA.
Millions of spiders fell from the sky and left behind a blanket of silky webs in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia earlier this week. Although referred to as “baby spiders”, the tiny spiders are actually adult sheet-web weavers or money spiders.
Sometimes these spiders participate in an event called mass ballooning where all the spiders climb to a high point, like up a pole or tall plant, and then they jump into the air to be carried away by air currents. Every time one jumps, it leaves behind a trail of silk strands. The end result is a wispy blanket of spider webs as pictured above.
Tucker with her newborn lemur. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.
On April 23, a baby crowned lemur was born at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The newborn is staying snuggled up to mother Tucker and is doing well.
“The infant is healthy and is continuously passing critical milestones such as nursing regularly, gaining weight and holding tight to mother,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “Being an experienced mother, Tucker is providing excellent care to the newest arrival.”
In the wild, crowned lemurs inhabit the African island of Madagascar. They are considered endangered by the IUCN due to forest loss.
Black rhino calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on May 6 2015. Photograph by Rick Stevens.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo welcomed a male black rhino calf on April 20. He is the second baby born to mother Bakhita and the third calf born in 10 years to the zoo’s breeding program for this critically endangered species.
“With just over 4000 black rhinos remaining and all five rhino species under enormous pressure in the wild, every birth is critical,” said General Manager Matthew Fuller. “This little rhino is precious, as are all rhinos, and we’re hopeful that his birth will further highlight the need to protect these remarkable creatures.”
The calf weighs about 30-40 kg and is full of energy, often bounding around his yard first thing in the morning.
Baby rhino with his mother Bakhita. Photograph by Rick Stevens.
In the wild, black rhinoceroses live in Africa. Poaching is a major threat to the species due to demand for their horns which is used in Asian medicine.
Two baby baboons (male and female) were born at the Oakland Zoo recently. The female baby hamadryas baboon, born on March 14, was named Kabili, which is Swahili for honest and brave. The male hamadryas baboon was born on April 1 and the zoo is asking for your help in naming him!
The two baby baboons are integrating well into the harem at the zoo. Photo by Oakland Zoo.
The two newest members of the baboon harem at the zoo are doing well. “All of the youngsters are part of the same harem,” said Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny of Oakland Zoo. “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”
In the wild, hamadryas baboons inhabit Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Ancient Egyptians worshipped hamadryas baboons as the incarnation of their god Thoth.
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is excited to announce the birth of a Japanese macaque (pronounced muh-‘kak), also known as a snow monkey, born on May 2.
Zoo staff has determined the little baby is a male. He and his mother Ono are doing well.
According to Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy, “The baby appears healthy, is regularly nursing and visually exploring the exhibit while clinging tightly on Ono’s torso.”
He joins a troop of eight snow monkeys at Regenstein Macaque Forest, the newest exhibit at Lincoln Park Zoo. The expansive exhibit includes microclimates, a hot spring, stream and various levels, creating an ideal environment for the growing snow monkey population.
“From a research perspective, this is a significant addition to the population,” said Research Scientist Katie Cronin, PhD. “The new baby will be the first in this population to grow up with access to touch screen computers – a tool that the monkey can decide whether or not to use – so that we can study cognitive abilities and gain a better understanding of how they think and feel.”
In the wild, Japanese macaques inhabit extreme climates throughout most of Japan, from sub-tropical lowlands to sub-alpine regions. Learn more at snowmonkeys.org.
Fuzzy faces: Two female clouded leopards were born in March at the Nashville Zoo. Photo by Amiee Stubbs.
Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the births of two clouded leopards born March 13 and March 18. The cubs, both female, are doing well and are being hand-raised together.
“Nashville Zoo is on the forefront of clouded leopard care and conservation,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “The births of these two cubs aids in our conservation efforts and benefits the long-term plan to create a sustainable captive population.”
The litter includes two females and one male. Keepers are seeking name suggestions for one of the pups via the zoo’s Facebook page.
“The pups have been in the den to date and we have been monitoring them via a video camera, to ensure they are growing and developing well, ” said keeper Ian Anderson. “Oriental small-clawed otters are a social species and live in large families so it is anticipated that the family will remain together for the near future.”
A western lowland gorilla named Mary with her new baby at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.
A female western lowland gorilla was born at Busch Gardens Tampa on February 6! This brings the gorilla troop at the Busch Gardens Myombe Reserve habitat to seven!
What a sweet face! Both mother and baby are doing well and are being monitored by the animal care staff. Photo by Busch Gardens.
“The first month will be the critical period as the mother, Mary, and the infant begin to integrate into the current gorilla troop, so the Busch Gardens animal care team will be monitoring their progress closely,” said Jeff Andrews, vice president of zoological operations for Busch Gardens.